Fun in Puerto Plata

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

The hostel I stayed in in Santo Domingo definitely wasn’t top class. To get my deposit back I had to wait for an hour and because of that I missed two busses to Puerto Plata… On top of that, the (very lazy…) cleaning lady told me that it was quite late to check out. Maybe it was better to just leave the deposit behind. It was 10:00 AM and I could check out until 11:00 AM.

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Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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The San Felipe fort in Puerto Plata.

The San Felipe fort in Puerto Plata.

Eventually, I got my deposit and I was glad to leave the place.

The trip would normally take three and a half hours, but only five hours later I arrived in Puerto Plata. The North coast of the Dominican Republic.

It was completely different than Santo Domingo. A more relaxed vibe, I felt.

In the capital, I had seen almost no motorcycles. Here it was pretty much the only thing I saw.

Thousands and thousands of little motorbikes honking to everything and everyone. I take back what I said earlier: I would never want to drive in the Dominican Republic!

I arrived at my beautiful hostel/hotel and met with some of the people sitting outside. There were three Canadians, one American and some other people I didn’t really talk to.

The coming days, I would spend mostly with the three Canadians. It was fine to finally talk a little without using sign language or google translate, since they could talk French and English.

It was already late, so the first day I didn’t really do anything besides relax.

The second day, I woke up a little earlier and enjoyed my breakfast with lots of fruits. After that, I went to the city and started exploring a little bit.

I really wanted to go to the téléferico. A cable tram with great views over Puerto Plata.

However, Google Maps brought me to a wrong place, and since I had already walked a lot I wasn’t up for walking all the way back to the actual place. Instead, I visited the beautiful San Felipe Fort.

This was definitely the best and nicest area in Puerto Plata. Right at the edge of the island, a rather small fort was built and kept in perfect conditions for tourist purposes. It only cost me 100 Dominican Pesos to enter and get a voice guide to explain the history of this beautiful building.

I stayed a little while in this fort and the surroundings before just strolling around the Malécon (harbour) and visiting the beautiful and not so beautiful beaches of Puerto Plata.

Some were absolutely disgusting! Filled with trash, so that you could hardly see the sand. But the further you got away, the more beautiful the beaches got.

After a long day of walking, I went back to my hotel and talked a little more to the Canadians. We planned to go to Cayo Paradiso tomorrow. “The Paradise Island”.

Cay Paraiso, het paradijs eiland!

Cayo Paraiso, the paradise island!

The brother of the hotel owner took the four of us in a jeep and dropped us off at a gorgeous beach. From there, we took a little speed boat who would bring us to a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. There, together with lots of tourists, we could snorkel and see the rather beautiful corals surrounding the island.

I was surprised of its beauty! Since a lot of the corals were actually quite vibrant and very alive.

When I got back ashore, I drank my first Cuba Libre. Rum mixed with coca cola. Not really my thing, but hey! I tried it at least!

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at several more places. The place were Christoffer Columbus first arrived in the Dominican Republic, a beautiful boat docking station and a cute little (very old!) church.

When we got back home, we went to a local restaurant in Puerto Plata to eat some greasy local fastfood.

Tomorrow was my last day already. I didn’t really plan anything anymore, since I’ve pretty much seen Puerto Plata.

The Canadian guys wanted to go to a museum of an important figure in Dominican history (General El Luperon). I had nothing better to do, so went with them.

Interesting little museum. I really liked the exterior of the building.

After that, I went on a little stroll on my own. Relaxed a little more and enjoyed the swimming pool of the hotel.

Puerto Plata didn’t have a lot to do, but still was quite a relaxing place. Completely different from Santo Domingo.

Tomorrow I’ll head back to Santo Domingo, and from there I’ll go to Punta Cana. The most touristic part of the country!

Colonial building in Puerto Plata.

Colonial building in Puerto Plata.

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