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.
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.