A Day in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Picture this… 750 miles of beautiful beaches, mountains, jungles and waterfalls, and a colorful, diverse culture. Just less than two hours south of Miami, and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, is a lush tropical paradise called Dominican Republic.
If you’ve done a lot of cruising and island hopping in the Caribbean, maybe you get the same impression as we do. We feel that most Caribbean Islands sort of have the same sort of vibe, and, honestly, one is pretty much the same as the other, especially if you don’t stray too far from port. However, the Dominican Republic is completely different from most of the Caribbean… it took us completely by surprise!
COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR DOMINICAN REPUBLIC as of May, 2022: Travel to Dominican Republic is permitted at this time. Find restrictions and updates for travel to Dominican Republic here.
The Dominican Republic is on the Island of Hispaniola. Hispaniola is divided into the Republic of Haiti on the west and the Dominican Republic on the east. Puerto Plata is on the Atlantic side of the Dominican Republic, while its capital and largest city, Santos Domingo, is on the Caribbean side, a 4 hour drive away.
Dominican Republic is the most geographically diverse of the Caribbean countries. It has a rich culture, welcoming locals, dramatic mountain cliffs, and beaches with golden sand and crystal clear water. The Dominican Republic is home to the highest inhabited town in the Caribbean, “Costanza”, and it’s also home to the highest mountain, “Pico Duarte”. The lowest point in the Caribbean is also here, Lake Enriquillo.
With a mix of Spaniards, Africans and Taino natives, the people of this island have come together to create a unique mix of cultural traditions. These traditions can be found in their tight-knit families, as well as their religion, Christmas celebrations, food and dance.
Tourism is a big deal in the Dominican Republic. It’s the most visited country in the Caribbean… and why wouldn’t it be with its perfect year-round temperatures.
The city of Puerto Plata is one of the oldest in the Caribbean. It has colorful colonial architecture, and great museums, restaurants and bars. There is something for everyone in Puerto Plata, and it’s a city I would revisit in a heartbeat!
Amber Cove and our cruise ship in Dominican Republic
Things to See and Do
With pretty gorgeous weather all year around, there’s more than enough to keep you happy for even a week’s visit, including year-round golf, Merengue lessons, and incredible beaches.
We had one full day in Puerto Plata, and in that one day we were able to do quite a bit! There were all sorts of excursions from our cruise ship, and there were people selling excursions in port. But, to save money and see the most for your dollars, grab a taxi at the port (or from wherever you’re staying) and have them give you a tour. We had a great driver for the day who took us to all of the places we wanted to go, plus a few places ship excursions will not take you!
We were fortunate to meet a few couples on this cruise that we just really hit it off with. One of those couples, Kim and Brian, shared our day with us in Puerto Plata. This saved us all money on taxi fares. But, the best part was that we spent a great day together with people we now call very dear friends.
Our new friends, Kim and Brian
Our driver took us first to the Damajagua Waterfalls. The Damajagua Waterfalls are the top attraction in the area, other than the amazing beaches. Kim and I were really not much in the mood to go chasing waterfalls. So, Michael and Brian did the waterfall chasing without us.
The boys donned their life jackets and helmets and began their hike through the woods while Kim and I chased rum drinks at the bar on site. They had a great time swimming through the rivers, and jumping and sliding down 27 waterfalls, including Corkscrew falls and a 20 foot drop at la Tinajita. See the video the boys shot of the falls here (Before the falls and going down the falls).
Michael and Brian enjoying Damajagua Waterfalls… … and Kim and I enjoying cocktails while the boys go chasing waterfalls Chasing waterfalls at Damajagua Waterfalls in the Dominican Republic
Downtown Puerto Plata
The next place our driver took us to was downtown Puerto Plata. In Parque Independencia we were able to take in a little of the local culture in its historic and very photogenic neighborhood. We walked through some of the cute little shops, the square decorated for Christmas, a gorgeous cathedral, and little side streets with Victorian architecture.
Colorful poster in downtown Puerto Plata Colorful building in downtown Puerto Plata Colorful buildings on a street in Puerto Plata Ready for Christmas in Puerto Plata
San Felipe Cathedral
In Parque Independencia downtown is the beautiful San Felipe Cathedral. It was originally built in the 16th century, but it burned down in 1863. Now, in that spot is the current church which was built in 1956. The architecture of the church is striking. There are tour guides at the church who are happy to show you around for a tip.
