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Puerto Plata 101 – Everything you need to know




Puerto Plata is an ideal getaway destination because of its natural beauty, exciting nightlife and wide range of tourist activities.

The city offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the vibrant culture, or perform water sports like surfing and kitesurfing while being surrounded by golden sands.

One of the best things to do in Puerto Plata is to explore the city’s colonial history. The city was founded by Christopher Columbus in 1496 and became an important trading post for the Spanish empire.

You can also visit the historic district to enjoy the rich history in the architecture of the city, which is full of beautiful colonial buildings and museums.

Puerto Plata’s is also a great place for tourists to enjoy a lively nightlife with plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants.

In this post article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know this popular attraction, including its landmark sites like the Fort San Felipe and natural wonders like Mount Isabel de Torres.

Where is Puerto Plata located?

Puerto Plata is a city located on the north coast region of the Dominican Republic, in the Atlantic Ocean, and the capital of the province of the same name.

This p city has a population of about 330,000 making it one of the largest cities in the country, and its approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic.

  • Is Puerto Plata worth visiting?

Puerto Plata is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. If you’re interested in exploring the history and culture of the Dominican Republic, this is a great place to start.

The city is also home to some of the best beaches in the country for water sports like surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, making it a perfect destination for a beach vacation.

And if you’re looking for a little nightlife, Puerto Plata’s downtown has plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained.

  • Is Puerto Plata nicer than Punta Cana?

Both cities have their own unique charms. Punta Cana is definitely more developed for tourism, with many large all-inclusive resorts and plenty of activities for tourists. Puerto Plata, on the other hand, is a bit more laid back and has a stronger focus on history, culture, and water sports.

So it really depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation destination.

Related – Punta Cana 101 – Everything you need to know

  • How do I get to Puerto Plata?

The easiest way to get here is by flying into the Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP), which is located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from downtown.

There are direct flights from many major airports in North America, Europe and Latin America. If you’re already in the Dominican Republic, you can also take a bus or drive to Puerto Plata.

Buses run regularly from Santo Domingo (about 3 hours) and other cities on the north coast like Sosúa (about 1 hour).

It’s also possible to rent a car and drive to Puerto Plata, but keep in mind that traffic can be heavy during peak tourist season.

Where is the Puerto Plata International Airport located?

The Puerto PlataInternational Airport (POP) is located about 15 minutes east of downtown Puerto Plata. The venue offers daily flights to and from most North American cities, and a number of major cities in the Caribbean, North America, and South America.

  • Do I need a passport to go to Puerto Plata?

Yes, a passport is required for all visitors to the Dominican Republic.

  • Do I need a visa to visit Puerto Plata?

Citizens of the United States, Canada, and most European countries do not need a visa to enter Puerto Plata Dominican Republic.

  • Customs regulations in Puerto Plata

When you travel to this popular destination in the Americas, it is important to be aware of the customs regulations.

Travelers are allowed to bring up to $10,000 USD worth of goods into the country duty-free.

You also need to fill out an electronic ticket to arrive and departure the country.

  • What should I pack for Puerto Plata?

Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect you from the sun.

If you’re planning to spend time at the beach, don’t forget your swimsuit, towel, sandals, and beach shoes.

And if you’ll be doing any hiking or outdoor activities, be sure to pack insect repellent, comfortable shoes, and appropriate clothing.

  • What is the time zone in Puerto Plata?

The time zone in Puerto Plata is GMT-4 (Atlantic Standard Time).

What is the currency in Puerto Plata?

The currency in Punta Cana is the Dominican Peso (DOP).

US dollars are also widely accepted, although you will usually get a better rate if you pay in pesos.

ATMs can be found at the airport, shopping malls, at your Punta Cana resort, in the local community, the hotel, and banks.

What language is spoken in Puerto Plata?

The official language in Punta Cana is Spanish, just like in the Dominican Republic, however English is also widely spoken.

Other languages spoken by hotel staff are French and German.

What is the weather like in Puerto Plata?

The weather in Puerto Plata is tropical, with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • What is the hottest and coldest month in Puerto Plata?

