Fortaleza San Felipe#11 in Best Things To Do in Puerto Plata
The original mission of Fortaleza San Felipe, which was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century, was to defend the north coast from the British and Dutch, as well as from French pirates in search of the area's gold and silver. Completed in 1577, it later served as a prison beginning in the 19th century.
Today, the fort is a museum, where visitors can see original canons facing the Atlantic, ancient weapons and a variety of hidden chambers. History buffs, in particular, find the fort fascinating. In addition, the panoramic views over the Puerto Plata coastline are enchanting, especially at sunset.
You can visit Fort San Felipe for $2 per person; it is accessible daily. Admission includes the use of an audio guide with English commentary about the history of the fort. Restrooms are available on-site, as well as a variety of vendors (described by recent visitors as "aggressive") selling wares. Several past visitors stopped by the fort while on a tour of the city, which may be worthwhile if you're in town on a cruise excursion and have limited time for sightseeing.
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Cabarete used to be quaint fishing village; now, it's a high-geared getaway for the jet set. You should consider planning a day or two's worth of activities in this town east of Puerto Plata, where you'll find the best kitesurfing and windsurfing beaches, not to mention a smattering of bars and restaurants.
The town's big claim to fame is Kite Beach. Other popular shores include Bozo Beach (about 5 minutes from downtown Cabarete) or Encuentro Beach. Most of the surf breaks are too rough for first-timers, but never fear, Cabarete also has about 10 kitesurfing schools where you can learn the craft. Recent visitors loved watching the kite surfers, as well lounging on the gorgeous beach. They also mentioned there are plenty of places to eat and drink.
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