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Whether you're dreaming of lazing on bright white beaches and listening to the calming Caribbean Sea or pulling on your walking boots and exploring the islands lush mangroves, Puerto Plata holidays serve up plenty of diversity. Known as the silver city on the amber coast, this all-round destination in the Dominican Republic is loved for its pearly sands and swaying palms, which stretch for miles.

 

Soak up a little Spanish culture and head to El Morro San Felipe, a historic fortress built to protect the city from pirates – if not for the insightful museum, it's sure to impress with its hilltop views over the Atlantic. Go kite-boarding in neighbouring Cabarete, ride a cable car up Mount Isabel de Torres, marvel over the waterfalls of Damajagua or visit the land of cigars in Santiago, roughly 38km away, on your holidays to Puerto Plata. Lush forests with swaying coconut trees and swathes of grey sands welcome you to this Dominican Republic hotspot, particularly at the famous Playa Dorada beach, which also promises gorgeous sunsets. Puerto Plata is often confused with Punta Cana, at just a short flight away it's a more laid-back choice for a beach holiday with the family.

 

April is a great time to visit Puerto Plata, since the temperatures are high touching averages of 30°C, though there can be some rainfall. Overall, the weather is tropically warm, though the months from May to June and November to December may witness rain. To get there, fly to Santo Domingo airport, from where Puerto Plata is about four hours by road.

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Grab your Snorkel and Flippers

 

 

Grab your Snorkel and Flippers

The Puerto Plata area offers up some fantastic snorkelling opportunities, especially just off Playa Sosua beach. You only have to swim about 100m out from the shore and you’ll be met with a multi-coloured reef and plenty of sea creatures to spot. You can hire your kit too, so don’t worry about making room in your case.

Saddle Up on Horseback

 

Saddle Up on Horseback

Whether you want to ride across the beaches or start an ascent into the mountains, horse ranches including Lorilar Ranch will help you realise this Dominican day trip dream. Make your way through lush forests and pretty villages, spotting wildlife as you go or canter along powder-soft white sand. And don't worry, you don't have to be a Grand National jockey to join in the fun – there are lots of trips perfect for complete beginners.

 
Doze on Soft, Sugary Sand

 

Doze on Soft, Sugary Sand

Everyone needs some well-earned rest and relaxation on holiday, so spend as many days as you want to enjoying one of the Dominican Republic's stunning white sandy beaches. There are so many to choose from you could visit a new beach every day! Grab your suncream and a good book and spend some time daydreaming in paradise, with the occasional dip in warm waters. Beachfront cocktails recommended!

 
Cruise the Cayo Paraiso

 

Cruise the Cayo Paraiso

This paradise island tour is a popular attraction for holidaymakers who enjoy taking to the water. Sitting pretty off the coast is the Caribbean island of Cayo Paraiso, complete with stunning sands, warm crystal waters and spectacular scenery. Take a tour from Puerto Plata and drive through the tropical countryside backed by mountains, before boarding a speedboat and sailing around some of the best snorkelling spots in the Dominican. Enjoy a tasty lunch on the beach and further tours of national parks, lagoons and magnificent mangroves on your return.

 
Go Kitesurfing in Cabarate

 

Go Kitesurfing in Cabarate

It's not all fly and flop in Dom Rep! Watersports are big business and the white sand beaches and near-perfect conditions attract adventure-loving holidaymakers in their droves. Beaches in the small town of Cabarate offer the best kitesurfing and windsurfing on the island. As the name suggests, Kite Beach is popular with kite surfers and there are several schools promising to make you a kitesurfing and windsurfing pro in no time. The nightlife is just as great, and so are the restaurants and bars on the main street.

 
Tour 27 Waterfalls

 

Tour 27 Waterfalls

The Damajaqua Cascades are also known as the 27 Waterfalls and are one of the most popular excursions on the island. Make your way through the canyons and lush rainforest surroundings and then slip, slide and swim in the clear waters. You can choose the number of falls you’d like to explore when you pay the admission fee and English-speaking guides are on hand to escort you around the waterfalls.

 
Visit the Adventure Park and Casino

 

Visit the Adventure Park and Casino

Puerto Plata’s Ocean World Adventure Park, Casino and Marina offer heaps of unadulterated fun. Get up close and personal with dolphins, sea lions, stingrays and sharks or seek your thrill by interacting with the park’s tigers. Later on you could indulge in a bit of gambling at the casino which is built around the marine theme and offers Vegas-type shows.

 
Head for the Cable Cars

 

 

Head for the Cable Cars

The island has a bucketload of activities and safaris. If you’re feeling adventurous, soak up stunning sights of the lush rainforest as you soar above the treetops on the zip line at Samana. Explore the stone age caves of Cueva Fun-Fun when you head down a 20 metre wall of rock in Hato Mayor, squeeze through small tunnels, get lost in a maze of caverns and wade through the underwater river. Or practice your putting skills on one of Punta Cana’s 12 golf courses. Head to the namesake city of Puerto Plata and take the funicular cable car up to the summit of Mount Isabela. The choice is all yours.

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