Puerto Plata Travel Guide

  • Puerto Plata
    Puerto Plata
    by Jim_Eliason
  • View of Puerto Plata city
    View of Puerto Plata city
    by marielexoteria
  • Fort San Felipe
    Fort San Felipe
    by Jim_Eliason

Puerto Plata Things to Do

  • 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua

    Damajagua Cascades are 27 waterfalls (some small and some big) about 30 minutes drive from Puerto Plata. There are two different tours: One where you climb all 27 falls (one of them should be very high!), and one where you only climb the first 7 falls. I was a chicken, so I only climbed the first 7 falls... First you climb up through the...

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  • Neptune - God of the Sea

    Along the malecon, you will on one of the small islands see a statue dedicated to Neptune (the god of the sea in Roman mythology).It is said that the statue guards the harbour of Puerto Plata.

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  • City Parks

    There are two city parks in the old part of Puerto Plata: Parque Luperón and Parque Central. Parque Luperón is a quiet place with a statue of Gregorio Luperón and shaded benches. (Gregorio Luperón was a successful general in the war against the Spains in the 1860s). Parque Central (or Parque Independencia) is the gathering place in Puerto Plata,...

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  • Malecón

    Check out the local newspaper... Maybe a merengue festival or a beach volley tournament going on down the malecón at the weekend... If so you must take a walk down the malecón.The Dominicans really know how to party. There is music and dancing everywhere - and off course - some rum. You don't have to join the party - you can just watch how the...

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  • Damajagua Cascades

    Damajagua Cascades are 27 waterfalls (some small and some big) about 30 minutes drive from Puerto Plata.There are two different tours: One where you climb all 27 falls (one of them should be very high!), and one where you only climb the first 7 falls. I was a chicken, so I only climbed the first 7 falls... First you climb up through the waterfalls....

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  • Brugal Rum Factory

    The Brugal Factory was established by Don Andrés Brugal Montaner in the second half of the 19 century. It's free to visit the factory, and you don't have to book a tour. We just took at taxi from Puerto Plata to the factory.First you go into a small cinema where they show you a short movie (15 minutes) about the history of the factory. Then you are...

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Puerto Plata Hotels

Puerto Plata Restaurants

  • Snacks and Pizzas

    Casita Rica is a restaurant/bar located along the malecon. It’s an OK place to go for a little snack (pizza, spaghetti etc.) at lunch time. The restaurant/bar is also open for dinner, but I haven’t tried it (or seen many people there in the evening).Around 3 am, locals - and some tourists - meet at the restaurant/bar for a drink after spending the...

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  • Good breakfast restaurant

    Las Almendras is located along the malecon and is a really good restaurant. I went there for breakfast several times, and it was cheap and excellent. Besides a good breakfast the restaurant also serves a good evening dinner, especially chicken and steaks.Great value for the money.

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  • Very good food - not so good service

    Escape Al Mar is located at the malecón in Puerto Plata and might be the restaurant in Puerto Plata where you’ll get the best food – but it’s also one of the most expensive restaurants and I don’t think their service quite match their prices on the menu card… I will give the restaurant 3: 4 for the food and 2 for the service.The restaurant serves...

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  • Great Mexican Food

    Aguaceros Bar & Grill is located in the centre of the malecón of Puerto Plata. Their specialty is Mexican food, but you can also have a steak or seafood. (Aguaceros is the Spanish word for 'Rainstorms'). My favourite dish is the ‘Plata de Fiesta’ – a mix of several Mexican dishes. They also make a fantastic caipirinha at Aguaceros Bar & Grill, so...

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  • popular hangout among expats

    Sam's Bar is on the ground floor of Hotel Castilla and where you have your breakfast if you stay with them and get the rate that includes it. The breakfast included in the rate is toast with butter, potatoes and eggs and coffee and I found it of good value. Otherwise they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and they have a menu with international...

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  • with tasty food and oceanfront view

    We found this place while walking down the Malecón. It's not a pretentious place with good food. We ordered a starter of garlic bread, one grilled beef with fries and salad and one small ham and cheese pizza, with a small Presidente beer and a small Coca Cola and all that cost us 745 pesos (around 22US).When you read the menu it says in small (but...

