Puerto Plata City Guide
About Puerto Plata
Puerto Plata is located on the northern shore of the island of Hispanolia that hosts the Dominican Republic. Puerto Plata is also known as San Felipe de Puerto Plata and was discovered by Christopher Columbus who wanted to build a city on this scenic area of the island, renowned for its picturesque beaches surrounded by verdant mountains. He was unable to do so, and in 1502, Nicolás de Ovando founded Puerto Plata, which went on to become a major port of the area from where ships laden with treasures from the New World departed.
Today Puerto Plata is an immensely popular vacation destination of the Caribbean and is known for its many diverse hotels that are concentrated mainly within a hotel zone known as Playa Dorada.
Where to stay in Puerto Plata
Luxury hotels, spa hotels, all–inclusive resort hotels, boutique beach hotels, discount hotels and budget accommodation; Puerto Plata offers them all at its three main beachside areas.
Playa Dorado is home to most of the all-inclusive hotel properties in Puerto Plata. If you would like to book your vacation to Puerto Plata at one of the many all-inclusive hotel properties located within Playa Dorada then Fare Buzz can help you secure attractive hotel rates for same.
Costa Dorada is located within a three minute drive west from Playa Dorada and offers a similar ambience as the former but has fewer hotels located within its boundaries.
Playa Cofresi is located within easy access from the center of Puerto Plata and is home to the prominent Puerto Plata attraction of Ocean World. Ocean World is an immensely popular attraction with families on a vacation to Puerto Plata with their children.
Places to see in Puerto Plata
The Oceanworld marine adventure park is an immensely popular attraction for both adults and children on a vacation to Puerto Plata. This park is situated 3 miles west of Puerto Plata and offers a casino and a world-class marina along with an aqua park, which features enclosures that feature interactive displays of marine animals like dolphins, sea lions, sharks, piranhas, stingrays and more. If you are on a vacation to Puerto Plata with children then a visit to Oceanworld is definitely recommended.
Fort San Felipe
Fort San Felipe is an important historical attraction in Puerto Plata that dates back to 1564. This fort was constructed on the orders of King Philip II of Spain. Fort San Felipe features thick, towering walls and was believed to be impenetrable for it was surrounded by a moat that had sharpened swords embedded in the coral located beneath the surface of the water.
Isabel de Torres
The Isabel de Torres observation tower played an important role during the reign of Dominican Republic leader Rafael Trujillo. This tower rises to height of 780 meters above sea level and offers panoramic views of the Amber Coast from its summit, which can be accessed via cable car.
Museo de Ambar Dominicano (Museum of Dominican Amber)
This museum showcases stunning exhibits of Amber found in the Dominican Republic. This attraction should be considered a must-do for any jewelry and gem stone enthusiast on a visit to Puerto Plata.
Brugal Rum Bottling Plant
The Brugal Rum Bottling Plant offers an insight into the booming Dominican rum manufacturing industry. A tour of the factory demonstrates the process involved in the bottling of this world class rum. After the tour, participants are treated to a free rum based cocktail and also have the opportunity to buy souvenirs.
Parque Nacional La Isabella
This park is yet another historical attraction located in Puerto Plata. This attraction contains the remains of the church where the first Mass in the New World was conducted and an observation tower from where Columbus used to gaze at the stars. The park also contains a small museum, which has artifacts from the period new European settlers arrived here.
Best time to visit Puerto Plata
Puerto Plata experiences year round amenable weather, which is characterized by average daytime highs of 84F( 29C). The resort also experiences a rainy season that lasts from May through October and is marked by much high humidity and precipitation. The period between November and April is the drier tropical cool season in Puerto Plata, which generally features warm days and mild evenings. This drier tropical cool season in Puerto Plata is the peak tourist season at this beachside paradise.
However, if you choose to do your flight and hotel bookings with Fare Buzz you need not worry about paying high peak tourist rates, for Fare Buzz can procure attractive hotel and flight deals for your stay in Puerto Plata no matter when you choose to visit.
Getting around in Puerto Plata
Puerto Plata is accessed via its Puerto Plata International Gregorio Luperón Airport, which is situated 7 miles (11km) east of Playa Dorada. This airport welcomes a whole host of budget and regular carriers and it can be reached via a forty minute drive from most for the hotels located within the resort area of Puerto Plata.
If you need to rent a car for the duration of your vacation in Puerto Plata, then Fare Buzz can be of assistance; for it offers a variety of affordable car rentals for Puerto Plata. These Puerto Plata car rentals can be booked at the same time that you make your other travel bookings for your visit to Puerto Plata.
If you choose not to rent a car for the duration of your vacation in Puerto Plata, then you can avail of the various modes of public transport that are available in Puerto Plata like taxis and minivans (Guaguas). However like in various other Caribbean destinations, it is prudent to fix your fare with the taxi driver before you set off on your journey in Puerto Plata as the taxis in Puerto Plata are largely unmetered.
Where to shop in Puerto Plata
Puerto Plata offers many great souvenir shopping opportunities at its various shopping complexes and markets like the Mercado at Puerto Plata, the Plaza Turisol Complex and the Playa Dorado Plaza. Additionally the beach resort is also equipped with several specialty stores that are located around the Museum of Dominican Amber, which offer the chance to buy amber, larimar and mahogany carvings that are produced locally. So if your tastes are slightly more eclectic and you don’t really care for souvenir t-shirts and the like, you are in luck for your vacation to Puerto Plata can fetch you some great finds.
Where to eat in Puerto Plata
Puerto Plata offers a good selection of restaurants that offer variety of cuisines that aim to cater to a wide variety of tastes. Some the most popular and well regarded restaurants in Puerto Plata include eateries like Le Papillon, On the Waterfront, Restaurant Morua Mai, Hemingway’s Café, Lucia/Verrandah and La Parrillada Steak House and bar.
Nightlife in Puerto Plata
Nightlife in Puerto Plata is centered on its lavish casinos and discos. The resort’s most prominent casino is located at the Ocean World Aqua Park; though the resort also has another casino located at the Holiday Village Golden Beach situated at Playa Dorada.
Most of the hotels located within the Playa Dorada Complex have discos and clubs like Mangú, Roadway Western Bar. Mix Grill and Crazy Moon are especially popular with the revelers, who congregate at Playa Dorada’s shores routinely.