Top 10 Things to do in Puerto Plata – with video

by GO GlobeHopper

For travelers looking for a budget-friendly, all-inclusive vacation in the Caribbean, consider Puerto Plata, the birthplace of tourism in the Dominican Republic. Packed with history and culture, and a landscape that combines mountains, lush valleys, beaches, and the Caribbean Sea, this destination offers plenty of activities, attractions, and adventure. So, in no particular order, here are our picks for the Top 10.

⦿ To watch our video version of this article, visit our YouTube channel HERE and use the highest quality playback setting. Or keep reading for valuable information and booking links.


Playa Dorada

This stretch of golden-sand beach is among the best beaches in the region, lined with chairs and cabanas for sunbathers. The water is perfect for swimming and water sports, with rental equipment offered by several nearby outlets. For snorkellers that go beyond the generalized swimming area, the crystal turquoise sea allows for views of coral reefs and marine life.

Playa Dorada features a wide range of resorts, restaurants, bars, and pubs. The area also offers golf links at Playa Dorada Golf Course.


Mount Isabel de Torres Cable Car

This lush mountain is more than just a beautiful backdrop.  Travelers can hike to the top or take the popular Telerifico Cable Car.

The ride to the top offers spectacular views of the mountainside, the harbor, downtown Puerto Plata, beaches, and the Caribbean Sea.  The peak is 800 meters (2,624 feet) above the valley and features the iconic landmark of Christ the Redeemer, which is smaller but similar to the statue in Rio de Janeiro. Visitors are given a map to explore botanical gardens, caves, the remains of a historical fortress, and a Dominican homestead all of which exist a the summit. Plus, there is a gift shop.

Watch our YouTube video of the Cable Car ride HERE.


Ocean World Adventure Park 

Located in Cofresi Beach, the Ocean World Adventure Park is a must-see entertainment complex. This beautiful facility offers the opportunity to view marine life displays and walk through rainforest settings and tropical aviaries of exotic birds and iguanas. Visitors can also snorkel in a tropical reef aquarium.

Adventurers can also interact with dolphins, nurse sharks, stingrays, and sea lions, and be entertained by live shows and demonstrations. A play area features water slides, Dolphin Beach for sunbathing, and a children’s playground.

Tickets include lunch and transportation to and from local hotels and resorts.  To watch our tour of Ocean World, visit our YouTube video HERE.


Parc Central

Located in the heart of downtown Puerto Plata, this historical park is surrounded by buildings of importance including City Hall and the Cathedral of San Felipe Apóstol. It is a great place to start touring the city, with several popular attractions all nearby, including the Amber Museum.

It also includes San Felipe Street which is known to tourists as Umbrella Street featuring a colorful umbrella-shaded pathway lined with shops, cafes and bars; and Paseo de Doña Blanca, also known as Pink Street, where quite literally everything is painted vibrant pink.


Castillo Mundo King

Located 40 minutes from Puerto Plata and set on a hill in Sosua, this strange castle was built by an eccentric German artist that relocated to Sosua. It is considered one of the most bizarre places on earth.

The 5-story piece of indescribable architecture features hundreds of pieces of unusual artwork, including exotic Haitian sculptures, alien-themed art, extraterrestrial messages, and four spaceships. Admission is minimal and a climb to the roof yields additional bizarre sculptures and beautiful views of the bay.



Located just one hour from Puerto Plata, Cabarete is an interesting and worthwhile side trip. Cabarete Bay is protected by a coral reef.  The calm water and breezy conditions make the region popular for watersports, especially windsurfing and kite surfing, which is why a section of Cabarete is known as Kite Beach.

If watersports don’t interest you, pull up a chair at one of many restaurants and bars that can be found along the beach or on the town’s main street of Calle Principal.  Unique shops and boutiques can be found here as well.

To watch our tour of Cabarete, visit our YouTube channel HERE


Fort San Felipe

This 14th-century Spanish fortress was built between 1564 and 1577 and was set on a vantage point to defend the seaport from European countries and pirates seeking silver and gold. It was also used in the Quasi-War between the United States and France between 1798 and 1800. The fort features 4 towers, one in each corner, and several cannons on the upper level.

Visitors to the fort can also enjoy the Malecon, which is a 3-kilometer (1.8 miles) paved walkway along the coastline.



Although this attraction is most often associated with Punta Cana, its inland location causes it to be a comparable distance for tourists staying in Puerto Plata, La Romana, Las Terrenas, etc.

Situated in the mountains, on the edge of El Choco National Park, Monkeyland is a memorable interactive experience that puts visitors face-to-face with dozens of adorable squirrel monkeys.  The property also contains a botanical garden, a coffee and cocoa plantation, and a Dominican homestead.

For thrill-seekers, ziplining is available as well.  Visit the Monkeyland website to plan your visit.  To watch our tour of Monkeyland, visit our YouTube channel HERE



Puerto Plata’s mixed landscape of mountains, valleys, beaches, and backcountry offers the perfect setting for off-roading with a dune buggy adventure, and there are several tour operators in the region that offer this type of experience.  The exhilarating adventure allows visitors a chance to race across sandy beaches, splash through rivers and navigate the rugged terrain of the countryside.

Embarking on this type of tour requires old clothes because drivers and riders will get wet and muddy.  A bandana over the nose and mouth is also highly recommended.


Santo Domingo

If you’re willing to undertake the 3-hour trip, a visit to the capital city of Santo Domingo makes for an extremely interesting and memorable side trip with plenty of opportunity for photography.

The historic region of the city, known as Zona Colonial, contains buildings dating back to the 1500s, including a cathedral that was among the first built in the New World.  The city also contains the National Palace, the burial place of Christopher Columbus, a fortress, and many other landmarks, museums, shops, cafes, and more.  In fact, there is so very much to explore that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

To watch our tour of Santo Domingo, visit our YouTube channel HERE


Photo Credits:

Lead – Unsplash
Playa Dorada – Unsplash
Mount Isabel de Torres Cable Car – Unsplash
Ocean World Adventure Park – Ocean World
Parc Central – Visit Puerto Plata
Castillo Mundo King – Hisponola News on Flikr Licence – Creative Commons 2.0
Cabarete – Unsplash
Fort San Felipe – Pixabay
Monkeyland – Go GlobeHopper
Dune Buggies – Pixabay
Santo Domingo – Pixabay

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