Fuerte San Felipe, Puerto Plata - Stein Travel
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Fuerte San Felipe

Puerto Plata's only remnant of its Spanish Colonial past is a small fort, situated on a small peninsula in Puerto Plata Bay. The fort, featuring a moat, and a collection of historical artefacts in a small museum, was built by Columbus after his arrival in 1492, when he hoped to establish the first Spanish colony in the New World at this site. The colony did not survive, however, and eventually the Spanish resettled on the south coast at Santo Domingo. To the east of the fort is an Oceanside road known as the Malecon, which features numerous cafes and roadside vendors. It is a popular promenade for walks beside the beach.

Information & Facts

Language

Spanish is the official language, but English is spoken in the main tourist centres.

Money

The currency is the Dominican Republic Peso (DOP), divided into 100 centavos. Many of the hotels and restaurants in the main tourist destinations display their prices in US dollars as well as in Dominican Pesos, as US dollars are widely accepted and some places will also accept Euros. The peso cannot be exchanged outside of the Dominican Republic. Major currencies can be converted into pesos at Central Bank approved bureaux; only 30% of the pesos bought can be re-converted and this only if the original receipts are produced, so it is best not to buy more pesos than you are likely to need. Major credit cards are accepted everywhere, but a commission is usually charged and it is recommended that you only use your credit card at your hotel as fraud incidents have been reported. The best exchange rates are paid on US travellers cheques and secondly on US dollars cash and are best exchanged at exchange bureaux ( casas de cambio). Banking hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm; some banks also open on Saturday. ATMs are widespread.

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