In this report, we share our favorite things to do in Puerto Plata. This report covers our old town walking, our beach tour, our $26 per night two-bedroom townhouse, our favorite restaurants, and background information about Puerto Plata.
We will show you the video we took of Puerto Plata as we share this information.
But there is no need to take notes. We will provide notes of everything we discuss in writing along with Google links, at the end of this video.
Puerto Plata is the largest city on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. The northern coast is one of the areas most visited by tourists because of its white-sand beaches, turquoise water, and the relatively low cost of living for the Caribbean.
Over 7 million tourists visit the Dominican Republic in 2019 and 3 million of them were American. Only five countries in the world receive more Americans: France, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico. In fact, 200,000 Americans live in the Dominican Republic year-round, many have retired there.
Since my hobby is traveling the world finding the best retire cheap in paradise locations, the Dominican Republic is a must-see destination. So we visited all of the cities along the north coast where people vacation and retire on a budget.
I will cover where we stayed first, our old town walking tour second, our beach tour third, and our favorite restaurants last.
Where We Stayed (2 Bedroom condo–$26 USD per night)
The taxis in the Dominican Republic are crazy expensive. We needed to get from Las Terrenas to Puerto Plata. Normally we would have taken the public bus starting at $7 USD, but we didn’t have our vaccine yet, and there was no Uber working there at the time. So we decided to ask our Airbnb host in Las Terrenas if they knew a private driver. Their private driver (Melvin WhatsApp +1 (829) 855-8815), drove us for 4 hours, door to door, for 7500 Pesos ($130 USD). That was less than half of what the taxis were quoting us.
Here is the Airbnb condo where we stayed. The above video includes a tour of this condo.
Old Town Walking Tour Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
The above video includes the film of us walking this old town walking tour in Puerto Plata. If it looks fun, click the below Google Map when you are in town and enjoy the tour.
Old Town Walking Tour (Google Map):
You can add or remove places from this interactive Google Map of the Puerto Plata Old Town Walking Tour.
Fortress of San Felipe: King Felipe II of Spain had this fort built-in 1564 to protect the city of Puerto Plata from pirates and corsairs. Later, this fort was the site of one of the only land battles the French and Spanish fought with the USA in a mainly only naval (undeclared) war. The French and Spanish land forces were completely overwhelmed by the American forces here in May of 1800. Today the fort functions as a museum of military artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Logia Masonica Restauracion (Masonic Lodge): 17 years after the Dominican Republic gained its independence, the Spanish tried to recolonize the Dominican Republic. Spain set Puerto Plata ablaze and burned it to the ground in 1865 during the War of Restoration. After the Dominican Republic regained independence, this Masonic Lodge was the first thing built in Puerto Plata in 1867.
Skina: We recommend this restaurant for the walking tour experience. It has both Veg and non-Veg options. Not too far away is the number 1 Veg restaurant in town called, Mi Casita Light Restaurant.
Paseo de Doña Blanca: This is the pink street where you can take some beautiful photos.
Parque Central Puerto Plata: The historical buildings around the park include St. Philip the Apostle Cathedral, the House of Culture, the City Council, and the Gazebo in the middle of the park. The two-story Victorian gazebo in the middle of the park was built in 1919. St. Philip Apostle Church was built in 1956.
Umbrella Street: The Umbrellas were removed during the pandemic, but they are back up now for your enjoyment.
Macorix House of Rum: There is a quick tour and a movie about how rum is made and then you get to taste some yummy rummy.
Best Beach in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
Beach Tour (Google Map):
Playa Dorada (Dorada Beach): Playa Dorado is one of the nicest beaches in the Puerto Plata area. It is also one of the best beaches for snorkeling and seeing sea life. When we were in town, we entered this beach by walking towards the beach on the street between the San Marino Beach Condos and the Viva Wyndham Heavens Resort. But if they try to block you there, then enter the beach here. This second entry point is more friendly and easier on the pocketbook.
Playa Dorada Shopping Center: Visit this mall when you are in the area if you need to do any shopping or to have lunch.
Playa de Long Beach: This beach is easily accessible and the road in front is full of restaurants and bars.
Big Lee’s Beach Bar and Restaurant: There are beach-side restaurants running all along from Playa de Long Beach and Acapulco Beach. Big Lee’s was our favorite place to eat and drink when were near Puerto Plata Central.
Acapulco Beach: This is a smaller sandy beach closest to the downtown Puerto Plata area.
Our favorite beach in Puerto Plata is the first one we showed you, Playa Dorada. It is our favorite because we felt comfortable spending the day there swimming and enjoying the beach and it felt very exclusive but cheap.
Thank you for reading our report, Our Favorite things to Do in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic.
Make sure to grab a free copy of my eBook while you are here: How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 14+ Years. This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube channel for Vagabond Buddha.com. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?