Puerta plata puerto rico: APARTHOTEL PUERTO PLATA PUERTO RICO

The 16 Best Things To Do In Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

My visit to Dominican Republic was supported & arranged by the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism & Go Dominican Republic

Updated October 2022The Best Things to do in Puerto Plata, Domincan Republic was originally written in January 2019

Puerto Plata is where tourism in Dominican Republic began. The area boasts beautiful landscapes, relaxed beaches, and lush mountains & valleys. Home to the only aerial tramway in the Caribbean and some of Dominican Republic’s first resorts, there is plenty to discover in beautiful Puerto Plata.

Puerto Plata Table Of Contents

  1. Quick History Of Puerto Plata
  2. Dominican Republic Quick Info
  3. Things To Do In Puerto Plata
    • Explore historic Puerto Plata by foot… or bicycle
    • Hike, or take the Teleférico to the top of Isabel de Torres
    • Bike or ATV through jungle paths to see Northern Dominican Republic’s countryside
    • Take a Rum factory tour
    • Relax on Playa Dorada or Playa Cabarete
    • Take a tour of a cigar shop
    • Fort San Felipe
  4. Other Things To Do In Puerto Plata
    • Visit the 27 waterfalls of Damajagua
    • Visit the Monkey Jungle
    • Get a surf lesson
    • Go horseback riding
    • Key Paradise
    • Snorkel and Dive
    • Casa Museo Gergorio Luperón
    • The Amber Museum
    • Cabarete Caves
  5. Where To Stay In Puerto Plata
  6. Where To Eat In Puerto Plata
  7. Tours
  8. How To Get Around
  9. Best Time To Visit
  10. Safety
    • Where To Go Next?

Quick History Of Puerto Plata

Founded January 2, 1494, nearby La Isabela just outside Puerto Plata was the first village established in the New World. Puerto Plata gained its name for its silvery appearance from a distance thanks to the leaf color of trees that populate the coastline.


Plan the perfect Dominican Republic getaway with my 10 day Dominican Republic itinerary


Street art in Puerto Plata

Dominican Republic Quick Info

  • Currency: the Dominican Peso, abbreviated to RD$. The current exchange rate as of September 2022 is RD$52.75 to $1 USD
  • Language: Spanish
  • Drives on: Right

Things To Do In Puerto Plata

Explore historic Puerto Plata by foot… or bicycle

Set around Parque Central explore the Victorian-style architecture, visit the cathedral, wander the narrow streets, or just relax and people-watch at the park. Not keen to explore on your own? Join a Puerto Plata city tour.

Hike, or take the Teleférico to the top of Isabel de Torres

The only aerial tramway in the Caribbean takes you to the top of 800 meter Isabel de Torres (don’t worry, those of you wanting to get in some exercise, you can hike it). From the top enjoy the views down on Puerto Plata from above, have a stroll through the botanical garden, or have a meal at the restaurant up top. There is a large statue of Jesus up here, in fact, it’s a scaled-down replica of the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, you can’t miss it.


Planning your trip to Dominican Republic? Check out my 2 day itinerary for Santo Domingo & Boca Chica


Jumping into a cool swimming hole after a bike ride though the countryside

Bike or ATV through jungle paths to see Northern Dominican Republic’s countryside

Wanna swim in secret lakes, sip coconuts with locals and see Dominican Republic’s rolling, lush countryside? Join Outback Adventures for an electric bike or ATV excursion. This was actually one of my favorite experiences in Puerto Plata, whizzing past beautiful places, and smiling faces.

Take a Rum factory tour

Being situated in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic is famous for its rum.  When wandering around Puerto Plata, make sure and pop into Macorix House of Rum for an escape from the afternoon heat to learn about the creation process and sample some locally made Dominican rums. Don’t miss out on tasting the Coco Splash and Pineapple Rums.

Stargazing on Playa Dorada

Relax on Playa Dorada or Playa Cabarete

Playa Dorada & Playa Cabarete are great places to relax in the sun with calm Caribbean waters lapping at the shore.


