Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
City Tours to Rainbow Gift Shop
Puerto Plata Dominican Republic (Aiport Code POP): Located 25 km (15.5 miles) west of the beaches at Sosua and Cabarete and Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata is an actual Dominican Republic town, not a resort community.
City tours include stops at Rainbow Gift Shop and the POP fort, or you can ride the teleferico (cable car), shop for semi-precious larimar, amber or art, and see the inner workings of a rum distillery. There's also a day trip to the cigar factory at Santiago and the waterfalls, and historic Santo Cerro Related: Sosua Dominican day trip; what to pack for DR.
Puerto Plata DR Airport - Outside the POP Terminal
The airport at Puerto Plata (airport code POP) is modern, and easy to navigate.
The terminal has been updated and looks more like a North American small city airport than the Caribbean hodge podge of shops and services it had been.
From POP terminal to Playa Dorada, it's about a 30 minute drive;
From POP to Sosua, about 45 minutes; to Cabarete, about 60 minutes; to Bahia Principe, about an hour and a half travel time.
See this google map to get an overview of the POP area.
A Dominican Republic City - Puerto Plata
On an earlier trip, I had walked around Puerto Plata's downtown area with churches and government buildings.
This trip, I stayed in Playa Dorada and took a day trip into town.
One stop was at the Larimar Mine Museum and jewellery shop (more info to come on this unique Dominican gemstone).
You could take a taxi from most North Coast resorts to Puerto Plata but I recommend a tour company until you know your way around.
Bahia Principe to the east and the newer area Playa Luperon to the west are both at least 90 minutes by road from Puerto Plata, and may offer city tours from those resorts.
Rainbow Gift Shop in Puerto Plata DR
After touring the Larimar Mine Museum for about an hour, we moved down the street to the Rainbow Gift Shop.
Outside the Rainbow Gift Shop - New Construction
I'm not sure why, exactly, but when I am traveling, I will always stop to watch local tradesmen building stuff.
And so it was here, on a street in Puerto Plata, that I stood on the shady side of the street to watch these men at work.
I think part of the attraction is to see what types and grades of materials are used, as they likely reflect how my resort hotel was built, and I like being reassured that the buildings are safe :-)
Dominican Shoe Store - On Top of a Van in Puerto Plata
Another activity I will always make time for is to watch how the locals go about their business.
After chatting to the staff in the Larimar store, and the gift shop, I'd learned all I wanted to, and headed out of the crowded shop to the street.
A young Haitian approached me, selling something or other - a trinket souvenir I think.
But what caught my eye was this fellow selling shoes from the top of his van parked at the end of the block.
More Dominican Republic Pictures and Info
Dominican Republic Information