Puerto Plata & The North Coast Attractions
Downtown Puerto Plata
Visit the city's central park, Parque Luperon, and make a stop at the picturesque church, Iglesia de San Felipe. Several inexpensive cafeterias are nearby, in addition to numerous stores specializing in local crafts. In downtown Puerto Plata you will find the last remaining Victorian gingerbread buildings - elegant 19th century structures which are quickly disappearing due to commercial development.
The Amber Museum
Located on the second floor of a Victorian mansion, the Amber Museum is perhaps one of Puerto Plata's best known tourist attractions. Open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday, the Amber Museum features collections of fossilized resin (Amber), some of which contain remarkably preserved specimens dating back thousands of years. Admission is about $2 U.S.
Mount Isabel de Torres
Undoubtedly Puerto Plata's most impressive geographic feature, 2,600 foot Mount Isabel is also a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. After a seven minute cable car ride up the nearly vertical slope, visitors will find botanical gardens, a statue of Christ similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro, and a superb restaurant, in addition, of course, to breathtaking views of the city and surrounding sea. Open Tuesdays and Thursday through Sunday from 8 am until 5 pm. Admission is about $10 U.S.
Home to the majority of Puerto Plata's "all-inclusive" resorts, Playa Dorada features two golf courses, casinos, a shopping mall, and over 15 miles of beaches. Although most of the property in Playa Dorada is private, the beach itself is open to the public and can be accessed at the end of the main road running through the complex.
Arguably the Caribbean's finest attraction of its kind, the Columbus Aguaparque has quickly established itself as a favorite with kids of all ages for a day-long outing. Featuring a restaurant, small gift shop, showers, and lockers. Open daily from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. Admission is about $10 U.S. for the day, or about $5 U.S. after 4:00 pm.
Surrounded by calm, crystal-clear waters, Costambar is truly a beach lover's delight! Featuring a 9-hole golf course, Los Mangos, Costambar is less crowded and more tranquil than Playa Dorada. Numerous restaurants are located throughout the residential community of Costambar.
The Brugal Rum Factory
Producing over a million and a half liters of white and dark rum each year, Brugal is the drink of choice for many North Coast Dominicans (with Barcelo being favored in the South). Although no distillation actually takes place at the Brugal Factory, visitors are given a brief tour of Brugal's bottling operations and are treated to a refreshing drink featuring, but of course, Brugal rum. Open 9:00 am - noon & 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Admission is free.
The Malecón & Fort San Felipe
The Malecón is an ocean side road featuring numerous cafes and small restaurants. Although the small beach is not suitable for swimming, a leisurely stroll along the Malecón offers fresh ocean breezes and excellent people watching. The Malecón is especially popular on weekends and at night when road side vendors prepare small snacks and several discos blast music into the early morning hours.
Walking west along the Malecón will lead visitor to Fuerte San Felipe, Puerto Plata's only remaining colonial structure. Located on a small peninsula on Puerto Plata Bay, Bahia de Puerto Plata, it was at Fuerte San Felipe that Columbus had hoped to establish the first Spanish colony in the New World (the colony in Puerto Plata, however, did not last long and the Spanish resettled on the island's Southern Coast at Santo Domingo). The fort features a moat, historical artifacts, and a small museum. Admission is about $1 U.S.
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