Looking for off the beaten path ideas for the Caribbean? Check out Puerto Rico’s Culebra Island


Take a tour of a cigar shop

Not just Cuba is renowned for its fine cigars. Dominican Republic has a long history of cigar making. Pop in and learn a little about the history, tobacco used, and even take a crack at rolling one yourself.

Fort San Felipe

Get a historical feel for Puerto Plata exploring the fort and grounds surrounding it. Admission is free and informative headsets are available.

Other Things To Do In Puerto Plata

Visit the 27 waterfalls of Damajagua

One of the best day trips for adventure travelers visiting the North Atlantic Dominican Republic Coast. Exactly as the name implies, there are 27 dazzling waterfalls to explore in this area. Check out day tours here.

Visit the Monkey Jungle

A monkey rescue where you’ll have the chance to see and watch squirrel monkeys. Monkeys here are rescued on the island and free to roam the jungle. There is also a zipline at the rescue where proceeds help benefit the community.

Get a surf lesson

Head to Cabarete Beach to sneak in a ride, or for those without much experience get a surf lesson in.

Go horseback riding

From Cabarete Beach, it’s possible to go riding by horseback, trotting along this stunning and dramatic coastline. Check out this beach tour by horseback.

Key Paradise

This perfect day trip will have you feeling like you’ve been marooned on a tropical island. Take a boat around, sightsee, snorkel, and have a drink on the perfect beach. Check out this Key Paradise day tour.

Snorkel and Dive

With prime corals scattered along the coast, snorkeling and diving around Puerto Plata is a real treat for those that like to drop below the surface. Check out these 2-tank dive trips and snorkel day trips.

Casa Museo Gergorio Luperón

A must for any history buff. This museum employs guides that are very well versed in the history of Puerto Plata that can answer any questions. There’s also the chance to catch an educational film here showcasing Puerto Plata’s history.

The Amber Museum

Puerto Plata is nicknamed ‘The Amber Coast’, thanks to the plethora of Amber that is found in the region. The museum holds impressive specimens locked in Amber. For movie fanatics, the mosquito trapped in amber used in the Jurassic Park movie was kept here at the Amber Museum.

Cabarete Caves

A series of small caves connected by short hikes. Hire a knowledgeable guide and learn about the medicinal uses of plants that populate the area.

Where To Stay In Puerto Plata

Sunrise at Casa Colonial

On my recent trip to Puerto Plata with the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, I stayed at the gorgeous Casa Colonial Beach Hotel & Spa on Playa Dorada. For those of you traveling on budgets here are a few more wallet-friendly options.

Budget
Hotel Central
| Booking.com | Agoda.com |

Midrange
Blue Jacktar
| Booking.com | Hotels.com |

Splurge
Casa Colonial Beach Hotel & Spa
| Booking.com | Hotels.com |

Search more Puerto Plata area hotels, hostels and guesthouses on booking.com

The gorgeous area of Cabarete, outside of Puerto Plata is another lovely area to stay in that is relaxing and quiet. We had the chance to tour the beautiful properties of Seahorse Ranch Cabarete, with villas for rent. Check them out here.

Where To Eat In Puerto Plata

Appetizers at The Beach Club at Sea Horse Ranch

Lucia Restaurant: Located inside Casa Colonial Beach Hotel & Spa, this gorgeous restaurant offers gourmet French-Caribbean fusion dishes on its menu and fine wines from all over the globe.

Casita Azul Victoria Bar & Grill: This beautiful recently renovated Victorian home located along Parque Central in the heart of Puerto Plata offers up traditional Caribbean fare and unique spins on classic drinks. Don’t pass up the coconut mojito.

The Beach Club At Sea Horse Ranch: An oceanfront roundhouse with panoramic views from Cabarete’s North Atlantic coast where you can enjoy gourmet modern twists on favorite classics and delicious cocktails. From personal experience I 100% recommend timing your meal here with sunset.


