Things to do in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata is a popular port of call with Caribbean cruise lines. It’s the ninth largest city in the Dominican Republic, which doesn’t sound very big but exciting experiences await with activities for the entire family. There are so many fun things to do in Puerto Plata, we share with you the top 6.
Arriving at the Puerto Plata cruise terminal
Bypass the throngs of vendors trying to solicit you to do a tour – just keep walking past all of them and head straight for the taxi line. There you will find a queue of friendly taxi drivers ready to take you to the sites. I recommend asking for a personalized tour from the taxi driver. Make sure to agree on a price before you get in there car and ensure that the price includes gratuity. I would ask them to visit the spots below, at the very least.
#6 Amber Museum & Church of San Felipe
A walk through the Parque Central, or the town center, will take you to the towers of the Church of San Felipe. About 100 meters down, on Duarte street, you’ll find The Amber Museum. A beautiful Victorian structure houses the museum, and in it a unique collection of valuable Dominican amber. Some experts purport that the amber found here is the most transparent in the world. Amber is classified as semiprecious and is actually tree sap that has hardened for millions of years, capturing many fossils of plant and insect life.
Every movie buff needs to stop here as it’s the inspiration for Michael Crichton of Jurassic Park. To clone dinosaurs, scientists in the movie used dinosaur DNA stored in Amber, which they claimed contained Dinosaur blood and tissue. These cells once contained DNA. It is a matter of debate whether DNA can be preserved in amber for millions of years but you’ll find .
Amber, a semi-precious gem, is formed when tree sap fossilizes, sometimes catching plants, insects and animals in it. On display are many rare finds, including the most famous display: a nearly 17-inch long ancient lizard trapped in amber. Amber mining has, over the centuries, been big business in the Dominican Republic.
#5 Ocean World Adventure Park, Marina and Casino
If you can put the animal captivity feelings aside, go to Ocean World. There are at least four animal shows, presented a few times each day. You can see a bird show, a sea lion show and a shark one, as well, all to fun music.
Ocean World Adventure Park
Calle Principal 3, Cofresi, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic +1 809-291-1000
#4 Macorix House of Rum
Before going here, I didn’t really read much about this spot so my expectations were quite low. Macorix exceeded my low bar and now I’m wondering why it’s not better known. Upon arrival, get tickets for the tasting tour. It starts with a little movie that is forgettable but then you are escorted to the tasting room behind the theater. That is where things get interesting and fun – especially with the booze flowing! In the barrel tasting room, you can try 8 year aged rum, spiced rum, and several other variations.
Even if you’re not a rum fan, they are sure to have something for you. We aren’t particularly rum drinkers but found tasty options and even bought some for the trip home! Across the street from the tasting room is their store where you can find a ton of options for gifts (let’s face it, it’s for you).
#3 Del Oro Chocolate Factory
Did you know that the Dominican Republic is known for chocolate production? Now you do and you can taste first-hand the delicious variations of chocolate at the Del Oro Chocolate Factory. If you taste one thing there, get the hot chocolate. No exaggeration – best. hot. chocolate. EVER! We bought as much as we could. Let’s just say it’s so good that simply writing is inspiring me to go make some of what I bought home!
You can also get it with some booze at the end of the tour. You will find a bar and little restaurant under shade to sit back, relax and choco up.
Del Oro Chocolate Factory
Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
#2 Playa Dorada (Golden Beach)
Playa Dorada, or Golden Beach, is home to most of the beach resorts. Here you will find aquatic things to do in Puerto Plata such as windsurfing, snorkeling and even fishing. A lot of hotels offer rental equipment at low cost or even free, if you are feeling adventurous. This is a free way to enjoy Puerto Plata round the clock.
Make sure to visit the market at the end of the beach. The water is crystal clear and fairly calm, with white sand awaiting your soles. There are several spots to eat and get a drink at Playa Dorada.
#1 – Damajaqua Cascades (27 Waterfalls)
The 27 waterfalls (27 Charcos de Damajagua) tour is one of the best excursions from Puerto Plata port of call. You can be picked up from the cruise terminal, and everything (e.g. life-jackets, helmets, climbing gear, etc..) is provided in the price. The guides are friendly and informative. Once you reach the top, you can slide or jump down the waterfalls with a little bit of courage…read, a lot of courage.
27 Charcos de Damajagua
Puerto Plata, Damajagua 57000, Dominican Republic