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Puerto Plata Nightlife

  • Closing time

    The restaurants and bars along the malecón close at 12 pm weekdays and 2 am in the weekends. Sometimes the police will drive by and check.I don't know what time restaurants, bars and nightclubs close in Playa Durado.

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  • Sports bar

    Bullpen is a sports bar located at the Malecon in Puerto Plata. The Bar looks recently renovated with several new TV’s – and they show English football (and Dominican baseball).The Bar could be rather crowded in the evening and night time, but this is a fun place to hang out and have a couple of drinks. No dress code: Shorts and t-shirt are OK.

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  • Puerto Plata Hotels

    59 Hotels in Puerto Plata

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Puerto Plata Transportation

  • Playa Dorada taxi prices

    We never used taxis during our visit to Puerto Plata in November 2012, but I provide the following details for information purposes:A list of taxi prices was provided beside the road outside our hotel, VH Gran Ventana, in Playa Dorada. These included:Tours (prices per person)Puerto Plata City Tour ($US 40)Puerto Plata City Tour with Teleferico ($US...

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  • Gregorio Luperon Airport

    Aeropuerto Internacional Gregorio Luperon is located close to the town of Puerto Plata and the many tourist hotel resorts at Playa Dorada on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.The airport is around a 15 minute drive from Playa Dorada and 20 minutes from the centre of Puerto Plata.We flew in and out of this airport during our visit in...

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  • Caribe Tours bus

    That's one of the big bus companies that travel between SD and PP. The buses are comfortable, with reclinable seats, music and/or a movie (with Spanish audio) onboard and they're very punctual. They don't have direct buses but they stop at the big cities. A single ticket to PP costs 270 pesos (around 8US) and they have hourly departures between 6am...

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Puerto Plata Shopping

  • Cigars and Jewelry

    In the centre of Puerto Plata you’ll find a small cigar factory (and jewelry store). There are bigger and more famous cigar factories in the Santiago area, but if you don’t want the 1½ hour drive to Santiago you could consider a visit to the local cigar factory in Puerto Plata. The factory is small, but will give you an idea how a cigar is made.The...

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  • Shopping mall at Playa Dorada

    The Playa Dorada Plaza is a shopping mall located within the Playa Dorada tourist complex close to the town of Puerto Plata.It is located almost next door to the hotel we were staying at, VH Gran Ventana, so we visited a couple of times during our stay in November 2012.The mall was clearly built during better economic times and has since suffered a...

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  • Haggling at the beachside market!

    During our visit to Puerto Plata in November 2012, my girlfriend and I walked along Playa Dorada beach to visit the Orange Market.It is located towards the western end of the beach and was a 25 minute walk from our hotel, the VH Gran Ventana. We passed a number of other hotels en-route.The Orange Market was clearly built in busier times and is used...

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Puerto Plata Local Customs

  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo
    Fr��o fr��o vendors

    by marielexoteria Updated May 3, 2009

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    A frío frío is pretty much like slush ice. The vendor has a big block of ice and something to shred enough ice to fill your cup (can be 2 sizes), and then you choose the flavor you want from the bottles and he pours it in your glass. Its name means "cold cold" and it's usually a cheap way to refresh yourself when it's hot. I used to have a lot of those when I was growing up so this picture brought back some good memories.

    Frío fríos can be found everywhere in the country but I made the tip here because that's where I took the picture at.

    Edit Apr 2009: a video of a friero (frío frío vendor) making me a frío frío can be seen on Youtube.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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Puerto Plata Warnings and Dangers

  • Excess luggage charges

    This is a warning based on our flight home from Puerto Plata airport in November 2012.The staff at the check-in desk were being VERY strict with regards to passengers exceeding their baggage allowances.Passengers were being charged even if their baggage was just 1kg over the allowance. Not only that, but the charge was a rather steep $US 25 per...

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  • "Looky-looky men" on the beach

    We stayed at the VH Gran Ventana hotel on Playa Dorada beach in November 2012.Prior to our visit, I read lots of reviews on Tripadvisor. Many people were complaining about the presence of touts (or "looky-looky men") on the beach. It seemed that some holidaymakers were avoiding the beach completely after their sunbathing was being disturbed by...

