Info Puerto Plata
San Felipe de Puerto Plata, Puerto de Plata, often referred to as simply Puerto Plata, is the ninth-largest city in the Dominican Republic, and capital of the province of Puerto Plata. The city serves as one of the most important trading ports in the country.
Puerto Plata is famous for resorts such as Playa Dorada and Costa Dorada, located east of San Felipe de Puerto Plata. There are a total of 100,000 hotel beds in the city. The only aerial tramway in the Caribbean is located in Puerto Plata, in which visitors can ride up to the Pico Isabel de Torres, a 793 meter high mountain within the city.
The fortification Fortaleza San Felipe, which was built in the 16th century and served as a prison under Rafael Trujillo's dictatorship, lies close to the port of Puerta Plata. The ambermuseum, is also a well-known attraction in this city. La Isabela, a settlement built by Christopher Columbus, is located near Puerto Plata. In April 1563, the Spanish settlement became notorious when the English slave trader, Sir John Hawkins, brought 400 people he had abducted from Sierra Leone. Hawkins traded his victims with the Spanish for pearls, hides and sugars, some gold. This was the start of British involvement in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in which 20 million people were forced into slavery.
|FOUNDED :||Founded 1502|
Municipality since 1844
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|AREA :||509.01 km2 (196.53 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||8 m (26 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||19°47′14″N 70°41′30″W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 50.02%|
• Female: 49.98%
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The city is famous for tourist centers such as Playa Dorada and Costa Dorada, located to the east of San Felipe of Puerto Plata. There are a total of 100,000 hotel beds in the city. The Riu chain of resorts: Bachata - Riu Merengue & Riu Mambo resorts (all-inclusive), are located nearby on the beach in Maimon Bay some 45 minutes from the airport, and 9 km from Puerto Plata.
Puerto Plata is served by the international airport of Gregorio Luperón, situated around 15 kilometers to the east of the city, near the town La Union.
In 2015, Carnival Cruise Line opened a $85 million cruise port called Amber Cove. Amber Cove is the featured destination of the Fathom Cruise Line.
Ocean World is an adventure park located amidst the reefs of the Beach of Cofresí, boasting the largest man-made dolphin habitat in the world.
The park is a main tourist attraction, and is the largest and most complete park of its kind in the Caribbean.
The investment on this project is valued at more than 45 million dollars. It includes a yacht marina, the permanent residence of some 19 dolphins, beaches and forests, as well as fishbowls, picturesque and exotic birds, Malayan tigers, and a casino, which was recently inaugurated.
Ocean World is located within a tourist complex on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.
The investor and president of Ocean World, L. A. Meister, showed great interest in the tourist potential of Puerto Plata, in its first incursions in this city, as he was directed and oriented by Juan Carlos Moral, original owner of the lands of Cofresí.
With its golden sands and a mountainous natural landscapes combined with the turquoise of the water that many times dress of a tone turquoise with the reflections of the sun in the day, and of moon at night. These beaches bring pleasing memories by their landscapes, stones, waves, sand, uveros, almonds, yawls, rowboats, music and dances. Many of them represent all an epoch of daydream and traditions, like they are La Poza del Castillo, Cofresí, Costámbar, Long Beach, Marapicá, Playa Dorada, Maimón, Bergantín, among others. The beaches are considered as one of the main tourist attractions of the city.
The city sits on land that rises abruptly from the sea making it almost completely visible from the port. It is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and to the south and southwest by the hill Isabel de Torres.
The small bay around which the city was built provides a natural harbor. Puerto Plata is the largest city on the northern seaboard. Its subdivisions include: El Cupey, Maimón, Los Mameyes, Sabana Grande, El Toro, Tubagua, Yásica Abajo and San Marcos. The mountain, Isabel de Torres, is situated some 5 km to the southwest of the city of San Felipe. Geographically it forms part of the Cordillera Septentrional, reaching a maximum height of 800 m above sea level. It is possible to drive to the top of the mountain by following the highway Don José Ginebra. The highway, upon leaving the city, continues west passing the populated areas of San Marcos, Piedra Candela and El Cruce arriving at a paved section that continues southeast and then leads directly to the top. The area surrounding Loma Isabel de Torres has been declared a National Monument with an area that covers approximately 20 km2. At the summit, there is a tropical botanical garden covering about 7 acres (28,000 m2), featuring 600 varieties of tropical plants.
The Municipality of San Felipe de Puerto Plata is prominent in agrobusiness and tourism, making it a major contributor to the economic growth of the entire country. Other forms of income and economic development that serve to support some segments of the population include port management, sea vessel production, fishing, and textiles. The port has a significant impact in the national and provincial economy.
The port frequently receives cruise ships as well as general bulk freighters. They export a great variety of merchandise, including farm products and manufactured products in the duty-free zones of the region.
Since the founding of La Isabela, the first village in the New World, on January 2, 1494, Puerto Plata has been a town of firsts in the Americas.
Historians are not clear on the exact year of Puerto Plata's founding. Emilio Rodríguez Demorizi, Américo Lugo, Jose Bordonada, and Samuel Hazard give the year 1502 as recorded by Nicolás of Ovando. Dr. Llenas affirmed that it was 1503. Dr. Joaquín Marino Incháustegui, in his Dominican history records, cites 1504. Dr. Manuel Arturo Roca Batlle indicates that the city was founded in 1505. The historians, Alonso Rodriguez Demorizi (brother of Emilio) and Jacinto Gimbernard, express that it was in the year 1496 and Padre Español said that it was in 1506.
The aforementioned Nicolás of Ovando records a port existing in the northern coast of the island near 1502.
Around 1555, Puerto Plata's importance as a port town was lost and it became one of the places of the Antilles frequented by pirates.
Christopher Columbus, in his first trip, called the mountain Monte de Plata, observing that since the top is frequently foggy it had a silver-like appearance, hence the name of the port.
The city was designed by the brothers Christopher and Bartolomé Columbus, in the 1496 and based on the year 1502 by Frey Nicolás de Ovando.
In its first phase as a Spanish colony the town was considered the main commercial and maritime port of the island. In 1605 it was depopulated and destroyed by order of Fernando III, to hinder the advance of English piracy.
In the Battle of Puerto Plata Harbor, US Marines landed on the island and attacked a French ship and Fortaleza de San Felipe. After capturing the French privateer Sandwich and spiking the guns of Fortaleza San Felipe, US forces retired victorious. This was during the Quasi War, an undeclared conflict between France and the United States from 1798 to 1800.
A hundred years later the town was repopulated with farmers originating from the Canaries. From 1822 to 1844 the city was under Haitian control. From 1844 on began the period of the republic in which the city began to recover its maritime and commercial boom.
The city grew under the influence of European immigrants, who left a cultural and social footprint that remains unique among other cities on the island.
In 1863, during the War of the Restoration, the city was razed completely. Beginning in 1865, the current Puerto Plata began to be built. This explains the Victorian style of much of its current architecture. By the end of the 18th century, Puerto Plata had become important for its cultural, social, maritime, and economic development.