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Puerto Plata Visitor's Guide

Travel, Vacation and Holiday Information on Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

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Puerto Plata Visitor's Guide

Aerial tramway to the summit of Mt. Isabel de Torres, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

© Dominican Republic Department of Tourism
Puerto Plata on the Dominican Republic's North Coast, is home to Playa Dorada, a 15-mile stretch of sandy beaches, golf courses, restaurants, resorts, casinos, and other attractions, that make the area one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island.

Those virtues would suffice, but Puerto Plata succeeds because of its history and close proximity to a bevy of other activities. From here you can get a lesson on the past at the Fort of San Felipe (one of the first strongholds in the Americas, it looks like a little like an old European castle, moat included) or tour the a rum distillery (Brugal Rum makes its home here) just as easily as you can sit on the beach and make a cocktail.

The city of San Felipe de Puerto Plata was founded in 1503, but its main attraction is significantly more ancient: Take the only aerial tramway in the Caribbean and ascend the the cloud-enshrouded, 793-foot Mount Isabel de Torres for stunning vistas and the lush botanical garden at the peak. Then cool off at the Ocean World Adventure Park, a Sea World-type theme park where you can purchase "encounters" with sharks, sea lions, and dolphins for a fee (around $70 and up).

While the city of Puerto Plata has seen its fortunes rise and fall –- initially a vitally important port, later destroyed to prevent British piracy -– the specimens at the Amber Museum stay preserved. This Victorian-style mansion in the heart of Parque Central downtown contains rooms of ancient, Jurassic Park-like creatures, preserved for the ages in fossilized golden sap. Is that a weird attraction? Yes, but there's not much like it, and that makes it special.

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