Free Things To Do in Puerto Plata
- #1View all PhotosfreeCabarete#1 in Puerto PlataFree, Sports, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPENDFree, Sports, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND
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.
- #2View all PhotosfreePlaya Dorada#2 in Puerto PlataBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
We don't really need to tell you to go here; chances are this is where you're staying. Playa Dorada (or Golden Beach) is the beach of choice in the immediate Puerto Plata area, and all the major resorts are represented along its shores. Lounging at the beach could easily take up at least one full day of your time at the Amber Coast.
If you're looking for more things to do other than sunbathe and admire Mount Isabel de Torres in the distance, take note that previous travelers have enjoyed windsurfing, snorkeling and even fishing along Playa Dorada. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants if you need a snack or drink. Most of the hotels offer rental equipment (some even for free), if you want to try your hand at any number of sports. And what's the best aspect of Playa Dorada? It's free to enjoy.
- #3View all PhotosfreePlaya Sosua#3 in Puerto PlataBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Located about 15 miles east of Playa Dorada, Playa Sosua is a popular stretch of sand beloved by visitors for its soft, khaki-colored shore, shallow waters and ample facilities. When you're not lounging on the sand or snorkeling in the calm ocean, you can peruse the many restaurants and bars that line the beach.
Recent travelers frequently described Sosua as "beautiful," but warned of afternoon crowds. Past visitors also reported some pushy vendors selling everything from lounge chairs to massages. If you're not interested in their services, previous travelers said a firm "no gracias" did the trick. Reviewers reported paying about $10 for a lounge chair rental.
- #4View all PhotosfreeCofresi Beach#4 in Puerto PlataBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
West of Puerto Plata is a relaxing stretch of golden sand that doesn't usually experience the tourist assault of Playa Dorada, according to recent visitors.
The waters at Cofresi are nice and calm for swimming, and there's plenty of shade (you'll have your choice of umbrella, hut or trees) to set up camp under. A few restaurants flank Cofresi Beach (which is free to the public and open 24/7), and the Ocean World Adventure Park is right next door.
- #10View all Photos#10 in Puerto PlataFree, Tours, Churches/Religious Sites, SightseeingTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDFree, Tours, Churches/Religious Sites, SightseeingTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
The current San Felipe Cathedral was built in 1956 on top of the footprint of a 16th-century church that burned down in 1863. After the fire, construction on the new church started in 1870; reconstruction was completed in 1956. In 1996, Pope John Paul II created the Diocese of Puerto Plata, giving the church the rank of cathedral. Several times a day, the bells are rung announcing the start and end of Mass at this busy and lively cathedral.
Recent visitors found the architecture and stained glass interesting. A few reviewers said there are tour guides stationed at the church who can provide more information about the church's history. If you choose to take the guides up on their offer, be prepared to give a tip.
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