Sosua, Dominican Republic
A small beach town facing the Atlantic Ocean, Sosua is considered the jewel of Puerto Plata in terms of scenery, historical richness and attractions.
To understand this town better, one must go back to the early 1940`s when it became a haven and perhaps the only refuge in this part of the world, for Jewish people fleeing Nazi persecution.
The history of Sosua started before the arrival of its first settlers, when it was just a banana plantation with a shipping port that was later closed in the late 1930s. During the height of the Nazi regime, an important Jewish association from the United Stated called DORSA put together a plan to host jewish people in various countries, being the DR the only one to open their doors; the island was still under the rule of a dictator named Trujillo ( see the Sosua history here ). It is believed that the first arrivals were in 1940, although some historians place it on late 1939.
After the usual hardships associated with relocation, the community created successful farming and dairy operations, a school, a synagogue, public works, shops and even their own local cinema. As World War II ended, many jews left to the USA while others stayed. Today, the very first generation of Jewish settlers have died, the very last two being Luis Hess and more recently, Herman Strauss.
During the early 1980`s, the Dominican Republic started to locate and designate the most naturally attractive areas to develop international tourism. Puerto Plata was declared of national interest and so Sosua became a major travel destination being so close to Puerto Plata and specially its flagship resort area, Playa Dorada.
After being the top for several decades, the new destinations on the East of the island gradually took away most of its customers, and a lack of cohesiveness from the local hotel associations left the town to its own devices. By 2007 the town visitors dwindled, and it took about 9 years to get back to its feet.
By 2016 the town and the province of Puerto Plata were looking much better due to big investments such as the Carnival Cruises Port, Ocean World, and many large scale resort, tour and real estate investments. 2018, Sosua looks more like a big residential area due to the shift from all-inclusive hotels into the more exclusive villa rental lodging model, with their own private swimming pool, kitchen, and even chef and driver. Sailing and sports fishing took off in Sosua as well, with new yachts added to the tour catalog.
ITS MAIN ATTRACTIONS:
Being on the Atlantic, it`s no wonder that the beaches like Sosua Beach, Imbert, Alicia, Playa Chiquita, Casa Marina Beach and all the others in between have become the main attractions for visitors. Sosua`s laid back lifestyle has attracted a large expat community from Europe, The Americas and even Nordic countries; there are many great tours to enjoy, such as diving, snorkeling, sports fishing, sailing, kayaking, trekking, surfing in nearby Encuentro beach, ecotours in El Choco national park, golfing in Playa Dorada, horseback riding, ATV tours, and many more.
This moon-shaped beach is set inside a bay about 1 kilometer long, with crystal clear water and golden sand; very beautiful vistas in the horizon and lots of interesting water sports, shops, and restaurants. The beach itself is shallow in many areas, and has coral and colorful fish, great for snorkeling. From time to time, dolphins and turtles can be seen visiting the bay, undisturbed by visitors.