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Puerta Plata tour


#1

We are going to the Gran Ventana Jan the 28 and was advised by our tour rep that there is nothing in Puerta Plata worth seeing.
Can anyone advise

Also I hear that this resort is pretty nice?


#2

Nothing to do in Puerto Plata? Well, there’s lots to do, but I guess it depends on what you’re in to. We took the teleferico (cable car) up Mount Isabel del Torres to the botanical gardens, visited the amber museum, the rum “factory” (more like a bottling plant, but you can get your rum right there!), visit Fort San Felipe, take the Outback Safari tour to see the country side and the Dominican way of life, Ocean World park (zoo and marine park - swim with dolphins), Fun City has go karts, Central Park has a beautiful church to visit, golf, horseback riding, and I don’t know how much a cab would cost but you could head out to Cabarete (wind surfing, kite surfing, shopping, restaurants) or Sosua (huge flea market on the beach there) about 1/2 hour away.


#3

Beaching:

Has your tour rep ever been to Puerto Plata??? Sure doesn’t sound like it! Is she/he trying to steer you to a more expensive destination where they would get more commission??

As CDNChick listed - there is lots to do and she forgot some!

There are catamaran cruises, snorkeling trips, jeep tours, funny bikes (more like ATV).

In downtown Puerto Plata, there are shops which sell anything you could need, restaurants of all sizes and cuisine. It’s interesting to just sit and people watch sometime. Lots of interesting buildings to take photos of.

Check out our photos - lots of both the Gran Ventana and walking around PP. We are going back on April 2nd for our 5th time (same hotel) and still haven’t done everything there is to do.

Olivia


#4

is there any scooters you can rent.We are going to breezes!


#5

wentcrazy2:

Not sure if you can rent scooters - have no suicidal tendencies so, have never checked.

Rent a taxi and driver and then you can sit back and relax - see all the sights without worrying about driving (yours as well as others).


#6

has anyone seen the golden beach hotel


#7

Lots to see in puerto plata,i would suggest you do what we have done in the past,rent a taxi for the day withanother couple or two to cut the cost,more intresting as you will see the same things as the tour group plus some of the off the beaten path stuff and you don’t have to hang around some place for an hour when you can see everything you want in 10 minutes ie,the brugal bottleing plant…


#8

I agree with ‘theoldmillwright’. The best Puerta Plata tours are the ones that you arrange yourself. Lots to do & see…and if you have the right cab driver, he may even take you to see the neighborhood that he lives in. Some of the best stories & information comes from the cab drivers!!


#9

Just out of curiosity, do you ride a bike back home? I ride a CBR 600cc Honda. I’ve seen 145mph on the clock (no speed limits outside of towns on the Isle of Man ;D ). But I only ride wearing leather jacket, trousers, boots & gloves. And a helmet that cost about £300.

So I NEVER ride a scooter on holiday!

Some tourists will ride with no helmet, no leathers, poor ambulance service, pot-holed roads and crazy drivers yet will say they won’t ride a motorbike back home because they are “too dangerous”?

I witnessed a double fatality in Vietnam where a scooter went under a lorry. Get a cab.

PS PoP is well worth a visit. The cable-car being my favorite. The amber museum is worth a visit. So yes, go there.


#10

wentcrazy

iam going to breezes april 1st - 8th, when are you going? I’ve heard alot of bad things about the dangers of mopeds. my TO even said “don’t rent them” she witness a deadly accident a couple of years ago. Beaching i think you should change TA because from just doing research on the internet you can tell there is alot to do in POP.

michelle


#11

If you go and see Deiter who works at the Mar y sol desk in the plaza he does personal tours around Puerto Plata .He’s there in the afternoon from 3 . My daughter did it in May and they visisted the fort and the cable car and a few other things but Deiter will personalose the tour to your requirments

Annette


#12

I can say this from first hand experience: DO NOT take the Puerto Plata tour offered by the resort/travel company.

On our first trip to the D.R., the wife and I booked the Puerto Plata/Sousa Tour.

