Puerto Plata, where tourism began in the Dominican Republic, continues to be one of the favorite destinations for visitors. Its spectacular and extensive landscape combines sea, mountains, green valleys, rivers and a number of beaches. Its fertile soil gives rise to cocoa and coffee plantations, while beneath the earth lies the world's clearest amber.
The astute explorer, Christopher Columbus knew there was much to discover on the Atlantic coast of the island, where he eventually found gold deposits, when he spotted it from his ship in 1492. Attracted by the clouds shining over Loma Isabel de Torres that illuminated the vast blue coast, he christened the area "Puerto Plata", and settled in La Isabela with a mixed community of Spaniards and Tainos, the first inhabitants of the island. There he built the first church and his first home in the Americas. You can follow the Columbus trail and tour these archaeological ruins that are now part of a national park.