San Felipe Cathedral San Felipe Cathedral in Puerto Plata Interior of San Felipe Cathedral in Puerto Plata
There is a little street in downtown Puerto Plata that is topped with the most colorful umbrellas. It’s got adorable outdoor cafes and bars, but the photo op was the best part of this street. It’s just so adorable. And, don’t forget to have your photo taken sprouting angel wings.
Umbrella Street in Puerto Plata Angel Wings photo op
Paseo de Dona Blanca (The Pink Place)
Another really cool street in downtown Puerto Plata is Paseo de Dona Blanca, or The Pink Place. This is just what it is… a bright pink alleyway, sort of like walking through Pepto Bismol, but much more fun.
The Pink Place in downtown Puerto Plata
Fort San Felipe
Our last stop for the day was Fort San Felipe, the only remaining colonial structure in Puerto Plata. The Fort was built between 1564 and 1577 as a defense against pirates and colonists from other countries, although it was mostly used as a prison for political protesters. Inside are historical wartime relics and a museum, but outside there are free expansive views of the area.
Fort San Felipe Dominican Republic Grounds at Fort San Felipe, Dominican Republic
We were dropped off by our taxi at Amber Cove, which is where we began. Amber Cove is the port for the cruise ships, and it’s actually a private island here that is owned by Carnival Cruiseline. It’s a very pretty port where you can do some fun shopping, eat authentic Dominican cuisine, go ziplining, or just hang out at the swim-up bars.
If you just decide to hang out in Amber Cove for the day, you also have the option of renting a private villa out in the water… sort of like the ones you see in the islands of the Pacific! They are all air-conditioned, and you have your own butler to bring you food and drinks for the day.
Amber Cove, Dominican Republic Kayakers and huts on the water at Amber Cove
Top Tours for Puerto Plata
See all Viator tours for Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Annual Festivals and Events
Plan a trip around one of Dominican Republic’s annual festivals and events.
Best Time to Visit
If you love the warmth of the Caribbean, there’s no better time to visit than in May and June. The temperatures run around 80-90 degrees, and hotels tend to be less expensive. But, for the very best weather, you’ll want to visit between December and April when it’s not quite so hot. From June through the end of November is hurricane season… not the best time to go!
Most places in Dominican Republic will accept the Euro and US Dollar, but just in case they won’t, the best currency to bring with you is US Dollars. Once you arrive, just exchange your US Dollars into the Dominican Peso.
How to Get Here
Michael and I live just 1.5 hours north of Miami, and 45 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale, 2 of Florida’s largest cruise ports. So, we try to take 7 day cruises through the Caribbean about once a year. Last year, we decided to take a Holland America Thanksgiving cruise that was going to a couple of the islands to which we had not been, the ship’s private island, Grand Turk and Dominican Republic, and one we’ve been to many times… Key West. Here is a link to the Holland America cruise we took. For all other cruises going to Puerto Plata and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, check CruiseCritic.com.
Our “Thanksgiving sand turkey” on Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas Formal night on our ship… we had so much fun on this trip!
The Puerto Plata La Union Airport (POP) is about a 15 minute drive into the city center, and about an hour to most resorts. See how to get the best deals on flights.
Do you need a Visa or Vaccinations?
With ivisa.com, you can check to see what documents you will need to enter Dominican Republic, and you can apply right there for expedited travel documents, including visas and health declaration forms.
Taxi’s to and from the airport, or just around town, are cheap in Puerto Plata. However, to get around the language barrier and possibly save a little more money, Uber is available in Puerto Plata.
Things to Pack for a Visit to Puerto Plata
Here are a few essential items we always pack no matter where we’re going, as well as a few additional items you should pack for your visit to Puerto Plata. For additional information on what to pack, see my ultimate travel gear and packing list.
We Always Pack
- Travel Wise Packing Cubes (I NEVER leave home without these lifesavers)
- A water resistant lightweight packable backpack that folds up into the size of your hand is great for carrying your daily excursion items, such as your camera, beach towels, sunscreen, etc.
- Tide Sport Travel Sink Packets give you just enough detergent to wash your bathing suits in your hotel sink. And, don’t forget those all important Tide Sticks for stains on the go.
- For those beautiful days with the occasional light rain, disposable rain ponchos are easy to pack and carry with you in your purse or even in your pocket.
