While it’s hard to pick a bad time to visit Puerto Plata, there are a couple of things travellers should bear in mind before planning their holiday. The first is the crowds and the second is the weather. You’ll pay less if you visit during the low season but your trip may be interrupted by rain.
High season in Puerto Plata runs from November to April. This is when the city experiences its cool season, with lower levels of humidity and less rainfall. The majority of travellers travel to Puerto Plata during this time, fleeing cold winters elsewhere. As this is the peak season, visitors should expect accommodation and flights to Puerto Plata to be at their most expensive and the city to be at its busiest.
The summer months, May through October, make up the low season. There are high levels of humidity and rainfall during this period. If you can brave the weather then this is the perfect time to book and save. Cheap flights to Puerto Plata and accommodation discounts are more readily available.
Puerto Plata occupies an area tucked in between the mountains and the deep blue sea along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Christopher Columbus landed on its shores in 1493, declaring it beautiful and naming it Puerto Plata, the Silver Port, to mark its shimmering waters.
Today, it’s best known as a lively resort area and a popular stopping-off point for cruise-ship passengers. Great numbers of travellers book a flight to Puerto Plata, lured by the promise of sun, beautiful beaches and economically priced all-inclusive packages.
Puerto Plata certainly has its charms. There are two parks – Parque Luperon and Parque Central. Where Parque Luperon is a quiet and shady green space, Parque Central is the gathering place for locals, surrounded as it is by the City Hall and Palace of Justice. An absolute must is a seven-minute cable car ride to the top of Mount Isabel, 2559 ft (780 m) high. From the summit, there are panoramic views of the north coast as well as a luscious botanical gardens, restaurant to revive spirits flagging from sightseeing and a statue of Christ with outstretched welcoming arms, reminiscent of the one in Rio de Janeiro.
The local climate is fairly constant year-round. Average daytime temperatures are about 29 degrees Celsius. The tropical season runs May through October and features high humidity and rainfall. November through April is the tropical cool season and experiences less rainfall and lower levels of humidity.
There are many ways of getting from the city to the surrounding hotels and resorts. Taxis are available but are expensive and it is advised to book a private taxi through a reliable company to ensure your safety. Public transport such as buses are another option of getting around the city. They may be slower but are cheap and efficient.
Many visitors rent a car on their arrival at Gregorio Luperon International airport (POP), particularly if they plan on making side trips outside of Puerto Plata. There is also frequent bus and minibus service between the airport and Puerto Plata. Taxis are also available.