The hottest month in Puerto Plata is August, with an average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit).

The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Are there mosquitoes in Puerto Plata?

Yes, there are mosquitoes in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic.Be sure to pack insect repellent and wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts if you’re going to be outdoors during peak mosquito hours (dusk to dawn).

  • What is the rainy season in Puerto Plata?

The rainy season in Punta Cana runs from May to October. During this time, the average rainfall is 14 inches.

  • What should I do if I get sick while in Puerto Plata?

If you get sick while in Puerto Plata, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

There are a number of hospitals and clinics located around the spot and a lot of all inclusive resorts have first-aid clinics inside.

It is also a good idea to have travel insurance.

Is it safe to visit Puerto Plata?

Puerto Plata is generally safe, however it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling to any new destination.

When exploring the town or beaches, it is best to stick to well-lit and populated areas. It is also advisable to carry cash and valuables in a hidden pouch.

When swimming in the ocean, be aware of rip currents and only swim at beaches where there are lifeguards on duty.

If you go to a club, try to go with a local guide and don’t drink and drive.

  • What should I do if I lose my passport while in Puerto Plata?

If you lose your passport while in Punta Cana, you should go to the nearest police station and file a report.

To replace a lost, stolen, or damaged passport, please follow the instructions in the Passport Navigator even if you need to travel urgently and need an emergency passport.

You must schedule the first available passport appointment using our online system and then email the United States Embassy at [email protected] to move the appointment.

  • Can I drink the tap water in Puerto Plata ?

The tap water in Puerto Plata is NOT safe to drink. Travelers prefer to stick to bottled water, which is widely available.

  • Is it safe to rent a car in Puerto Plata?

Yes, it is safe to rent a car in Puerto Plata. However, it is important to be aware of the local traffic laws, drive defensively, and get insurance.

  • What is the best time to visit Puerto Plata?

The best time to visit Puerto Plata is from December to April, when the weather is dry and sunny. Outside of this period, it can be rainy and humid.

  • What should I pack for Puerto Plata?

When packing for Puerto Plata, it is important to remember that the weather is warm and tropical. You will need light, airy clothing made from natural fabrics such as cotton.

It is also a good idea to pack bug spray, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. If you plan on spending time in the water, don’t forget to bring your swimsuit!

What to do in Puerto Plata?

There are many things to do in Puerto Plata, including swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, sailing, fishing and exploring the city’s attractions.

Puerto Plata is also home to a number of museums, including the Museum of Amber and the Fortaleza San Felipe.

  • What is the best time to visit Puerto Plata?

The best time to visit Puerto Plata is from December to April, when the weather is at its most pleasant. However, the city is busy all year round, so there is no bad time to visit.

  • How to get around Puerto Plata?

Puerto Plata is a relatively small city, so it’s easy to get around on foot. However, if you want to venture outside of the city center, there are a number of different transportation options available.

The most popular way to get around Puerto Plata is by car. You can either rent a car or take a taxi. Car rental rates are relatively inexpensive, and taxis are widely available throughout the city.

Another option is the “guagua”, which is a local bus that runs between the city center and the nearby beaches. Guagua rides are very cheap, but the buses can be crowded and uncomfortable.

Finally, if you’re staying at a resort, most of them offer shuttle service to and from the airport and around Puerto Plata.

  • How do I get to Puerto Plata?

Puerto Plata can be reached by plane, boat or bus.

The nearest airport is Puerto Plata Airport (POP), which is located about 10km from the city centre.

A number of bus companies offer services to Puerto Plata from Santo Domingo and other cities in the Dominican Republic.

  • Is there Uber in Puerto Plata?

No, there is no Uber in Punta Cana. However, there are plenty of taxis available, and most hotels can also arrange airport transfers.

  • What is Puerto Plata known for?

Puerto Plata is known for its beautiful beaches, resorts, and Amber Museum. It is also a popular destination for windsurfing, sailing, and fishing.

What are some of the most popular things to do in Puerto Plata?

