Located on the northern coast of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the province of Puerto Plata is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic.
Blessed with beautiful stretches of pristine beaches, lush green valleys, and cradled by a chain of majestic coastal mountains, Puerto Plata was described as "the fairest land under heaven" by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Over 500 years later, the province of Puerto Plata has continued to captivate visitors from around the world with an intoxicating potion of Latin American culture, incredible natural beauty and the extraordinary kindness of its people. Because of this more and more people are turning to Puerto Plata for real estate investments in both the residential and the commercial sectors. With rumors of a new cruise ship terminal coming to the port of Puerto Plata wise investors are now looking at this up and coming city as the place to invest.
About Puerto Plata:
The charm of Puerto Plata, the largest city on the North Coast, is enhanced by the extent and variety of its Victorian architecture, unrivaled by any other Dominican city. With 200,000 residents, Puerto Plata is the largest city on the Dominican Republic's North Coast. The center of the town is called Old City and it is here that Puerto Plata's famed Victorian houses and narrow streets can be found. Stylistically, the gingerbread motifs, wooden 'lace' filigree, and pastel colors of its houses and public buildings convey the romantic aura of an earlier time, but functionally they house a tourist-oriented city's businesses, offices, shops, bars, restaurants and clubs. The Puerto Plata region is also known as Amber Coast thanks to large amber deposits in the region.
At the heart of this region, the city of Puerto Plata curves around the base of towering Mt. Isabel de Torres, whose pinnacle can be reached by a cable car system, the only one in the Caribbean, called the teleferico. A manicured botanical garden dominated by an illuminated statue of Christ - a scaled-down version of the one in Rio de Janeiro - crowns its summit. More adventurous types can reach the summit on foot.
History is also preserved here in the imposing San Felipe Fort, built by the Spaniards in the 16th century as protection against seaborne invaders. The fort, which was used as a prison until the 1960's, now houses a fine museum that documents its interesting history. Visitors strolling the city's picturesque streets will also want to take time to see Puerto Plata's extraordinary Amber Museum, the Brugal rum factory and stroll the length of the Malecon, the lively seaside boulevard.
Things to do
The fort: the Fortaleza San Felipe is one of the most visited locations in Puerto Plata. This fort was originally built to give protection to Puerto Plata city from violent attack from passing pirates. The building was accredited by the King Felipe II of Spain. The structure of this fort was finished in the year 1577 by Don Rengifo de Angulo, who was the mayor of the fort. This fort is situated on the top of the hill at the "Puntilla Del Malecon," commanding the Atlantic Ocean. Today, this fort serves as a museum displaying the significant position in the history of Puerto Plata.
Ocean World Adventure Park. This incredible marine park which opened in March, 2004 has already become the "must-see" attraction in the Dominican Republic. The Adventure Park features the largest man-made dolphin habitat in the world, with the largest of the dolphin pools comprised of 12 million gallons of seawater. The park offers 52-scheduled events daily, and the park's interactive animal programs are unique within the industry. Guests of Ocean World Marine Park have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with dolphins, sea lions, sharks, stingrays, exotic tropical birds, meet majestic tigers, walk through a tropical forest, enjoy the pool area, a beautiful enclosed beach area, restaurants and tropical bars.
Museo del Ambar: An outstanding example of Victorian architecture, the museum houses a unique collection of valuable Dominican amber. Experts say this amber is known to be the most transparent in the world. Amber is classified as semiprecious and is actually tree sap that has hardened for millions of years, capturing many fossils of plant and insect life. Guided tours in several languages are given Monday through Saturday from 9am to 6pm.
Brugal Rum Distillery : is another draw for the travelers. The Brugal Rum Distillery is considered to be the largest one in the entire Dominican Republic. Visitors will be shown the entire distillery process, taken through the storage deposits and then on to the real reason why most people visit the distillery, the tasting room. Here you can try the numerous rums that Brugal have on offer. This is a great place to spend a few hours.
El Faro, (The lighthouse): was built during the government of the General Gregorio Luperon and on the initiative of the important person Puertoplateno as cardinal point and guide of the ships that did crossing by the Atlantic and that they had like destiny the port of the city. The Lighthouse was designed with classical columns and striated to the Doric-Roman way, according to the description of the Dr. Jose Augusto Puig Ortiz and Robert S. Gamble, in its Architectural Historic trial of Puerto Plata. It has a solid base of masonry and is elevated to 137 feet above sea level. In the year 2000 it was submitted to works of restoration and restructuring, which included to renew its structure integrally to put it back to its original condition.
The Mount Isabel de Torres: The Mount Isabel de Torres in Puerto Plata is nearly 2600 feet in height and is easily accessible and can be easily reached by cable car, the only one in the Caribbean. The view from the Mount Isabel de Torres at Puerto Plata is simply awesome. The Mount Isabel de Torres of Puerto Plata offers spectacular views of the entire region. The journey by the cable car starts from the sea level of the region and ends at the peak of the mountain. The entire journey is enjoyable and you can see some of the magnificent views of the region. You can also reach this spectacular geographical feature by car.
The Mount Isabel de Torres includes a huge statue of Christ, which is a wonderful landmark of the region and there is a beautiful botanical garden. The garden houses some of the rare species of plant kingdom. You will find here utmost greenery and get rejuvenated in the natural ambience of the region. You will easily get a guide here who will explain you the basic details of this region.
The Mount Isabel de Torres in Puerto Plata apart from offering wonderful scenic beauty also offers a restaurant. The restaurant is an ideal place to spend some time in the lap of nature. The restaurant specializes in local cuisines. The local cuisines available here are mouthwatering and you will enjoy good food with spectacular view.
The Malecon: is the ocean side road that stretched for several kilometers. The Malecon starts from the fort and ends at Long Beach and is dotted with cafes and restaurants. This Malecon becomes more vibrant at the nighttime and on the weekends and is the perfect place to pass time with the locals and share a beer or even a bottle of rum!
Puerto Plata has much more to offer than the eye can see. From beautiful botanical gardens high above the city to strolling along the malecon and sharing stories of long time past, (and maybe a bottle of rum), with the friendly locals, this city is definitely worth a visit.