What to do in Puerto Plata
historical city on a cruise to Amber Cove Port

Photo of downtown Puerto Plata city near Amber Cove
Photo of downtown Puerto Plata city near Amber Cove
Photo of downtown Puerto Plata city near Amber Cove

Essential guide to visit the historical city of Puerto Plata on a cruise to Amber Cove port, things to do, and top sites: Amber Museum, Cathedral, Rum distilleries, cigar factories, dining and more.

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The historical city of Puerto Plata is an ideal destination for cruise travelers to the Amber Cove port who enjoy exploring the nooks and crannies of quaint old-world places.

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For updated coronavirus (Covid-19) information and travel advice to the Dominican Republic and Amber Cove visit the U.S. Embassy on the Dominican Republic website. For a more comprehensive Traveler's Health advice to the Dominican Republic see the CDC Website.

Contents

  1. Plaza Independencia (Parque Central)
  2. Amber Museum
  3. San Felipe Fort
  4. Cathedral
  5. Gregorio Luperon Museum
  6. Rum distilleries
  7. Cigar factories and shops
  8. Local flavors, drinks and lunch
  9. Consulate of the United States

Overview

The colonial city center of Puerto Plata is around 6.9 miles from the cruise port in Amber Cove. The Amber Museum and the Fort of San Felipe are notable highlights invariably included in the guided tours of Puerto Plata offered on many shore-excursions, which can be a pleasant way to discover the city's unique charm.

But it is also very easy and reasonably affordable to explore Puerto Plata on your own. And to discover many other attractions beyond the notable highlights typically offered on an organized tour. A taxi (for up to 4 passengers) costs around US$50.00 each way. Cruisers traveling by taxi will have ample time to visit at leisure all the city has to offer.

To Do and See: the Historical City of Puerto Plata:
Landmarks, Museums, Local Flavors and More

A couple of unique museums, historical landmarks, local Rum distilleries, and cigar factories are attractions in the colonial city not to be missed when calling at Amber Cove cruise port. Cruise visitors traveling on your own will discover a few very nice places to enjoy a light fare or savor delightful local produce, fresh seafood, or fish for lunch. And don't overlook the opportunity to taste the splendid Dominican coffee.

The Amber Museum and the highlights
of the historical city of Puerto Plata

  1. Plaza Independencia (Parque Central)
  2. To See and Do: The main square in the heart of the historical city is a gem impossible to miss. The grand cathedral, the old bandstand, and the colonial houses around the beloved square are a delight. The Amber Museum is just around the corner and so are most major points of historical interest in Puerto Plata.

  3. Amber Museum
  4. To See and Do: Very interesting museum with an excellent display of millennial fossils with prehistoric flowers and insects. Don't miss the lizard impeccably preserved for over 30 million years in a 16in Amber piece. Address: Calle 12 de Julio 24. Close to the Parque Central - 985 ft. (300 meters). Opening Hours: daily with guided tours from 9 AM to 6 PM except Sunday. Visiting Time: around 1 hour, including the gift shop.
    Official Website: www.ambermuseum.com

  5. San Felipe Fort
  6. To See and Do: The historical museum housed in this major colonial military structure in the Caribbean built by Spaniards to defend the north coast. Dating back to 1577 is traditionally claimed to be the oldest military fortification in the Americas. Exhibitions display Taino pottery, old coins, swords, cannons, axes, machetes, and info-graphs.  Address: Avenida General Gregorio Luperón. North of the Parque Central - 0.6 mile (900 meters). Opening Hours: daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. Visiting Time: at least one hour.

  7. Saint Philip (San Felipe) the Apostle Cathedral
  8. To See and Do: it was built in 1956, after a fire burned the older church in 1863. Elevated to official Cathedral status by Pope John Paul II (1996). Majestic interior and wonderful location.  Address: Calle José del Carmen Ariza 36. On the Parque Central. Visiting Time: under 1 hour, including landmarks in the area. Entrance: free.

