Courtesy of Casa Colonial Beach & Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata, here are some useful tips on what to do in Puerto Plata:
One of the most famous rums in the world is made in Puerto. The Brugal rum is not bottled outside Puerto Plata, due to the fact that the Brugal family wants to have total control over the production of every bottle. They have massive deposits with thousands of barrels where they aged the rum. When visiting, you can end your visit in the Brugal store where you can buy a wide array of Brugal rums at discounted prices.
Cabarete kite surfing Mecca
30 minutes drive West of Puerto Plata, Cabarete offers the most important ingredient for kite surfing: Wind. It’s a place where it is always windy 365 days a year! This is what makes Cabarete a very important place for the practice of this sport and several international competitions have take place here at least 2 or 3 times a year. Cabarete’s environment is something special, a bohemian paradise, with many bars and restaurants right on the beach.
This is one of the most important historic sites in the Dominican Republic. And not many people know that La Isabela, the first Hispanic settlement in America, is here in Puerto Plata. There is not much left of that first settlement founded by Christopher Columbus, just the ruins of a house. There is a museum that explains how the Tahino Indians used to life before the discovery and how the Hispanic discovery did actually happened. There is a small church where the 1st Mass of America did actually happen. In the year 1992 when the 500 anniversary of the America discovery, the church was completely re-constructed as it is today. This is a very interesting place for those looking culture and history.
It is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. Traditionally it is a beach where the locals spend their vacation in Puerto Plata. Beautiful place, crystal clear waters in a hidden bay, perfect for snorkeling! The beach is full of local bars and restaurants where you can enjoy some fresh fish, seafood and ostiones (a local kind of oyster) that with a super cold Presidente (local beer) will make your day!
27 Falls of Damajagua
This is a unique experience in Puerto Plata the Damajagua Falls. You need to be very fit to reach to the end of the 27 falls, however most of the organized excursions do a brief experience of the waterfalls, suitable for most ages. The idea is that you climb up the river waterfall by waterfall, and at the end, the fun part starts when you go back down with natural slides and making big jumps into the river! Do not worry, the excursions have trained staff to help you.
Golf in Puerto Plata
There are two important courses for golf lovers in Puerto Plata, both of them have signature courses designed by Robert Trent Jones. The Playa Dorada complex is a place for a perfect vacation in the Caribbean, it offers gated community of hotels, shopping plaza with bars and restaurants. The Playa Dorada Golf course is surrounded by all the hotels. The courses’ landscaping is very beautiful as the vegetation is very mature with breathtaking views to the Isabel de Torres Mountain. It is an easy play to enjoy for every type of golfer from beginners to professionals. The second option is the Playa Grande Golf, settled over cliffs, with fantastic views to the Atlantic Ocean. Considered by many as the best golf course ever played, next to it we have the beach of Playa Grande which gives the name to the course, still one of the few virgin beaches in the Dominican Republic.
Santiago de Los Caballeros
Santiago de Los Caballeros is the second largest city of the Dominican Republic and is located 1 hour drive approximately of Puerto Plata. This is a large economic and cultural spot in the Dominican Republic well known for the production of the finest cigars. The Cibao valley where Santiago is located has the perfect conditions of humidity and other factors for the tobacco plantations. Cultural wise, I recommend you to visit the Centro Leon de Santiago. This is a foundation of one of the most successful companies in the Dominican Republic which contributes with a place for culture and arts for all the Dominicans.