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Puerto Plata Tourist Traps

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    Tour buses outside Carmen Gift Shop 1 more image

    by SWFC_Fan Written Dec 2, 2012

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    We visited Carmen Gift Shop as part of a city tour of Puerto Plata in November 2012.

    First of all, we were shown down the side of the shop where we were able to watch a couple of jewellery makers working away in a tiny workshop. They were producing jewellery from amber and a light blue rock, larimar, that is found only in the Dominican Republic.

    Next, we were treated to a demonstration on how to recognise the difference between genuine amber and the many (plastic) fake amber products that are sold in most souvenir shops. Real amber floats when placed in saltwater, while the imitation amber products sink. This was demonstrated to us as we were shown a variety of amber stones, necklaces and rings and asked to guess whether they would float or sink. In fairness, many of the fake products looked authentic to the untrained eye.

    Having been suitably warned of the dangers of purchasing cut price imitation amber products from the many souvenir shops in town, we were invited inside the Carmen Gift Shop to purchase the genuine article. As well as numerous display cabinets showcasing amber and larimar jewellery at ridiculous (to me at least!) prices, there was the usual selection of souvenirs available (bottles of rum, boxes of cigars, wooden ornaments, fridge magnets, ceramic goods, t-shirts...).

    As the rest of our tour group (and another bus load of tourists that had been escorted there) filled their baskets with jewellery, Emma and I excused ourselves and went for a walk around the surrounding fruit and veg market and local shops.

    We were given around 45 minutes to browse the gift shop...considerably more time than we were given to explore Parque Central, San Felipe Fortress or the summit of Pico Isabel de Torres. This is the thing that frustrates me most about guided tours!!

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Puerto Plata Off The Beaten Path

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    Secluded Boca Nueva beach at Bergantin 4 more images

    by SWFC_Fan Written Dec 14, 2012

    During our visit to Puerto Plata in November 2012, we went on the "Outback Safari" excursion. The final stop of the day was a secluded beach where we could boogie board in the waves.

    Our offroad vehicle left the main road between Puerto Plata and the airport and headed along a dirt track (with lots of puddles from the recent rain), through dense vegetation and sugar plantations, towards the coast.

    After a slow and bumpy drive of around 20 minutes we emerged in a clearing in the rainforest. We picked up colourful foam boogie boards from the back of the truck and made our way across a long wooden bridge (made from logs...and a little bit rickety!) to find a sandy beach and some fine waves.

    As well as learning to boogie board (face the shore, hold your board in front of you and jump on it at exactly the right time to be carried by the waves), we were able to indulge in free back and neck massages on the beach. I didn't bother with one, but Emma did and she found it very relaxing.

    I believe the beach in question (after spotting a road sign for Bergantin and making use of Google Maps!) is Playa Boca Nueva at Bergantin. It is only a short distance from the hotel resorts at Playa Dorada, but the rough terrain that must be traversed to reach it makes it feel much more remote and secluded than it actually is!

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Puerto Plata Favorites

  • Departure Tax

    All passengers, when leaving the Dominican Republic, must pay a Departure Tax of $US 20.Prior to our trip, we had obtained $US 30 each in cash; $US 10 to pay for our Tourist Cards on arrival and $US 20 to pay for our Departure Tax when leaving the country. I would recommend this course of action to anybody from outside the USA who is visiting the...

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  • Tourist Cards

    Most visitors to the Dominican Republic require either a visa or a Tourist Card to enter the country.Citizens of a handful of countries (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador, Peru, Japan, South Korea and Israel) are exempt from this requirement, but all other citizens must obtain the relevant documents.For most European and North American visitors,...

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  • Currency

    The official currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso, which is symbolised as RD$.The Dominican Peso comes in the following denominations:Coins: 1, 5, 10 and 25 RD$Notes: 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 RD$At the time of our visit in November 2012, the inter-bank exchange rate was 62 RD$ per £1.We obtained a few Dominican Pesos...

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