They took us to the Brugal bottling plant (Rum factory) and did a walkthrough of the facility. Did buy a couple bottles of Rum there tho.

Off to the Fort, and the Amber museum. Then to a gift shop that just screamed “kickback.” Oddly, I think the bus had us at the gift shop longer than anywhere else.

They brought us to a restraunt (not sure where - was by the traffic circle on the East end of town) for a basic buffet lunch, and then off to one and a half whole hours at Sosua beach. Nowhere near the time you’d need to actually have a good time there.

Now that I’ve been there a couple times, I’d recommend:

Get a driver for the day. I’ve heard great things from everyone I’ve spoken to about Martin Espinal, (local tour operator) and will probably use his services on my upcoming trip. Due to some (unmentioned) circumstances regarding my upcoming trip, I will probably be going to Fort San Felipe, the Amber museum, the Rum factory, and other places again this trip.

Being stuck in a tour group is seriously constricting. Especially since you have to bargain for EVERYTHING. There’s simply not enough time, and when the employee$ of variou$ companie$ $ee a bu$load of touri$ts, all they $ee is dollar $ign$. :wink:

If you’re travelling in a group that’s more than 1 person, it’s cheaper to rent a driver for the day.

As for Sosua, I personally feel it’s a full day excursion. With the beach, the vendors, and all the other things to see, a couple hours is certainly not enough time. Example: The wife ordered a Pina Colada on our last trip - it took a good 15 minutes to get it, as she had to hollow out the fresh pinapple, mix it, and garnish it. You simply can’t enjoy kicking back and relaxing on “Dominican Time” when there is so much else to do there!

The bus ride from the airport should make up your mind about the traffic. (shudder)


#13

Commthor - don’t forget to do the cable car - but, in the morning before the clouds roll in. We have some amazing photos from the car itself and the top. We could see the Gran Ventana quite clearly from there.

The GV is the red roof to the right of the white roofed Paradise…


#14

Took the PP/Sosua from the Riu Mambo at the beginning of December. It was our first trip to the DR, so it felt like a safe way to initially get out of the hotel. I enjoyed the PP part of the tour, and bought rum and some cigars. Our bus also went down some crazy side street that a car could barely fit down - due to a detour. He nicely stopped at a convience store where I bought small bottles of rum, coffee and vanilla at GREAT prices.

I am not a haggler, so I wish I would of only paid for the PP part of the tour and skipped Sosua. I tried to stick to the beach to stay away from everyone trying to sell stuff…and they are VERY persistant. (Even on the beach they want to ‘rent’ you the use of loungers at some crazy price). I finally went up the hill and sat on the side of the road where the buses are.

Oh…as I mentioned in another post. Down the road from where the buses park there is a large grocery store. So if you are intersted in that type of shopping you can do that instead of the beach shops.

After doing the tour and now planning a next trip to the DR - I would skip the tour and hire a taxi. :slight_smile:

-Dea


#15

Hi Beaching, I get there a day after you so maybe we’ll bump into each other some time, I’ll pop over from the Victoria to see you if you want. The tour is worth doing if you have never been to PP before, I’ve been too many times to list and still go on the occasional tour as I enjoy seeing the town and sights. Martin Espinal at Isiara tours will organise a tour for you and if there are enough of you to fill a taxi you get to decide how long you stay at each place. pm or email me if you can’t find Martins details and I’ll send them too you.

Cheers Amandalou :-*


#16

You should definitely go to both Puerto Plata and Sosua. In Puerto Plata’s central park area you can do some souvenir shopping, have something to eat, go the the Amber Museum, see the big cathedral and just walk around. There is also the 500-year-old Fort and the Brugal Rum Factory - these are both worth going to also. If you take the tour that your Tour Operator offers, you will start off at the Rum Factory, then the Fort San Felipe, then shopping, then lunch, then lastly the cable car to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres. This used to cost US$40. You might be able to get it cheaper if you book through a tour rep in the Playa Dorada plaza or Martin Espinal. In Sosua there are tons of beach vendors but also many shops/restaurants/pubs in the town. Take a whole day or an afternoon for Sosua. Enjoy!