Puerto Plata Guide

Puerto Plata or San Felipe de Puerto Plata

San Felipe de Puerto Plata, often referred to as simply Puerto Plata, is the capital of the Dominican province Puerto Plata.It has a population of 496,882.

The city is famous for resorts such as Playa Dorada and Costa Dorada, located east of San Felipe de Puerto Plata. There are a total of 100,000 hotel beds in the city.

The only aerial tramway in the Caribbean is located in Puerto Plata. With it, one can ride up to Pico Isabel de Torres, a 793 meter high mountain within the city. The top of the mountain features a botanical garden and a replica of Christ the Redeemer, the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro.

The fortification Fortaleza San Felipe, which was built in the 16th century and served as a prison under Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship, lies close to the port of Puerta Plata. The amber museum is also a well-known attraction in this city. La Isabela, a settlement built by Christopher Columbus, is located near Puerto Plata.


In April 1563 the Spanish settlement became notorious when the English privateer Sir John Hawkins brought 400 people he had abducted from Sierra Leone and enslaved. Hawkins traded his victims with the Spanish for pearls, hides and sugars, some gold. This was the start of British involvement in the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, in which 20 million people were forced into slavery.

Puerto Plata is served by Gregorio Luperón International Airport.


Its topography is escalonada, presenting the city an almost complete view since the port. It limited by the northeast and northwest by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south and southwest by the Hill Isabel of Towers.

It based on a small bay that counts on good shelter, is the largest city of the North seaboard, being the first one in surface, with 562.093 square km.Its sections are: El Cupey, Maimón, Los Mameyes, Sabana Grande, El Toro, Tubagua, Yásica Abajo y San Marcos.The mountain or Loma Isabel de Torres is situated to some 5 km to the southwest of the city of San Felipe. Geographically it forms part of the Cordillera Septentrional, reaching a maximum height of 800 mts above sea level.

Its area covers approximately 20 square km and its zone has as main way of access the highway Don José Ginebra, that leaving the city continues the Western direction passing for them populated San Marcos, Piedra Candela y el Cruce, arriving at a section paved that continues the southeastern direction and that carries directly to the top, permitting the access to Parque Nacional Isabel de Torres declared Monumento Natural of the Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael María Moscoso.


Inside the most important rivers than they belong to the municipality they would be able to mention to: Camú, Yaque del Norte, San Marcos, Corozo, Muñoz, Maimón, El Violón, San Piñez, Río Seco, así como los arroyos Fú, Blanco, Caballo, Culebra, San Cristóbal among others; besides a without number of Lakes.


The Municipality of San Felipe de Puerto Plata is supported in the activities agribusiness, industrial and tourist being built in the first sources of income in the current moments, through which the municipality contributes significant figures in the social and economic growth of all the country.

Other forms of income and economic development, that serve to support to some segments of their population, they are supported in the dynamics of the harbor activity, the craft, the fishing and a without weavings stores number and footwear. Particularly, the port has a great impact in the national and provincial economy.

Besides their old spring, possesses a spike for management of general freighters or bulk and of passengers; through they export themselves him a great variety of merchandise, that go from products of the farming to products manufactured, in the duty-free zones of the region. It possesses areas to charge and to discharge, including two tow trucks. The new spring receives a, in which great part of the commercial operations is carried out.


Some differences among the historians exist that have written on the year in which Puerto Plata was founded. Emilio Rodriguez Demorizi, José August Puig Ortiz, Américo Lugo and Samuel Hazard, they give as good and valid, that you take care of was based it on the 1502 by Nicolas of Ovando; thus they collect it in their main works.

Other historians vary the date of his foundation: the Full doctor affirms, that was in the 1503. The Dr. Joaquín Marine Incháustegui, in his Dominican history he plant that he was in 1504. The Dr. Manuel Arturo Rock Batlle indicates that Port Silver was founded in 1505.

The historians, Alonso Rodriguez Demorizi (brother of Emilio) and Hyacinth Gimbernard, they express that was in the year 1496 and the Spanish Father says that in 1506. The historic informations, on the Silver Port foundation they are inexact.

Nicolas of Ovando, above-mentioned to have a port in the northern coast of the island, the origin of its foundation dates near 1502. Around 1555, the Puerto Plata’s importance had been lost and became one of the places of the Antilles where was practiced the contraband with the pirates and the pirates of the Caribbean.

The Admiral, Christopher Columbus, in its first trip, named the Monte de Plata, the today montaña Isabel de Torres, observed that in its high top always it is foggy that cause they appear it as silver and of low of its mountain, to the edge of the sea, took the port of the name, for which Puerto de Plata was called. A century and middle later and with the use, him was suppressed the preposition of, and Puerto Plata was called simply, like him is known today

The city was designed by the brothers Christopher and Bartolomé Columbus, in the 1496 and based on the year 1502 by Frey Nicolás de Ovando.

