Countries visited : Dominican Republic
TOTAL DAYS : 4 Days
STARTS IN : Puerto Plata
ENDS IN : Puerto Plata
Highlights : Puerto Plata , Damajagua Waterfalls , Yaque River Water-rafting , Jarabacoa
TRANSPORT : Air-conditioned vehicle
The city of Puerto Plata has only a few tourist attractions (albeit considerably more than what’s in Punta Cana, its leading rival). Although it’s defined as the administrative and cultural centrepiece of the region, it must simply watch as most of the tourist business heads to its eastern and western peripheries, notably to Playa Dorada and Costa Dorada, to the east, and to Cofresi, to the west. Nonetheless, it’s a valued symbol of an entity whose value revolves around more than tourism, providing a kind of balance between U.S., Canadian, and European newcomers and an established Dominican infrastructure.
Chances are high that you’ll be staying outside the city centre, but consider a visit to Puerto Plata’s restaurants, bars, shops, and its historic colonial-era fort, plus a walk along its oceanfront promenade, El Malecón. Sometimes you can see dolphins frolicking offshore or a humpback whale in winter.
Puerto Plata also contains the Dominican Republic’s best shopping outlets for amber and, to a lesser degree, larimar. The town also contains one of the country’s only cable cars, from the top of which visitors have dramatic views of the north coast.
Playa Dorada and its immediate neighbour, Costa Dorada, beginning only 1km (2/3 mile) east of Puerto Plata, share between the two of them about 15 hotels, most of them all-inclusive; a gorgeous beach of golden sand; plus an 18-hole golf course, a shopping mall, and a range of ancillary sporting venues, bars, dance clubs, restaurants, at least two casinos, and several additional diversions. They’re accessible by driving east from Puerto Plata along the coastal road.
Some savvy visitors are bypassing Playa Dorada with its mass appeal and heading about 5km (3 miles) east of Puerto Plata to Playa Cofresi, site of the newly expanded Ocean World and an all-new blockbuster real-estate and resort development, Sun Village. On Sundays, islanders themselves pour into Playa Cofresi, turning the beach here into a giant house party, with the eating, drinking, picnicking, barbecues, and merengue lasting well into the night.
It was the beaches of the Dominican Republic’s north coast that originally put the country on the world’s tourist map, and in 2006, the Dominican government pumped hundreds of thousands of tons of sand from deeper offshore waters onto Playa Dorada’s beaches, restoring them to wide, expansive stretches of pale amber-colored sands. The beaches all along the north shore are collectively known as the “Amber Coast” because of their color and because of the rich deposits of amber that have been discovered here.
Important: prices given as a guide only, please call or email us for updated pricing. Prices subject to change without notice.
Your watersports options in Puerto Plata are numerous. Most of the kiosks on the beach here are ultimately run by the same company, and prices don’t vary among them. If there isn’t one close to your hotel, try Playa NACO Centro de Deportes Acuáticos (tel. 809/320-2567), a rustic clapboard-sided hut on the beachfront of the Dorada NACO Hotel. Prices are as follows: banana-boat rides, RD$372 for a 10- to 12-minute ride; water-skiing, RD$1,118 for a 10- to 15-minute ride; sea kayak and Sunfish sailboat rental RD$745 to RD$900 per hour; sailboards, RD$795 a day; and paragliding, RD$3,166 for a 10-minute ride.
There are watersports kiosks about every 100m (330 ft.) along the beach, any of which will rent you snorkeling gear and tell you the best spots for seeing fish. Puerto Plata isn’t great for snorkeling, but you can take a boat trip to some decent sites.
Robert Trent Jones, Jr., designed the 18-hole Playa Dorada championship golf course (tel. 809/320-3472), which surrounds the resorts and runs along the coast. Even nongolfers can stop at the clubhouse for a drink or a snack and enjoy the views. Greens fees are RD$2,012 to RD$2,869 for 18 holes, RD$1,155 to RD$1,900 for 9 holes; a caddy costs RD$298 to RD$560. It’s best to make arrangements at the activities desk of your hotel.
The 4,888-yard (4,470m) Playa Grande Golf Course at Playa Grande, Km 9, Carretera Rio San Juan-Cabrera (tel. 800/858-2258 in the U.S. or 809/582-0860; www.playagrande.com), continues to generate a lot of excitement. Some pros have already hailed it as one of the best courses in the Caribbean. Its design consultant was Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Ten of its holes border the Atlantic, and many of these are also set atop dramatic cliffs overlooking the turbulent waters of Playa Grande Beach. Greens fees are RD$4,098 for 18 holes or RD$2,421 for 9 holes in winter. In the off season, fees are lowered to RD$2,100 for 18 holes or RD$1,225 for 9 holes.
4* Viva Wyndham Tangerine All Inclusive 4D/3N - Sup Room
|Puerto Plata||T.Superior||On request||AUD$558||On request|
4* Iberostar Costa Dorada All Inclusive 4D/3N - Std Room
|Puerto Plata||T.Superior||On request||AUD$658||On request|
4* Barcelo Puerto Plata All Inclusive 4D/3N - Std Room
|Puerto Plata||T.Superior||On request||AUD$677||On request|
5* Casa Colonial Beach & Spa - Room Only 4D/3N - Jr Suite Std
|Puerto Plata||F.Class||On request||AUD$1053||On request|
Prices per person in AU$. Not valid during local public holidays and special events.
All prices are as a guide only, please check with us for the latest prices.
Tour name :
Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete, Cofresi Travel and Tours
Custom-made, flexible trips to Central and South America. You tell us when, where and how you’d like to travel.
We will put together a program that best suits your needs and preferences.