Daily life in Puerto Plata unfolds at a more relaxed pace than you might be used to. There’s an old saying about Caribbean time: the hotter the weather, the slower things move along. So just relax, go with the flow and adopt the island’s relaxed attitude.
Baseball is by far the most popular sport in Puerto Plata. Dominican boys dream of making it to the big leagues in North America and many have achieved this goal. The Dominican Republic is a developing nation, so baseball is often seen as a gateway to a better life.
Tourism is one of the key industries in Puerto Plata province, with dozens of resorts and hotels along the coast. U.S. dollars are widely accepted and are often preferred over the Dominican peso. It’s helpful to have a supply of U.S. dollar bills or even Canadian loonies for tipping taxi drivers and waiters.
When it comes to Dominican food, don’t worry. You won’t break a sweat over food that’s too spicy. Be sure to try the local staple of beans and rice with mashed plantains. Lovers of tropical fruits will also be in heaven with bananas, mangoes, papayas, pineapples and passion fruit found in abundance here.
Rum is very popular in the Dominican. Three of the most popular brands are Brugal, Barceló and Bermúdez – known collectively as the three Bs. If you’re looking for something lighter, beat the heat with a bottle of Presidente beer. Adventurous drinkers can try some mamajuana – a concoction of rum, tree bark, herbs, honey and red wine. Dominicans consider this drink a health tonic.
Dominicans on the whole are friendly, welcoming and always willing to lend a helping hand to visitors. You’ll see plenty of smiling faces and waves during your visit here. Go anywhere the locals gather – the cathedral, the boulevard or the Playa Doroda Market – and you’ll see them enjoying the evening while sharing laughs.
Spanish is the official language here, but many young people learn English in school. The majority of Dominicans are a mix of European and African ancestry, though there are also descendants of the indigenous Taino people.