Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Port Guide

On a Dominican Republic cruise,  you’ll be greeted by verdant mountains, pristine beaches, and nature-filled adventures. Go for a swim at the awe-inspiring 27 Waterfalls complex. Hike through the lush, protected jungle of El Choco National Park, enjoying the park’s two lagoons. Swim with dolphins at World Ocean, the largest manmade dolphin habitat in the world, or grab a kayak and head out on the water at Manatee Reserve.

For history buffs, tour the Fortress of San Felipe and travel back in time to Spanish occupation. Don’t leave the Domincan Republic without sampling locally distilled rum or delicacies like la bandera and mofongo.

Cruises to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

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Top Sights & Attractions on a Dominican Republic Cruise

27 Charcos de Damajagua

On a cruise to the Dominican Republic, perhaps the best-known attraction is 27 Charcos, a complex of waterfalls, lagoons, and swimming holes perfect for a day of exploration. It’s a short 30 minutes from Puerto Plata proper. Take an exhilarating leap into one of the lagoons to cool off.   

Ocean World Adventure Park

It’s hard to beat a day at Ocean World Adventure Park, a thrilling adventure complex where you can interact with sharks and sea lions or swim with dolphins at Dolphin Beach. Along with marine life encounters, you can stroll through a rainforest, go snorkeling in the aquarium, or take a dip in the freshwater pool.

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Top Things to Do in Puerto Plata

Paddle Through a Manatee Reserve

Look for majestic manatees as you paddle alongside mangroves on a paddleboard or kayak. Admire these gentle sea cows as you float in the midst of stunning Dominican landscapes.

Play with Squirrel Monkeys

Venture into the expansive countryside for a day at Monkeyland, a five-acre park that’s home to squirrel monkeys native to this part of the Dominican Republic. Along with a wildlife adventure, you’ll tour a coffee and cocoa farm and sample local, organic products. 

Zipline Over Treetops

Fly off on an exhilarating zipline adventure over the surrounding tropical mountains. Soar above the trees and feel the wind blowing through your hair. 

Top Food and Drink in Puerto Plata

On a cruise to Puerto Plata, you’ll find that the cuisine centers around the island lifestyle and the ocean nearby, so fresh seafood is almost always on the menu. The local fish market is a sight to behold, where rows of fresh fish decorate the colorful market. The national dish of the Dominican Republic is la bandera, a delicious medley of meats, beans, and rice with fried plantains. Try fish stewed in coconut sauce, or try the DR take on Italian food at one of the local trattorias. 

Culture and History of Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata was inhabited by the Taino people for centuries before Christopher Columbus arrived and founded the city in the early 1500s. By the 20th century, Puerto Plata had emerged as the Dominican Republic’s main tourism hub. Along with tourism, the local economy is driven by agricultural products like tobacco, sugarcane, coffee, and more.

Puerto Plata Cruise Port Facilities and Location

On a cruise to Puerto Plata, you’ll disembark in Taino Bay, a new cruise terminal that’s expected to be completed in early 2021. The terminal will include attractions like an entertainment complex, a botanical garden, a zip line, and a theme park.

Transportation in Puerto Plata

During your Puerto Plata cruise, it’s easy to get around. The heart of Puerto Plata’s downtown is navigable by foot. You can use taxis to get to local attractions, or book a shore excursion.

Shopping Near Puerto Plata

What’s a Caribbean cruise vacation without a little shopping? Head to the Playa Dorada Shopping Centre to shop for souvenirs and local products like coffee, handmade goods, cigars, and more.

Local Currency & Tipping Customs

The Dominican peso is the primary currency of the Dominican Republic. It’s wise to have some cash to buy local goods from smaller shops. Credit cards are accepted in many places as well. Leaving a 10% tip is customary at restaurants, hotels, bars, and cafes for good service.

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