Background Information on Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Background Information on Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata is a city of 200,000 located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the site of Christopher Columbus' first stop in the New World in 1492. The Dominican Republic now shares the island of Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean, with Haiti. The former colonial city is most famous for its role as gateway to some of the best beaches and clearest waters in the Caribbean.


The climate in the Dominican Republic is warm year-round, with average temperatures ranging from 78 to 88 degrees F. This makes a trip to Puerto Plata and the nearby beaches (think windsurfing, jet skiing, snorkeling, diving) feasible all year long.


Puerto Plata offers a variety of accommodations, as well as the requisite cigars, merengue dancing and baseball. Tourists can take a cable-car ride to the 2,640-foot high Pico Isabel de Torres, a sub-tropical nature reserve with a wide variety of bird life and 15 underground streams, or visit the Banco de la Plata Sanctuary, a 66-foot below sea-level breeding ground for migrating whales from December to April.


Tourists who stay in Puerto Plata can enter the complex at Playa Dorada, but if they're not staying in one of the resorts there, they'll need to pay a fee for the day's beach access. The walled-in complex has 15 resorts, a mall, restaurants and a golf course.

Entry Requirements

To enter the Dominican Republic, a United States traveler must have a current passport and purchase a "tourist card" for $10 upon entering the country. Visitors will also be asked to complete an embarkation form.


The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish. Most people who work in the tourism industry speak some English, but you'll be ahead of the game if you speak some Spanish.

Article Written By Debbie Selinsky

Debbie Selinsky is an award-winning writer based in North Carolina. Selinsky is the former senior editor of "Success Magazine" and deputy director of the Duke University News Service. She has written about travel for many years and specializes in cruise travel, having sailed on more than 100 cruises. Selinsky attended North Greenville University, Oregon Institute of Technology and the Poynter Institute for Journalistic Excellence.

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