Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Amanda Stancati
Nestled along stretches of sandy beaches, find Puerto Plata on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic where the Atlantic Ocean laps the shores and where the Dominican people are friendly and the energy busy with beach parties and Caribbean music. With the Dominican people adding a special charm and warm welcome to your vacation, you’ll enjoy not only the beaches and relaxing atmosphere, but the warm smiles around the resorts and the invitations to dance when the sun goes down.
Before the construction of all-inclusive resorts, Puerto Plata was a dynamic city of its own with a fishing history, energy, and beautiful landscapes that are now reflected on the resorts. The famous Playa Dorada beach is the most established resort area in Puerto Plata, with each resort on its own slice of beach. Visit the Cabarate area between Puerto Plata and Sosua for a stretch of beach not totally dominated by all-inclusive resorts with offerings of snorkeling, scuba diving, and sunbathing for the beach lover.
A visit to Puerto Plata is a visit to a sunshine-filled paradise: let our travel guide help you plan your Puerto Plata vacation and get ready to sit back, relax, and soak up the sun.
Who should visit Puerto Plata?
Puerto Plata is an attractive vacation destination for travellers looking to travel to the Caribbean for all-inclusive trips in the less-busy destination of northern Dominican Republic, rather than the popular Punta Cana on the country’s eastern tip. Puerto Plata vacation packages appeal to everyone, with options available for those travelling solo, couples or adults-only vacations, or family vacations. All-inclusive resorts along the Playa Dorado strip include excursions both on and off the water: fishermen will enjoy deep sea fishing, while young travellers will enjoy swimming with dolphins and other sporting options. History lovers will enjoy exploring this working port town and wandering the downtown area around Parque Central where revitalization can be seen and visitors can get a glimpse into Puerto Plata’s history. Beach-lovers and travellers looking to enjoy a relaxing vacation in the sun will love Puerto Plata for its long stretches of beach, gentle breezes, and warm waters. Though the sand here isn’t the characteristic white sand of Punta Cana, or other destinations like Cayo Coco, the sand is soft and inviting, perfect for your next vacation.
When should I visit and for how long?
Puerto Plata is a popular destination during the winter months, when Canadians are looking to escape snow shovelling and cold weather and trade it for the warm beach weather of the Caribbean. The average temperature in Puerto Plata ranges from 23C to 27C depending on the season, with warmer temperatures through the summer months, which also sees the highest rainy days and risks of hurricanes. Travellers taking a Puerto Plata vacation in December or January might want to pack a light sweater or scarf for evenings when the temperature cools down with the setting of the sun.
The average Canadian visitor stays at a Puerto Plata all-inclusive resort for 7 days, though stays of two weeks are also common.
Puerto Plata attractions
A trip to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic will relax and restore you, and you don’t need to leave the resort grounds or the beach, if you’re not looking for anything beyond the sunbathing and daily activities an all-inclusive vacation offers. Book an all-inclusive trip and truly sit back and relax and enjoy the gentle waves lap the sandy beaches with a refreshing drink in hand: nothing more is required during your visit to Puerto Plata! Most resorts offer a range of daily and nightly activities, from dance lessons to beginner scuba diving lessons, and more. Entertainment after the sun goes down might include musical shows, karaoke, dancing, or activities at on-site bars and clubs.
For travellers looking to experience more of the Dominican Republic and truly dive into Puerto Plata and all it has to offer, there are a range of activities waiting for you, from day trips, food tours, full-day tours of the city, cruises, water sports, and more.
Watersports in Puerto Plata range from diving to catamaran cruises and more. For the traveller looking to truly relax, take the Cayo Paraiso Deserted Island tour from Puerto Plata: it’s just what it sounds like. Paradise. Explore the coral reef that lines this unspoiled beach and visit the Monte Cristi National Park on your return to the resort. For the more adventurous, surf lessons in Cabarete may be of interest, or the dolphin swim at Ocean World might excite the young travellers looking to get a kiss from these gentle animals. Ask at the front desk of your all-inclusive Puerto Plata vacation resort, as well, for any watersports that may be included in your package fee: most include catamaran sailing, banana boats, and scuba diving lessons, among others.