- Frogg Toggs rain suits come in handy on those days when we’re expecting quite a bit of rain. They may not be the most attractive rain gear, but they sure keep you dry!
- A good, strong sunscreen that is TSA approved.
- Ladies, a hat is always a good accessory to have for keeping that strong island sun off of your face.
- When you’ve been on the beach all day and want something cute to throw over your bathing suit to hit a waterfront restaurant and bar, a beach coverup is a must.
- A Kindle or Nook makes it easy to take all of your favorite books along with you on vacation.
- Polarized sunglasses will protect your eyes from our harsh sun.
- Camera, Lenses, Flash, Extra SD Cards, USB. To get those phenomenal photos with a zoom lens, I love the Nikon D3500! It takes the best photos, and it has a nice large screen.
Additional Items for Dominican Republic
- The Dominican has a lot of jungle, and a lot of mosquitos! Bring a good natural bug repellant.
- Do you know basic Spanish? If not, get yourself a little Spanish/English Pocket Dictionary to help you communicate with the locals. Or, if you have the time before traveling, order Babbel Spanish to learn the basics and more.
- Collapsable water bottles are a must. There are just too many plastic water bottles already in our oceans. However, the water is not really safe to drink in the Dominican Republic. Therefore, I recommend either filling your collapsable water bottle with purified, bottled water or investing in a SteriPEN water purifier.
- A multi-purpose Turkish towel is a must for any island vacation. Use it on the beach, at the pool, as a sarong, or a shawl.
I know you have to have seen Jurassic Park, right? Some of the scenes, over 15%, from this 1993 Steven Spielberg film were filmed in Puerto Plata. The most notable scenes were filmed in the Isabel de Torres Mountains and at the Amber Museum.
Share Your Travel Tips & Comments
As always, if you have any of your own travel tips to add to this post, any remarks on the article, or if my information needs an edit or addition, please leave your comments below. I value all of your input.
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Puerto Plata VS Punta Cana – Which Destination to Choose in 2022?
When people decide to go on vacation to the Dominican Republic, they often face the choice of Punta Cana vs Puerto Plata. Since both destinations are the most popular among tourists, it is hard to decide between them. But we will try to help you to make the best choice for your Caribbean journey.
First of all, these two vacation spots are striking in their beauty. But, what is important, they still differ from each other. That is why your choice should depend on what you expect from the trip. So, to let you know what you can expect, we prepared the main points for each destination.
General information about both destinations
Over the past few years, the Dominican Republic has been visited by more than 7 million tourists a year. Of these, 4.3 million tourists visited Punta Cana in 2017. While Puerto Plata was recorded about 60 000 international tourist arrivals.
Well, Punta Cana is located in the easternmost region of the Dominican Republic. It is a place where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. Also, Punta Cana is a newer destination, so, therefore, most of the hotels and vacation spots look more modern and well maintained. Accordingly, the price for such comfort is slightly higher.
Punta Cana, the DR
In contrast, Puerto Plata is the third-largest city in the country and is located on the North Atlantic coast of the Dominican Republic. It is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and southwest by the hill Isabel de Torres. Puerto Plata is older than Punta Cana in terms of hotels. That is why it happens that the price for vacation packages here is slightly lower.
Puerto Plata, the DR
The beaches of Punta Cana and Puerto Plata
Undoubtedly, you can see heavenly beaches in both places. There are a lot of activities to explore. Despite this, there is a big difference in the sand and the behavior of the ocean. So, let’s take a look.
The most popular beaches in Punta Cana
In our opinion, Punta Cana is the best option for your relaxing beach holiday. Why? Because beaches in Punta Cana are known for their white and soft sand and calm turquoise waters. It is perfect for swimming, especially for kids, because parents do not have to worry when their kids go swimming. Those clean beaches with high palm trees will amaze you.
- Bavaro Beach (Playa Bavaro) . This is one of the biggest and most popular beaches in Punta Cana. There is a line of big all-inclusive resorts, villas, and apartments. Also, most boat trips and excursions to places leave from this dreamy beach.
- Macao Beach (Playa Macao) . This beach was nearly untouched and the locals’ favorite one. But when all-inclusive resorts were opened there, they took half of the beach. But this other half is publicly accessible, and you can visit it. Also, it is one the most popular spots for surfing.
