Puerto Plata isn’t always considered by tourists looking to go on an all-inclusive holiday in the Dominican Republic, but it has a lot to offer and provides visitors with a great taste of the Caribbean, whether you want to chill out with a nice cigar or you’re looking for an adventure.
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Like much of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata experiences very pleasant weather throughout the year, with average high temperatures reaching just above 30°C in the summer months, and just below in the winter. To put it simply; if you like it hot then this could be the destination for you.
Please note that these temperatures are average highs for Puerto Plata were correct at the time of writing.
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While many of us enjoy travelling abroad, it’s understandable that you might be worried about finding something that you want to eat. Most all-inclusive restaurants in Puerto Plata have an international buffet, meaning that it’s unlikely that you won’t find something that you like.
Being a formerly Spanish colony, Dominican cuisine has a certain European flair, although don’t be surprised to find an African influence in some of the local specialities too. If you prefer something more familiar, you’ll be pleased to hear that many all-inclusive hotels include a variety of speciality á la carte restaurants, covering Mexican, Brazilian Rodizio, Italian, Asian and steakhouse cuisines.
If you prefer not to stick to predefined meal times, or if you have young children with you, you might be pleased to hear that many of the hotel restaurants in Puerto Plata offer snacks, as well as inevitably laid-back barbeques, grills and pizzerias.
If you’re travelling over the festive period, you might also find that your hotel offers a traditional Christmas or New Year’s gala meal.
With such a pleasant climate, it’s unsurprising that practically all of the all-inclusive hotels in the Puerto Plata region feature at least one swimming pool, with many featuring a whirlpool or Jacuzzi. Being in a coastal location, you’re also likely to find that there are plenty of water sports, from snorkelling to windsurfing.
Pampering is readily available at these Dominican Republic hotels via spa facilities and saunas, and if you don’t want to stop looking after yourself while you’re on holiday, you should find that there’s a hotel gym available at your hotel.
In the evenings, you should find that the Dominican rum flows freely as a party atmosphere kicks in, although if you prefer a more laid back evening, many hotels provide an evening entertainment program that includes shows, live music, karaoke and more.
While not all of the all-inclusive hotels in Puerto Plata are family friendly, those that are tend to provide their own clubs and entertainment that have been specially tailored to younger holidaymakers, making sure that young children and teenagers have something to do.
Being on an island, it’s unsurprising that the beach is a big draw for tourism. Because of this, almost every all-inclusive hotel is situated on the beach, meaning that you won’t have to travel far to get your fill of sun, sea and sand.
Who Goes There?
The Dominican Republic allows tourists to enjoy an exotic Caribbean holiday for a fraction of the price you would pay at an all-inclusive resort located somewhere like Jamaica. Because of this, it tends to attract a younger crowd of British and European holidaymakers, as well as a fair few Americans looking to let off some steam. It can still be great for families and there is a great variety of excursions, just be aware that there’s a bit of a party atmosphere too.
Taxis are considered to be the most expensive way to get around Puerto Plata, and generally, they’re not considered to be much safer than other forms of public transport, but there are some alternatives.
If you’re looking to book a transfer, doing so before you travel should ensure that a reliable driver takes you from the airport to your hotel, and vice versa. Beyond a private transfer, you could consider using a Motoconcho, or, if you’re feeling brave, a Guagua, but should be wary of Propinas.
Motoconchos are essentially motorcycle taxis that can be identified by the yellow vests worn by their drivers. These are much cheaper than standard taxis, and if you’re comfortable being a pillion, a Motoconcho could prove to be a great way to experience the Dominican Republic.
A Guagua is essentially a minivan that at one stage may have been intended to only be used my 7 or 8 people, but don’t be surprised to see one crammed with more than double that many people, and potentially some small farmyard animals. Fares for Guaguas are usually very cheap but don’t expect them to follow a timetable or predefined route, and only consider using one if you’re feeling quite adventurous.
Propinas operate in a similar fashion to the Guaguas, except they’ll offer to take you around the sights and help you get discounts at certain stores. They are known to prey on unsuspecting tourists by trying to get more money out of them, whether that’s by trying to get you to pay over the odds for a tour or merchandise in a shop, or by asking for a donation. They might try to convince you with a sob story about why they need the money, so be on your guard as they can be quite pushy.
Puerto Plata is no stranger to tourists looking to party the night away, but if you want to discover more of what this Dominican Republic holiday destination has to offer, then the following excursions might be ideal for you.
Great for families and big kids
Make a big splash at Ocean World – Considered be a hidden gem of Mexico, only a small number of tourists are allowed to visit Ocean World is considered by many tourists to be one of the highlights of Puerto Plata. The Adventure Park provides visitors with the opportunity to interact with dolphins, sea lions and even sharks, but there’s also a bistro and a Bravissimo Fiesta for those who crave a bit of nightlife.
Check out the whales from Samana Bay – Companies such as Whale Samana offer excursions from Samana Bay that allow you to see majwhales in their natural habitat while a Marine Mammal Specialist narrates your journey.
Race around Fun City Action Park – Better for bigger kids as well as adventurous adults; the Fun City Action Park go-kart track is ideal for those who have just got to go fast, featuring a variety of tracks and karts that smaller children can ride as passengers or drive if they meet the height requirements.
Great for adults and teenagers
Channel your inner millionaire by visiting Paradise Island – Located just off the shore of Punta Rusia, Paradise Island is part of the National Park of Montecristi. Excursions allow you to experience what it would be like to have your own little island in the Caribbean, as well as giving you the chance to see a side of the Dominican Republic that you might not see from your resort.
Learn more about cigars at La Aurora – La Aurora is considered to be the oldest tobacco company in the Dominican Republic. At the La Aurora Cigar World you can find out more about how cigars are made, and you can even attend what they have dubbed “the first comprehensive training school for cigar lovers”.
Climb Isabel de Torres Mountain in a cable car – Excursions to the Isabel de Torres Mountain usually include a tour of Puerto Plata, as well as a cable car journey up the mountain itself, where you’ll get to see the surrounding Dominican Republic countryside from 2,555 feet.
*Details correct as of May 2017, however, errors can occur, deals can expire and facilities can change. Please treat this information as a rough guideline. If you notice an obvious error or a better price, let us know and we’ll update this page.