Officially known as San Felipe de Puerto Plata, the Dominican Republic’s capital boasts a magnificent setting overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Golden stretches of sand line the coast, while the downtown area features Spanish colonial-era architecture and bustling modern markets.
Things to do in Puerto Plata
Ride the funicular to the top of Isabel de Torres National Park, where a replica of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer watches over Puerto Plata. Soak up the views along one of the walking trails that lead through the botanical gardens or venture underground to explore one of the park’s subterranean caves.
Want to get your adrenalin pumping? Embark on a canyoning adventure to the 27 waterfalls of Charcos de Damajagua nestled in the mountains of the Northern Corridor. Jump and slide down natural chutes into the pools at the base of waterfalls surrounded by lush forest and sugarcane fields.
Visit the 16th-century Fortaleza San Felipe, which dominates the park of La Puntilla, where a Spanish fortress was built to defend the city from pirates and corsairs. Today it houses a museum showcasing the fort’s role throughout the history of Puerto Plata, as well as an impressive collection of 18th and 19th-century military artefacts.
Embark on a scenic drive along the Ruta Panoramica, which winds through rugged mountains from Puerto Plata to Santiago City in the Cibao Valley. Farms selling artisan cheeses and gourmet coffee line the route, together with an amber mine where you can purchase gems direct from the source.
Getting around Puerto Plata
Gregorio Luperón International Airport is located around 15 minutes’ drive east of Puerto Plata and offers daily flights to destinations across the Americas. Buses and guagua minivans are readily available for getting around Puerto Plata, as are motoconcho motorcycle taxis.