- Juanillo Beach . It is one of the few beaches that has public access. There are many coconut palm trees, and the sand is white and clean.
- Playa Los Corales . It is part of Bavaro Beach. And it is easy to get to Los Corales, you can walk along one hotel beach to another without problems.
- Playa Blanca . The word “blanca” translates as “white” from Spanish. So, it explains that there is perfect white sand on the beach. We have to mention, that it is part of Puntacana Resort & Club. But the entrance is free for those who go to the Playa Blanca Restaurant or have kite surfing lessons at El Kite Club.
- Playa Arena Gorda . This is a big beach with turquoise water, but it is hard to find public access.
The most popular beaches in Puerto Plata
What about Puerto Plata? Well, it is the perfect place for water sports. If you are a fan of these kinds of activities – this option is for you. It is known for activities such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, and diving. And the reason for this is that it is windy there, and the water is temperamental with rougher waves. Especially the Cabarete beach is a favorite place for many surfers who come to the Dominican Republic just to visit it.
Also, the sand on Puerto Plata beaches is darker not that soft than in Punta Cana. In addition, beaches are rockier, so you can step on rocks or shells. That is why you should be more careful there when you are with kids. And here are the most popular beaches of Puerto Plata:
- Cabarete Beach . It is one of the best kitesurfing and windsurfing spots in the world. The weather is windy enough, so it is just perfect for water sports. But if you just want to swim, this is also a good option as the waves are not that high.
- Playa Dorada . It is the most popular beach in Puerto Plata, and we undertand why. Golden sand, crystal blue water, and mountains as a backdrop will amaze you.
- Playa Sosua . Many tourists consider this one as their favorite. It is a good place to do snorkeling and diving because of marine life.
- Cayo Arena . It is a tiny coral island located northwest of the Dominican Republic, off the coast of Puerto Plata. There are no shops and hotels. It is a perfect spot to place in crystal clear water.
- Playa Luperon . It is a great place where you can go snorkeling because there are many beautiful fish and corals. Also, there are not a lot of people on the beach.
- El Encuentro Beach . It is not easily accessible to the public, but you should find the way. In addition, it is a good place for people who like or want to try surfing. There are a lot of surf schools.
The atmosphere and vibe comparison
Since both destinations are in the Dominican Republic, there is no need to talk about the friendliness of the locals. It is exactly what you can find there, and this is one of the things that create the atmosphere in the Caribbean.
Despite this, for example, the quality of the infrastructure in Punta Cana is superior to Puerto Plata, as the area is newer. Punta Cana is more modern and well-equipped for tourists. The hotel options there are endless, and resort standards are higher, basically the same as in the United States. If you would like luxury and all-inclusive options – Punta Cana is the best for it. Tourists come here for refinement and luxury. Once in Punta Cana, it will be difficult for you to go on vacation somewhere else, because comparing any other place with Punta Cana can be disappointing.
Puerto Plata has its own tropical vibe. We should mention that the experience in Puerto Plata is more authentic when you leave the resort. There is a real connection to the local life and people there. This is what will make you feel the culture of this country deeper. In Punta Cana, this is also possible, but a little more difficult. Also, most of the hotels in Puerto Plata were built in the 90s. So, some of them need renovation, and some of them are refurbished or new. Regardless, you can feel the warm old atmosphere of the Dominican Republic here, which is also wonderful.
Activities in Punta Cana vs Puerto Plata
Since we have already talked about calmness on vacation in Punta Cana, we cannot fail to mention the equally calm and discreet sport. It is golf! Punta Cana is definitely one of the best spots for playing golf. There are a huge number of hotels and villas, which are located in the closed areas of golf clubs. For example, our villa Waterfall is located in the Cocotal Golf and Country Club, which is a gated community in Bavaro.
There is also a good selection of excursions to choose from. Water sports are also popular, but it is safer because of the calm waters. Jungles, waterfalls, golfing, snorkeling – you can find these there. And, also the distance between Punta Cana and the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, is way smaller than with Puerto Plata. You can check all the excursions on our website.
Well, Puerto Plata is famous for its ability to water sports. Because of the weather, you can try different kinds of sports. It is often windy, and there are waves. So, if you like the extreme sport you probably will love it. You can have a good experience doing windsurfing or kitesurfing there.
