Continuing on with my Dominican Republic trip with Apple Vacations, I’m sharing these must-visit attractions at Puerto Plata. In case you missed it, read Day 1 here first. Our second day in this beautiful Caribbean island was spent touring downtown in the morning, and then visiting a few more resorts later that day. Below is Day 2 in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Day 2: Must Visit Attractions at Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
Whenever I travel, I try to pack in as much spots as I can in order to make the most of a trip. Yes, it will be tiring. And yes, there are times when I just want a quiet, relaxing day at the beach too. But for out of country vacations, I try to see as much as I can. There’s a big chance you’re only there once. So go explore and discover a new culture! That’s why I enjoyed Puerto Plata so much and grateful to Apple Vacations setting up everything. There are a lot of sights to see and things to do. And the more I learned about the country, the more I was reminded of my home country, the Philippines. But more on that later. Below are some of the must-visit attractions when in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Puerto Plata City Tour
This guided tour of the city includes a cable car ride up to the peak of Isabel de Torres Mountain, a visit to Amber Museum, San Felipe Fortress tour, and visits to surrounding landmarks. Amstar, a destination management company, organized this tour for us. Special thanks to Maggie Swan, Supervisor of Puerto Plata, and our tour guide, Dan Marino!
1. Cable Car Ride
The cable car ride goes all the way up to the mountain of Isabel de Torres where you can get stunning views of the city and the surrounding ocean. Once there, you’ll see the Christ Redeemer statue just like the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but smaller at 38 meters tall. There are locals who will take your pictures and tell you to do some poses to make it look like your holding Christ’s hands, hugging, etc. You don’t have to do this. But if you do, just make sure to tip. Aside from that, there’s a walking trail, lagoon, bridge, panoramic view lookout, botanical garden, and gift shop you can explore before riding the cable car back down.
TIP: Do this early in the morning, around 9 am to avoid the crowds. This is a very popular tourist attraction and can get really packed later in the day. Also, since this is on top of the mountain, it can easily rain, cloud, and get foggy. Just be patient because they clear up and you’ll be glad you took this tour when you see the breathtaking views!
2. Amber Museum
Do you know that Jurassic Park filmed here in Dominican Republic? That’s why the Amber Museum logo/font is very similar to that of the movie’s. It houses some replica of objects used in the film. But the main attraction here is the collection of valuable Dominican Amber. Experts say Dominican Amber is the most transparent in the world. Amber is classified as semiprecious and is actually tree sap that has hardened for millions of years, capturing many fossils of plant and insect life.
Above: Amber stone. Below: Larimar stone. I blogged about Larimar jewelry from Dominican Republic before.
But you know my favorite part of this museum? The Victorian architecture!
Above: African Tulips
Walk further down the road and you’ll get to cigar factories, open-air restaurants, shops, the Parque Central or plaza, and the Church of San Felipe, to name a few.
We had a delicious buffet lunch at El Bergantin which is just perfection – from the interior design, architecture, the gorgeous floors, delicious food, and amazing coffee, I highly recommend it! I must take the husband there next time!
4. San Felipe Fortress
San Felipe Fort, or the Fuerte San Felipe is a MUST visit. You’ll find it in a small peninsula on the Bahia de Puerto Plata (bay). And let me tell you, you will enjoy the breathtaking views of the water. There’s a small historical museum inside too. The view on top is just stunning.
5. Brugal Rum Distillery
If you enjoy distillery tours, then you’ll enjoy this. It was interesting to see the process, rum bottling, the founders/history of Brugal, and then do some tasting! Photos aren’t allowed inside the main factory, but it was amazing to see thousands of rum bottles being bottled and boxed!
6. Del Oro Chocolate Tour
Now who wants a chocolate tour? Do you know that Dominican Republic is the number 1 exporter of organic cacao in the world? We were shown how they process cacao and then got to taste the different chocolate varieties. PS, their welcome hot cocoa and brownies are insanely delicious. You absolutely have to try. I won’t judge if you wanna go back a second time. Their brownies are so rich yet not too sweet. And the hot coco was unlike any other I’ve tried. We all loved it! They have a gift shop in there so you can take home your favorites even chocolate baking mixes which I now regret not getting.
This was our last stop in the tour because we had to go to three other resorts in the afternoon. The tour probably lasted about 5 hours. But there are more attractions and must-visits you can add to your itinerary. To learn more about this tour or see other tours (hiking, zip line, catamaran, etc.), visit Amstar’s website at www.amstardmc.com. Stay tuned for the afternoon agenda because I took lots of photos at the 3 resorts we visited!
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Disclosure: Thanks to Apple Vacations for sponsoring this trip.