I have always found something so romantic about historical destinations. Places like Havana in Cuba have never quite lost the charm of yesteryear, and so when I read about Puerto Plata I was intrigued. Once upon a time, Puerto Plata was the most popular tourist city in the Dominican Republic, until it lost out to Punta Cana. Nonetheless, it remains one of the most popular tourist areas in the country, and also has that little bit of extra charm due to its days at the Dominican Republic’s premier hotspot for the rich and famous.
I was excited to experience it, and had the opportunity when I saw a great flight deal for a long weekend. Due to the late notice, I decided to travel on my own – something I had done before and always enjoyed. I did feel a little bit nervous about traveling solo, but that all soon melted away as I set food in gorgeous Puerto Plata. Here were some of the best things I did during my stay:
I was interested to learn more about the history of Puerto Plata as well as hopefully meet some new people, so on my first day I joined a city tour. It ended up being a great introduction not only to Puerto Plata, but also to life in the Dominican Republic. Over a few hours, we wandered through the city, stopping by a rum distillery and even trying out a cigar. We also saw some historic sites, including the Malecon, and finally went by cable car to the top of Mount Isabel. It was a great tour, but a very thorough one – luckily, I had the beautiful beach of Playa Dorada to relax and recharge on!
Having grown up riding horses, I jumped at the chance to take in the sunset via horseback. After a couple of hours relaxing on the beach, I embarked on a sunset horse-riding tour, which was incredibly beautiful and gave me the opportunity to practice my Spanish with our friendly guide!
Puerto Plata is home to the largest indoor dolphin enclosure in the world, offering visitors the chance to interact and even swim with these fascinating animals in a humane environment. In addition to the dolphins, there are other sea animals like turtles and sea lions that you can meet and learn about.
The next day, I set off for an all-day trip to explore the famous network of waterfalls at Damajagua. Considered one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful attractions, it also makes for a great work out, as there is lots of hiking trails to suit all abilities.
On my final day in Puerto Plata, I set off for the Samaná Peninsula. An easy day trip from Puerto Plata, the region has beautiful forests and waterfalls, and is home to many species of animals. I went on another amazing hike with our friendly guide, eventually cooling off in a freshwater pool that had been etched out of the limestone over thousands of years.
There’s no doubt– Puerto Plata is an incredibly beautiful place to visit as a solo traveler.