Located in the fishing village of Río San Juan, approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Puerto Plata, Laguna Gri-Gri is one of the country’s major bird sanctuaries, set along a peaceful lagoon flanked by thick mangroves. Boat rides take you along this mystical lagoon at any time of day, though sunset is the best time to see egrets, and vultures soaring and chirping loudly above the mangroves as you pass through the narrow channels, eventually leading up to the sea. Daily guided boat tours of the lagoon includes a stop at Cueva de Las Golondrinas (Cave of the Swallows), facing a turquoise, shallow cove where you can take a swim, and end at the magical Playa Caletón to enjoy one of Río San Juan’s blissful beaches.

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Other attractions in Puerto Plata

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Amber Route

The DR is known for producing some of the clearest and oldest amber in the world, mined in Puerto Plata. Tour amber mines where the stone is unearthed, in the hills of La Cumbre, passing entrances to holes that run 61 meters deep (200 feet), and watch workers reappear with stones in hand.

Puerto Plata, Family-Friendly, Gem Hunting, Hiking

Cabarete Coffee Company

Based in Cabarete, this “organic, shade grown, hand-picked, fair trade” coffee provider takes you on a tour of multiple coffee farms approximately two hours away, where it sources its coffee beans. You’ll get to roast, grind, and brew your own cup.

Cabarete, Puerto Plata

Cabarete Shopping

Shopping in Cabarete is as bona fide an activity as surfing. The beach town’s main street is lined with exquisite boutique stores carrying carefully curated Dominican art and apparel from around the country and from overseas.

Cabarete, Puerto Plata

Casa de Arte

The north coast’s most recent cultural center doubling as a museum and an educational arts and crafts hub. Located in the heart of Sosúa’s beach town, Casa de Arte rotates paintings and sculpture exhibits, lectures, and hosts other events every month.

Puerto Plata, Sosúa

Cayo Arena

Cayo Arena offers schools of tropical fish that can also easily be seen in shallow turquoise waters, making this spot a paradise for snorkeling fans; the area boasts some of the most abundant marine life in the DR, with corals and sponges, and schools of tropical fish swimming around your feet.

Montecristi, Puerto Plata

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