Mount Isabel de Torres forms the dramatic backdrop for the town of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, where it is the most important north-coast city and resort. A large statue of Christ stands on the mountain with arms stretched out into the clouds, resembling the statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
With an impressive natural setting, Puerto Plata has rebounded as a key resort destination. The beaches are enhanced annually with millions of tons of new sand. Over the past five or so years, much work has been done to make the old city attractive to tourists, which has encouraged more of them to venture out from their all-inclusive complexes outside town at Playa Dorada. In the past, most travelers stayed on the resort properties, because trips to outside restaurants or other attractions raised security concerns and added to the cost of their vacations.
The resorts continue to work with local businesses to provide affordable options for shopping (especially for amber), sightseeing and dining, with many signs and directions now in English as well as Spanish. Several good restaurants line the Malecon (seaside boulevard), and others are located near the attractive downtown park area. Nonetheless, guided adventure excursions have blossomed, taking advantage of the rugged Cordillera Septentrional range, beautiful beaches and nearby wilderness regions.
Puerto Plata also is blessed with an abundance of beautiful Victorian architecture, though some of it is in need of maintenance. The aged appearance gives the place an authentic look that is undeniably quaint and warm. We think you'll find Puerto Plata an interesting mix—one worth experiencing.
Note: The Puerto Plata area sustained some damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Travelers should investigate current conditions prior to planning a visit.
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