In its first phase of Spanish Colony was respected the main commercial and maritime port of the island. In 1605 it was depopulated and destroyed by order of Fernando III, to avoid the advance of the English piracy and Holland that took as base the north part of the Atlantic one.

A hundred years later, was repopulated again with new inhabitants originating in the Canaries that were mostly farmers. From 1822 to 1844 the city was low Haitian control. Of 1844 on it begins the republican period and the city recovers its maritime and commercial boom.

The city grew under the influence of the European immigration, who they contributed its cultural and social quota; what itself reflection in its inhabitants; who they possessed a culture that distinguished him of the other cities of the country.

In 1863, during the period of the War Restorer, the city was set on fire completely, initiating from 1865, the construction of the current Silver Port city. Under the influence of the Victorian architecture considered the most advanced one of its epoch, the Silver Port city is converted to halfway through of the 18th century in a city of great importance by its cultural, social, maritime, and economic development.


The reports on the celebration of the carnival in the Puerto Plata city, they date from ends of the 19th century, and its festivity with the arrival of Cuban immigrants was enriched at the beginning of the 20th century.

The central personage is the devil cojuelo, that in Puerto Plata he becomes Taimáscaro, that produces deities Taínas in its masks, with a beautiful suit where elements of the Spanish culture they are symbolized and the African essences, in multicolored tapes in its arms, and all that is complemented with the conches of the Atlantic ocean, as natural elements of identity of the town Puertoplateño.

These festivities are celebrated during all the month of February and March, in the avenue of the Jetty and the streets of the city. Where, the people and adult they entertain and they enjoy the parades of disguises, the music, the popular dances and the different demonstrations of the art and the culture represented in the carnival that reflects our cultural identity.

Each year the organizers of the carnival, they choose the King Momo, that represents the person of the city that more has fought for maintaining its traditions. 4,2.

Victorian architecture

The Puerto Plata city is characterized for their architecture in which dominates a Victorian called style, where they converge various architectural styles, giving him a various character to the process of urban development development.

Inside this variety is the old style related to the colonial epoch, of which remains as an example the Fortress San Felipe. Another it is the traditional style, originated when the city was founded by immigrant canarios, and of the one that the balconies are inherited, and as an example I live is the bridge of the Guinea, of the year 1879.

Then developed the Victorian model, because of the French, Italian, German, English immigrations and other European countries, which began after the War Restorer and had its height to ends of the 19th century and starts of the XX. This style was utilized in dwellings and in buildings destined to social activities. This type of construction gives an own image to the province.

Finally, it develops in Puerto Plata a modern architecture, because of the American occupation (1916 and 1924) and continued under it was of Trujillo, based on constructions of blocks and cement. Currently with the tourist boom has developed a new architecture based on the environments.


[to publish] Education By the Puerto Plata municipality there they are decollado large and illustrious educators which have left innovative tracks among the ones that can be indicated: Antera Mota, Emilio Prud Homme, Ana Isabel Jiménez, Mercedes Mota, José Dubeau, Isabel Díaz Alejo, Doña Elvia Campillo, Isabel Meyreles, María Concepción Gómez Matos, among others. Currently, the municipality of San Felipe of Puerto Plata counts on 182 Educational Centers of which the 67% corresponds to the public sector and the 39% to the private sector.

This municipality counts on a total of 29.279 students, of them 1.567 corresponds at the Initial level, 19.395 at the Basic level, 6642 at the Medium level, 1.505 students to the subsystem of adults, 84 students of special education and 86 of the labor school.

Besides the universities fours operation counts on itself that offer different careers of technical and upper degree.Said universities are: Papal Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCAMM), Universidad Dominicana O & M, universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (UTESA) y el Centro Universitario Regional del Atlántico de la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (CURA- UASD).


From the fifties of the 20th century, the main sports institution of the municipality of San Felipe, has been the League of the Atlantic one, which was founded, August 16, 1958, prompted by Fabio Rafael González.

This institution celebrates during all the year activities, main of baseball, years later him was added the basketball, with the time various clubs were incorporated; the Gustavo Behall, the Hugo Kunhard, Juan Luis Plá, among others. Since the 1970, the main activities have been the school events that are celebrated durantes all the year, in its respective dates in which competes in the different disciplines.

At present, in Golden Beach, Brugal & Company celebrates periodically the Club Golf Puerto Plata tournament, with the participation of the most noticeable athletes of this discipline, so much at the local level, as national and international.


The city is famous for tourist centers as Playa Dorada and Costa Dorada, located to the east of San Felipe of Puerto Plata. There is a total of 100,000 beds of hotels in the city.

Puerto Plata is served for the international airport of Gregorio Luperón, situated around 15 kilometers to the east of the city, near the town La Union.


