Seeking a calming escape from the beeps and bumps of the big city? Puerto Plata, the ‘Silver Port’ is garnished with gems that’ll rejuvenate weary souls or enliven already vibrant ones. The town is the epitome of the Caribbean Dream –beaches, bikinis, water-sports, and a night-life that’ll have you singing crescendos of ‘me estoy volviendo loco!’ (‘I’m going crazy’ in Spanish) after consecutive beach parties. Feel the warm sand between your toes and relax in the sparkling waters of Playa Dorada, Long Beach and La Poza del Castillo, undoubtedly some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Bordered by thickets of palm trees, turquoise waters and white cliffs –this is an ideal location for swim, surf and splash, or simply to kick back and relax in a reclining chair with cigars and umbrella cocktails.Apart from beaches, Puerto Plata also contains other natural wonders. Back in 1492, when Christopher Columbus first saw the Dominican Republic, he described it as a beautiful island paradise. By exploring the surrounding area, it’s not difficult to appreciate Mother Nature’s blessings. Take an aerial tramcar to the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres to visit the giant statue of Christ, where you’ll be treated to a commanding view of the coastline and surrounding area for hundreds of miles. While you’re there, hike through the subtropical botanical gardens and witness the dazzling display of flora. A must-do would be a trip to the ‘27 Waterfalls of Damajagua’, one of the Dominican Republic’s major attractions, an aquatic playground where you can leap from rock walls into crystalline pools.
Rich in culture, Puerto Plata heats up in June’s third week with a weeklong Cultural Festival, featuring merengue, blues, jazz and folk concerts at the historic San Felipe Fort. Once a stronghold to counter the threat of pirates, nowadays, you will find a spectacular mix of African, Cuban, Spanish, and Taíno influences during the festivities here. A stroll through the town reveals many pastel-coloured Victorian Era buildings, a lasting imprint of the Dominican Republic’s history, as well as distinctive museums such as, the Museo del Ámbar. The scent of Latin American spices permeates the air here; sink your teeth into succulent portions of Dominican arepa and Pastelón, two popular dishes in Puerto Plata. An assortment of delightful treats can be found in the beach bars, small restaurants, and souvenir stores adorning the streets, each one teeming with character. You can even swim with dolphins at Ocean World Adventure Park, a popular resort that also has a casino, or climb atop the El Faro, a 137 feet, cast-iron Lighthouse, for stunning views. Travellers will never fear about having no roof over their heads. The tourism steam-engine of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata has a total of 100,000 hotel beds and numerous accommodation options from lavish coastal villas to beach bungalows.
A friendly city where a smile opens doors, teeming with streams of foreign visitors. You’ll soon discover why it’s been a favourite for pirates, buccaneers, honeymooners and vacationers over the years. Remember to take plenty of siestas in between activities because you’ll be experiencing endless excitement here!