Discovering Puerto Plata’s 27 Waterfalls

Waterfall

Damajaqua Cascades consists of 27 waterfalls approximately 30 minutes from the heart of Puerto Plata. This waterfall system is located in the Northern Corridor mountain range with awe-inspiring pools etched out of limestone. It is the rarest of sites that cannot be witnessed anywhere else in the world.

Waterfall2There are many ways to experience the tour. The most popular choices are one of two separate tours and your choice will be based on how many of the waterfalls you’d like to see. There is a shorter three hour tour that allows for exploring seven of the waterfalls and then a longer tour that encompasses viewing all of the waterfalls. Either tour comes with an experienced guide that will explain the significance of the sites; what adventures are available; along with the views that must not be missed. Both of the tour options will require its’ tourists to hike up to the waterfalls whether the number of waterfalls being seen is seven or 27. Believe it or not, there are some diving spots or jumping off points and natural waterfall slides for all of those who are adventurous. The water is deep enough so don’t be alarmed and remember, it’s a little colder than one would think as the waterfalls are located in the mountains. There is also an opportunity to hire a personal driver and waterfall tour guide. This can allow for a more in-depth and meaningful tour of this amazing landmark.

Waterfall3Another spectacular choice is the Country World Adventure package that will allow one to experience 12 of the waterfalls. Of course any of the organized tours may include lunch, partaking of the island’s famous rum drinks, personal videos and the most beautiful and unimaginable sites. Make sure to bring the correct attire when taking the tour along with bug spray. Proper shoes are a must as some of the terrain can be a bit treacherous if wearing flip flops. Wearing regular tennis shoes or hiking shoes that can get wet are preferred.

For most, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity that can’t be missed. Make sure Puerto Plata’s 27 Waterfalls is on the top of your list!

What to Expect During Puerto Plata’s Low Season

MaleconDid you know that Puerto Plata is one of the most visited cities in the Dominican Republic? During high season (mid-December to mid-April), there is a tremendous influx of visitors and travelers looking to spend their vacation in the Caribbean sun. However, if your preference is to experience a more relaxed environment that is less busy then traveling to Puerto Plata during low season is the right time to do it!

VictorianAlthough each resort may differ, Puerto Plata’s low season typically begins in mid-April and ends in late May/early June. Most islands, including the Dominican Republic, have year-round, beautiful, tropical climates. Temperatures during Puerto Plata’s low season are very mild and range from 75°F to 90°F (24°C to 32°C). Although there may be the occasional and intermittent afternoon rain shower, traveling during this time avoids Puerto Plata’s hurricane season. Generally, no matter what time of year you may visit, you are bound to experience sunshine and lovely weather.

Spa DayYou can expect fewer tourists and crowds during Puerto Plata’s low season. But make no mistake — there are still plenty of fun activities to partake in. During the month of May come and enjoy an authentic, leisurely city tour. Take your time strolling down Puerto Plata’s Malecon or waterfront. As you stroll, explore the various boutiques, vendors, and restaurants that are open and available. Revel in the Victorian-style buildings and architecture. If culture is what you yearn for then plan your visit during the month of June where you can celebrate with the locals during the 7-day Puerto Plata Cultural Festival.

Cultural FestivalUnlike high season, during low season most hotels and rental properties offer discounted rates on their accommodations. For last minute savings, take advantage of the opportunity to rent a luxury villa or private property. When staying in a hotel or resort, plan to travel during low season if you’re seeking more personalized service. The resort staff will be able to cater even more to your needs due to fewer travelers. This ultimately equates to a more relaxed and rejuvenating vacation, which is a great advantage for traveling during low season.

During low season, you simply must indulge in Puerto Plata’s world-renowned beaches, incredible nightlife and multicultural cuisine. Be sure to schedule a relaxing spa day and enjoy your well-deserved holiday.

If you’re thinking of vacationing during Puerto Plata’s low season, now is the perfect time to make your reservations.

Puerto Plata: A Paradise for Canadian Travelers

Puerto Plata offers something for every traveler and has been a favorite for Canadian travelers for many years, primarily due to its accessibility and a plethora of affordable all-inclusive accommodations. Besides beaches, world-class kite boarding, windsurfing, and golf, Canadians travel to Puerto Plata to be immersed in the culture, cuisine, and Caribbean life. In January, February, and March (the most popular time of year for Canadians to travel to Puerto Plata), one of the top attractions is whale watching in Samana Bay.

 In 2013, the Dominican Republic received 687,891 Canadian tourists, of which 130,320 (19%) arrived via Puerto Plata International Airport1. During the first three months of 2014, over 20,000 Canadians arrived in Puerto Plata each month for winter sun, rest, relaxation, and an escape from the cold weather at home2.

Canadian Infographic

There are several Canadian airlines, such as Air Canada, Air Transat, and Sunwing that have direct flights to Puerto Plata. Cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Hamilton all offer multiple flight schedules weekly that allow Canadians the flexibility to visit Puerto Plata as frequently as desired.

