Top 10 Things to Do in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

San Felipe de Puerto Plata, or simply referred to as Puerto Plata, is the eighth largest city in the Dominican Republic, and one of the most desired and popular for the many vacationers that visit annually.

Due to Puerto Plata’s rich history, thriving development and beautiful and picturesque backdrop of beaches, jungles, ocean and mountains, Puerto Plata is a highly desired destination with activities and excursions galore.

This Caribbean paradise offers many of the most exciting destinations one will find when traveling to the Caribbean, and we are thrilled to provide you with our top 10 list. Through personal experience, interviews and research, our list consists of the very best and most exciting things one must do when traveling to Puerto Plata.

10 – Horseback Riding

Horseback riding in Puerto Plata is an absolutely breathtaking and thrilling adventure that should be experienced by all when visiting this destination. If galloping along beaches, over mountains, through jungles, into villages and along the countryside sounds like perfection, we are here to tell you it is.

The horseback riding excursions in Puerto Plata are like none other and are enjoyed by many. We can confidently confirm that this is one of the most popular tours in Puerto Plata, and for obvious reasons. The beauty one experiences while riding these amazing creatures and at the same time taking in the surrounding beauty cannot be found easily anywhere else in the world. In addition to group tours, there are also private tours.

If you prefer, you and your loved one can request a private guided tour through the shallow ocean or up a Puerto Plata mountain. By far, this is one of the best things you can do while visiting beautiful Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

9 – Amber Museum

Puerto Plata is full of history and is home to four wonderful museums, however, one particular museum should be placed on the top of your visitor list and it is the Amber Museum. The Amber Museum is located in the center of downtown Puerto Plata in a beautiful Victorian mansion. The Dominican Republic is world renowned for the amounts and the quality of amber it produces, including what is said to be the most transparent amber in the world.

At the Amber Museum, visitors are in good hands and in the right place to learn all about amber and can walk through two extensive floors showcasing samples of the best amber in the world. Last but definitely not least; very good quality can be amber and amber jewelry can be purchased at the famous Puerto Plata Amber Museum. This is a must do for all history and jewelry buffs, truly informative and enjoyable.

8 – Brugal Rum Factory Tour

On the outskirts of Puerto Plata lies a very popular destination where rum aficionados and vacationers flock to; it is the Brugal Rum Distillery. Brugal Rum is well known and enjoyed worldwide, however all 1.5 million liters of white and dark rum are distilled at this special distillery. Each and every week, Monday to Friday, free-guided tours are provided that offer insight into the history and making of this beloved spirit so many enjoy. Even better, if you are traveling with a group, a private tour can be arranged with enough advanced notice. The tour kicks off in a theater showing a video about the history of rum-making and the distilling process. The video is provided in several languages to suit all nationalities and then followed by an insightful tour of the bottling room, which for rum connoisseurs is a true delight. Following the bottling room portion of the tour, guests will be guided to the tasting room, which for many is the favorite part of the tour. Here tour guests will be able to sample a variety of rum and daiquiris. On the way out of the distillery there is a gift shop where visitors can purchase discounted rum. All in all, this is a very informative and enjoyable tour.

– Zip lining

One of the most exhilarating and beautiful things to do while in Puerto Plata is to experience a zip line tour. Yes, zip line courses are available throughout the world, but factor in the beautiful views, jungles and mountains, and we guarantee this will be one of the best experiences of your life.

There are several zip line excursions in Puerto Plata to choose from with very experienced guides that will suit you up and send you on your way. Zipping through Puerto Plata, taking in green views all around, is just heavenly. Should you want to step it up a notch, head to Monkey Jungle Puerto Plata for a zip line enthusiast’s dream.

Located between Sosúa and Cabarete, Monkey Jungle Dominican Republic is home to seven zip line courses, which amounts to 4,500 feet of zip line fun! Visitors are able to zip through the jungle while next to monkeys and wildlife. In addition to this spectacular offering, there is also a zip line bat cave participants can try, which is said to be incredible. Puerto Plata is clearly the premiere destination for ziplining, so make sure to make it a priority during your next trip.

6 – Jeep Safari

With Puerto Plata offering such a wonderful assortment of exciting opportunities and excursions, it was at times challenging when choosing only ten to feature on our top ten list. However, this next selection was at the top of all of our lists and we knew it had to be added. Imagine hopping into your own Jeep, revving your engine and heading out into the jungle, over mountains and through local villages. The incredible and highly desired Jeep Safari will have you trekking through fishing villages and mountainsides and will have you feeling like you’re in a movie scene.