The Puerto Plata area top attractions include:

  1. Amber Cove
  2. Damajagua Waterfalls
  3. Playa Dorada (Golden Beach)
  4. Puerto Plata’s Parque Central (Central Park)
  5. El Choco National Park
  6. Playa Sosua
  7. Fortress San Felipe (National monument, located at the edge of Puerto Plata bay)
  8. Punta Rucia
  9. Amber Museum
  10. Monte Cristi National Park
  11. Visit the Monumento de Santiago
  12. Centro de Ron Brugal
  13. Take a cable car to the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres to view Christ the Redeemer, an exact replica of the landmark in Rio de Janeiro.
  14. Visit the nearby Cayo Arena in Monte Cristi
  15. La Isabela, the first village in the New World.
  16. Bartolo Colón Stadium Tour – a professional stadium, baseball academy, and museum.

Is Playa Dorada a good beach?

Yes, Playa Dorada is considered one of the best beaches in Puerto Plata. It is located just minutes from the city center and offers a wide variety of activities and attractions.

The beach is well-maintained and has a wide range of facilities, including restaurants, bars, shops, and a casino.

There are also a number of water sports available, such as windsurfing, sailing, and jet skiing.

How is the Puerto Plata Bay like?

Puerto Plata Bay is a large, deep bay that is located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The bay is bordered by the city of Puerto Plata to the east and west, and by the Atlantic Ocean to the north.

The bay is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing. There are also a number of restaurants and bars located along the waterfront.

What is Mount Isabel de Torres?

Mount Isabel de Torres is a mountain located just outside of Puerto Plata. The mountain is best known for its cable car, which takes visitors to the top of the mountain for views of the city and the surrounding area.

There is also a botanical garden located at the summit of the mountain, which is home to a number of rare and exotic plants.

Is Puerto Plata near the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific?

The city is located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, which is on the Caribbean Sea. The Atlantic Ocean is located to the east of Puerto Plata, and the Pacific Ocean is located to the west.

What power voltage is used in Puerto Plata?

The standard voltage in Punta Cana is 110 volts, just like in the United States. If you have devices that require a different voltage.

Is Puerto Plata a weddings destination?

Puerto Plata is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, which occur at some of their all inclusive beach resorts like Be Live Collection Marien, Blue Villas Doradas, Iberostar Costa Dorada, Sunscape Puerto Plata, and Viva Wyndham V Heavens resort.

How is the Puerto Plata’s nightlife like?

This Caribbean tourists spot offers a wide variety of bars, clubs, and casinos to keep you entertained throughout your stay.

Travelers can enjoy:

  1. Go on a pub crawl
  2. Attend a show
  3. Visit one of the many nightclubs
  4. Take a walk on the beach
  5. City tour

Can I go scuba diving while I visit Puerto Plata?

There are a number of dive centers that offer scuba diving courses and day trips to the best dive sites.

Outside of your resort in Punta Cana, some of the most popular dive sites include the Catalina Island, the Saona Island, and at the Samana Bay.

  • I’m not a certified diver. Can I still go diving in Puerto Plata

Yes, most dive centers offer intro dives for non-certified divers. These require no previous experience and provide an introduction to scuba diving in a safe and controlled environment.

  • Is there snorkeling in Puerto Plata?

Yes, there are a number of great snorkeling spots in Puerto Plata . Some of the best include Playa Dorada, Sosua Bay, and Cabrera.

  • Can I go deep sea fishing in Puerto Plata?

Yes, you can go deep sea fishing in Punta Cana. There are a number of companies that offer this service.

How do I get around Puerto Plata?

The best way to get around Puerto Plata is by car.

There are a number of rental companies that offer cars, scooters, and ATVs.

Another option is to take a taxi. These are widely available and relatively cheap.

Finally, if you’re staying at a resort, most of them offer shuttle service to and from the airport and around Puerto Plata.

  • How many days do you need in Puerto Plata?

Most visitors to Punta Cana spend at least four or five days, enough time to relax on the beach, try some of the water sports, and explore the island’s many restaurants and bars.

What is there to do in Puerto Plata for families?

