Puerto Plata

Located on the north shore of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata’s 1,856 square kilometers of natural wonders is one of the best-known tourist destinations in the Caribbean.

The “Amber Coast” as it is known, has more than 125 km of white sandy beaches and sloping tropical mountains. It was here that Christopher Columbus landed in the Isabella on his first trip to the Americas. As its name suggests, this province possesses some of the largest amber deposits in the world. 
History, Victorian architecture, stunning beaches and tropical landscapes have put Puerto Plata, the main city, on most every visitors list.  Founded in 1496 by Adelantado Bartolomé Colón, it is situated at the foot of the Isabel de Torres Hill, which has been declared a national park.  To reach the top of Isabel de Torres Hill, with an elevation of some 902 meters above sea level, one takes a cable car. Once on the top, the striking statue of Christ the Redeemer that crowns the mountain and towers over the city, comes into close view.

The Gregorio Luperón International Airport is conveniently close to the center of the city. 

A site of great historic interest is the San Felipe Fortress, built between 1564 and 1577, to defend the city against pirates and invaders who constantly beseeched it.  The fortress is a testament to the military-style architecture so widely utilized during the colonial period. 

The center of the city, however, is full of Victorian buildings that evoke the city’s romanticism, which reached its fullest splendor at the end of the 19th century when the city was declared the interim capital of the Republic. A walk around the glorious Duarte Park, visitors and locals alike never cease to admire the gazebo or “glorieta” with its harmonious lines and finely carved woodwork. From here, one can see the towers of San Felipe Church with its simple, provincial architecture, typical of the region. 
More than 11 kilometers of beach line this area where endless options exist to satisfy even the most demanding of tastes. If one is looking for a popular area, Long Beach is the favorite among the folks of Puerto Plata. This beach sits right in front of the city’s stone boardwalk. To the west of Puerto Plata, you’ll come upon the half-moon shaped Guarapito Beach. The crystal clear waters of Guarapito are an ideal place for a day of sun and surf. Not far from here is Cofresí Beach, small and lined with swaying palm trees. 

The tourist complex of Playa Dorada (Golden Beach), surrounded by a spectacular strip of beach protected by coral reefs is an important natural attraction and is the site of a challenging golf course.

Maimón, Sosúa y Cabarete Beaches conclude the offerings in this privileged area. In Sosúa, both the beach and the town are equally fantastic offering nearly various activities, both day and night.

Cabarete, another beach town situated between a bay and a lake, has just the right strength and combination of wind patterns for windsurfers and small sailboats. Various World Champion Windsurfing competitions are held here where adventure and sports tourism meet.

In the municipality of the San Juan River, we find the Gri-Gri Laguna with its sweet waters that spring from subterranean sources. It is here that mangroves, seemingly by design, wrap and cup their long-tentacle-like roots as if to capture water inside them and form mineral water pools which then capture and collect sea treasures to be converted into coral banks.  Some of these crystal clear ocean coves are known as the Swallows’ Cave, The Pool, and the Caletón.

Puerto Escondido, (Hidden Port) and Playa Grande, both with exquisite golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Sen, offer the tourist a final taste of magical nature. 

Source: Central Bank, Secretary of Tourism, Inter-American Development Bank

Related Link: Christmas in Puerto Plata