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UNDERRATED: Exploring Puerto Plata

A rich history, lush forests, beautiful beaches & great adventures

“I’m bored,” is not something you’re likely to hear from visitors to Puerto Plata – even the teenagers. The difficulty is more likely to come from deciding how many activities can be fit in to a time-limited vacation.

Horse riding

“When you save on the package price, there’s often more money to spend on excursions,” says Dana Gain, ACV’s Senior Director Sales, Groups & Partnerships. “Our Puerto Plata packages offer great value, especially for families, and there is so much to do, from swimming in 27 waterfalls to exploring Spanish colonial history, horseback-riding through gorgeous scenery to admiring stunning Atlantic views from the top of the only funicular in the Caribbean at Parque Nacional Isabel de Torres.”

ACV is working closely with the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism, the best way to get the inside scoop on developments in the destination. One of the things the operator has learned is that the D.R.’s cuisine is coming into its own.

“There are a lot of new and different culinary experiences being offered and that fits perfectly with the evolving desires of Canadian travellers,” says Gain. “Even when choosing the carefree convenience of one of our great all-inclusive resort partners, they still want to experience local food and culture. The D.R. is not as well-known as some places for its cuisine, but it’s definitely an up-and-coming destination for foodies.”

Here’s a look at just some of the many options available to your clients choosing a Puerto Plata holiday with Air Canada Vacations:


Damajagua-Falls

Damajagua Falls

Waterfall Wonderland: At Damajagua, guides lead visitors on an enthralling journey through an area with 27 different waterfalls. Participants can jump in, slide in or just bask in a cool natural pool.

Above It All: The Puerto Plata area is home to Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain, that reaches more than 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) into the sky. Reaching the peak is a bit of a hike – two or three days – so most of your clients who want a spectacular view will likely take the cable car up Mount Isabel de Torres, for wonderful views of the city of Puerto Plata and the Atlantic Ocean.

Monkey See: The Monkey Jungle squirrel monkey experience lets visitors get up-close and personal with these adorable little animals. Also on the property is a 4,400 ft., seven-station zipline. Even better is the fact that proceeds from the attractions fund free dental care for local people.

Something Fishy: Ocean World Adventure Park is described as the most advanced interactive marine park of its kind. Guests have the opportunity to touch, pet and feed all their favourite marine animals and mammal friends, including dolphins, sea lions, sharks and stingrays. For an option in a completely natural environment, snorkelling at Paradise (Paraiso) Key is seen by many as among the best in the Caribbean.

City Life: There are excellent tours available exploring the sights of the city of Puerto Plata, from colonial architecture to the waterfront malecon. Some include rum, cigar and chocolate factory tours, as well as the opportunity to sample traditional Dominican Republic food and drink.

Searching For Columbus: La Isabela is where Christopher Columbus made his home in the new world. Ruins, a graveyard and a fascinating museum will take visitors back 500 years in time. Another historical option is Fort San Felipe, constructed by the Spanish between 1564 and 1577 and designed to protect Puerto Plata from pirates and corsairs. A headphone tour allows visitors to move at their own pace.

Kite surfing

Adrenaline Rush: From 4WD, ATV and off-road tours to river rafting and tubing, kiteboarding, stand-up paddle-boarding, diving and snorkeling, there are a wide range of choices for adventurous visitors.

“The resorts we feature have lots of activities and diversions to offer,” says ACV’s Gain. “But more and more, our guests want to get out and explore and have new experiences. Puerto Plata is the perfect destination for that.”

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