Why not visit the city of Puerto Plata whilst on your trip to the North Coast of the Dominican Republic? If you are touring around the Dominican Republic, or if you have flown into 'POP' to stay in one of the great resorts on the North Coast of the DR, it is well worth adding the 'Silver Port' to your holiday itinerary.
Founded in 1502 by Nicolás de Ovando, Puerto Plata, is one of the longest established 'New World' settlements in the Dominican Republic. A turbulent history has resulted in relatively little of the original City remaining today, nevertheless the City still offers numerous attractions for those taking a holiday in the Dominican Republic.
The City is within easy access of many wonderful beaches, such as Playa Dorada and
, where you will find a great variety of hotels and resorts to choose from. From these areas it is particularly easy to visit the 'Silver Port' and take in some of the sights it has to offer which include:
Things to see and do...
- The mountain of Isabel de Torres (792m), which you can reach by a cable car (Teleférico). The trip will last about 7 minutes and it runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm. Once up there, we recommend you to have a walk around and enjoy...
- ...The Botanical Gardens, where you can take in the magnificent views of the City and surrounding landscapes. You will also see a cruciform statue of Jesus Christ is at the top of the mountain, as if protecting the whole area. And just in case you get hungry after your walk...don't worry, there is a restaurant up there on the mountain, too. - From the Port you can also go Whale Watching. You can take a boat to the Santuario del Banco de la Plata, where hundreds of Humpback Whales come for breeding each year, from as early as November (though sightings are more certain from January) through till March. A visit to this site, or to the Bahia de Samana is a 'life-enhancing' experience. (More informatiion about
whale watching in the Dominican Republic - here.
- Another interesting visit is the Fortaleza de San Felipe. Built in 1492 (the same year Christopher Columbus first discovered the island - therefore making it the 'Oldest Fortification' in the New World!) this defensive structure, built to protect the settlement from the many brigands and pirates that roamed the seas at the time, is the only building remaining from the city's colonial past. It now also features a small museum, where numerous historical artefacts are on display.
- At the Puerto Plata Amber Museum, located in Duarte Street, you will find an amazing collection of amber. The quality of the Dominican amber is very well known around the world, but especially the pieces originating from the Puerto Plata area, which is considered to be some of the most valued, due to its transparency. Guided tours around the museum are available in different languages and it is also possible to buy original amber from the shop at the museum. The museum is open from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm.(Please do take a look at our Dominican Republic Amber page, for more information about this intriguing 'pre-historic gem'.)
- The Brugal Rum Factory, can also make a fascinating visit for those who want to know more about one of the Caribbean's most culturally significant alcoholic beverages!. The admission is free and you will be given a short tour around...at the end of of which it will be possible to enjoy samples of the rum produced at the factory:-)
...So be sure to visit the 'Silver Port'!
As many of you will know, Puerto Plata is also 'home' to one of the DR's most important international airports, La Union. Every year a large proportion of visitors to the Dominican Republic arrive in our country via this route and are then either taken, or make their own way, to their resorts which are dotted along the North Coast. But it is a great pity if all you see of Puerto Plata is the fleeting glimpse as you arrive and depart in your coach or taxi!
Puerto Plata has now established itself as one of the Dominican Republic's most significant Cities, after a long history of economic ups-and-downs since Columbus' arrival in the late 15th Century. Whilst on your vacation in the Dominican Republic, if proximity allows, it is well worth paying a visit to Puerto Plata to take in some of the sights it has to offer.
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