Taking a Caribbean cruise? Learn how to visit Trunk Bay on a St. Thomas stopover


Tours

Traveling solo can be daunting. Why not join a day tour to explore with others? Here are a few great day tours offered around and near Puerto Plata:

  • 27 Falls of Damajagua
  • Puerto Plata ATV adventure
  • Explore Puerto Plata city tour & aerial tram ride
  • Horseback riding at the beach
  • Puerto Plata gastronomy and libations tour
  • Catamaran tour
  • Ocean World day pass
  • Monkey Jungle zipline
  • Puerto Plata safari adventure
  • Puerto Plata Snorkeling Tour

Check out more tours in Puerto Plata on offer here

How To Get Around

Once in Puerto Plata proper it’s easy enough to explore the historic center on foot. Most resorts are located outside town for which grabbing a taxi or Uber into town will be your most convenient option. Usually, a short walk outside the resort area you can flag down a motorbike taxi (look for drivers wearing vests) for those more adventurous as some of these guys can drive a bit crazy.

Buses connect Puerto Plata with other cities in Dominican Republic as well as across the border to Haiti.  Read up more here. Puerto Plata does have an international airport about 25 minutes drive from the city.

Best Time To Visit

November-March are the best months to go to Puerto Plata as the weather is drier. April-July is still a good time of year to visit as well with many celebrations happening, though temperatures tend to be a bit hotter. August-October is generally not recommended as it is hurricane season, though not impossible if storms altering plans isn’t an issue.

Safety

Crime in Puerto Plata tends to be lower than in Santo Domingo and other parts of Dominican Republic. The usual precautions apply and try to be aware of your surroundings at all times just like anywhere else in the world.


Headed to Puerto Rico before or after your trip? See why you should visit Cabo Rojo


Traditional Carnival costumes in La Vega

Where To Go Next?

  • The Carnival Museum in La Vega
  • Santo Domingo & Boca Chica
Have Any Questions About What To do in Puerto Plata?

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More Posts from Dominican Republic and the Caribbean:

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how to get there, what to see, where to live

Resorts What to see

on

01/10/2022

In this article I will show the Dominican city of Puerto Plata from the tourism side. You will find out what to see here, what to do, what features there are. And I will answer the most common question: is it worth going here or is it better to spend time on other cool places in the Dominican Republic?

Contents:

  • Puerto Plata: general facts and a brief history
  • How to get to Puerto Plata
  • Where to live?
  • Attractions Puerto Plata and surroundings
  • Travel tips

If you are going to the Dominican Republic, but have not yet made the final choice. That article: why the Dominican Republic: 10 reasons that will help you with this.

Puerto Plato: general facts and a brief history

At first glance, this is a fairly large city in the country. But in fact it is not so, here are some facts:

  • The population of Puerto Plata is about 150 thousand people
  • The city occupies only the 10th place in terms of population in the Dominican Republic
  • The city is located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic on the Atlantic Ocean
  • It is the only city in the country where both tourism and industry are well developed

Important to know:

The biggest disadvantage of the city for tourism is the presence of a large cargo port in its central part. Therefore, all hotels and beaches are located on the outskirts of Puerto Plata.

A Brief History of Puerto Plata

The city was founded in 1502, 9 years after the discovery of America by Columbus. But to be precise, this year, Columbus only discovered this area. On one of his next trips, his ships sailed along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. And we found a bay that had a good location.

View of Puerto Plata from the mountain. A little to the left you can see the bay that Columbus discovered, and today there is a cargo port.

The bay was large, just enough to hide the whole fleet of that time. It also protected ships well from Atlantic winds and storms. And of course, it was convenient to defend it from the enemy.

This area was called in Spanish Puerto Plata, which translates as a silver port. And a couple of years later they began to build a city and a port. The port of Puerto Plata was of strategic importance and was located on the caravan routes from Europe to America. Therefore, he was constantly attacked.

And approximately in 1863, during the uprising for the independence of the Dominican Republic, it was completely destroyed. And the modern history of the city, or rather its architectural development, originates only from the end of the 19century.

Good to know:

Therefore, the architecture and development in general in Puerto Plata is so different from the development in Santo Domingo. The capital managed to preserve the colonial architecture, but not in Puerto Plata. And it turns out that the two cities are from the same time and the same country, but visually, as if from two different eras. A guide to Santo Domingo is available here.

