Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
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Vacations, Travel and Tourism to Puerto Plata
Slowly but surely, Puerto Plata emerges among other destinations in the Dominican Republic.Originally a small, quiet town dedicated to tobacco and sugarcane farming, Puerto Plata now sees its coasts decorated by luxury resorts and charming hotels.Each year, the beautiful beaches, warm Caribbean sun, and gently swaying palm trees draw in visitors from all over the world.
Puerto Plata, one of the Dominican Republic's 32 provinces, has a rich colonial history dating all the way back to the 1500's, when it was the Dominican Republic's principal harbor.Enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire city and the turquoise sea from Loma Isabel de Torres, a beautiful national park and botanical garden sitting atop the highest peak of Puerto Plata.The park bears the name of the queen who financed the travels of Christopher Columbus, who discovered the golden beaches and cloudy peaks of Puerto Plata in 1493.
Soft sand bathed in calm Caribbean waves covers the immense beaches of Puerto Plata.The highlight of this amazing destination is not the warm weather, but the warm people.The Dominicans are always delighted to share their rich traditional cuisine, local drinks, vibrant local parties, and unmistakable Latin flavor that pervades their daily life.
A Little History
Stories say that the city owes its name to Christopher Columbus, who was impressed by the towering terrain surrounded by silvery clouds, giving it the name Monte de Plata ("Mountain of Silver").The name was later changed to a more fitting Puerto Plata ("Silver Port"), in reference to the city's economic activities.Another story suggests that the way the sunlight hit the sea, making it shine like silver coins, inspired Columbus upon his arrival to the region.
One thing historians can agree on is that Puerto Plata, first as a settlement and later as a province, emerged at the turn of the sixteenth century.The Spanish colony soon positioned itself as the most important commercial port in the Dominican Republic.The region had been populated long before by indigenous people named Tainos.However, war, disease, and interracial reproduction lowered their numbers with the arrival of European powers.Today, a large part of Puerto Plata's population boasts Taino ancestry.
Later years brought the presence of English pirates, the infamous African Slave Trade, and independence from the Spanish crown. All of these events contributed to the multicultural personality of the people of Puerto Plata. Like many other Latin American cities, the 20th and 21st centuries brought many hardships to Puerto Plata, all of which were bravely faced by its inhabitants.
Puerto Plata Today
Puerto Plata rates among the best Caribbean destinations, with miles and miles of gorgeous golden beaches, a radiant sun, good rum, handmade cigars, tropical cocktails, delicious local cuisine served at the best restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife characterized by latin rhythms.
In case you're still not convinced to pack your bags and hop on the first flight to Puerto Plata, the city also offers a fascinating Amber Museum along with the impressive San Felipe Fort.Puerto Plata's Colonial District displays many examples of Victorian architecture, a style that reached its height starting in 1857.
For those who seek adventure, you can find it atop Pico Isabel de Torres.Reach this mountain peak by way of winding paths through the natural reserve, home to hundreds of animal species, or by cable car, where you can take in the incomparable view of the tropical forest, surrounding mountains, glistening bay, and colorful city.For those who enjoy natural settings and want to practice their swing, Puerto Plata offers an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
The attractions in Puerto Plata are always increasing, including the recent addition of a first-class dolphinarium and casino, both property of Ocean World.Hotels have greatly increased their capacities; visitors can stay in all-inclusive luxury resorts by the ocean, enjoying beautiful pools, lush gardens and a variety of restaurants and bars.Modest and comfortable accommodations are also available in this city, making for an inexpensive and adventurous vacation! Don't miss out on this unique experience: visit Puerto Plata!
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