Mountains and jungles surround Puerto Plata. It means that you always have the opportunity to enjoy the incomparable beauty of Dominican nature. So, it is also a good option if you like activities such as hiking. After all, not far from the town, there is a natural collection of 27 stunning waterfalls. And this is another great opportunity to plunge into the wild nature of this country and feel it. You can jump and swim in these waterfalls.
Which one has the best nightlife?
Well, we should mention that both destinations have electric nightlife. There are a lot of beaches with bars and pubs where you can have fun.
Despite this, Punta Cana is best known for being a relaxing beach destination. It is a perfect place for a vacation for a family trip or a honeymoon. You can get a dose of relaxation and complete tranquility here. And this is because of the clean and paradise beaches, which you do not want to leave at all. But there are still plenty of opportunities to have fun with friends in the best nightclubs.
Puerto Plata has a vibrant nightlife. It is a more party-oriented destination with a big amount of nightclubs. It is very noisy but there are lots of fun. There is a great variety of clubs and bars with music for all tastes, including bars with local music.
Excursions in Punta Cana and Puerto Plata
Thanks to the incredible nature of the Dominican Republic, because you will probably see its beauty from any corner of the country. Nevertheless, the types of these beauties are different, so let’s find out what exactly.
If you are staying in Punta Cana, there are many things to do. Being here, you can conveniently and quickly reach the best attractions of the Dominican Republic. Despite this, as has been said many times before, it is famous for its stunning beaches. Find yourself on these beaches, it will seem to you that you are in a picture of a travel magazine.
For example, we recommend you an excursion to Saona Island. It is a government-protected nature reserve. And it is not in vain, because this is a truly stunning place. Various videos and advertisements are shot on this island, showing this piece of paradise in our world. You can book a regular excursion, private or VIP trip to Saona Island.
Puerto Plata 101 – Everything you need to know
Puerto Plata is an ideal getaway destination because of its natural beauty, exciting nightlife and wide range of tourist activities.
The city offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the vibrant culture, or perform water sports like surfing and kitesurfing while being surrounded by golden sands.
One of the best things to do in Puerto Plata is to explore the city’s colonial history. The city was founded by Christopher Columbus in 1496 and became an important trading post for the Spanish empire.
You can also visit the historic district to enjoy the rich history in the architecture of the city, which is full of beautiful colonial buildings and museums.
Puerto Plata’s is also a great place for tourists to enjoy a lively nightlife with plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants.
In this post article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know this popular attraction, including its landmark sites like the Fort San Felipe and natural wonders like Mount Isabel de Torres.
Where is Puerto Plata located?
Puerto Plata is a city located on the north coast region of the Dominican Republic, in the Atlantic Ocean, and the capital of the province of the same name.
This p city has a population of about 330,000 making it one of the largest cities in the country, and its approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic.
Puerto Plata is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. If you’re interested in exploring the history and culture of the Dominican Republic, this is a great place to start.
The city is also home to some of the best beaches in the country for water sports like surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, making it a perfect destination for a beach vacation.
And if you’re looking for a little nightlife, Puerto Plata’s downtown has plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained.
- Is Puerto Plata nicer than Punta Cana?
Both cities have their own unique charms. Punta Cana is definitely more developed for tourism, with many large all-inclusive resorts and plenty of activities for tourists. Puerto Plata, on the other hand, is a bit more laid back and has a stronger focus on history, culture, and water sports.
So it really depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation destination.
The easiest way to get here is by flying into the Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP), which is located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from downtown.
There are direct flights from many major airports in North America, Europe and Latin America. If you’re already in the Dominican Republic, you can also take a bus or drive to Puerto Plata.
Buses run regularly from Santo Domingo (about 3 hours) and other cities on the north coast like Sosúa (about 1 hour).
It’s also possible to rent a car and drive to Puerto Plata, but keep in mind that traffic can be heavy during peak tourist season.
Where is the Puerto Plata International Airport located?
The Puerto PlataInternational Airport (POP) is located about 15 minutes east of downtown Puerto Plata. The venue offers daily flights to and from most North American cities, and a number of major cities in the Caribbean, North America, and South America.
- Do I need a passport to go to Puerto Plata?
Yes, a passport is required for all visitors to the Dominican Republic.
- Do I need a visa to visit Puerto Plata?
