Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Vacations

Our Opinion of Puerto Plata

The sun-soaked north coast of the Dominican Republic combines golden beaches, casinos, golf, and infectious Dominican merengue music for an unforgettable vacation. Puerto Plata, where Columbus first landed, is the tourist centre of the North (or "Amber") Coast. Close by is the specially built resort town of Playa Dorada, and also the village of Sosua, set on a stunning half moon bay, with a more European atmosphere.

Puerto Plata, site of Columbus' landing on the island in 1492, is today a busy little city with a wide beachfront promenade. Further east of Playa Dorada you'll find Cabarete (pronounced cab-ah-RETT-ay), the windsurfer's and kite surfer's nirvana. Dozens of brightly coloured sails dot the turquoise water; while ashore funky bars and shops line the busy road along the beach.

Things to know about Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Vacations

Activities & Sports
The north coast is a watersports scene, although the sea tends to be rough. Snorkeling is popular, and the windsurfing is among the best in the Caribbean. Golf is also one of the top attractions, now with over 15 courses in exquisite settings, some from world-class designers such as Robert Trent Jones.
Dining & Nightlife
There are lots of dining options at the resorts as well as around the Malecon area like longtime favourite Sam's Bar & Grill. In the evening try your luck at the Playa Dorada Casino or check out some of the hotel nightclubs. Crazy Moon is one of the hottest, hippest clubs.
The North Coast of the Dominican Republic has become known as the "Amber Coast" for its abundance of amber deposits. Shoppers will find great deals on amber jewellery as well as other favourite items such as wicker, hand-painted masks, ceramics, Dominican art, woven goods and mahogany carvings.
Flying time from:
Toronto: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes.
Montreal: Approximately 5 hours.
Calgary: Approximately 6 hours 30 minutes.
Vancouver: Approximately 7 hours 30 minutes.
Language: Spanish; English widely spoken in tourist areas.
Currency: Dominican peso. The Canadian dollar is easily exchanged into Pesos, so no need for US funds.
Climate: Sub-tropical with some rain in May/June and November/December.
Electricity: Same as Canada and the U.S.
Canadians entering the Dominican Republic for tourist purposes must purchase a tourist card, at a cost of $10 US, which is valid for 30 days. It is strongly recommended that all Canadians be in possession of a valid Canadian passport while abroad. However, for direct air travel to the Dominican Republic, Canadian tourists are only required to be in possession of valid official photo identification (such as a driver's licence) and proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate). Canadian tourists must also be in possession of a return airline ticket.
All other nationalities please consult a vacation specialist or the Dominican consulate at 1-888-494-5050.
Note: Some hotels require credit card imprint upon check-in for any incidental charges. Hotel check-in is typically between 3pm and 4pm. If your flight arrives early, it is a good idea to pack essential items in your carry-on luggage (i.e. bathing suit, suntan lotion, medications, etc.), so you do not miss any valuable vacation time.
There is a 16% sales tax in the Dominican Republic.

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