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Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata sits on the Atlantic north coast of the Dominican Republic on the spectacular stretch of coastline called the Amber Coast. Puerto Plata nestles at the foot of the majestic Mount Isabel de Torres, to the west is the colonial fortress of San Felipe and to the east are the golden sands of Playa Long. Christopher Columbus founded Puerto Plata, and it became a major port and trading centre for the Spanish colonies. This region is popular not only for its beaches but also for the many other attractions it offers. The bustling sea front boulevard, the Malecon, is lined with open-air restaurants, shops and brightly painted Caribbean-style houses. There are markets and shops around the city with the largest shopping complex at the nearby Playa Dorado Plaza. Puerto Plata has a good selection of specialised restaurants as well as little bars and eateries where you can try the famous Creole-style crab legs and ginger cakes. Enjoy a night on the town at a Dominican Casino or if dancing the merengue and salsa sounds like fun then hit the local discos and clubs. In Puerto Plata, you can experience the real flavour of the Dominican Republic.

Excursions from Puerto Plata include riding the cable car to the summit of Mount Isabel de Torres and visiting the unspoilt beach at Playa Grande. In La Isabela, see the remains of Columbus' house and the museum of the Taino civilization. The Amber Coast has one of the world's largest amber reserves and many exquisite examples are on display at the Amber Museum. Explore the highland towns of Jarabacoa and Constanza and the Laguna Gri-Gri National Park or marvel at the Damajagua and El Limon waterfalls.

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