Main colonial monument of the city of Puerto Plata, since, around her is its history. In the year 1540, Álvaro Caballero went to the cut to request that was done a fortress in Puerto Plata. In 1549 the Archbishop and governing Fuenmayor, him was entrusted its construction, but itself was not done even in the 1560, when the Real Audience ordered charge of the French judge Juan Echagoín to initiate its work. This work was finished in the year 1577.

The purpose was to protect the city against the incursions bandits of the corsairs and French and English pirates that continuously terrified inhabitants of Puerto Plata. Its name is in honor of Felipe II, in whose reign was finished to build. In 1980 it is declared National Monument.

Ocean World

Water park located in the middle of the reefs of beach Cofresí, in one of the places more charmers of the Dominican Republic. It is constituted in one of the main places of tourist attraction, in the largest and complete park of that nature in the area of the Caribbean.

The investment of this project is valued in more than 45 million dollars what includes: a navy for services of yachts, the permanent presence of some 14 dolphins, beach and forests, as well as fishbowls, picturesque and exotic birds tigers of the forest; and at present Hotel and Casino recently inaugurated. Ocean World is located inside a great tourist complex, which forms part of a paradise on the north coast of Dominican Republic. The investor and president of Ocean World, Mr. L. A. Meister, showed great interest in the tourist potential of Puerto Plata, in its first incursions in this city, directed and oriented by Juan Carlos Moral original Owner of the lands of Cofresí.


Museo del Ámbar: The business Costa, Inc. A cultural company of family administration, directed by Aldo Costa, founded the Museo del Ámbar Dominicano in the 1982 in the Villa Bentz, (more elegant Hotel of Puerto Plata of the year 1918, built by the famous Spanish architect Marín Gallart and Cantú). This museum is considered the first Museum of the Amber of the Dominican Republic and at the same time, a great historic monument of the city.

La Zona Colonial (Casas Victorianas): From the 1857, it is initiated in Puerto Plata. The Victorian style originating from England, call thus, in honor of the Queen Victoria, manager of that epoch. This it extended to almost everyone and was considered it more modern.

The fundamental characteristics were, the elaboration of the wood in artistic form, for the construction of dwellings. From that moment, Puerto Plata defined clearly their architectural style, evolving to what we have nowadays as our patrimony. The rise and development of that new modality in the art of construction, was what gave start, to the buildings of the Victorian houses of the decade from the 70 of the 19th century. Creating an unique style in the city, which him is known today as Victorian architecture of Puerto Plata.

El Faro

It built during the government of the General Gregorio Luperón and on the initiative of the important person Puertoplateño as cardinal point and guide of the ships that did crossing by the Atlantic and that they had like destiny the port of the city. The Lighthouse was designed with superpuertas, classical columns and striated to the Doric-Roman way, according to the description of the Dr. José Augusto Puig Ortiz and Robert S. Gamble, in its Architectural Historic trial of Puerto Plata.

It has a solid base of masonry and is elevated to 137 feet above sea level. In the year 2000 was submitted to works of restoration and restructuring, what included to renew its structure integrally to re-establish him the showiness of the time of its origins.


It was inaugurated in 1975, its construction is of Italian origin. Has capacity for 17 people and the time to rise and to descend the mountain is of 8 minutes. It is moved for an electric hydraulic system, conducted by a central operator, situated in the base of its station. This small train, is welcoming; with its walls of glass protected, offers the visitor, a view pan from the city to the extent that descends of the hill which in its top is to a height of 855 mts. or 2555 feet above sea level.

It is one of the picturesque and most impressive excursions that can obtain a tourist upon visiting our country. The visitors can enjoy a beautiful composed landscape by a garden of 215 tasks, with all the component of the flora of the country. Visiting stores (gift shops) and a beautiful Restaurant with Dominican food. Its administration is composed by a patronage, that maintains it under the conditions of conservation and enjoyment of all the one that visits it.


With its golden sands surrounded by the great beauty that emanate of its natural landscapes combining the blue color of the water that many times dress of a tone turquoise with the reflections of the sun in the day, and of moon at night.

These beaches bring pleasing memories by their landscapes, stones, waves, sand, uveros, almonds, yawls, rowboats, music and dances. Many of them represent all an epoch of daydream and traditions, like they are: La Poza del Castillo, Cofresí, Costámbar, Long Beach, Marapicá, Playa Dorada, Maimón, Bergantín, among others. The beaches are you considered as one of the main tourist attractions of the city.

Postal code of Puerto Plata

Postal code : 57000

Dominican Republic’s North Central region

Map of Puerto Plata

The San Felipe fort in Puerto Plata

The San Felipe fort in Puerto Plata

The malecón of Puerto Plata

The malecón of Puerto Plata

Jesus statue, at the top of the hill Isabel de Torres

Jesus statue, at the top of the hill Isabel de Torres

Amber piece exposed in the Amber Museum of Puerto Plata

Amber piece exposed in the Amber Museum of Puerto Plata