Dominican Republic – A Place Where Anything Is Possible
If you still have not made up your mind where to go for a vacation, I would strongly suggest the Dominican Republic. The Carribean region is always a good choice, where you simply can’t make a mistake if you decide to spend your holidays in a new, unexplored destination. But if you want to have the absolute best time ever, you should go to the Puerta Plata – a northern province of the Dominican Republic.
Geography and Nature – The Main Advantages of Puerta Plata
The Carribean region is perhaps the most beautiful part of the planet thanks to its picturesque scenery, pleasant climate, and fabulous sandy beaches. The island of Hispaniola, where the Dominican Republic is located, is the second biggest isle in the region. Cuba and Puerta Plata is holding it’s northern, most beautiful part. Puerta Plata is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the incredible hill called Isabel de Torres on the other. This small hill is perfect for catching a fantastic look over the city skyline and even more astonishing Atlantic shore. On top of the Isabel de Torres, you can visit a fabulous botanical garden that features over 600 various species of tropical plants. Plus, you can also see a smaller version of Christ, the Redeemer from Rio de Janeiro.
You will not have any issues coming to Puerta Plata, so you can choose to get there either by plane or boat. The Dominican Republic has excellent infrastructure, and traveling around the country will also be an easy job. You can even hop to neighboring Haiti. Why not?
Puerta Plata is one of the oldest settlements in the New World and some records suggest that the city was founded as early as 1502. Christopher Columbus called this area “Plata” which means foggy. During the 16th century, Puerta Plata Port was a base for various pirates who used to roam the entire Carribean seeking fame and treasures. In the later period, the city was under Spanish, Haitian and American control until it finally became part of the independent Dominican Republic back in 1924. From that moment, Puerta Plata has transformed into an important center of trade, culture and especially tourism that has been flourishing for decades now. It is a cosmopolitan area today, which nourishes its rich history and cultural heritage of different nations that have left their trace in the city.
The Must-See Places Of The Dominican Republic
There are really many places you should see when visiting Puerta Plata, some of them are quite exceptional. Fuerte de San Felipe, a fort in Puerto Plata was built in the 16th century to prevent pirates from seizing one of the only protected bays on the entire north coast. For much of its life, its massive walls and interior moat were used as a prison. Museo del Ámbar is something you don’t see every day because it is located in a Victorian building that used to be a hotel called Villa Bentz. There you can see fossils of creatures that used to walk on our planet millions of years ago and whose remains were found in the amber mines in the Northern Mountains. El Faro or the iron-cast lighthouse is also an impressive building, especially with its high Doric columns.
Cuisine – A Blend Of Spanish, African, And Taino Gastronomies
Tourists who have already visited the Dominican Republic will agree on one thing if nothing else: the food is excellent. Since the cuisine in the country is a blend and mixture of several other cuisines, it seems that Dominicans have taken all the best and tastiest features of the Spanish, African and Taino gastronomies. Therefore, when you visit the Dominican Republic, you should definitely try several dishes before you leave which I’m sure you will.
One of the dishes you should try is called La Bandera – this dish contains stewed meat and white rice, usually with red beans, fried green plantains, and a salad. Such a combination will surely satisfy your appetites and make you eat the same meal for the rest of your stay in the country. The second dish you should try is a popular Mangu. It consists of boiled and mashed plantains. If you are a meat lover, then you will enjoy your visit because Dominican cuisine uses almost all kinds of meat, but the most popular are pork, beef, chicken, and goat. Carne Mechada is made of roasted beef, served with onion, spice garnish, and ham. There are, indeed, many possibilities and combinations to treat your stomach and the Dominican Republic can boast an extensive selection of seafood. Grouper and red snapper are the two most popular kinds of fish so, don’t hesitate to experience the real magic of eating them.
Vast Number Of Adrenaline-Rush Activities
If you thought that the Dominican Republic will allow you to have too much spare time, you are wrong because there are so many different, interesting, and must-see and –do activities. You will even shorten your stay on the beach in order to experience the unforgettable excursions, picnics, and various other activities.
Namely, visiting Puerto Plata will undoubtedly remain etched in your memory if you decide to explore the famous Damajagua Waterfalls. A visit to the 27 cascades and rock pools consists of climbing the ladders up to the falls, and then sliding, swimming, and jumping down. Of course, you will be wearing helmets and lifejackets.
Another memorable activity is a visit to the Ocean World Adventure Park. It is located only three miles from the Puerto Plata and it really pays off to go there since apart from the aquariums, you can play with sea lions, swim with dolphins, snorkel with tropical fish and so on. Ocean World Adventure Park is truly refreshing and it is ideal for couples with kids.
In case you want to go kiteboarding and windsurfing then a picnic to Cabarete will be ideal. The Bay is 15 miles away from Puerto Plata and it is a hotspot for people who enjoy all kinds of sports and activities. You can also go surfing and diving in Cabarete and a significant number of visitors on a daily basis is strong proof that the place has a lot to offer.