However, this excursion is not for the faint of heart, as each driver will find themselves dropping their stick shift into first gear and heading high into the mountains, rocking back and forth and then speeding down the hillside, over rocks and dodging palm trees. Should you prefer to experience this fantastic excursion, but aren’t familiar with driving manual, not to worry. Both solo participants and groups are welcome, and being a passenger in the jeep is just as exciting as driving it yourself. In fact, as the passenger, you have the opportunity to take in all the beautiful surroundings Puerto Plata has to offer, capture photos of your experience and make sure your driver is following the Jeep Safari pack. If you enjoy adrenaline packed activities that are guaranteed a fun and memorable time, booking a Jeep Safari should be added to the top of your list.

5 – Teleférico (Cable Car) Tour

Located at the bottom of Mount Isabela de Torres, you will find the Teleférico Tour providing visitors and locals a once in a lifetime ride to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres, which is 2,600 feet above sea level. This breathtaking and panoramic ride offers participants a view of Puerto Plata and the surrounding areas like none other.

Once the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres has been reached, visitors can enjoy a fantastic lunch on the top of the mountain, as there is a popular restaurant that serves dishes daily. In addition to the restaurant, there is the very popular statue of Christ the Redeemer, which is very similar to the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro. If that isn’t enough wonderful activities for one day, there is also a beautiful botanical garden full of foliage and flowers that will have you smiling for days.

The Teleférico Cable Car Tour is one of Puerto Plata’s most famous tours, and for obvious reasons. This tour should be added to everyone’s list when traveling to Puerto Plata.

4 – Ocean World Adventure Park and Marina

A trip to Puerto Plata is not complete without paying a visit to the very popular Ocean World. This phenomenal marine playground offers a tremendous amount of activities to do, as well as marine wildlife to see, not only for kids, but adults as well. Dolphin World features their very popular dolphin and sea lion experiences, which allows you to swim and play with the dolphins and sea lions. The “Dolphin Trainer For A Day” allows guests to fulfill their dreams of becoming a real dolphin trainer and interact with dolphins just as an Ocean World trainer would. In addition to the dolphin and sea lion experiences, Ocean World hosts a spectacular shark and stingray exhibit, where visitors can interact with small sharks and rays.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. For adults who like to venture out at night, Ocean World is home to Bravissimo, the #1 dance show in the Dominican Republic! This flavorful and exciting live show is performed by 30 dancers and features 120 costumes. Even better, Ocean World is home to the famous Ocean World Terrace, which offers savory drinks, dining, dancing and games for all ages. Ocean World is a visit that must be made while in Puerto Plata.

3 – Fort San Felipe

Aside from its extreme and obvious beauty, Puerto Plata is also very well known for its rich and at times tumultuous history. One of the most visited and beloved historical landmarks in Puerto Plata is Fortaleza San Felipe, otherwise known as El Morro de San Felipe.

Fort San Felipe, was ordered to be constructed by the King of Spain in 1564 for the purpose of protecting Puerto Plata from pirates and corsairs. Visitors will now find that this historical fortress is a museum that promotes the historical role it has played in Puerto Plata history, and showcases artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries. Though today Fort San Felipe is no longer needed to guard Puerto Plata, it still stands proud on the harbor and hosts beautiful views and informative tales into the history of this wonderful city. Without a doubt, Fort San Felipe is a must see and do when visiting Puerto Plata.

2 – Big Lee’s Beach Bar

Big Lee’s Beach Bar is one of our very favorite places in Puerto Plata, and we are not alone. Big Lee, a local celebrity and expatriate from the United States quickly settled into the Puerto Plata scene and opened a very popular beach bar in Puerto Plata.

Great service, delicious drinks and delectable food are all a guarantee at Big Lee’s Beach Bar. Fellow expats, tourists and locals all rub shoulders as they drink and dine overlooking the beautiful ocean and sharing stories about their homeland.

A true gentleman who understands the meaning of customer service, Big Lee attracts customers from around the world who not only want the chance to eat and drink at Big Lee’s, but many come to meet him as well. When dining at Big Lee’s you receive true TLC and down home cooking, as the menu consists of delicious meals, such as BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Beer Battered Fish & Chips and Big Lee’s famous hamburgers. Without a doubt, you must make Big Lee’s Beach Bar a top priority during your vacation to Puerto Plata!

1 – Damajaqua Cascades (27 Waterfalls)

Puerto Plata is known for its extreme, natural beauty. It seems that no matter what area one explores in this wonderful city, beauty will present itself. One of the most beautiful and popular destinations that tops our list of things to do in Puerto Plata is the Damajaqua Cascades, otherwise known as 27 Waterfalls.

Following its namesake, this well known and loved Puerto Plata destination offers 27 waterfalls for both locals and visitors alike to enjoy via climbing, jumping, swimming, cascading and sliding. A full day of fun and adventure will be found at 27 Waterfalls, and it isn’t only the waterfalls that can be enjoyed. Damajaqua Waterfalls also offers breathtaking natural pools and caverns as well. Whether you enjoy 27 Waterfalls by yourself or with a group, Iguana Mama Eco and Adventure Tours will guaranteed a spectacular and unforgettable day.

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