Puerto Plata’s crown jewel attraction, the 27 Charcos of Damajagua waterfalls offer a day of hiking through thick forest, crossing footbridges and passing numerous flora before eventually reaching a rocky hilltop where you’ll begin making your way down by jumping or sliding down a series of waterfalls–helmets and safety gear on–as you slide down water-cushioned chutes or jump into deep turquoise pools.
Anfiteatro La Puntilla
Inaugurated in April 2017, Puerto Plata’s newest outdoor venue, La Puntilla, is a stunning 2,062 square meter (22,200 square foot) outdoor Grecian amphitheater facing the Atlantic Ocean, with a capacity of over 4,000 spectators. Flanked by the San Felipe Fort on one side, and a verdant La Puntilla park, concerts, dance performances, and other artistic events are occasionally held here, featuring Dominican and international artists.
Bartolo Colón Stadium
Located in the small town of Altamira, birthplace of Major League player Bartolo Colón, the professional player built this stadium and academy to facilitate training for the children of his community. An on-site museum showcases an excellent overview of Dominican baseball, its history, and cultural importance.
Brugal Rum Distillery
The largest producer of traditionally made rum in the DR since 1888, Brugal is aged in around 200,000 American white oak barrels on-site at the distillery in Puerto Plata city. Tours of the distillery are available to learn about the making of this popular brand and end with rum tasting, as well as the chance of purchasing well-priced premium rums on-site.
Cabarete by night is just as intense as it is by day. The multitude of bars and small clubs lining the beach fill up with barefoot or sandal-clad travelers and locals enjoying happy hours, music, and dancing. You’ll find two-story nightclubs with theme music nights, as well as cozy sofas directly on the beach to spend a calmer night amid the bouncing party crowd.
Casa De Arte
Inaugurated in 2013, Casa de Arte is the north coast’s most recent cultural center, doubling as a museum and an educational arts and crafts hub. Located in the heart of Sosúa’s beach town, rotating art and sculpture exhibits, lectures, and other events are hosted here every month. Casa de Arte also subsidizes a fantastic art school for the area’s underprivileged children and teens, offering classes on jewelry making, painting, and ballet, among others.
Off these northwestern shores, boats depart to the offshore Cayo Arena–also known as Cayo Paraíso–offering exceptional diving for beginner levels, starting at five meters (16 feet). Schools of tropical fish can also easily be seen in shallow turquoise waters, making this spot a paradise for snorkeling fans. This area boasts some of the most abundant marine life in the DR, with corals and sponges that surround the caye, where octopuses, crabs, schools of surgeonfish, sergeant majors, damselfish, angelfish, and yellowtail snappers all swim around your feet. This tiny sandbank is also a dreamy spot to relax and take plenty of beach selfies.
Fortaleza San Felipe
One of the most important colonial military structures in the Caribbean turned museum, built by Spaniards in the 16th century to defend the DR’s north coast from pirates. Touring the fort reveals the original canons facing the Atlantic, ancient weapons, and numerous hidden chambers.
Guananico Cacao Trail
Hike through cacao fields, learning about the history of chocolate and its production process from bean to bar, and head over to the chocolate hut where all the delicious tastings take place, with chocolate in its various forms and flavors.
La Isabela Ruins
Christopher Columbus built the first European settlement in the New World; the settlement’s archeological ruins are still standing in this bay area, including Columbus’s first home perched on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and nearby, the first church.
Laguna Dudú’s series of turquoise, freshwater lagoons surrounded with caves and lush forest will keep you swimming all day long. Rent a kayak to navigate the waters, explore one of the caves on foot, or brave the makeshift zipline at your own risk.
One of the DR’s major bird sanctuaries, set along a peaceful lagoon flanked by thick mangroves. Boat rides take you along this mystical lagoon daily, though sunset is the best time to see egrets, and vultures soaring and chirping loudly above the mangroves as you pass through narrow channels.
Mount Isabel De Torres
Hike your way up or hop on the only cable car in the Caribbean to reach Mount Isabel de Torres, flanked by a giant statue of Christ the Redeemer–one of the province’s iconic landmarks–and standing 793 meters (2,600 feet) above Puerto Plata.
Learn about the industrious Europeans who fled Nazi Europe–after being granted visas from then-Dominican leader and dictator Rafael Trujillo–and started their life anew as cattle ranchers and farmers in Sosúa in the 1940s.
Ocean World Adventure Park
Aside from dolphins, children and adults can enjoy a multitude of marine experiences, from shows with sea lions and nurse sharks to an exotic bird area, and snorkeling in an artificial coral reef aquarium.
The Caribbean’s hub for windsurfing, kiteboarding, and laser sailing, Playa Cabarete–also known as “Kite Beach” on the western side–is where you can learn and practice wind water sports all year round.
Playa Dorada & Costa Dorada
These reef-protected beaches offer extensive options for water sports from kitesurfing to banana boat tubing, as well as restaurants and bars. Sections of these stunning, wide golden stretches are Blue Flag certified for their water quality and services.
Playa Dorada Golf Course
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., this 18-hole course offers five holes with sea-views, including one directly adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. Relatively flat, it is known for its outstanding conditioning: greens are generous, featuring water hazards and strategically placed bunkers.
The dream for surfers is at Playa Encuentro–described as a “perfect right-hand reef break.” You’ll find the area’s top surf schools right on the beach, ready to take you out into the waves. In true surfing tradition, the best time to catch waves is in the early morning.
Hugging a crescent-shaped bay, Sosúa is a beautiful stretch of golden sand contrasting against deep azure-turquoise waters with a white, sandy bottom. It’s also a diver and snorkeler favorite, with easy access to a wide array of sites near shore.
Sosúa has a very interesting history. Welcomed by the Dominican government in 1940, Sosúa served as a refuge and home for Jewish families fleeing Europe due to the Nazi persecutions. Today you can learn about their story in the Jewish Museum in this charming town.
Templo De Las Américas
Considered the first Catholic Church of the New World, Templo de Las Américas’ brick and stone colonial building sits in a beautifully landscaped garden. Stroll inside and feel the constant breeze from the nearby Atlantic flowing through this spiritual site.
White Water Rafting
If you are adventurous, then this is the best way to enjoy Yaque del Norte River, one of the longest rivers in the Caribbean region, in Jarabacoa, about two hours drive away. River rafting is usually restricted to those over 14.