Sitting on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, there is Puerto Plata. It is the ideal spot for travelers to explore nature, history, crystal clear waters, and fun activities. Being in Puerto Plata will give you endless options. Trust us when we tell you boredom will never be a concern. We compiled a diverse list of exciting adventures. These will make your trip worth talking about when you get back home. We promise!
Macorix House of Rum and Take a Tour
At the Macorix house of rum, it’s all about keeping it simple while having an unforgettable experience. Get this! It is $4 per person for this tour and it is well worth it! Now we know some of you doze off at the phrase “history lesson”. Let’s just call this an audio and visual presentation instead. Nonetheless, learning how rum is made and what makes it so famous in Puerto Plata will spike your interest. Even better, you get to taste the smooth island rum for yourself – No chaser! So here’s the thing: we love inexpensive vacation activities because many things can be pricy. The fact that Macorix House of Rum was fairly cheap was the best part. So if you’re up for a little daytime drinking, a visual presentation, and learning about liquor, this is a place worth visiting for our rum lovers out there.
Catamaran Day Trip, Snorkeling & Sailing Excursion of Puerto Plata
Okay, exploring the Dominican Republic on land is like a dream come true. Going into the ocean and exploring its underwater life is truly a game-changer. The Catamaran Day Trip will last 6 ½ hours, where the tropical underwater world of Puerto Plata awaits. This sailing journey sails from Puerto Plata, Ocean World, Sosua Beach, and Cabarete.
Paradise Island & Mangroves Tour of Puerto Plata
This is also known as Cayo Paraiso or Cayo Arena, Paradise Island & Mangroves Tour. It is located in the northwest off the coast of Puerta Plata, right in Punta Rucia. Although Puerta Plata is a good 2 hours from Punta Rucia don’t let that scare you. Paradise Island does provide pick-up. The only thing you need to bring is your sunglasses, sunscreen, and an empty stomach. You won’t come back hungry, that’s for sure. Jetting through the mangroves or snorkeling through the clear waters is the ultimate highlight, and of course, the food!
So we have to give you the heads up on this one so you can’t say we didn’t warn you. The walk on the rugged and uneven trails to Damajagua is around 40 minutes. Trust us when we tell you; it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not all bad. In fact, the pros out way the cons. Time does seem to fly by as you’ll be embraced by nature, observing gorgeous birds and exotic plants. That 40-minute walk-a-thon is also 100% worth it once you make your way down all 27, yes, 27 waterfalls. Again this is more suited for those who crave an adrenaline rush and love to seek adventure. Here’s a big tip for you. Be sure not to overpack your backpacks because the lockers are pretty small.
You may also enjoy the adventure of visiting the Damajagua Waterfall combined with a lunch buffet. After all, you will have earned a big meal!
Mount Isabel de Torres
Mount Isabel de Torres’ cable car, or as it’s referred to in Spanish, Teleférico, is a major must-experience. This activity allows the trek up the mountain to last around 5 minutes. Unfortunately, it’s closed at the time of this blog writing for repairs so check when you visit. There are other alternatives if you crave to see Puerto Plata from the top. Before we dive into other options, Mt. Isabel has other activities and sights to offer besides its cable car experience. The replica of Christ the Redeemer sits on a vast dome that houses stores where tourists can shop. In addition, you’re sure to fall in love with the scenic floral life. If you end up working up an appetite from exploring the mountain, BBQ-420 is just a mile away. They have mouth-watering Dominican dishes like Caribbean-styled Barbeque waiting for you.
Helpful hint: we learned from a local that if you ask a local cab driver about driving you to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres, you can negotiate a much better rate, than with a tourist group. Just be sure you agree on an amount prior to getting into the cab.
Mega Adrenaline + Puerta Plata Zipline Adventure
So your heart is set on exploring the Dominican Republic in the sky? Check out Mega adrenaline or Puerta Plata Zipline Adventure. Even if you haven’t been ziplining before, breathe, and don’t freak out. The guides there are very charismatic and will treat you just like family. They are there to make sure you’re safe and having fun. You’ll learn so much about the natural habitats of the Dominican Republic and have an amazing adventure doing so.
Fort San Felipe
If you’re a history buff, add this to your bucket list asap! Built between 1564 to 1577, Fort San Felipe is the only remaining colonial structure constructed in the Americas. Boy does this 16th-century fortress have a story to tell! It was crazy cheap! You can learn about how this castle was built and how exactly it was conquered several times by the pirates. Regardless of whether you speak French, Spanish, or English, you can engulf yourself in the commentary in your preferred language. You’ll learn many interesting facts about how this building was used as a prison. You can also dive deeper into this fort and find artifacts used during the war.
Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture)
We love the name of this house, and it indeed lives up to it. If you’re done with the daily adventures, ziplining, cruises, and 40-minute long hikes, you may want indoor casual scenery. Don’t hesitate to stop at Casa de la Cultura. What was once a gathering place for revolutionaries during the dictatorship of Ulises “Lilis” Heureaux is now an art gallery for local artists. It’s also a library and a hub for many other social events such as lectures and so much more.
Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata
Playa Dorada is undoubtedly the best beach on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. The great thing about Dorada isn’t just that it’s clean (although its tidiness gives it extra bonus points). The mesmerizing blue water on Playa Dorada is ideal for those who love water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving. There is a bar and restaurants on this beach,. Don’t hesitate to grab a Sangria and a lounge chair and drift off. This is a significant spot for tourist activities and the go-to area where you’ll find all-inclusive resorts in Puerta Plata.
Museo del Ámbar Dominicano (Amber Museum)
Dominican Amber is like a time capsule in the form of a gem, but check this out. It’s not really the gem itself that has everyone so at ahh. 25 -40 million years ago, a certain sap oozed out of the Conifer trees. It trapped leaves, birds, insects, and other creatures for millions of years. All we can say is welcome to Jurassic Park. Today, that sap is known as Amber. Going to the Amber Museum might as well be time travel.
If you or your kids are Jurassic Park fans, this is a must while on your trip. Remember the opening of the 1993 film? There was this amber mining scene where they found DNA sequences from a mosquito. That same scene was shot in the Dominican Republic. The Amber Museum has a ton of displays and replicas. They are right in Puerta Plata, so this is a fun spot for the family.
Outback Cultural Adventure Tour of Puerto Plata
The Outback Cultural Adventure Tour is ideal for anyone who wants to see as much of Puerto Plata as possible. You’ll be in a rugged outback truck. Your tour guide will tell you all about the ecosystem and diverse culture of the Dominican Republic. You literally have everything you need: captivating scenery, unique commentary, a buffet, and an open bar. Don’t forget your sunglasses and some sunscreen and you’re all set!
Cacao And Taino Culture Adventure
You’ll find Eden’s farm up the mountains, where they grow organic coffee, bananas, plantains, mangos, and more. They have endless options here, but their main passion is Cacaos which they use to make their delicious chocolate. We guess you can say this is where chocolate grows on trees. Yes, our form of heaven! The Cacaos and Indian Culture Adventure is a beautiful way to reconnect with nature and discover the Taino culture.
Where to Stay in Puerto Plata
If you are looking for accommodations or places to stay, check out this link for options. Each option includes reviews and ratings of various budgets and luxury levels on the island.
Needless to say, whether you are visiting Puerto Plata for a few hours from a cruise ship excursion, or for a week, you have a plethora to choose from. There is a ton to do on this beautiful island in the Dominican Republic! The best part of Puerto Plata? The people. We highly encourage you to immerse yourself in conversation. Get involved in the culture and get to know the residents so that you can get the true experience of Puerto Plata from the local level. After all, that is what traveling is all about.