Fodor's Expert Review Fortaleza San Felipe
The only remaining vestige of the colonial era in Puerto Plata was built in the mid-16th century to defend the city against pirates bent on pillaging the growing wealth from its shipping port. In 1605 the fort was dismantled, and it was rebuilt in 1739. It has a moat and a small museum with some historical artifacts—nothing fascinating, though there are pieces from the period. The thick walls and interior moat made it ideal as a prison, which is exactly how the fort was used. Kids will enjoy the opportunity to run around and explore, but it's not a must-see attraction, certainly not for adults. The centuries-old view of the bay is excellent, and a grassy knoll provides a pleasant place to sit. The fort is included on most city tours; a self-guided tour will take about 15 minutes. A restored lighthouse is adjacent, and is included in the entry fee for the fort.