Dominicana On Line - El Portal de la República Dominicana
Zone II was defined by Decree No. 2125, April 3, 1972 and contains the Puerto Plata Province, located on the northern seaboard of the Dominican Republic, occupying an area of 1,856 square kilometers for a population of 265,485 people.
The length of the seaboard known as the “Amber Coast” extends for more than 125 kilometers, through the mountains and next to the Atlantic Ocean, which borders its multiple beaches. It was on these lands that Admiral Christopher Columbus disembarked on his first voyage, and for the beauty of the landscape stretch before him, he exclaimed:
“The most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen.”
It is a zone of abundant agricultural richness; tobacco, cocoa and coffee are the principal pillars of production and exportation.
In addition, the area of Puerto Plata is one of the world’s largest deposits of amber, the only semiprecious stone of plant origin, formed from a fossilized resin from prehistoric trees that, according to recent research, date back 15 to 25 million years.
Puerto Plata is the principal city in the province of the same name and a point on the tourist map for its history, its Victorian architecture, its beaches and its tropical landscape. It also has the Aeropuerto Internacional Gregorio Luperón, an excellent mode of access to the city and its surrounding.
The city was founded in 1496 by Captain-General Bartolomé Columbus and is located at the foot of the Loma Isabel de Torres, a peak that reaches some 902 meters above sea level, declared a national park, which one ascends by cable car that reaches the summit of the mountain, crowned by an imposing statue of Redeemer Christ, which, with outstretched arms, blesses and receives all those who visit.
Another tourist attraction is the Fortaleza de San Felipe, constructed between 1564 and 1577, to defend the city from the pirates and corsairs that raided it. The fort is also a sample of the military architecture of the colony, one of our most precious jewels from the period. In 1905, a building was annexed and used as a prison until 1961, and when it was demolished to begin the restoration of the old fort, which preserves important historical evidence.
The city’s downtown is known for its Victorian buildings that evoke the romanticism of the city, which reached the pinnacle of recognition in the late 19th century, when it was designated the interim capital of the Republic. In the Parque Duarte, recreation location for citizens and visitors, one can admire the gazebo or “glorieta” of fine woodwork. From there, one can make out the spires of the Iglesia de San Felipe, featuring the simple and provincial architecture typical of the region.
More than 11 kilometers of beaches supply this area with infinite options to satisfy the most demanding tastes. If one is looking for a popular environment, the Playa de Long Beach, favorite of the citizens of Puerto Plata, faces the boardwalk of the city.
To the west of Puerto Plata, the Playa de Guarapito can be found, with its half moon shape and crystalline waters, ideal for a day of enjoying sun and surf. The tiny Playa Cofresí is close to de Guarapito, and is surrounded by palms.
The tourist resort of Playa Dorada, surrounded by a spectacular strip of beach protected by coral reefs, is a key addition to the area and features a golf course.
The beaches of Maimón, Sosúa and Cabarete complete the offerings of this privileged area. In Sosúa, the beach and the town are both attractions, as both have intense activity by day and by night.
Cabarete is another attractive beach town, located between a bay and a lake, especially when its winds and cresting waves make it the ideal location for practicing windsurfing. Here, various championships for the World Cup of the Windsufing Association have been held. It is an excellent destination for sports and adventure tourism.
In the municipality of Río San Juan, we find the Laguna Gri-Gri, a fresh water lake from whose soil spring mangroves that cross their roots to trap a canal of mineral water, where they guard treasures, which have turned into a coral bank. The Cueva de las Golondrinas, La Piscina, El Caletón, Puerto Escondido and Playa Grande with its golf course (designed by the architect Robert Trent Jones Sen), give the tourist a sense of the natural magic of this place.