La Puntilla Puerto Plata is one of the most important landmarks of the North Coast, and houses one of the last standing historical structures of its kind and era. This place is located exactly where the boardwalk of that province ends and there you can find the San Felipe Fortress, which today functions as a museum, and the famous Lighthouse.

In addition, the ruins of the oldest hospital in that place and the building where the Fourteenth Company of the National Army operated. Also a beautiful park, in the center of which was erected the statue of Gregorio Luperón and an amphitheater that was recently inaugurated. The place was declared a National Park by Law number 95 of the year 1971.

PHOTOS OF LA PUNTILLA, PUERTO PLATA

The Vice Minister of Tourism explained that the name La Puntilla is due to the shape that the Puerto Plata Peninsula took, after its boardwalk was built in 1971.

“The part of La Puntilla has a historical origin, which is the Fort of San Felipe, which is the area where it was defended against pirate and corsair attacks that terrified the inhabitants of that place,” he said.

A Timeless Sentinel: The San Felipe Fortress

The San Felipe Fortress, the oldest in the New World, was known as El Morro de San Felipe, due to the fact that it was built by order of King Phillip V of Spain. The work was completed in the late 1500s. It was built on the hill of the boardwalk that surrounds the coast of Puerto Plata. It has a view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Several cannons from the colonial era are positioned towards the sea, which recreate how they were located for their use. It was built with super doors, classical and fluted columns in the Doric-Roman manner, according to the description of José Augusto Puig Ortiz and Robert S. Gamble, in their Historical Architectural essay of Puerto Plata.

ON VIDEO: LA PUNTILLA PUERTO PLATA

“The lighthouse was used to be able to distinguish from a distance the vessels that could arrive in Puerto Plata and then provoke the defense actions that were deemed pertinent,” Almonte stressed.

Right next to the Lighthouse are the ruins of the oldest hospital in that province. It was raised during the United States military intervention in the country from 1916 to 1924.

In the middle of this impressive place, embraced by a hot sun, the statue of the hero of the Restoration, General Gregorio Luperón, stands majestically, a work that was built in 1971.

Other of the historical buildings that La Puntilla has are the ruins of the hospital, which was built during the North American intervention that began on November 24, 1916 and concluded on July 12, 1924; of the building where the Fourteenth Company of the National Army operated that was left abandoned when the military garrison was transferred to the structure that was built on Isabel de Torres avenue, today Antonio Imbert Barrera avenue and of the fortress built during the Trujillo dictatorship.

FORT SAN FELIPE IN LA PUNTILLA

Under the melodious waves of the sea and the caressing breeze, the Puerto Plata Amphitheater was built, which was left in operation on Saturday the 15th of this month with a concert that lasted six hours. It also has a beautiful recreational park for the whole family decorated by the greenery of nature.

LA PUNTILLA RENOVATION PROJECT

La Puntilla is a place of high symbolic, historical and scenic value in Puerto Plata. The proposal was based on turning the park into a catalyst to raise the quality of the city’s urban space. Its strategic position between the Historic Center, the boardwalk and the port make the park and the La Puntilla amphitheater key elements. An urban and landscape architecture project sensitive to the pre-existence of the place is conceived, with the reuse of existing buildings and the incorporation of new cultural uses.

The contest proposed to look back at Puerto Plata, the first tourist hub in the Dominican Republic, developed in the early seventies, and reflect on its tourism model.

architectural layout of the renovations done in La Puntilla in 2017.
Architectural layout of La Puntilla renovation done in 2017.

The contest was an unprecedented event for Puerto Plata and for the country, and was welcomed with great credibility and motivation by architects, landscape architects, engineers, and students of these careers: 65 teams were prequalified and 50 proposals were received, which demonstrated the high tourist potential of the province.

La Puntilla del Malecón, together with the Isabel de Torres mountain and the Independencia square roundabout, is one of the most emblematic places in the urban landscape of Puerto Plata.

La Puntilla is located in an area very close to the historic center of Puerto Plata. Due to its geographical condition, it enjoys privileged views towards the Amber Coast and towards the city and the mountains, especially from the area of ​​the lighthouse, which is its highest point.

The project is part of the strategic plan to relaunch Puerto Plata as a tourist destination, which includes, in addition to the intervention in La Puntilla, the vehicular and pedestrian adaptation of the streets of the historic center (which includes paving with cobblestones, the redefinition of the direction of the tracks and the buried cables), the opening of the New Market and the improvement of urban infrastructures.

La Puntilla amphitheater concert in La Puntilla.
The Amphitheater in La Puntilla, Puerto Plata.

The project began with the location of the different elements of urban furniture and the different areas. The movement of earth was carried out cautiously, to avoid unnecessary damage to the natural environment.

The design enhances the connection with the boardwalk and the historic center, and is committed to a park for pedestrians, for which the presence of vehicles was minimized as much as possible. The paved areas were reduced to obtain the maximum surface of green areas and improve the permeability of the soil.

The following areas are distinguished in the extensive project:
Access. The entrance to the park is defined by the presence of five ceiba trees that welcome the visitor and accompany them on their way into the enclosure.

The Poza. In this sector, special attention is paid to the Poza del Castillo, a place much loved by the people of Puerto Plata for being one of the favorite play places for the little ones. Cave. Hidden by the vegetation in the west area is the parking area.

Amphitheater. With capacity for more than 4,000 people, the open-air amphitheater is undoubtedly the star element of the new park. The design takes advantage of the topography to create the stands. Tip. The point area is maintained as a green zone, with the minimum of paving.

Various areas of rooms and viewpoints are integrated with the new sports equipment and children’s games. The lighting, the children’s games and the urban furniture specially designed for La Puntilla (benches and loungers, litter bins, signage), are distributed throughout the complex to allow better use and enjoyment of the park.

The Lighthouse

The lighthouse at La Puntilla was built during the government of General Gregorio Luperón in 1879, and at the initiative of the Puerto Plata hero to serve as a guide for the ships that crossed the Atlantic and had the port of the city as their destination. It has a solid masonry foundation and rises 137 feet above sea level. 

High elevation view of the lighthouse at La Puntilla, Puerto Plata.
The historic lighthouse at La Puntilla, Puerto Plata.

How To Get There: La Puntilla is found at the West end of the Malecon ocean drive, within walking distance from Taino Bay cruise port. The cost to enter the Fort San Felipe is $2.00 dollars (RD$100.00) at the time of this writing. Address: General Gregorio Luperon Avenue #1, Puerto Plata.