How to get to Puerto Plata

Let’s assume that you know how to get to the Dominican Republic. Here is a useful article about how and where to buy cheap tickets to the Dominican Republic from Moscow. But here are the main points and what you need to know:

  • Puerto Plata is only 220 km from the capital of the Dominican Republic. The road connects them excellent through the city of Santiago.
  • Near Puerto Plata there is
  • one of the three main airports in the country — Grigorio Luperon Airport. This is an international airport. But:
    • Almost all flights from Europe and Russia arrive at Punta Cana Airport. Approximately 90%
    • A small number of flights arrive at Santo Domingo Airport in Las Americas and at La Romana Airport.
    • No planes fly to Puerto Plato Airport from the old world. This airport is intended for flights from the USA, Canada, Mexico and all other Latin American countries.
    • Link to the online transfer service from the airport to the hotel in the Dominican Republic, at the very end of the article

Thanks to a large international airport and port, the city has excellent bus connections from all over the country. It is not difficult to get here both by car, or rather by car quickly, and by regular buses it is simply comfortable and easy.

Where to live?

If you look at the map, on Puerto Plata, you can see that the city is very elongated along the ocean. If architects 19centuries, were a little quicker, then it could have turned out to be a mega-cool tourist center with a chic city beach like in the Canaries or Barcelona. But alas.

The center of the city and the whole bay is occupied by a cargo port. And in the rest of the ocean, there is just a road, without a single piece of beach and with a very narrow sidewalk for pedestrians.

Therefore, the western and eastern regions are considered tourist areas where there are beaches and hotels. They are named respectively: Costambar and Comfresi (in the west) and Costa Dorada (in the north). Here it is recommended to look for accommodation for tourists.

Below is a dynamic rating of excellent hotels and apartments in Puerto Plata. You can look at photos, read reviews, study descriptions and prices, as well as look for other options.

Attractions of Puerto Plata and surroundings

As you have already understood, the history of the city has only 150 years. And the size of the city is relatively small. Therefore, it turns out that there are no cool sights here, especially architectural ones. And reading other reviews on the Internet, you will understand that some of the attractions are far-fetched. Below is a map of the main attractions of Puerto Plata and the surrounding area.

Good to know:

If you are thinking of visiting Puerto Plata to explore the city and attractions. Then you can safely plan only 1 day. It will be enough for you to get around all the main and most famous places of Puerto Plata.

Cableway (Teleferico) and Mount Isabel de Torres

Puerto Plata’s most important and famous attraction.

Mount Isabel de Torres is located within the city and is visible from any point in it. Mountain height 793m. A cable car leads to the top of the mountain, almost from the city center (see map). In Spanish, it is called Teleferico, so look for signs with this word.

View from the cable car cabin over the entire city of Puerto Plata.

Good to know:

There are only two cabins for 15 people each. The ascent or descent in one direction takes 10 minutes. It turns out that the cabins pass by the start of the cable car every 10 minutes. On weekends, when there are a lot of people, the lines reach for several hours.

There is also a bypass on foot, but the route is 12 km and climbing 800m will take you 3-4 hours one way. Not sure if there are people walking this route.

At the top of the mountain, there is simply amazing view of the whole of Puerto Plata and the port.

Tip:

The top of the mountain is not in the clouds usually in the morning. The wind rose here is such that in the afternoon the top of the mountain is often in the clouds. Although there are 300 sunny days a year over the city itself.

What is on the top of Isabelle de Torres?

There is a park where it is pleasant to walk and spend time. There are no activities here, but there are:

  • Viewpoints
  • Cave
  • Pond with a fountain
  • Paths among the local fauna
  • Christ statue like in Rio in Brazil, only 20 times smaller
  • Restaurant Puerto Plata is now sunny and cloudless. And above the mountain there are solid clouds. At the very top there is a copy of the statue of Jesus as in Brazil.

