Discover the Northern Coast of the Dominican Republic
Lush and verdant mountainous tropical forests, expansive white sand beaches, turquoise blue seas and flowing river rapids. Hawaii? No. This island jewel is a less-than- two-hour flight from Miami and only three hours from New York City. This place, sure to become one of your favorites, is the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic is a nation that occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, sharing it with its sister to the west, Haiti. But unlike Haiti, the DR enjoys a robust tourism industry and a market economy that affords its visitors most anything they desire while on vacation. The high season for tourism is from November through April, but the island enjoys temperatures ranging from 77 to 83 degrees year-round.
Many vacationers have already discovered Punta Cana in the east, and Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, La Romana, Bayahibe and the capital, Santo Domingo, in the south. Here’s a guide to some lesser-known locales on the north coast. A trip to one of these four places means a chance to expand your knowledge of a beautiful nation — and to get away from some of the maddening crowds at the more populated tourist destinations.
Puerto Plata is where some say Columbus came ashore in the New World in 1492. With a population of more than 300,000 and an international airport, Puerto Plata has a lush, looming, grand mountain that sits sentry over the placid coast. The hustle and bustle of the city are a sharp contrast to the tranquility of its eastern shore, known as Playa Dorado, a long beach with a range of affordable, all-inclusive resorts that cater equally well to families and singles.
For golf lovers, Playa Dorada has a Robert Trent Jones–designed 18-hole champion- ship course. Other local attractions include Ocean World family theme park, and Black- beard’s Castle.