Take the road less traveled when you explore the Dominican Republic's spectacular north coast. Colonial fortresses, cascading waterfalls, emerald lagoons, and Blue Flag beaches are just some of the highlights you'll experience on this brisk, five-day escape. Throw in some fresh grilled lobster and a chilled adult beverage or two, and you have the ingredients for the trip of a lifetime.


  • Visit Puerto Plata's colonial landmarks on a walking tour
  • Hike to waterfalls and soar above the trees on a zip-line
  • Relax on the Blue Flag beach of Playa Dorada
  • Take a day trip to freshwater lagoons and marvel at pre-Columbian art

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Puerto Plata, Walking Tour & Amber Museum Puerto Plata
Day 2 Damajagua Waterfall Adventure & Zip Line Puerto Plata
Day 3 Playa Dorada Free Day Puerto Plata
Day 4 Day Trip to Playa Grande & Laguna Dudu Puerto Plata
Day 5 Depart Puerto Plata  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Puerto Plata, Walking Tour & Amber Museum

Puerto Plata Walking tour and Amber Museum visit
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Welcome to Puerto Plata, star of the Dominican Republic's north coast! During your stay, you'll follow in the footsteps of conquistadors, visit postcard beaches, immerse yourself in local culture, and more. 

After checking into your hotel, stretch your legs on a 3-hour walking tour of the city's historic center. Here stands one of Puerto Plata's oldest monuments: the San Felipe Fortress. You'll get to visit this impressive battlement and learn about its rich history and colonial past. The Spanish built it way back in the 16th century as a defensive fort to guard Hispaniola's north coast. 

Next, you'll tour the Amber Gallery, which features the finest display of amber and Larimar in the country. These precious stones are an integral part of the history of the Dominican Republic. Exhibits here showcase amber's famed effect of preserving dinosaur fossils for millions of years, while the Larimar rooms include ornate pieces of jewelry made from this "blue jewel of the Caribbean."

The next stop is an even deeper dive into the region's culture, as you learn more about the famed products that come from of Puerto Plata. You'll visit the Macorix House of Rum, an artisanal cigar factory, a chocolate confectionery, and finally stop at the Malecón (waterfront promenade), where locals might just show you how to dance merengue, the national dance of the Dominican Republic.

Day 2: Damajagua Waterfall Adventure & Zip Line

The Damajagua Waterfalls
Your half-day adventure begins in the morning with a transfer to a hidden paradise of cascading waterfalls and turquoise river pools. There are 27 waterfalls along the Damajagua River, as well as limestone caverns and natural waterslides. 

You'll embark on a 60-minute hike up to the best known of the area's falls. Then the real fun begins as you slide and swim your way back down the mountain, passing multiple falls along the way. That's not all, because at the end of the hike you'll enjoy a zip-line adventure over the falls. After the wild ride, it will be time to sit down for a delicious Dominican lunch buffet. Then you'll transfer back to your hotel in the beach town of Cabarete, where you can kick back and relax.

Day 3: Playa Dorada Free Day

Free day in Playa Dorada - Optional activities
The famous Playa Dorada, in Puerto Plata
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Just 10 minutes east of Puerto Plata is the most celebrated beach in the region: Playa Dorada. This stretch of sand earned its sterling reputation due to its crystal clear waters and offshore coral reefs teeming with marine life. Because of its natural beauty, Playa Dorada enjoys the coveted Blue Flag status, and you'll get to experience it firsthand. There are extensive options for water sports here, from kitesurfing to banana boat tubing, as well as a number of restaurants and beach bars.
Other optional activities include a visit to Ocean World Adventure Park, an interactive marine park home to dolphins, sea lions, rays, tropical birds, and even sharks. There's also the laid-back beach town of Sousa. Or you can head to the long sandy beaches in the resort enclave of Cabarete.

Day 4: Day Trip to Playa Grande & Laguna Dudú

Day trip to Playa Grande & Laguna Dudu
Laguna Dudú
Today a private guide will lead you on a full-day outing to Playa Grande. As its name implies, Playa Grande ("big beach") is enormous. This seemingly endless stretch of white sand is just as ideal for taking long walks as it is for relaxing in a lounger. Complete the experience with plate of grilled lobster and an ice-cold beer or coconut water.

Then it's off to Laguna Dudú, located in the municipal district La Entrada. This emerald lagoon comprises about 2,300 feet (700 m) of tunnels connecting two freshwater lakes. Besides swimming in the lagoon, you can visit the nearby Taino Caves, whose walls are decorated with pre-Columbian art. At the end of the day, your guide will take you back to your hotel in Puerto Plata.

Day 5: Depart Puerto Plata

Goodbye, DR

This concludes your unforgettable Dominican adventure. In the morning you'll transfer to the airport for your flight home. Happy travels!

More Great Dominican Republic Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the DR? Check out these other 5-day Dominican Republic itineraries, with outdoor adventures, beach vacations, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.