Puerto Plata - Silver Harbour
The costal town of Puerto Plata, meaning "silver harbor", got its name from Christopher Columbus and is one of the Caribbean’s most popular holiday destinations: vast beaches and a real surfing and diving paradise. But the "Bride of the Atlantic", as the locals call their town, has so much more to offer.
Glide to the Summit
Supposedly the only cable car in the Caribbean, the Teleférico offers visitors the most elegant way to reach the summit of the local mountain Pico Isabel de Torres. For the equivalent of about CHF 8, you get to glide through the stunning panorama, all while leaving the sounds of the city behind. At the 793-metre-high summit, you can enjoy a fantastic panoramic view: green-forested hills flow towards the crystal-clear sea, while the vast beaches gleam in the sun. Those who make their way to the summit in the morning, when the view over the town is often much clearer, can take a short stroll before heading back down – many beautiful routes with pavilions along the way begin up here.
Redeemer on the Hill
Huge mahogany trees, magnificent orchid blossoms, and extravagant bird species: the local mountain also includes a botanical garden and the "Isabel de Torres" national park. Here, you can discover rare tropical plant and animal species and admire them up close. If you take a stroll along the park’s picturesque paths, be sure to include a special highlight: the monumental statue of Christ that was erected in 1970. Modelled on the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro, it certainly provides some reverent amazement in the midst of nature.
Hunting for Gold
The San Felipe Fortress in the heart of the city is sure to make a pirate’s heart beat faster. The massive military compound dates back to colonial times when pirates attempted to challenge Spanish rule of the island. While it was the gold and silver deposits that attracted them, the mighty cannons were intended to deter them. These days, anyone can film their very own little pirate video against this backdrop — in the armoury or even along the palm tree-lined walls of the fortress. At the foot of the fortress, you will find La Puntilla Park, which is home to a modern 4000-seat amphitheatre and a view of the Atlantic, making it the most popular spot at sunset.
Earn Yourself a Coffee
Visit a coffee farm to gain deeper insight into life on the island. In the Dominican Republic, coffee is not grown on huge plantations traditionally, but rather on micro farms. Over time, ecological and socially sustainable cultivation has also gained a lot of influence. Puerto Plata and the surrounding area have a number of coffee companies that offer tours of the plantations, with the most popular being the programme offered by Cabarete Coffee. Here, you can learn about all the production steps, roast your own coffee, and even prepare your own cup at the end — impressively enjoyable with a long-lasting effect!
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