Things to do in

Puerto Plata

Along this stretch of coast expect world-class beaches, classic Caribbean architecture, and sleepy rural towns.

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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

  • Language
    Spanish
  • Currency
    DOP (RD$)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-04:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • 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

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 289 reviews

I had an AMAZING time, my guide was Dan Marino and at the falls it was ChiChi and Abucco. They were awesome It's quite a walk to the falls but TOTALLY WORTH IT!!! I would say pack changing clothes, waterproof phone case, water shoes, cash, face mask and scarf for the buggy, towel, bug spray. The lunch was DELICIOUS, and at the family owned market they made me, on the spot, a beautiful elephant piece and etched my name.

The tour was excellent. They made sure they accommodated us as much as they could. We felt safe throughout the whole trip. The bus driver was great.

From the moment we were picked up, to the moment we were dropped off, we had a phenomenal time

The process was efficient, they staff on Get YourGuide and at the locations were very helpful.

It was amazing! Gabriel was so patient with us as we had two non swimmers! Highly recommend!