Citizens of the United States, Canada, and most European countries do not need a visa to enter Puerto Plata Dominican Republic.
- Customs regulations in Puerto Plata
When you travel to this popular destination in the Americas, it is important to be aware of the customs regulations.
Travelers are allowed to bring up to $10,000 USD worth of goods into the country duty-free.
You also need to fill out an electronic ticket to arrive and departure the country.
- What should I pack for Puerto Plata?
Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect you from the sun.
If you’re planning to spend time at the beach, don’t forget your swimsuit, towel, sandals, and beach shoes.
And if you’ll be doing any hiking or outdoor activities, be sure to pack insect repellent, comfortable shoes, and appropriate clothing.
- What is the time zone in Puerto Plata?
The time zone in Puerto Plata is GMT-4 (Atlantic Standard Time).
What is the currency in Puerto Plata?
The currency in Punta Cana is the Dominican Peso (DOP).
US dollars are also widely accepted, although you will usually get a better rate if you pay in pesos.
ATMs can be found at the airport, shopping malls, at your Punta Cana resort, in the local community, the hotel, and banks.
What language is spoken in Puerto Plata?
The official language in Punta Cana is Spanish, just like in the Dominican Republic, however English is also widely spoken.
Other languages spoken by hotel staff are French and German.
What is the weather like in Puerto Plata?
The weather in Puerto Plata is tropical, with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit).
- What is the hottest and coldest month in Puerto Plata?
The hottest month in Puerto Plata is August, with an average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit).
The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Are there mosquitoes in Puerto Plata?
Yes, there are mosquitoes in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic.Be sure to pack insect repellent and wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts if you’re going to be outdoors during peak mosquito hours (dusk to dawn).
- What is the rainy season in Puerto Plata?
The rainy season in Punta Cana runs from May to October. During this time, the average rainfall is 14 inches.
- What should I do if I get sick while in Puerto Plata?
If you get sick while in Puerto Plata, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
There are a number of hospitals and clinics located around the spot and a lot of all inclusive resorts have first-aid clinics inside.
It is also a good idea to have travel insurance.
Is it safe to visit Puerto Plata?
Puerto Plata is generally safe, however it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling to any new destination.
When exploring the town or beaches, it is best to stick to well-lit and populated areas. It is also advisable to carry cash and valuables in a hidden pouch.
When swimming in the ocean, be aware of rip currents and only swim at beaches where there are lifeguards on duty.
If you go to a club, try to go with a local guide and don’t drink and drive.
- What should I do if I lose my passport while in Puerto Plata?
If you lose your passport while in Punta Cana, you should go to the nearest police station and file a report.
To replace a lost, stolen, or damaged passport, please follow the instructions in the Passport Navigator even if you need to travel urgently and need an emergency passport.
You must schedule the first available passport appointment using our online system and then email the United States Embassy at [email protected] to move the appointment.
- Can I drink the tap water in Puerto Plata ?
The tap water in Puerto Plata is NOT safe to drink. Travelers prefer to stick to bottled water, which is widely available.
- Is it safe to rent a car in Puerto Plata?
Yes, it is safe to rent a car in Puerto Plata. However, it is important to be aware of the local traffic laws, drive defensively, and get insurance.
- What is the best time to visit Puerto Plata?
The best time to visit Puerto Plata is from December to April, when the weather is dry and sunny. Outside of this period, it can be rainy and humid.
- What should I pack for Puerto Plata?
When packing for Puerto Plata, it is important to remember that the weather is warm and tropical. You will need light, airy clothing made from natural fabrics such as cotton.
It is also a good idea to pack bug spray, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. If you plan on spending time in the water, don’t forget to bring your swimsuit!
What to do in Puerto Plata?
There are many things to do in Puerto Plata, including swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, sailing, fishing and exploring the city’s attractions.
Puerto Plata is also home to a number of museums, including the Museum of Amber and the Fortaleza San Felipe.
- What is the best time to visit Puerto Plata?
The best time to visit Puerto Plata is from December to April, when the weather is at its most pleasant. However, the city is busy all year round, so there is no bad time to visit.
Puerto Plata is a relatively small city, so it’s easy to get around on foot. However, if you want to venture outside of the city center, there are a number of different transportation options available.
The most popular way to get around Puerto Plata is by car. You can either rent a car or take a taxi. Car rental rates are relatively inexpensive, and taxis are widely available throughout the city.