    Interesting to know:

    Walking through the park on top of the mountain, look carefully at the flowers, real hummingbirds fly here. In the Dominican Republic, we met them only here and in Las Galeras in a cool villa overlooking the ocean. A video clip about hummingbirds, which I shot myself, for three days running around the garden after them, see the link.

    Total:

    • Opening hours: from 8:30 to 17 hours
    • You need to plan for the entire attraction hours 2
    • Parking near Teleferiko is free
    • Ticket price (ascent and descent) — $ 10

    Author rating:

    If you have already arrived in Puerto Plata, then 10 out of 10. This place is visible from everywhere, and it is difficult to drive past it. If you are just thinking about whether to go here and what to do in Puerto Plata, then 5 out of 10. If there are alternatives, for example, to visit the Samana Peninsula and the El Limon waterfall, then it is better to go to the waterfall.

    Ocean World Adventure Park

    The second major attraction of Puerto Plata, which is known throughout the country. Many people think that this is a water park by name, but no.

    Ocean World Adventure Park is a marine park plus a zoo. The zoo, because it is difficult to call it a full-fledged zoo. But the feature of the whole park is in contact with animals. Now I will explain.

    • In the sea park there are different zones and you can swim with:
      • dolphins
      • Lamantins
      • sharks (safe for humans)
      • with marine lions
      • Find the slopes

    9004 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000

    013 Important to know:

    You have to pay extra for each program if you want to swim with someone. All instruction is in Spanish or English only. Children under 5 years old are not allowed in some programs until 7. Photo video shooting on your camera is strictly prohibited. Only for park equipment for an additional fee. This applies specifically if you want to swim.

    • The zoo also has zones and programs:
      • parrot zone
      • tiger feeding
      • area with birds of the region
      • as well as many aquariums with fish

    By and large, this place is a must for tourists with children. If adults are interested in swimming with manatees, then children will be interested in everything.

    View of Ocean World from above.

    Total Ocean World Adventure Park
    • Opening hours: daily from 9 am to 6 pm
    • How much time to allocate: you can easily spend the whole day here. But you should not plan less than 3-4 hours.
    • And now for the prices, this is the most interesting part, take the calculator:
      • Entrance to the park for the whole day costs $69 per person. And for a child under 12 years old — $ 54
      • This ticket includes: access to all areas of the park, visits to all shows (dolphins, sea lions, sharks, parrots), access to the pool and beach with sun loungers, as well as access to the tropical swimming pool with coral reefs, where you can swim with a snorkel and a mask.
      • Additionally, if you want to swim with sharks, dolphins and so on, you need to buy a program. For example, a 30 minute swim with dolphins costs another $40 per person.
    • In total, if a family of three people goes here for the whole day, they additionally buy a program of swimming with a shark, a dolphin, etc., plus a meal, then the budget for the whole day will be $300-400.

    Author rating:

    If you are traveling with children, then 9 out of 10. If you don’t want to swim with dolphins yourself, then 5 out of 10, you won’t see anything super natural here. In any major zoo in the world or aquarium, there will be much more animals and entry will be much cheaper.

    The show with dolphins is held in the same way as in any dolphinarium in our country.

    Perhaps these are the two main attractions of Puerto Plata, worthy of your attention. Below I will briefly list a few more places that you can see here.

    Fortress of São Filipe

    Defensive bastion built in 1576-77. It is rather modest in size, but protected the entrance to the silver bay, where the port is located today. For many centuries this defensive structure performed its functions, until the moment when the city was completely destroyed.

    Today, the Fortress of São Filipe operates as a museum. And although there are not many halls, the atmosphere of the 16th-18th centuries of the Caribbean is recreated inside. Entry is not cheap for this level of attraction.

    • Price: 500 pesos or $9
    • Time to allocate to the fortress: 30 minutes
    • As a bonus, you must definitely climb the walls of the fortress for a great view. And there is also a functioning lighthouse and an amphitheater overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

    Author’s rating:

    5 out of 10. It makes no sense to go here specifically for the sake of this fortress. The fortress itself is nothing special, the museum is small, the entrance is quite expensive. Therefore, you need to go / go here only if you live in Puerto Plata and have seen everything and have nothing to do.

