The North Coast of the Dominican Republic is called the Amber Coast, because of its rich deposits of semi-precious amber. This is where Columbus landed on his first voyage of discovery. It is comprised of an assortment of beach towns, resorts and communities, nestled between the Atlantic and a chain of majestic coastal mountains.
Puerto Plata is the largest city. Main sightseeing attractions in Puerto Plata include the historic fort, Fuerte de San Felipe, the Brugal Rum Distillery, where you can take a guided tour of how they make their rum, the Amber Museum, and the Malecon or boardwalk, where you can find typical Dominican restaurants and enjoy views of the port and Atlantic Ocean. Take a cable car to the top of nearby Mount Isabel de Torres to see the botanical gardens and statue of Christ the Redeemer and have a spectacular view of Puerto Plata and surrounding areas.
Playa Dorada is a gated resort area about 5 km. east of Puerto Plata. There are over a dozen all-inclusive resorts in this area, as well as a shopping mall with restaurants, bars, gift shops and a movie theatre. In this complex there are two casinos, and the Playa Dorada Golf Course.
About 25 km east of Puerto Plata is Sosua, which was originally settled by Jewish refugees in the early 1940's. Here you will find a number of types of accommodation, everything from a basic room to luxurious villas, to all-inclusive resorts, as well as many restaurants, bars and discos. One of the main attractions here is Sosua Beach, a 1/2 km of beach in a small cove with soft white sand and clear turquoise waters, surrounded by high coral cliffs. Many snorkeling and diving excursions take place in this area. There is also a large vendors market behind the beach where you can bargain or souvenirs.