Fort San Felipe was built in 1564 by order of Philip II of Spain and is Puerto Plata's oldest surviving building.
It was a formidable construction, designed to strike fear into any would-be-invader's heart. Its 2m- (7ft) thick walls, squat doorways and moat filled with sharp coral and swords served to keep people out and, when the fort later became a prison, worked just as effectively at keeping people in - including one of its most notable captives - Juan Pablo Duarte, who served time here in 1844.
The tower contains a small museum of wartime artifacts such as guns, artillery shells, and cannonballs. Fort San Felipe's main attraction, however, is its sweeping views across the Atlantic.
It was a great trip. We weren't rushed at all. I just wish we could truly see more of the city. Visiting 3 different jewelry shops was not my idea of a city tour at all. I would not by this option again or recommend it until that changes.
I gave it a 3 stars rating to be generous. Most of the time is spent in rum and jewelry factories that mask the store trying to sell the products. It is like going shopping experience, even thought the amber and Larimar museums are nice to see. There was no lunch includded, even thought it was mentioned like part of the deal. The best part for me was the visit to the city center and the cable car ride with amazing views. I would recommend adding more sightseen of the beautiful Puerto Plata area and surroundings, and less shopping experience.
Very nice tour. We saw alot of different places. Be aware of the people who act as security at the church area....they offer to take your pictures but want "tipped" for it afterwards.
Fort San Felipe sits on a promontory at the west end of the Malecón. Head west along Highway 5 (Canada Bonita) from Puerto Plata center.