There are a number of activities for families to enjoy in Puerto Plata.

These include:

  1. Tour the city or the Amber Museum
  2. Take a cable car to the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres
  3. Snorkeling
  4. Rent a car and take pictures during sunset at Fort San Felipe.

There are a number of kid-friendly resorts, with activities such as kids clubs, swimming pools and playgrounds.

There are also a number of family-friendly attractions, such as the Puerto Plata Zoo, the Ocean World Adventure Park, and the Fun City Action Park.

What is the average price of a hotel room in Punta Cana?

The average price of a hotel room in Punta Cana is $150 per night.

However, there are a number of cheaper options available, particularly if you are willing to stay in a less central location.

  • What is there to do in Puerto Plata for couples or singles?

Puerto Plata is a popular destination for couples, there are a number of romantic activities on offer, such as water sports, take the sun at Long Beach, check the Spanish San Felipe Fortress, ride the ziplines, book a city tour, or watch the sunset at Long Beach.

The world-renowned tropical city hosts several golf courses:

  1. Los Mangos Golf Course
  2. Playa Dorada Golf Course
  3. Playa Grande Golf Course

Puerto Plata is also a great destination for singles, there are plenty of bars and clubs where you can meet other single travelers.

You can also hop into excursions and day trips that are perfect for meeting new people, such as a city tour, head east to Cabarete, or stop at Playa Dorada.

What can you not bring to Puerto Plata?

As a tourist that comes by either plane, boat, or car from another Dominican Republic, you should avoid bringing the following:

  1. Illegal drugs
  2. Firearms
  3. Ammunition
  4. Explosives
  5. Pornographic materials

Are there any waterparks in Puerto Plata?

Yes! There are waterparks in Puerto Plata that the whole family will enjoy.

Some of these waterparks include:

  1. Ocean World Water Park
  2. Sosua Ocean Village Beach Club & Water Park
  3. Fun City Action Park.

Facts about Puerto Plata

  1. Across the internet, many people call this province in the Dominican Republic as Puerta Plata. The correct name is with an O as an Oscar on the first word, as in: PuertO Plata nor PuertA Plata.
  2. All hotels were temporarily closed for tourists because of the pandemic, but now they are open for business.
  3. Puerto Plata is the top destination in the world for waters sports like surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing.
  4. All inclusive beach resorts in this town are top rated in Trip Advisor and offer excellent value for tourism, spectacular views, and delicious food.
  5. Puerto Plata has resorts such as Playa Dorada and Costa Dorada, which are located east of the city proper.
  6. There are more than 100,000 hotel beds in the city.
  7. If you go to a public beach, locals will approach you to offer a lounge chair rental, for about 10-15 USD. If you’re not interested in their lounge chairs services, previous travelers said a firm “no gracias” to stop some pushy vendors.
  8. The Montecristo National Park Sosua is a town just ten minutes from the airport that offers nice beach, a wide selection of hotels, restaurants with amazing food, and a notorious nightlife.
  9. The cable car transports tourists to Mount Isabel de Torres’ beautiful botanical gardens—shows a portion of an Atlantic coast with more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) of beaches gracing numerous coastal towns, inland farming communities with rivers and waterfalls, and resorts.
  10.  At the shopping plaza, where you can find souvenirs like amber jewelry and handmade crafts.
  11.  Puerto Plata is home to colonial vestiges, including the largest collection of preserved 19th century Victorian-style houses in the Caribbean, the oldest amber fossils in the world on display at the Amber Museum.
  12. Some all inclusive resorts offer much more than a great vacation, they are also a perfect weddings venue.
  13. The San Felipe Fortress dates back to the 16th century.

Why is Puerto Plata so popular?

Puerto Plata is a popular destination in the region for a number of reasons.

First, the weather is almost always perfect for a vacation as the average temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius, with very little variation throughout the year.

Second, the beaches are absolutely amazing for surfers, who can enjoy other sports like kiteboarding.

Third, Puerto Plata’s water parks provide a family friendly environment to keep you entertained.

Start planning your trip to Puerto Plata today!

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