Puerto Plata

A cable car takes visitors to the top of the enormous flat-topped Pico Isabel de Torres. On clear days there are spectacular views of the city and coastline – go early, before the mountain clouds up. The botanical gardens at the top are good for an hour’s stroll. You'll also find a large statue of Christ the Redeemer (similar to but smaller than its counterpart in Rio de Janeiro), an overpriced restaurant and aggressive knickknack sellers. Cable-car tickets are cash only.

Board the teleférico at its base at the southern end of Camino a los Domínguez, 800m uphill from Av José Ginebra (near the entrance to the campus for Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago, aka UTESA). A motoconcho (motorcycle taxi) here costs RD$75, a taxi RD$300. The ride is notorious for opening late or closing early. Officially licensed guides will no doubt try to coax any independent travelers to use their services, though they really aren’t necessary.

In theory, you can also walk up (or down) the mountain, paying only a one-way fare to return (the trail begins under the cable car). However, this can’t really be recommended, partly because it’s a strenuous two- to three-hour walk (about 7km) and certainly impossible to do without a guide (in part because of safety issues). On weekends, local guides (RD$1000) hang out in the ticket-office parking lot. Iguana Mama also offers this tour.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Puerto Plata attractions

1. Iglesia San Felipe

1.24 MILES

This twin-steepled church was completely renovated following a devastating hurricane in 1988. Check out the small but beautiful Italian stained-glass…

2. Casa de la Cultura

1.28 MILES

In addition to dance and music workshops, the center often showcases work by Dominican artists in its 1st-floor gallery.

3. Museo del Ambar Dominicano

1.29 MILES

The colonial-era building houses a collection of amber exhibits. These exhibits include valuable pieces with such rare inclusions as a small 50-million…

4. Galería de Ambar

1.37 MILES

Despite its unfortunate location, housed in a rundown office-like building, there are informative exhibits on the history of amber mining in the DR as…

5. Casa Museo General Gregorio Luperón


The life and times of native-born son and independence leader Gregorio Luperón are impressively fleshed out inside this beautifully restored, pale-green,…

6. Fuerte de San Felipe

1.42 MILES

Located right on the bay, at the western end of the Malecón, the fort is the only remnant of Puerto Plata’s early colonial days. Built in the mid-16th…

7. Malecón

1.52 MILES

The completely paved Malecón (also known as Av General Luperón and Av Circunvalación Norte) runs along the shore. There are a handful of restaurants, as…

8. Brugal Rum Plant

2.73 MILES

The country's most famous rum distillery offers 30-minute tours from a 2nd-floor gangway, during which visitors learn the history and process of rum…