Top attractions in Puerto Plata
Best things to do in Puerto Plata
Once a major colonial city, San Felipe de Puerto Plata is making a quiet comeback, thanks largely to some of the Caribbean's best value beach resorts! Here's what to see amid the sun, sea, and sand!
1. Columbus House
Where better to begin your discovery of Puerto Plata than at the ruins of Christopher Columbus' old house in La Isabella – the Dominican Republic's first settlement!
2. Paradise Island
This pristine sandbank makes for a luxurious excursion from the Dominican shoreline. The amenities are top-notch, but you really ought to go for the coral snorkelling!
3. Damajagua Waterfalls
Climb, slide, swim, and jump across the 27 cascades and rock pools that make up Damajagua! Thrillseekers need look no further than this gorgeous landscape-cum-adventure park.
4. Ocean World Adventure Park
Family vacation? This interactive aquarium and marina lets visitors swim with dolphins, pet stingrays, and play with sealions. There are even tigers! (Real ones. Not sea-tigers.)
5. Dominican Amber Museum
Dominican amber is among the best in the world and the Museo del Ambar exhibits stunning fossils of insects, leaves, lizards, and even birds preserved within its effervescent grip!
6. Fort San Felipe
Built in 1564 to defend against pirates, San Felipe is one of the oldest European forts in the Americas. The oldest is Santo Domingo's Fortaleza Ozama, just a short trip away!
7. Santo Domingo
Day-trips to and from the Dominican capital are quick and easy! Sightseeing highlights include the National Pantheon, Calle las Damas, and The Three Eyes national park.
Planning Your Visit
Where is it?
Puerto Plata is on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. It isn't as well protected from the Atlantic by corals and other islands as Punta Cana – which might just have the best beaches in the country – but the upside is that the resorts are significantly cheaper. It's a great place to do the Caribbean experience on a budget!
Best time to visit?
Puerto Plata experiences tropical weather year-round, with even winter seeing temperatures push 30°C. The peak tourism season is between December to April, but visiting from May to mid-June will see cheaper hotel rates. Why? It's the run-up to hurricane season so don't book any later than that!
How safe is it?
The Dominican Republic is a poor country and often reported to have a fairly high (though decreasing) crime-rate, but the worst of it is concentrated in remote areas. Tourist areas and resorts are kept exceptionally safe. However, as with any vacation destination, it's always worth exercizing some caution.
Good to know
- DOP (RD$)
- Time Zone
- UTC (-04:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- Visit between December and mid-June to enjoy beach weather without the threat of hurricanes!
Other Sightseeing Options in Puerto Plata
Want to discover all there is to do in Puerto Plata? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Puerto Plata
All it's cracked up to be--but bring cash!
I had read a lot about the falls and our expectations were pretty high. Driving out through the litter- and construction-strewn zones around Puerto Plata, we were a little skeptical. Arriving at the falls, we were told that because of the ongoing drought, the "27" Falls were actually only "12". I was disappointed and even more skeptical. However, once on the hike up, the natural beauty if the area started to shine. Once on the downhill through the falls and water-carved canyons, we were enthralled. Jumping almost 30' into a clear pool was thrilling, the slides were a blast, the water was refreshing, and the guides were helpful and entertaining. I think we were all pretty tired, but wishing for even more, at the end. Bring your cash, though--the implication from the guides was "no tip, no lunch". I didn't mind--they earned it--but I was glad I tucked some pesos in my bag that morning. Lunch was pretty good, and the rum made it even better. :-)
Breathtaking Experiece for a Good CAUSE that I will always cherish!!
We had a wonderful time at Puerto Plata Monkey Jungle and Zip Line Adventure. The tour guides were awesome and the instruction they provided was excellent!! So much fun zipping through the trees and the FREE FALL......what a fantastic experience!! - little scarey at first, but perfectly safe and lots of FUN!! We were so happy to hear that the owners of Monkey Jungle / Zip Line Adventure are using the proceeds to run a medical and dental clinic for local Dominicans, (cost to local Dominicans is $0.00)!! They also started the Monkey Jungle to provide a good, caring home to monkeys who have been abused. LOVELY, WONDERFUL, EXCITING, FANTASTIC, just a few words to describe our experience!!
The waterfalls were amazing - best part!
This was a great day-long excursion. I would have preferred to do the waterfalls in the afternoon after ziplining and horseback riding just because of the heat. I felt bad for the horses especially in the hot sun. The ziplining was interesting. Definitely 'tame' in that if you're apprehensive, it's the perfect intro. It was my first time which was good for me, but I think my daughter who had done zip lining before didn't enjoy it as much. Also, rather than start from the top of a mountain which I thought we would, you kind of had to walk from line to line which was a little odd. The waterfalls were the best part. Def worth it!!
It was a very, very memorable experience!
Started off with some ZipLining. The guides were all fun to be around, joking around and having a good time, while still being very professional when it comes to safety while riding zip lines. The 53ft drop was intimidating at first, but great once you got off the platform! I even wanted to walk up and do it again. The monkeys were simply amazing. Nothing like having 3 or 4 different squirrel monkeys crawl around on your arms and head while trying to eat food of a plate you're holding. Quite a memorable experience overall!
The Adventure was great but to much walking up hill
The Fall were great but the very long walk to get there was not . It was a lot longer then we were told it would be. The Zip Line was okay but not quit what I was expecting. I thought we be over some deep canyon or some thing to look at other than a field. The Horse back riding was okay too. Not to exciting .