Another option is the “guagua”, which is a local bus that runs between the city center and the nearby beaches. Guagua rides are very cheap, but the buses can be crowded and uncomfortable.
Finally, if you’re staying at a resort, most of them offer shuttle service to and from the airport and around Puerto Plata.
Puerto Plata can be reached by plane, boat or bus.
The nearest airport is Puerto Plata Airport (POP), which is located about 10km from the city centre.
A number of bus companies offer services to Puerto Plata from Santo Domingo and other cities in the Dominican Republic.
No, there is no Uber in Punta Cana. However, there are plenty of taxis available, and most hotels can also arrange airport transfers.
Puerto Plata is known for its beautiful beaches, resorts, and Amber Museum. It is also a popular destination for windsurfing, sailing, and fishing.
What are some of the most popular things to do in Puerto Plata?
The Puerto Plata area top attractions include:
- Amber Cove
- Damajagua Waterfalls
- Playa Dorada (Golden Beach)
- Puerto Plata’s Parque Central (Central Park)
- El Choco National Park
- Playa Sosua
- Fortress San Felipe (National monument, located at the edge of Puerto Plata bay)
- Punta Rucia
- Amber Museum
- Monte Cristi National Park
- Visit the Monumento de Santiago
- Centro de Ron Brugal
- Take a cable car to the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres to view Christ the Redeemer, an exact replica of the landmark in Rio de Janeiro.
- Visit the nearby Cayo Arena in Monte Cristi
- La Isabela, the first village in the New World.
- Bartolo Colón Stadium Tour – a professional stadium, baseball academy, and museum.
Is Playa Dorada a good beach?
Yes, Playa Dorada is considered one of the best beaches in Puerto Plata. It is located just minutes from the city center and offers a wide variety of activities and attractions.
The beach is well-maintained and has a wide range of facilities, including restaurants, bars, shops, and a casino.
There are also a number of water sports available, such as windsurfing, sailing, and jet skiing.
How is the Puerto Plata Bay like?
Puerto Plata Bay is a large, deep bay that is located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The bay is bordered by the city of Puerto Plata to the east and west, and by the Atlantic Ocean to the north.
The bay is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing. There are also a number of restaurants and bars located along the waterfront.
What is Mount Isabel de Torres?
Mount Isabel de Torres is a mountain located just outside of Puerto Plata. The mountain is best known for its cable car, which takes visitors to the top of the mountain for views of the city and the surrounding area.
There is also a botanical garden located at the summit of the mountain, which is home to a number of rare and exotic plants.
Is Puerto Plata near the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific?
The city is located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, which is on the Caribbean Sea. The Atlantic Ocean is located to the east of Puerto Plata, and the Pacific Ocean is located to the west.
What power voltage is used in Puerto Plata?
The standard voltage in Punta Cana is 110 volts, just like in the United States. If you have devices that require a different voltage.
Is Puerto Plata a weddings destination?
Puerto Plata is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, which occur at some of their all inclusive beach resorts like Be Live Collection Marien, Blue Villas Doradas, Iberostar Costa Dorada, Sunscape Puerto Plata, and Viva Wyndham V Heavens resort.
How is the Puerto Plata’s nightlife like?
This Caribbean tourists spot offers a wide variety of bars, clubs, and casinos to keep you entertained throughout your stay.
Travelers can enjoy:
- Go on a pub crawl
- Attend a show
- Visit one of the many nightclubs
- Take a walk on the beach
- City tour
Can I go scuba diving while I visit Puerto Plata?
There are a number of dive centers that offer scuba diving courses and day trips to the best dive sites.
Outside of your resort in Punta Cana, some of the most popular dive sites include the Catalina Island, the Saona Island, and at the Samana Bay.
- I’m not a certified diver. Can I still go diving in Puerto Plata
Yes, most dive centers offer intro dives for non-certified divers. These require no previous experience and provide an introduction to scuba diving in a safe and controlled environment.
- Is there snorkeling in Puerto Plata?
Yes, there are a number of great snorkeling spots in Puerto Plata . Some of the best include Playa Dorada, Sosua Bay, and Cabrera.
- Can I go deep sea fishing in Puerto Plata?
Yes, you can go deep sea fishing in Punta Cana. There are a number of companies that offer this service.