    This is actually the whole fortress. The view from the walls is excellent, but its dimensions are very modest.

    Amber Museum

    Everything is clear from the name. Our Russian brother cannot be surprised by this. And if you still live in Kaliningrad or St. Petersburg, then you will not learn or see anything new.

    The Dominican Amber Museum is located in the center of Puerto Plata. Occupies two floors of a small building. The museum itself is on the second floor. At the first souvenir shop where you can buy local souvenirs from amber and not only.

    By the way, Dominican amber looks exactly like our Baltic amber.

    • Museum opening hours: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.0003 3 out of 10. This is my personal opinion, but I consider the Amber Museum to be a very mediocre attraction.

      Here are some rooms in this style. The photo shows one of the largest specimens of amber.

      27 waterfalls

      Although this attraction is located outside the city, 25 km from Puerta Plata. But I will include it in this list, since this is the nearest city to this place. 27 waterfalls, the coolest place on the mountainside. This is a mountain river, or rather its section with waterfalls, rifts, rapids.

      And you have to swim and jump over all 27 or almost all of them.

      • Plan to visit this place before 4 hours
      • Price depending on the route from $10 to $14
      • The best time to visit this place is during the rainy season

      Author rating:

      100 90 A place that every tourist must visit. How to get there, how we visited this place, tips and life hacks in the article: 27 waterfalls in the Dominican Republic. There will also be links to cool excursions with a transfer and a guide to this place.

      You have to swim along such a canyon with waterfalls and jumps from 5-8 meters.

      Brugal Rum Museum

      As you know, rum is the main national alcoholic drink of the Dominican Republic. And Brugal is one of the three main producers of Dominican rum. So, the Brugal factory is located in Puerto Plata, and you can get here for a factory tour and tasting. As well as a gift shop for rum. Now the main thing you need to know from this:

      • Rum is a great gift to take home. But in the Dominican Republic you can buy a fake. Here at the factory you will definitely be sure of the quality of the drink. How to choose what kind of rum happens, prices, where to buy — all this and much more in the Dominican rum article.
      • The cost of the tour with a tasting of 4 types of rum, by the way, there is information about them in the article at the link above, $ 5
      • Please note that the tour is short and not through the production workshops, but more along the rum bottling line.
      • In the souvenir shop you can buy both regular rum and gift rum 15-20 years old.

      Author rating:

      8 out of 10. If you are not a teetotaler and you are somehow interested in the rum production process, then you will definitely like it here. Well, in the store at the factory, there are excellent prices for Brugal 1888 gift rum, which uses 15 year old spirits.

      The tour passes through the part of the plant where rum is packed and bottled. It would be better, of course, where he was kicked out.

      And they always buy cigars with rum. And Puerto Plata has great cigar shops. And how to choose the right cigar in the article at the link.

      Travel Tips

      I recommend not spending more than one day in Puerto Plata. In one full day, with a car, you can easily visit: 27 waterfalls, the Brugal factory, a mountain and a cable car and walk along the promenade to the fortress of Sao Filipe. If you want more in Ocean World Adventure Park, then plan the whole second day here. There is nothing more to do in Puerto Plata.

      Tip:

      Puerto Plata has a lot of cool things to do, like horseback riding, sunset boating, swimming with dolphins and so on. For a complete list of activities in Purto Plata, see the GetYourGide resource.

      The beaches here are not the most beautiful, the ocean is not the most azure, and so on. My personal opinion, the same small towns of Sosua and Cabaret are much more suitable for a beach holiday. But the taste and color of all felt-tip pens are different.

      Read all about the city of Sosua in the article at the link.

      The best hotel areas are located in the West and East of the city.

      In conclusion: Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic is a great starting city for your trip to the Dominican Republic or the entire Caribbean. From Puerto Plata Airport, regular flights to Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and so on are very cheap and convenient.

      The city of Puerto Plata is definitely worthy of your attention!



      Found an inaccuracy — write in the comments.

