A Blue Flag award-winner
The cosy Costa Dorada has earned itself a prestigious Blue Flag award, demonstrating its beach to be clean all times of the year. Ideal for families, couples or individuals, the beach has a shallow tide which makes paddling popular. A handful of sunloungers are available for hire to visitors on this golden strip.
A short distance offshore is a beautiful coral reef that offers the eye-candy necessary for a memorable snorkelling or scuba diving trip. Dressers Divers is the place to go to start your tour of the ocean deep. It's worth investing in an underwater, disposable camera, because the reef really is gorgeous.
An evening out
Costa Dorada isn't as party-centric as its brother and sister either side – Puerto Plata and Playa Dorada. But that doesn't mean that when night falls all bets are off. On the contrary, the hotel-based entertainment is top notch, offering karaoke and traditional live music to enjoy over a meal or a cocktail at the Be Live Collection Marien or Sol Costa Dorada hotel. The native musicians are often up for a chat afterwards, if you'd like to meet some local talent.
For dinner, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Almost entirely hotel-based, each competes with the last to bring its customers the best in local and international cuisine, from traditional to fusion.
Experience Fun City
Fun City in Puerto Plata is the largest go-karting facility in the Caribbean. It has three huge courses all ready for you to race your mates to the finish lines. So you can burn rubber and skid your way around corner after corner of professionally designed go-kart track to see who will be buying the drinks that evening.
If you've dropped the kids off at the course but the tracks aren't really your thing, you can go and visit the stables next door. They offer riding opportunities as well as the option to just hang out and feed the horses. It's the perfect alternative to the action at Fun City, plus you might make a new pony-faced friend.
The vibrant Puerto Plata nearby
Drive no more than five minutes and you'll reach Puerto Plata, the vibrant capital of the region. This is the spot to visit for shopping, nightlife and high class restaurants, and is guaranteed to deliver a trip to remember.
Browse the incredible El Mercado markets, which snake between rows and rows of wooden huts. Fresh produce and handicrafts are piled high on every stall, inviting you to test your haggling skills with the locals.
If it's history and culture you're after, Puerto Plata has more than enough to keep you satisfied. Hit the 15th Century San Felipe Fortress that stands high above the city's harbour as testament to its rich military history.
If that's not high enough, take the cable car up to the summit of Mount Isabel de Torres and marvel at the incredible views out over the Dominican Republic's unique landscape. From up high you'll also find a huge open-armed statue of Jesus, just like the one inRio de Janeiro.