Canadian presence beyond Puerto Plata

Canada is the most active foreign investor in the Dominican Republic and as a result there are many Canadian expatriates living on the island. Canada and the Dominican Republic have over 50 years of diplomatic relations and bilateral ties are very strong. Their bilateral ties are reinforced by the presence of a Canadian Consulate in Puerto Plata and Canadian Embassies in Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. These Offices provide services that aid in anything from working visas to business visas to provisional residency. The Dominican Republic is home to many Canadian retirees who benefit from tax exemptions that are available to retiring expatriates.

Real estate – This market is among the lowest priced in the Caribbean and rental yields are also doing well. This is due in part to resort developments and the construction and renovation of the international airports. The ability to purchase residential homes with ocean views and white sandy beaches right outside the door is priceless. Free golf memberships sometimes accompany the purchase of prime real estate.

Canadian-owned businesses – Canada is heavily invested in the Dominican Republic. Although Canada’s focus is mainly in the mining and financial sectors they also have a hand in products, services and technologies. Canadian businesses in the Dominican Republic expand and succeed by helping to create jobs and spurring growth and prosperity within the country. Canadians invest in the Dominican Republic to establish strong connections and build pride within this island nation.3

As a result of Canada’s investment within the Dominican Republic, this popular destination has come alive with expats traveling, renting, buying and enjoying this beautiful island life.

Source:

1Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, Tourists arrival by air, according to residence; www.bancentral.gov.do

2Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, Monthly tourists arrival by air, according to residence; www.bancentral.gov.do

3Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Showcasing Canada’s Strengths and Capabilities in Dominican Republic and Haiti; http://www.international.gc.ca

6 Reasons Why You Should Rent a Luxury Villa in Puerto Plata

Luxury villa rentals offer many benefits for travelers seeking a unique experience. While visiting Puerto Plata, consider staying in a luxury villa with your group of family and friends.

Here are our six reasons why we believe you should rent a luxury villa in Puerto Plata. Have another reason? Leave a comment below.

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Puerto Plata’s Brugal Rum Distillery

Brugal RumMaking the most out of your vacation is key! This is why a trip to see one of the Dominican Republic’s chief exports is a must. A tour of the Brugal Rum Factory, located on the outskirts of Puerto Plata, teaches you how to turn sugarcane from golden brown to crystal clear in color, in order to produce the wondrous rum, which is the nectar of the Gods. The tour highlights the history of the Brugal family, and how sugarcane goes from the fields through the distillation process to the glass of rum that sits in front of you today.

Brugal Rum is named after expatriate Andrés Brugal. Andrés Brugal relocated to Puerto Plata in the 19th Century after a quick stint in Cuba where he learned the rum business. The process of distilling has since become automated and is now done in a factory outside of Puerto Plata. Yet it is one of the local icons of the island, a site to see.

Brugal Rum Puerto Plata FieldRum is transported to Puerto Plata to age, blend and be bottled. This rum is distilled and blended according to exact standards that ensure a consistent product time and time again. Right next to the sugarcane press, your tour guide will give the history of the first mechanism to extract sugarcane juice in big quantities. It was used 500 years ago and moved by animals like horses, donkeys and oxen. There are different types of Brugal Rum such as light rum and multiple grades of dark rum. Each and every rum is a blend of different aged rums. Every bottle of Brugal Rum has been aged a minimum of one year as the Dominican rum law states. If you are a true connoisseur of rums, the Brugal Rum Factory offers limited and special editions.

Brugal Rum Puerto PlataOnce finished with the tour, spend some time in the sampling room and the gift shop on the grounds. There are many types of rums to sample but if that’s not in the cards, try one of the frozen daiquiris. Although the tours are not long, they give a full history of the Brugal Rum making process and the history of the Brugal family. Factory tours are free of charge and take place Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

It’s Carnival!

CarnivalCarnival celebrations in Puerto Plata will begin on February 7, 2016.  Carnival festivities will be held every Sunday in February, from 3:00 p.m. – 10 p.m., on the city’s oceanfront boulevard, El Malecón.

Carnival is about highlighting the island’s rich culture and history of each of its cities. It is truly one of the best celebrations on the island!

Thousands of national and international visitors come together to celebrate the beauty of the carnival. The Puerto Plata Carnival highlights the presence of the “Taimascaros,” a mythical creature inspired by the gods once worshipped by the native Taínos, the island’s original inhabitants.

Carnival Puerto PlataCarnival is the most significant, lively, colorful and joyous expression of Dominican popular culture you will find. In February, it seems that every Dominican on the island plays a role in this cultural celebration. Dominicans believe that these celebrations were linked to religious festivals of the past, which were later incorporated into the celebration. It is said that Carnivals took place on the saint’s day festivities in honor of James the Apostle and Corpus Christi.

