The silver clouds atop Mt. Isabel de Torres, the towering mountain behind Puerto Plata, gave the city its name. Today tourists ride the cable car to get to the top of the mountain, visit its botanical gardens and take in the sweeping views of the port city.
The city boasts the largest collection of still-standing 19th century Victorian-style houses in the Caribbean. Its San Felipe Fort is one of the oldest military colonial period fortresses in the region, dating back to 1577.
Puerto Plata is the province where the remains of the first European settlement in the Americas are located. Admiral Christopher Columbus’ famous three ships made landfall here in 1492, naming it La Isabela.
But today Puerto Plata is better known for its Atlantic coastline with more than 62 miles (100 km) of beaches, coastal villages and hotels. The beach towns of Sosua and Cabarete, world famous for its windsurfing and kiteboarding, are less than half an hour away.
The popular Ocean World Adventure Park is on the outskirts of the city. Damajagua Falls, Disney’s Splash Mountain ride but for real, is just a 30-minute ride south.
The main port of entry is the Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) and the Ocean World Marina is a full-service facility.