Puerto Plata occupies an area tucked in between the mountains and the deep blue sea along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Christopher Columbus landed on its shores in 1493, declaring it beautiful and naming it Puerto Plata, the Silver Port, to mark its shimmering waters.
Today, it’s best known as a lively resort area and a popular stopping-off point for cruise-ship passengers. Travelers visit Puerto Plata in great numbers, lured by the promise of sun, beautiful beaches and, frankly, economically priced all-inclusive packages.
Puerto Plata certainly has its charms. There are two parks – Parque Luperon and Parque Central. Where Parque Luperon is a quiet and shady green space, Parque Central is the gathering place for locals, surrounded as it is by the City Hall and Palace of Justice. An absolute must is a seven-minute cable car ride to the top of Mount Isabel, 2559 feet high. From the summit, there are panoramic views of the north coast as well as a luscious botanical gardens, restaurant to revive spirits flagging from sightseeing and a statue of Christ with outstretched welcoming arms, reminiscent of the one in Rio de Janeiro.
The local climate is fairly constant year-round. Average daytime temperatures are about 85 degrees F. The tropical season runs May through October and features high humidity and rainfall. November through April is the tropical cool season and experiences less rainfall and lower levels of humidity.While it’s hard to pick a bad time to visit Puerto Plata, there are a couple of things travelers should bear in mind before booking flights. The first is the crowds and the second is the weather. You’ll pay less if you visit during the low season but your holiday may be interrupted by rain.
November to April is high season, when most travelers arrive in Puerto Plata fleeing the cold winters elsewhere.
The summer months – May through October – are low season and humidity and rainfall levels are high. If you can brave them you will have the pick of discounted flights and accommodations
Many visitors rent a car at Gregorio Luperon International airport, particularly if they plan on making side trips outside of Puerto Plata. There is also frequent bus and minibus service between the airport and Puerto Plata. Taxis are also available.