How do I get around Puerto Plata?
The best way to get around Puerto Plata is by car.
There are a number of rental companies that offer cars, scooters, and ATVs.
Another option is to take a taxi. These are widely available and relatively cheap.
Finally, if you’re staying at a resort, most of them offer shuttle service to and from the airport and around Puerto Plata.
- How many days do you need in Puerto Plata?
Most visitors to Punta Cana spend at least four or five days, enough time to relax on the beach, try some of the water sports, and explore the island’s many restaurants and bars.
What is there to do in Puerto Plata for families?
There are a number of activities for families to enjoy in Puerto Plata.
- Tour the city or the Amber Museum
- Take a cable car to the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres
- Rent a car and take pictures during sunset at Fort San Felipe.
There are a number of kid-friendly resorts, with activities such as kids clubs, swimming pools and playgrounds.
There are also a number of family-friendly attractions, such as the Puerto Plata Zoo, the Ocean World Adventure Park, and the Fun City Action Park.
What is the average price of a hotel room in Punta Cana?
The average price of a hotel room in Punta Cana is $150 per night.
However, there are a number of cheaper options available, particularly if you are willing to stay in a less central location.
- What is there to do in Puerto Plata for couples or singles?
Puerto Plata is a popular destination for couples, there are a number of romantic activities on offer, such as water sports, take the sun at Long Beach, check the Spanish San Felipe Fortress, ride the ziplines, book a city tour, or watch the sunset at Long Beach.
The world-renowned tropical city hosts several golf courses:
- Los Mangos Golf Course
- Playa Dorada Golf Course
- Playa Grande Golf Course
Puerto Plata is also a great destination for singles, there are plenty of bars and clubs where you can meet other single travelers.
You can also hop into excursions and day trips that are perfect for meeting new people, such as a city tour, head east to Cabarete, or stop at Playa Dorada.
What can you not bring to Puerto Plata?
As a tourist that comes by either plane, boat, or car from another Dominican Republic, you should avoid bringing the following:
- Illegal drugs
- Pornographic materials
Are there any waterparks in Puerto Plata?
Yes! There are waterparks in Puerto Plata that the whole family will enjoy.
Some of these waterparks include:
- Ocean World Water Park
- Sosua Ocean Village Beach Club & Water Park
- Fun City Action Park.
Facts about Puerto Plata
- Across the internet, many people call this province in the Dominican Republic as Puerta Plata. The correct name is with an O as an Oscar on the first word, as in: PuertO Plata nor PuertA Plata.
- All hotels were temporarily closed for tourists because of the pandemic, but now they are open for business.
- Puerto Plata is the top destination in the world for waters sports like surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing.
- All inclusive beach resorts in this town are top rated in Trip Advisor and offer excellent value for tourism, spectacular views, and delicious food.
- Puerto Plata has resorts such as Playa Dorada and Costa Dorada, which are located east of the city proper.
- There are more than 100,000 hotel beds in the city.
- If you go to a public beach, locals will approach you to offer a lounge chair rental, for about 10-15 USD. If you’re not interested in their lounge chairs services, previous travelers said a firm “no gracias” to stop some pushy vendors.
- The Montecristo National Park Sosua is a town just ten minutes from the airport that offers nice beach, a wide selection of hotels, restaurants with amazing food, and a notorious nightlife.
- The cable car transports tourists to Mount Isabel de Torres’ beautiful botanical gardens—shows a portion of an Atlantic coast with more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) of beaches gracing numerous coastal towns, inland farming communities with rivers and waterfalls, and resorts.
- At the shopping plaza, where you can find souvenirs like amber jewelry and handmade crafts.
- Puerto Plata is home to colonial vestiges, including the largest collection of preserved 19th century Victorian-style houses in the Caribbean, the oldest amber fossils in the world on display at the Amber Museum.
- Some all inclusive resorts offer much more than a great vacation, they are also a perfect weddings venue.
- The San Felipe Fortress dates back to the 16th century.
Why is Puerto Plata so popular?
Puerto Plata is a popular destination in the region for a number of reasons.
First, the weather is almost always perfect for a vacation as the average temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius, with very little variation throughout the year.
Second, the beaches are absolutely amazing for surfers, who can enjoy other sports like kiteboarding.
Third, Puerto Plata’s water parks provide a family friendly environment to keep you entertained.