Jerry and Nancy Scanlan

1-424-2GO-TODR (1-424-246-8637)

Puerta Plata

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Located on the Northern Coast of the Dominican Republic, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mount Isabella de Torre mountains. The Puerto Plata Airport welcomes direct flights from the U.S., Canada and Europe. This Northeast region of the country features fertile valleys and forested, inland mountains towering into breathtaking vistas and some 75 miles of gleaming beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

The historical maiden landing of the Santa Maria took place in the area on Dec. 5, 1492. Later, on Jan. 11, 1493, Christopher Columbus named it the “Silver Port” after its shining sea. Puerto Plata, which at the turn of the century was a prosperous port with a large European population, features historic sites, old-world charm, the world-famous Amber Museum and a cable car lift to the botanical gardens atop Mount Isabel de Torres. A statue of Christ on the bluff overlooks the colonial city, once a major trade center for the Spanish colonies.

Puerto Plata produces and exports coffee, cocoa and tobacco, and is among the ten provinces in the Dominican Republic with the largest cattle ranches. It also produces liquor, dairy and past products, leathers and furs. A portion of the population is drawn into the fishing industry.

A pine fossil resin from the Miocene age, endowed the region with amber mines, the national gem that entraps millenary fossils. Since within the province lies one of the world’s largest amber deposits, the coast is known as the Costa de Ambar or “Amber Coast.”

A popular site on Puerto Plata’s Malecon, or seaside drive, is the San Felipe fortress, the oldest in the New World. La Isabella National Park, the first European settlement in the New World, location of Christopher Columbus’ ashes and venue of the first mass ever celebrated in the New World. The Park also houses a Taino museum, regional crafts and gift shop, and the temple of the Americas. Take the urban route that forms part of the historic zone, where diverse architectural styles can be appreciated, among which the romantic Victorian style prevails.