4 reasons Puerto Plata should be your next vacation destination
Often when Canadians consider a vacation in the Dominican Republic, the resort destination of Punta Cana (sometimes affectionately nicknamed ‘Punta Canada’) springs to mind but there’s so much more to discover in this Caribbean island. Surrounded by lush mountaintops and fringed by golden-sand beaches the cultural melting pot of Puerto Plata on the island’s northern shore is justly gaining popularity as a vacation destination among Canadians. A former colonial port, it offers an enticing combination of period architecture and vibrant culture and is home to several sights that you can’t find anywhere else as well as being in easy reach of some of the island’s most beautiful scenery. Read on for our list of what to see during a week in Puerto Plata.
When you walk through the town old town in Puerto Plata you’re stepping through a living museum that dates back over 500 years. There’s Fortaleza San Felipe, an almost 450 year old seaside fort with stunning panoramic sea views. Another must-visit landmark is the Amber Museum, where you can see ancient fossils and samples of amber that were found in mines in the northern Dominican mountains. You can also make your way to the centre of the city to see the town square, where there are colourful buildings, a cathedral, statues and a Victorian-style gazebo. It’s a city unlike any other!
Did you know that Puerto Plata is home to the only cable car in the Caribbean? Climb aboard and soar almost 3,000 feet above sea level to the top of Isabel de Torres Mountain. From there, you’ll see breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean, city and rainforest below. You can spend time exploring the Botanical Gardens, filled with colourful and exotic flowers. Don’t forget to look out for the statue of Jesus while you’re up there – it’s a smaller version of the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but it’s just as stunning! You can visit these sites as well as the historic city all in one day with the Puerto Plata City Tour and Cable Car Ride . Make sure you pack comfortable running shoes!
Only 20 kilometres from Puerto Plata lie a series of waterfalls – 27 to be exact. Nestled in the hills of the Northern Corridor, the Damajagua Waterfalls are one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful landmarks. You can take a hike by the falls surrounded by hundreds of species of tropical plants and birds and learn the history behind their names and see each one up close and personal. You’ll be able to climb to the tops of many of the falls, but remember that the only way down is to slide or jump into the basin below! With pools that are stunning shades of blue and limestone rock formations carved by Mother Nature herself, Damajagua Waterfalls are a sight to behold.
Cabarete is a resort town just a short drive east of Puerto Plata, filled with seaside restaurants and white-sand beaches. Active travellers will be happy to learn that the beach here has perfect windsurfing conditions. The skies are filled with colourful kites as people from around the world come to the area to try their hand at riding the waves. It’s an incredible sight – like watching Cirque du Soleil on the water – as surfers do flips and fly through the air at incredible heights! The area is easily accessible from resorts in Puerto Plata, with convenient excursions available to bring you to the beach for a day. If you’re brave enough, you can even try your hand at windsurfing yourself!
Located on the sparkling golden sand shores of Maimon Bay, PlayaBachata Resort offers endless exciting activities with spacious accommodations perfect for families. Spend your days taking advantage of complimentary water sports or take part in nearby activities like horseback riding and golfing.
Viva Wyndham V Heavens is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. This modern adults only resort has lots of unique activities for you to try and when you’re ready to relax, there’s a spa on-site. This is one of our top-rated adult resorts and part of the Relax Resorts™ collection, which means it includes a ton of perks like late check-out.
If you’re looking to splurge on your dream getaway, Casa Colonial Beach and Spa is the place to go. This five-star boutique resort promises to pamper vacationers with impeccable service and offers suites and indulgent amenities, including kingly four-poster beds and private balconies. It also has a rooftop infinity pool – the perfect place to take in the beautiful Caribbean sunset.