Little Silver Cup
Continuing the cruise after some Dutch feeling at Sint Maarten, and after an entire day and night cruise this time only resting and enjoying the plenty of activities to do on-board, we dock at Amber Cove, the port of Puerto Plata in Dominican Republic. A city of many firsts in the Americas. It was here nearby that the very first village in the “New World” was founded on January the 2nd, 1494 called La Isabela, in honor of the Queen of the Spanish Empire. Dominican Republic was named back then, La Hispaniola, the first piece of land where Christopher Columbus set foot in 1492.
Puerto Plata is the 9th largest city in the country, therefore do not expect a city or large distances or lots to see and do. All the opposite, there’s not really that much here other that of course, the incredible landscapes and nature at the backdrop, and the impressive paradise beaches just east of the city. The top resorts are not far east as you can imagine. it is for this reason it’s a booming tourist destination, made even more accessible after the recently opened new cruise terminal at Amber Cove. Fair enough this is not Punta Cana, but it’s a great alternative for the beaches; and so it’s not Santo Domingo, but a nice idea for a first time in the country.
Visiting the city is very simple and quick to do. Give or take merely 3 hours for what’s the core in downtown. You won’t need any longer, but instead head to the gorgeous beaches farther east along the Costa Dorada. Playa Dorada is without hesitation the best, with the greatest resorts. Then if you came here as part of your cruise, you will not have that much time anyway to do as you wish, so city and beach is the perfect combination. Fantastic local food and amazing fresh cocktails. What else to ask for!
For more information about Puerto Plata check Wikipedia site. The Dominican Republic currency is the Dominican Peso (DOP). Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
What to see and do in Puerto Plata and nearby
- Fortaleza San Felipe West of the city at the end of the Malecon, overlooking the industrial harbour. Completed in 1577 and named after the King Felipe II whose reign its construction was finished. It served as a prison under Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship.
- Lighthouse Built in 1879 in cast-iron, with Doric columns stands at 42 meters above sea level, a landmark of the city, in the same park as the Fort San Felipe is.
- Parque Central – Zona Colonial Developed from 1865 after the city was razed to the ground during the Dominican Restoration War, the British Victorian style of architecture was thriving back in that time and Puerto Plata took it as its prime style, blending with some traditional Spanish colonial features. Plaza Independencia, or Parque Central, is like any Spanish colonial city, the main square where you will find the Cathedral.
- Brugal Rum Distillery The worldwide famous rum of Dominican Republic is produced here. The distillery located at the east of the city, near Playa Dorada.
- Costa Dorada – Playa Dorada The most beautiful near the city, and the most appealing among tourists that come to visit the north of the country.
- Pico Isabel de Torres One of the prime attractions in the city is the beautiful mountain range that lies behind, with lush rain-forest vegetation. Reaching the top is easy via the only cable car in the Caribbean. There you can find an exact copy of smaller proportions of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer, or that from the Andes between Chile and Argentina.
Gregorio Luperón International Airport is one of the largest in the country. Located some 15 kilometres east of Puerto Plata, offering flights within Dominican Republic, the Caribbean states and North America. The cruise terminal is located at Amber Cove, west of the city and cater for any kind of cruise size.
If coming by cruise, then you will need to grab a taxi driver to take you into the city, or best would be to negotiate the driver to be with you for the duration of your stay here during the whole day. This way you will not only get to visit the city and then reach the cable car; you can also enjoy the beaches along Costa Dorada or even head towards Cabarete Beach a bit farther beyond.
As an idea of what cost to expect, set aside around $US 30 per person if you are 2 people, and around $US 25 per person or even a bit less if your negotiation skills are good if you are 4 people.
Since this was a cruise holidays and we slept always on-board, there is little I can say about accommodation here in Puerto Plata other than the usual, checking some of our preferred affiliate hotel search engine such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Otel.com, Agoda, Opodo, LateRooms, Ebookers or TUI. Nevertheless you are in one of the most important tourist destinations in the Caribbean where you’ll find some of the most impressive resorts along what’s called Costa Dorada. Finding your desired choice won’t be difficult, but it does not come cheap in the other hand unfortunately.