  9. Gregorio Luperon Museum
  10. To See and Do: museum dedicated to general Luperon, a hero of the Independence of the country, with a historical exhibition, cafeteria, and museum shop. Address: Calle 12 de Julio. East of the Parque Central - 0.3 mile (400 meters). Opening Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 9 AM to 5 PM Visiting Time: around 1 hour. 
    Official Website: www.museogregorioluperon.com

Rum distilleries

  1. Macorix House of Rum Distillery
  2. To See and Do: tastings and tour of the distillery to discover the centennial history and process involved in the creation of the famed rum. Typically offered on shore-excursions but also possible to visit on your own.  Address: Av. Francisco Alberto Caamaño. Close to the Parque Central - 0.6 mile (900 meters). Visiting Time: Around 1 hour. 
    Website: ronmacorix.com

  3. Brugal Rum Distillery
  4. To See and Do: free guided tour of the vast distillery where close to 1 million and a half liters of the famous rum is traditionally produced. Gift shop with Brugal Rum and local souvenirs. Address: Av Manolo T. Justo. On the outskirts of the historical center. South of the Parque Central - 2.1 miles (3.5 km). Visiting Time: Around 1 hour. Opening Hours: Open 8 AM to 4PM. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.
    Website: www.brugal-rum.com

Cigar factories, lounges and shops

  1. Vivonte Cigar Factory and Lounge
  2. To See and Do: visit the stylish lounge on the ground floor and the local factory on the second floor where a judicious selection of premium and ultra-premium cigars are produced by rollers with decades of experience. Address: Calle José del Carmen Ariza #5. Very close to the Parque Central - 0.16 mile (260 meters). Opening Hours: every day from 8 AM to 11 PM.
    Website: www.vivontecigars.com

  3. Espigon Cigar Shop
  4. To See and Do: small shop and local factory in the historical center typically included in shore-excursions but also possible to visit on your own. Address: Calle San Felipe. Very close to Parque Central - 490 feet (150 meters). Opening Hours: Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM.
    Website: www.espigoncigars.com

  5. Puerto Plata Cigar Club
  6. To See and Do: small but very cozy cigar lounge with a private bar with and an excellent selection of Dominican and international brands. Address: Calle Sánchez #23. Close to the Parque Central - 984 ft. (300 meters). Opening Hours: every day from 9 AM to 12 AM.
    Website: Instagram Page

Local flavors, drinks and lunch

  1. El Bergantin Caribbean Grill
  2. The most acclaimed restaurant in the heart of the historical city. Menu: international cuisine with Caribbean touch - seafood, fresh fish, cheviches, steaks, pizzas, risottos and pastas. Address: on Parque Central. Opening Hours: between 8:30 AM and 10:45 PM, except Monday. Typical prices: between $6.00 (shrimp ceviche) and $15.00 (lobster).
    Website: elbergantin.com.do

  3. Casita Azul - restaurant
  4. Small colonial house on Independence Square serving gourmet cuisine with a sophisticated ambiance and excellent ratings. Cuisine:  Caribbean, seafood, international, spanish, fusion. Address: on Parque Central. Opening Hours: every day between 10:30 AM and 11:30 PM, except Sunday.
    Website: Facebook page

  5. Kaffe - bistro and restaurant
  6. Charming place serving all sorts of coffees but also drinks, cocktails, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and lunch. Menu: international cuisine with local flavors - seafood, risottos and pastas. Address: Calle Prof Juan Bosch. Around the corner from Parque Central - 459 ft (140 meters). Opening Hours: every day between 8 AM and 11 PM. Typical prices: between $3.00 (sandwiche) and $9.00 (shrimp risotto); coffees start at US$1.00.
    Website: Facebook page

  7. Casa 40 - bar, bistro and restaurant
  8. Stylish colonial house with victorian ambiance featuring outdoor seating and serving light fares. Menu:  like burguers, salads, tapas, cheese plates, french crepes and pastas. Address: Calle Duarte and Calle Imbert. Behind Parque Central - 295 ft (90 meters). Opening Hours: every day between 12 and 7 PM. Typical prices: between $3.00 (quesadilla) and $6.00 (burguer).
    Website: www.casa40rd.com

  9. Heladería Mariposa Repostería Austriaca
  10. The place to go for ice cream right on Independence Square.Menu: ice cream, coffee, austrian pastry, french croissants. Address: on Parque Central. Opening Hours: every day between 7 AM and 10 PM.
    Website: heladosmariposa.com

  11. El Rincon Del Café
  12. This intimate place is a must to savor some of the most delicious organic coffees in the Dominican Republic, ground to ultimate perfection, and brewed at the appropriate temperatures. Address: Calle Separación 36. East of Parque Central - 688 ft. (210 meters). Opening Hours: every day between 9 AM and 6 PM, except Sunday.
    Website: cafeorganicodominicano.com

Consulate of the United States

In the rare case of an emergency, the Consulate of the United States is conveniently located on Calle Villanueva 8, in the historical city of Puerto Plata, 0.3 mile (450 meters) east of the Parque Central square. The consulate is open between 8:30 AM and 12 PM and from 2 to 4 PM.

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