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Cabarete

Meanwhile, for extreme sports enthusiasts, the Cabarete area east of Puerto Plata has been known over the years for water sports (kiteboarding, windsurfing, etc.) to the point where young tourists from South America (Chile & Argentina) trek there just for that.  This is a mecca for college-age travelers passing through the Dominican Republic.  A huge water sporting event held at Cabarete every February is “Master of the Ocean” – where local and international competitors compete.


Dorada Golf Club

For those who want to practice their golf swing, there is a string of golf courses in the north coast, including the Dorada Golf Club on Playa Dorada and the Grande Golf Course on Playa Grande (which offers marvelous ocean views from almost every hole).  International golf pros traveling through the island will likely still prefer the courses at Casa de Campo, Cap Cana, and Punta Cana Resort in the eastern part of the island.


Amber Museum

Museo de Ambar (Amber Museum) (Calle Duarte 61, Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata):  a temple to the island’s prized resin that inspired the movie Jurassic Park.  Located within a two-story Victorian-era building, it holds the largest collection of amber of world.

Ocean World Adventure Park, Marina and Casino

One family-friendly destination in the Puerto Plata area is sure to be “Ocean World Adventure Park, Marina and Casino” (Calle Principal #3, Cofresí, Puerto Plata).  Just 3 miles west from the town of Puerto Plata, this entertainment complex is made of an elegant Marina, a unique marine park and the outstanding building where our clients will have the opportunity to enjoy restaurants, bars, and theatre with live dance show, casino and a disco-lounge.  Ocean World Adventure Park is the most advanced interactive marine park of its kind.  Guests will have the opportunity to touch, pet and feed all their favorite animals and mammal friends, including dolphins, sea lions, sharks, stingrays, exotic tropical birds; meet tigers, walk through rain forests and much more!

Puerto Plata — NIGHTLIFE

Within the Playa Dorada resort complex is a nightclub (for both resort guests and outside visitors) called Mangú, as well as a competitor called “Crazy Moon” (adjacent to the lobby of Paradise Hotel).  Both locations play a mix of Merengue, Bachata and “Top 40” American pop music.  Aficionados of the House and Trance music scene may be disappointed with these places, and may want to venture eastward towards Cabarete.

An option in nearby Sosúa is Ruby’s Lounge (Calle Pedro Clisante esq. Calle Arzeno), a cool expat bar with live music (on Fridays), dancing, and Karaoke (on Sundays).  The first level is the bar, and the second level is a lounge.  This, and an all-day happy “hour” that lasts from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, because Cabarete attracts a younger crowd (that’s more likely to enjoy House and Trance music), there’s a string of beach bars that cater to them.  However many favor the “Lax” beach bar, located at Cabarete’s main beach (Calle Viñas, Playa Cabarete).  It serves a great mix of pizzas, pasta, salads, meat dishes, and finger food. “Lax” offers a very chilled out Moroccan influenced ambience you can relax with your friends and enjoy the beach during the day and into the night. In recent years, Lax has introduced Hookahs and a selection of flavored tobaccos for your enjoyment.

For House music fans, nightlife took a more serious turn a few years ago when the world-famous “Nikki Beach” nightclub (known for its venues in places like Miami Beach, St. Tropez and St. Barts) opened its club at Cabarete (Road Sosúa-Cabarete #55).  Unlike the other hangout spots at Cabarete, Nikki Beach caters to both young partygoes and more mature crowds (particularly during special events like its “White Parties”).  Nikki Beach Cabarete also attracts more affluent locals from other parts of the island, such as Santiago.

Puerto Plata — DINING

 

The tourist presence in the Puerto Plata area has kept in business a string of decent restaurants, such as La Parrillada Steak House (Av. Manolo Taveres Justo, Puerto Plata) – well reviewed by International carnivores; Le Papillon (Villas Cofresí, Puerto Plata) – a charming restaurant set on a hillside in a residential neighborhood about 3 miles southwest of Puerto Plata (whose favorites include fettuccine with lobster; “pirate” kabobs with shrimp, tenderloin of beef, and vegetables; chicken stuffed with shrimp and served with saffron sauce; and a four-fisted version of chateaubriand).

There’s also Hispaniola Restaurant (Plaza el Pueblito Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata) – which serves both French cuisine and seafood (serving a mostly Canadian clientele); and Mares Restaurant & Lounge (Francisco J. Peynado #6, Puerto Plata) – whose service, ambiance and dishes (such as the Chilean Sea Bass and Creme Brûlée) have been highly-rated by many visitors.

Puerto Plata — TRANSPORTATION

Like other provincial towns, there are limited transportation options (mainly local bus and taxi services).  For a negotiated fee, local “conch car” taxi drivers will take budget tourists whenever they need to go within the Puerto Plata and nearby beach resort areas of Sosúa, Playa Dorada and Cabarete (which is further to the east).

Well-heeled visitors will opt for car rental agencies by the airport.

“Brugal”

The other thing that Puerto Plata is known for is rum.  The city is home to the major Dominican rum label “Brugal” (started there by Catalonian Spanish immigrant Andrés Brugal in 1888).  Even though the Brugal label was bought by the Scottish distilling firm, The Edrington Group, in 2008, the rum is still produced in Puerto Plata (at Av. Luís Ginebra in the town’s outskirts).  The Brugal factory offers visitors free tours on an ongoing basis Monday thru Friday 9:00 am to noon and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  The tour guides are multilingual and will cater to each group according to need.

Puerto Plata Teleférico

Aside from the Spanish colonial fortress and nearby beach resorts, Puerto Plata was known for two distinct things:  one was the “Teleférico”.  This Italian-made tram car, built in 1975 and carries 17 passengers, offering them a panoramic view of the Puerto Plata region.  The Teleférico climbs over 2,500 feet to the top of a mountain called Pico Isabel de Torres (the highest point of Puerto Plata) and has a botanical garden and a replica statue of Christ the Redeemer (the famed statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

Puerto Plata Airport

During the 1980s, Puerto Plata, which had its own airport, used it to attract budget tourists from Canada and Western Europe who stayed at the all-inclusive resorts in that area.  Puerto Plata Airport also served the provincial city of Santiago, which was a one-hour drive away (but didn’t have its own large international airport at the time).