Puerto Plata Vacations
Hugging the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata offers a quiet escape amid some of the longest stretches of unspoiled beaches in the Caribbean. In addition to the miles and miles of sparkling sand, Puerto Plata’s tropical breezes and gentle swells have made it a popular destination for windsurfing and kiteboarding. This tropical oasis extends inland where waterfalls, rock walls and crystalline pools offer spectacular scenery and activities for everyone.
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- Choice of accommodations
- Hotel taxes and maid gratuities
- Roundtrip transfers between airport and hotel
- Assistance of a local destination representative
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
Two of the biggest sports on the North Coast are windsurfing and kiteboarding, especially in the towns of Sosua and Cabarete. Cabarete hosts the annual “Master of the Ocean” kiteboarding championship. Puerto Plata is also the ideal location for deep-sea fishing, from blue and white marlin to mahi mahi and wahoo, fishing enthusiasts will find it all here. Scuba divers and snorkelers will find beautiful coral reefs and abundant, colorful sea life. Nature lovers can tackle the rapids of the Yague del North River or trek through the El Morro National Park, known for its various species of birdlife.
Puerto Plata is home to the famous Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Located in the Playa Dorada Resort complex, this course is known to be one of the top 100 golf courses in the world. Puerto Plata is also home to the Hacienda Golf Course and Los Mangos Costambar Golf Course.
If you've ever dreamed of getting married on the beach in a tropical paradise, barefoot at sunset with live music playing in the background, you've found your destination. The North Coast is a beautiful, scenic area with picturesque beaches and breathtaking mountain ranges, perfect for honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic escape.
What's the climate like?
How do I get around town?
Transfers between the airport and hotel are included with your vacation package. Puerto Plata hotels are located approximately a 15-minute ride from Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP) or a one-hour drive from Santiago International Airport (STI).
Taxi and buses
Taxis are inexpensive and plentiful and available from the airport and in the central plaza area of Puerto Plata. Taxi drivers are willing to bargain, and it’s a good idea to negotiate the fare before entering a cab. Privately owned minibuses are also a popular way to get around in Puerto Plata and on the North coast. It is an inexpensive way to get around and routes between Puerto Plata’s central plaza and Playa Dorado run daily.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
Beyond the golden sand beaches, you’ll find a plethora of delicious restaurants offering traditional dishes made with rice, beans, meat, seafood and fried bananas, all with strong European and Asian influences. The most popular traditional beverages are tasty batidos, which are fruit shakes with water or milk, and ice with sugar; and the refreshing juices, which are freshly prepared with chinola (passion fruit), pineapple and tamarind. However, rum is considered to be the most traditional drink.
The Puerto Plata nightlife and local music scene will immerse you into the tastes and music of a colorful, passionate culture. From bars, discos and clubs to casinos and Las Vegas-style shows, it’s enough to leave you wanting more. Try a rhythmic mix of African and Caribbean merengue dancing that is very much part of Puerto Plata’s life. A knowledge of merengue and salsa dancing will make you feel a part of the scene, and in the tourist and hotel areas the discos are definitely up to speed on the latest American and European rock and dance tunes.
Where should I go shopping?
Puerto Plata is one of only two places in the world where significant amounts of amber can be found. 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. Puerto Plata’s amber is known to be the most transparent in the world, and the Amber Museum shops offer a full selection of Dominican amber jewelry.
There are markets and shops around Puerto Plata, but one of the largest shopping complexes is the Playa Dorada Plaza, just inside the gates of the resort area. Here, locals offer a wide array of handmade crafts. Cash is usually the method of exchange, though major jewelry shops and other large stores accept major credit cards. Bargaining is expected in general, although larger stores have fixed prices. You’ll also find inexpensive souvenir shops along the beach and in many areas of Puerto Plata.
When are the local events?
Puerto Plata’s annual calendar is filled with a variety of sporting events, musical venues and artistic festivals including:
Master of the Ocean
February. This annual kiteboarding competition is held in Cabarete on Dominican Republic’s North Coast. The event declares a “Master of the Ocean” or “Team Master of the Ocean” based on four categories: surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and stand-up paddle.
February. Held in La Romana, Puerto Plata and Santiago, this festival attracts an international crowd with events that include a golf tournament, beach excursions, merengue classes, cigar workshops and more.
100K of the Caribbean
June. This seven-day 100K Caribbean marathon spans between the towns of Sosua, Puerto Plata, Cabarete, Las Terrenas and Samana.
Puerto Plata Cultural Festival
June. Normally held the third week of June, the Puerto Plata Cultural Festival offers an insight into Dominican culture with folk music, traditional African tribal dances, salsa and merengue. There are also many crafts exhibits from local artists.
Dominican Republic Jazz Festival
November. This annual cultural event is held in Cabarete, Puerto Plata and Santiago, and attracts large audiences who come to hear the best from international and national jazz musicians.
Santuario de Mamiferos Marinos
Go kayaking and see the manatees in this sanctuary and protected habitat for marine mammals and birds located in the western province of Puerto Plata.
Located between Sosua and Cabarete, the Monkey Jungle not only has squirrel capuchin monkeys to entertain you it also offers an adrenaline-pumping, seven-station zip line.
Isabel de Torres
A visit to Puerto Plata would not be complete without going up to the peak of the mountain, Isabel de Torres. A short cable car ride up the mountain offers stunning panoramic views of the famous statue, a replica of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer.
Lined with great restaurants and bars, this quaint beach town caters to the outdoor-minded. Windsurfing, kiteboarding and laser sailing are practiced here year-round.
Good to Know
|Santiago International Airport
Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperon International Airport
||January - April
||Dominican Peso (RD$). When the $ figure stands alone, chances are that the price is in U.S. dollars (USD), so be sure to verify. ATMs are available. Hotels, restaurants and most shops will accept major credit cards.
||Spanish (English is used at resorts/hotels)
||During the winter, Puerto Plata is two hours ahead of Central Standard Time (CST)
|Proof of Citizenship:
||Government legislation requires all people traveling via air to and from the U.S. and Canada to have a valid passport. For details on passports, visas and health requirements, see Entry Requirements.
||10% is usually added to the bill in restaurants and hotels, according to Dominican law, but if you’re not sure be sure to ask. Tip an additional 5-10% if the service was to your liking.
||Dominicans wear light clothing and are especially fashionable in larger cities; and may dress more comfortably and casually due to the warmer climate. Some of the museums and churches will not allow tourists in who are wearing revealing or inappropriate clothing.