For full-day excursions or day trips, choose from a catamaran cruise and snorkeling in the Bay of Sosua, or a Puerto Safari where you’ll visit a local school and learn about the culture and history of the Dominican Republic, and see more than the shores of the beautiful country, or take a day trip to surrounding areas to explore more.
We recommend travelling to Puerto Plata on an all-inclusive Dominican Republic vacation, which means you won’t need to worry about carrying extra cash or sorting out trip details. The majority of Canadians do opt to travel this way when visiting the Caribbean, which means upon arrival at the Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP), your transfer between the airport and your resort is taken care of, your meals are planned and paid for you, and you can enjoy sitting back and relaxing, or grabbing a refreshing drink from the bar when needed. Leaving the resort for Puerto Plata excursions isn’t necessary, but day trips and activities are of course available to book prior to or once in Puerto Plata to round out your vacation, which is something many Canadians opt to do to further explore their vacation destination and enjoy their time away.
Puerto Plata all-inclusive vacations
All-inclusive vacation options in Puerto Plata are plentiful, with resorts offering special activities for family vacations, adults-only vacations, and more. The second most popular destination in the Dominican Republic, choose from over 15 resorts here. We’ve highlighted three of the most popular Puerto Plata resort options, by category:
Family vacations: Barcelo Puerto Plata, 3.5-star
Enjoy the area’s famous Playa Dorada beach and its crystal clear waters for a family vacation at the Barcelo Puerto Plata, offering daily activities, nightly entertainment, and a kids club to keep the little ones busy. Over 500 rooms, 2 pools, a mini disco, 8 restaurants, 4 bars, on-site spa, and on-site water sports (including kayaking) make this resort perfect for the family on-the-go.
Adults-only vacation: Blue Bay Villas Doradas, 4-star
This adults-only vacation is just 15km from the Puerto Plata airport, meaning your vacation is just around the corner. Treat yourself to 3 pools, 5 restaurants, 4 bars, a fitness center, on-site spa, tennis courts, and other sport activities and watersports at the Blue Bay Villas Doradas. With a scuba diving centre just off-site and golf nearby, this resort has everything for a romantic getaway, or friends retreat.
Budget vacation: Viva Wyndham Tangerine, 3.5-star
Get the best value for your money with a Puerto Plata vacation to the Viva Wyndham Tangerine, with something for everyone. With a kids club, specialty restaurants, waves perfect for windsurfing and kiteboarding, 2 pools, and 3 bars, a vacation here is sure to please. Don’t miss the on-site Jacuzzis, canoeing, and scuba diving centre to round out your vacation.
Travelling to Puerto Plata
The Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP) sees flights from around the world arrive at its 10 gates, year-round. Flights from Toronto to Puerto Plata are approximately four hours and operate year-round, non-stop. Travellers flying from Montreal, Halifax, and Calgary will also see year-round service to Puerto Plata, with some direct or non-stop flights depending on the season. Vancouver and Ottawa see service to Puerto Plata during the high season, starting in December, with connecting flights. For full flight schedules from your preferred airport, talk with a travel agent about non-stop versus connecting flights, and flight schedules.
Booking an all-inclusive Puerto Plata vacation means that your transportation is taken care of: your vacation supplier (Air Canada, WestJet Vacations, etc.) will organize round-trip ground transportation between the airport and your resort, so you can relax as soon as the plane lands. Taxis are available at most resort lobbies for travellers looking to explore outside the resort and head into town. Travellers looking to take part in a day trip or excursion will have transportation included in the excursion price, meaning you will be picked up at your resort before taking off on your adventure.
Puerto Plata all-inclusive trips range from $640 to $3055, on average, depending on the resort and season. Expect to pay between $820 and $1400 (Toronto departures) during high season, which ranges from December through March, when most travellers are looking to escape to Puerto Plata.
Currency: The Dominican Peso, though US Dollars are sometime accepted for on-resort activities and for tips.
Language: Spanish, though English is widely spoken in high tourist areas and at resorts
Electricity: 110V, similar to North American outlets