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      TAGS

      Diving in Puerto Plata — DivingPlace

      Technically known as San Felipe de Puerto Plata, the city is one of the most important commercial ports of the Dominican Republic. This is the gateway to Playa Dorada, where there are hotel complexes designed for more than 100,000 hotel beds. Interestingly, Puerto Plata is also home to the only cable car in the Caribbean. Approximately 6.2 km east of the northern province, the city of Sosua, which was originally settled in 1938 by Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria. Many years later, the 1980s brought an influx of tourists to the picturesque bay. Today Puerto Plata is the water sports capital of the Dominican Republic.

      Dive Sites

      The north coast of the Dominican Republic offers diving all year round with consistently warm air and water. The average air temperature is 25-30 °C, and water 27-29 °C. June to September is the best time for diving in this region due to calm waters and good visibility, which can reach up to 32m. Whale season runs from January to March and dolphins can be seen at any time of the year. Such weather conditions allow travelers from all over the world to safely and comfortably explore the following dive sites:

      El Dudu

      El Dudu offers classic cave diving with a breathtaking sinkhole located in the crystal clear Dudu Lake. Both the external and internal beauty of this amazing cave lagoon makes this attraction very popular among both locals and tourists from all over the world. The average depth of this dive site is around 10m with a maximum point of 20m. The cave is over 100m long. The spectacular tunnels are filled with eerie decorations formed by fallen trees that have accumulated over the years. Inhabitants are common in caves and include snakes, bats, various types of spiders and scorpions. In the whimsical color of the water, you can find many shellfish, and stalactites give scope for imagination.

      Coral Garden

      Coral Garden is a unique 15 meter high wall with magnificent underwater views of numerous coral caves, massive rocks and fantastic labyrinths. Colorful soft and hard coral formations include sea fans and feathers. The dive site starts at a depth of 20 m and is linked to the Three Rocks site. The boat ride from the nearest beach takes about 5 minutes. This place is densely populated with various marine life, including various small and large fish. Divers will have the opportunity to see incredible starfish, royal angels, lobsters, turtles, spotted sand snakes and yellow rays.

      Lobster Point

      This is a classic wall dive site with good visibility, easily accessible in 5 minutes by boat from the nearest beach. While diving, visitors will be able to see dozens of crabs and lobsters in the many holes and crevices of this remarkable 18m reef wall. Occasionally, divers may encounter barracudas and turtles. The current can vary from weak to moderate, but generally it is not too strong. The maximum depth is 30 m. Diving is available all year round. The average air temperature is 25-30 °C. The average water temperature ranges between 27-29°C Visibility in the water is about 20 m. Diving here is available for PADI AOW divers.

      Larimar I

      Located in the bay of Sosua, Larimar I is an ideal diving site for beginners and experienced alike. Divers who come here are pleasantly surprised by the unusual underwater landscape with sand dunes and shallow walls of soft corals. A large number of marine life includes scorpion fish, various crabs, octopuses, seahorses and hundreds of moray eels of all shapes and colors. With an average depth of around 20m, this place is perfect for practicing your diving skills as well as just relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

      Pyramids

      Ideal for cave diving, unique and charming, the site will impress divers with its unusual structure and many surprises. The non-standard structure of the dive site was formed due to land erosion of the nearest coastal cliffs. It will take about an hour to get here, first by car and then by boat. Visitors should be aware that this site is only accessible to experienced divers. Those who come here will be rewarded with colorful underwater scenery, including reef cliffs, fascinating caves, mysterious ledges, fantastic passages, and huge boulders overgrown with coral. The maximum depth is about 20 m, and depending on the current, the starting point may change. Swimming through this unusual space, divers can observe schools of rare lionfish and various eels.

      Larimar II

      Larimar II can be a challenging dive recommended for experienced divers. The maximum depth here is more than 40 m. Visibility is excellent, especially in the morning, which makes it possible to discover the grandeur of the entire reef wall. Here, visitors can see the same variety of flora and fauna found in the Larimar I area, as well as several other species. Divers have the opportunity to watch numerous trumpeters, surgeon fish, moray eels and even baby sharks. It is important to beware of the poisonous Pacific lionfish, which also love to swim in these waters. Diving is available all year round. The average air temperature is 25-30 °C. The average water temperature ranges from 27-29°C The depth of the site is more than 30 m. Visibility under water is about 20 m. The current varies from weak to moderate. Diving here is available for PADI AOW divers.

