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Puerto Plata is one of the most desirable places in the Dominican Republic. While the area is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, Puerto Plata is also an area rich in ancient culture. While planning a vacation full of hiking, snorkelling and horseback riding, set aside time to take part in a few or all ten of these exciting activities and attractions.
Things To Do In Puerto Plata
Fort San Felipe
The historic site of Fort San Felipe is a beautiful attraction, if for nothing more than its panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean. Built in the 16th century, the fort was originally used to fight off pirates intending to invade the island. Visitors can view the old canons, canon balls, bayonets, guns and other weapons. The fort is a great quick excursion for a day of sightseeing.
The Amber Museum opened in 1982 and has since stunned visitors with its beauty and history. The museum contains thousands of amber pieces, some preserving ancient species from millions of years ago. The amber-encased mosquito located within the museum was used in the blockbuster film Jurassic Park. The museum is a huge tourist attraction and is extremely affordable.
Mount Isabel de Torres
Visitors wishing to hike can’t afford to miss the trails of Mount Isabel de Torres, a 2,600-foot mountain that encompasses a rainforest and beautiful gardens. Hikers start at sea level and finish at the top of the mountain to enjoy lunch with a view of Puerto Plata bay. Those who do not wish to hike can take a cable car ride to the top of the mountain and enjoy the botanical gardens and beautiful views.
Perfect for kids, Columbus Aguaparque allows families (or thrill-seekers) to enjoy a full-day excursion at the Caribbean’s largest water park. The park houses slides, a lazy river, a pirate’s island and various rides, restaurants and shops. This venue is also very affordable and offers special group rates for larger parties.
The Brugal Rum Factory
The Brugal Rum Factory is a free attraction, and one not to be missed if you enjoy those fruity, Caribbean-inspired beverages. Brugal Rum is the drink of choice for residents and visitors of Puerto Plata. Visitors are treated to a short film on the history and production process and then enjoy a tour of the factory, ending with a complimentary Brugal Rum drink and the option to purchase the rum or other favours in the gift shop.
For a day of relaxation, enjoy the serene beaches of Costambar. The area features a 9-hole golf course and various restaurants. Costambar is one of the few private areas in Puerto Plata, offering a quiet atmosphere away from the crowds at large resorts.
Museum of Taino Art
The Museum of Taino Art preserves the history of the island’s first inhabitants, the Taino before Europeans settled. The museum is filled with ancient art and an excavated tomb.
Downtown Area Of Puerto Plata
For a shopping excursion, visit the downtown area of Puerto Plata and enjoy the various craft stores and inexpensive dining facilities. Check out the almost extinct Victorian Gingerbread Buildings while in town and take a stroll in the Parque Luperon (central park).
Church of San Felipe
Much more than a place of worship, the Church of San Felipe is an architectural dream. Every visit to Puerto Plata should include a stop at this amazing site of vast white towers. While there is no tour involved, the church makes a beautiful photo opportunity.
If visiting during the first week of October, don’t miss the Meringue Festival. This five-day, citywide celebration offers a multitude of homemade food and craft items from local vendors. The celebration of culture is also evident in the daily concerts by notorious meringue artists.