With an impressive natural setting, Puerto Plata has rebounded as a key resort destination. The beaches are enhanced annually with millions of tons of new sand. Over the past five or so years, much work has been done to make the old city attractive to tourists, which has encouraged more of them to venture out from their all-inclusive complexes outside town at Playa Dorada.
Puerto Plata also is blessed with an abundance of beautiful Victorian architecture, though some of it is in need of maintenance. The aged appearance gives the place an authentic look that is undeniably quaint and warm. We think you’ll find Puerto Plata an interesting mix—one worth experiencing.
27 Charcos de Damajagua (27 Falls of Damajagua)
Take an hour to hike up the mountain and jump and slide down the 27 waterfalls, or hike up the first 7 waterfalls for a shorter adventure. Run by local guides who live in the community, this is an adventure for those who are physically fit. It is about half an hour from the city of Puerto Plata.
Cayo Arena (Paradise Cay)
Popular excursion to a sandbar in the middle of the ocean with a reef where tourists can have encounters with tame fish in their natural habitat. On the return trip, tourists get a ride through mangrove forests.
Ocean World Adventure Park
For visitors wanting to swim with the dolphins, this is the place. There are shark and stingray experiences, shows with sea lions and a tropical bird area. Children can go snorkeling in the coral reef aquarium amidst hundreds of exotic fish. Enjoy the large slides in the artificial swimming lagoon by the ocean. Located in Cofresí, 3.1 miles (5 km) west of Puerto Plata.
Mount Isabel de Torres & Cable Car Ride
Begin the day by going up the Isabel de Torres mountain by cable car to see the beautiful view of the bay and its lush botanical garden. A cable car takes visitors to the Botanical Gardens at the top and rewards them with wonderful views of Puerto Plata and its beaches on the way up. Visitors are greeted by a gigantic statue of Christ near the summit. It is chilly at the top but one can warm up with a walk along the winding paths of the Botanical Gardens.
Ruinas de La Isabela
On the riverbank of the Bajabonico River, Christopher Columbus built the first European settlement in the New World with his entourage of around 1,500 Spaniards, many aristocrats, who returned with him on his second trip. A museum tells the story behind the ruins that are still standing in this bay area. Historical records show the first Catholic mass was celebrated there and a modern church was inaugurated in 1994 to mark the 500th anniversary of that first mass.
Brugal Rum Factory
Brugal is the largest producer of traditionally made rum. The rum is aged in around 200,000 American white oak barrels onsite in Puerto Plata. Tours to visit the factory located in the city of Puerto Plata are available and include rum tasting and the change to buy premium rums.
Sosúa has a very interesting history. Welcomed by the Dominican government in 1940, Sosúa served as a refuge and home for Jewish families fleeing Europe due to the Nazi persecutions. Today you can learn about their story in the Jewish Museum in this charming town.
White Water Rafting
If you are adventurous, then this is the best way to enjoy Yaque del Norte River, one of the longest rivers in the Caribbean region, in Jarabacoa, about two hours drive away. River rafting is usually restricted to those over 14.
The Dominican Republic is the world’s number one organic cocoa exporter. Cocoa, an indigenous product of the Americas, has been an important product throughout the country’s history.
If you need any help deciding which excursions to do, we’re always happy to assist you in finding what you want to explore in Puerto Plata. Check out this short video.
[SOURCE: Go Dominican Republic]