      Tunnel

      The average depth is 5 m and the maximum depth is 16 m. The visibility of this diving site is more than 30 m, the currents are weak. The water temperature rises to a comfortable 25°C in summer, while the air temperature is around 30°C. In the off-season, the figures drop to 18 °C. The dive site «Tunnel» is home to many marine life: scorpions, cuttlefish, sea hares, seaweeds, octopuses, groupers, stars and others.

      La Puntilla

      Due to its shallow water, La Puntilla is popular with beginner divers. Its depth is about 9m. It has a lot to offer when it comes to the underwater landscape. Large boulders that have fallen from the wall form spectacular passages filled with small colorful exotic fish. Local fauna includes corals of all forms, fans, sponges and gorgonians. They are a haven for species such as barracudas and rays that enjoy the currents washing over the cliffs of La Puntilla. It is also easy to see starfish, crabs and shrimp in the area. An interesting aspect of diving here is that you can hear the underwater songs of the humpback whale that comes to breed on the north coast.

      Jane Reef

      A 30 minute boat ride from the beaches of Puerto Plata brings visitors to the wonderful Jane Reef dive site. It combines everything you need for a perfect dive. Divers will see a variety of ocean life and a reef covered with corals of all shapes and colors. The water is crystal clear with excellent visibility up to 20 m. The currents here vary from weak to moderate.

      Tracktor Wreck

      The Tracktor Wreck is particularly good for diving as its stern remains virtually intact. There is no definite information about this wrecked ship, so the divers create their own story. It sank about 30 years ago and lies on a sandy bottom at a depth of 30 m. Various parts of the ship are overgrown with algae, divers can see the arches formed by the charming coral reef wall. The dive site is home to a variety of marine life including colorful schools of tropical fish.

      Getting there

      Gregorio Luperon International Airport, also known as Puerto Plata, is located about 15 minutes east of downtown Puerto Plata. It receives daily flights from most cities in North and South America.

      As with other airports in the Dominican Republic, a US$10 tourist card fee is required upon arrival. After buying it in one window, you immediately need to turn around and hand it over to the duty officer to be scanned and thrown into the box. There is a $20 departure tax upon departure.

      A taxi from Puerto Plata Airport to the nearest hotel complex Playa Dorada costs from $30 one way. Pre-booking online on websites can save you anywhere from $5 to $10 depending on the number of travelers.

      Dive Clubs

      Dive Cabarete is perhaps the only center on Puerto Plata that deserves attention. It offers a full range of scuba diving activities. For certified divers, there are daily dive packages along with PADI and SSI courses. Non-certified divers can get a ticket to their first big underwater adventure. Beginner courses are available to meet any learning need from start to finish.

      For people who haven’t decided if scuba diving is right for them, a free trial Discover Scuba Class is available. If you just want to swim and see beautiful reefs and fish, the club’s instructors will offer a snorkeling tour. If that’s not enough, you can go on an underwater adventure. Cave diving, exploration of Haiti and trips to private islands are just some of the things the center offers.

      As one of the oldest diving companies in the region, Dive Cabarete provides complete diving safety and complies with PADI and SSI standards. Club staff pride themselves on being a family run small company that can always offer scuba diving in a relaxed and casual environment. Small groups and individual service are the main focus of the center. The dive club strives to be the place in the life of scuba divers that you want to return to.

      Diving reviews

      Diving on the north coast of the Dominican Republic is very different from diving in the southern region. The Atlantic Ocean is generally rougher than the Caribbean Sea and there are deeper diving spots. However, Puerto Plata offers a unique environment that makes diving in the Atlantic accessible even to novice divers. The current here is minimal and most of the colorful coral reefs are shallow enough for Open Water divers.

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