Puerto Plata – Dominican Republic
Often called The bride of the Atlantic, the city of Puerto Plata was baptized by Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492 when the three ships ( La Niña, La Pinta and La Santa Maria ) reached its silver-like reflected shores ( the town`s name is Silver Port ). That discovery changed history, and a bit more than 500 years later the town was rediscovered as a great tourist destination in the mid-1980`s.
Playa Dorada was the first large scale complex to be developed in Puerto Plata, and soon the nearby towns of Sosua, Cabarete, Costambar and Cofresi were also developing their beach areas to accommodate the large influx of tourists. Hoteliers and other businessmen were not trained to handle their newly made riches, and lack of reinvestment in the area combined with new destinations in Punta Cana made Puerto Plata fade away for several years.
Tourism declined and instead moved East, despite the North`s superior natural beauty and landscape variety. Many hotels closed in the town, also in Sosua and a few in Cabarete. A few foreign investors saw opportunity and started to invest massively in large and small scale real estate projects in Sosua and Cabarete, which led to a renewed sense of trust in the North. Puerto Plata kept its old charm, with its centuries old gingerbread Victorian houses, historic sites and lots of available tours for visitors.
Cabarete became the center of water sports, and a world class location for practicing kite surfing. The bay soon shifted from a fishermen village to a robust town boasting luxury buildings, most built by a small group of foreign investors. Owning a beach condo in Cabarete is a trend among kite surfers and other tourists that visit the area and enjoy its lifestyle of eco challenges and sports life.
Money started to flow to the area when other well heeled investors purchased large portions of land and developed luxury residential communities such as Sea Horse Ranch, Haciendas El Choco, Perla Marina, and Hideaway Beach to mention a few. In just a decade, the shoreline of Sosua was no longer empty, pristine cliffs, as oceanfront condo buildings were raised one after the other. Villa developments like Casa Linda and Hispaniola started the trend of second home ownership in the North coast, and with it a vacation villa rental market that today rivals with the hotel industry.
Big investments like the Ocean World Marine Park with its grand casino and yacht marina have made Puerto Plata a more attractive choice, also the newly planned cruise ship marina by Carnival Cruises in Maimon will double fold tourism to Puerto Plata and its beach side towns of Cabarete, Sosua, Cofresi and Costambar.