Just last week when we were still in the DR, we ventured outside of our little Luperón comfort zone and made the 1-hour trek to Puerta Plata for a day packed with lots of touristy sight-seeing goodness. I mean, we can’t spend three weeks in the DR and not do a handful of super touristy things.
Puerta Plata is basically the nearest ‘big city’ to Luperon. It’s the second most popular port of entry for people coming to the Dominican Republic, but most tourists go straight to all inclusive resorts.
We hired Super Nino (as he’s lovingly referred to in the harbor) to drive us to Puerta Plata and spend the day toting us around from one spot to the next. Nino is AWESOME!!! He lives in the small town just outside of Luperon, speaks great English, is super friendly, and knows exactly where to go in Puerta Plata (which we of course do not). We had considered renting a car ourselves for the day, but it was well worth the extra $14 (in our opinion) to have a personal driver for the entire day (car rentals go for about 1200 pesos — Nino’s services were 1800).
After an hours drive through the beautiful Dominican countryside, we made our first stop of the day at Mount Isabel de Torres. Towering above the city, Mount Isabel de Torres is a site to see with panoramic views of the city below from its flat-topped peak. We paid 340 pesos (a piece) entry fee and took the 2,700-foot cable car ride to the top of the mountain where we got to see the famous statue of Christ similar to the iconic attraction in Río de Janeiro, and had stellar views of the city below. Let’s not lie, I was a wee bit nervous hopping in a 30+ year old cable car that is literally hanging by one cable.
The views on the ride up were breathtaking! You could easily see the entire city. Unfortunately, those views only lasted a short while as clouds quickly rolled in once we were atop the mountain. But that’s okay. We were still able to take scope out the beautiful Christ statue and take lots of photos! :))
The place was pretty dead when we arrived (a good thing in my opinion) and we didn’t have to wait at all getting up or back down the mountain. I can imagine it gets kinda crowded on busy days and you literally have to wait in a terminal for your turn on the cable car (there is only one car going up and one car going down at any given time — I think they probably fit about 20 bodies inside at a time).
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