Puerto Plata becomes organized into dozens of floats and groups, creating a striking collective event at the end of the Carnival celebration. Carnival is filled with bright and original costumes that cannot be found anywhere else. The majority of local residents and many visitors participate in the parades, and this is a great way to get to know a region of the country. One of the best aspects of Carnival is that its influences are so eclectic. You can clearly see influences from Spanish culture as well as other African and European countries.

Make sure to see one of Carnival’s most famous characters, “El diablo cojuelo”. He is a major character in Carnival. Dominicans call him “diablo cojuelo because he is said to mock the devil. His clothing is made up of a colorful caped suit with an assortment of mirrors, ribbons, cowbells, and rattles which are meant to imitate pretentious medieval gentlemen.

Carnival is about highlighting the island’s rich culture and history of each of its cities. It is truly one of the best celebrations on the island!

Travel Tips: Innovative Ideas When Traveling With Kids

Child Map1. Don’t Forget And Always Remember

When traveling with children, it is imperative to book your details ahead of time, and take your time to ensure all of your travel details are correct. Make sure to prepare for the climate by packing clothing appropriate for the weather at your destination. However, you must be prepared for a change in the climate, so an extra set of “back up” clothing is a good idea for the entire family.  Keeping in mind that your little ones will need to be entertained, especially during flights, car rides and down time items such as a kid’s camera is a wonderful option, as your child/children will be documenting the trip from their point of view. At the end of a long day full of fun, you will enjoy revisiting the day’s activities through the eyes of your child. Items such as an iPad and coloring books help ensure a smooth travel experience. Encourage journaling and games, both of which can be packed in large zip lock bags for quick and waterproof access. This is also helpful when encouraging your child to journal and document the trip along the way.  Your child will love to revisit their trip over the years by reading about their adventures. You never know when the unexpected may occur and your daily plans may change, so consider our tips and make sure you have fun activities and items for your children to pass the time.

2 Children2. Things You’ll Need

Check with your accommodations to inquire if they offer strollers, cribs, pack-n-plays, highchairs and booster chairs.  If you need these items for your child/children, you will want to ensure they are available to you upon arrival, and save you the headache of lugging everything on the plane. You will also want to make sure the requested items are available and set up upon arrival, as your child will be equally as tired, after a long day’s journey. Inquire with local stores in the destination city/town that you will be visiting, to see which store(s) offer food for your little ones, especially if your child requires specialty items or toddler treats. Please keep in mind, parents of young children will need to sterilize items, such as bottles. It would be wise to pack a portable sterilizer, as they are not always easy to find when traveling. Prior to arrival, you can ask for a universal car seat, which the hotel can provide upon check-in. However, to ensure your child is safely transported to your point of destination, we strongly encourage you to bring your car seat with you, and check the car seat when you arrive at the airport. Last but not least, make sure to carry all of your medications on your person, as there is always a small chance that your luggage could be lost.  

Zipline3. Daily Activities

If you would like to see more than one or two places in a day, be realistic about what territory you can cover when toting along the little ones.  Discuss with the others in your party about what is on the top of your list and prioritize accordingly. You’ll need to split up the chores, take turns and fit in rest periods if you have little ones that will need downtime or a nap.  Try to pre-book whenever possible, whether it be at a restaurant, on an organized tour or for childcare.  It’ll make everything easier when organizing your days, and ensure an enjoyable and successful traveling experience.  If you have certain needs while visiting tourist attractions, it’s important to contact the company that you will be utilizing to ensure your needs are met and confirmed prior to the tour.  Upon arrival, pack all the items you’ll need during your next day’s trip the night before.  Your trip will be much easier and more enjoyable when you are not scrambling in the morning to pack. Also, by packing the night before, you have the chance to double check and ensure you have not forgotten anything. Remember to book activities that are child friendly, and ask whenever you feel the activity may be in question.  There are many activities that have age and height limitations, so be prepared with a daily back-up plan should you be turned away.

Travel Tips: Five Must-Have Items When Traveling to Puerto Plata

Canon Camera#1 – A digital underwater camera is the perfect travel mate and tops our list of must have items to travel with. An underwater camera is certainly ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling, whitewater rafting, surfing and other water-based activities that you are sure to participate in during your Puerto Plata trip. Puerto Plata’s world-class beaches and adventurous water activities are definitely worth investing in an underwater camera. 
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Why We Love Puerto Plata (And You Should Too!)

PPLR DTHere’s a little rich history on Puerto Plata: it is the largest city on the northern seaboard boarded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and to the south and southwest by Mount Isabel de Torres. Puerto Plata is the first custom-built tourist destination in the Dominican Republic and has what is called a monsoon tropical climate. This means that it has hot, somewhat wet summers and warm, extremely wet winters. There are approximately 200,000 people who share a global culture with a unique Dominican twist. The rich Dominican history and culture is primarily a blend of African, Spanish, and native Taíno cultural elements, with Spanish and English as the predominant languages spoken. Yet, besides the obvious beauty, two of the very best reasons for visiting Puerto Plata are the friendliness of the locals, and discovering the unique Dominican way of life. Continue reading