Puerto Plata Province

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Coordinates: 19°48′0″N 70°41′0″W / 19.8°N 70.683333°W / 19.8; -70.683333
Puerto Plata
Country  Dominican Republic
Capital Puerto Plata
 - elevation m (26 ft)
 - coordinates 19°48′0″N 70°41′0″W / 19.8°N 70.683333°W / 19.8; -70.683333
Area 1,852.90 km² (715 sq mi)
Population 321,597 (2010) [1]
Density 174 /km² (451 /sq mi)
Province since 1865
Subdivisions 9 municipalities
12 municipal districts
Congresspersons 1 Senator
6 Deputies
Timezone AST (UTC-4)
Area code 1-809 1-829 1-849
ISO 3166-2 DO-18
Location of Puerto Plata Province
Location of Puerto Plata Province

Puerto Plata is one of the northern provinces of the Dominican Republic. The area is a popular tourist attraction since the late 1990s because there are many fine beaches.

It was created in 1865. It was a municipality of Santiago province before being elevated to the category of province.

Location[change | change source]

Puerto Plata province is along the northern coast of the island. To the north, it has the Atlantic Ocean; to the east, Espaillat; to the south, Santiago and Valverde provinces; and to the west, Monte Cristi province.

Origin of name[change | change source]

The province is named after its capital city, Puerto Plata. When Christopher Columbus visited the northern coast of the Hispaniola island for the first time, on 11 January 1493 he saw a mountain with clouds on its top and he gave it the name of Monte de Plata (in English, Mountain of Silver).[2] The town that was founded on the foot of that mountain was called Puerto de Plata (in English, Port of Silver); the name was changed later to just Puerto Plata.

History[change | change source]

The first European town, La Isabela, was founded by Columbus in January 1493 by Columbus near the city of Puerto Plata; the city of Puerto Plata was founded in 1502.

In 1605, the town of Puerto Plata along with Monte Cristi, Bayajá and La Yaguana was destroyed by the governor, Antonio de Osorio. All of it's citizens were forced to move to a town closer to the capital due to the amount of illegal trade happening in these towns. These towns formed what is now known as Monte Plata and Bayaguana.

It was created as a Maritime District (a special administrative category similar to a province and that has been abandoned) in 1865. The 1907 Dominican Constitution changed its status to province. It was part of Santiago province before being elevated to the category of province.

Municipalities[change | change source]

Puerto Plata province has a total area of 1,852.90 km2.[3] It has 3.8% of the area of the Dominican Republic and it is ranked as the 10th (out of 31 provinces plus the National District) largest province.

There are nine municipalities and 12 municipal districts in the province. The municipalities and their municipal districts (M.D.) are:

Population[change | change source]

Aerial view of the city of Puerto Plata with Isabel de Torres mountain in the background

In 2010 (last national census), there were 321,597 people living in the Puerto Plata province, and 187,553 (58.32%) living in towns and cities. The population density was 174 persons/km2.[4]

Its population represents 3.4% of the total population of the country and the province is ranked as the 6th (out of 31 plus the National District) more populated province.

The largest city of the province is San Felipe de Puerto Plata, its head municipality or capital, with a population (in 2010) of 128,240 inhabitants.[4]

Geography[change | change source]

The Cordillera Septentrional (in English, "Northern mountain range") runs along the southern half of the province. Another mountain range is Sierra Atravesada that goes from the Cordillera Septentrional to the coast. The mountain "Isabel de Torres" (the "Monte de Plata" of Columbus) is close to the city of Puerto Plata.

Because the Cordillera Septentrional is close to the coast, rivers in this province are short. The most important rivers are Bajabonico, Yásica and Camú del Norte.

Economy[change | change source]

There are several important economic activities in the province, like tourism along the coast, farming and industry (like food products and rhum).

References[change | change source]

  1. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2010." (in Spanish) (PDF). Oficina Nacional de Estadística. June 2012. http://censo2010.one.gob.do/volumenes_censo_2010/vol1.pdf. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  2. Columbus, Christopher; de las Casas, Bartolomé, Dunn, O.C., and Kelley, James E. (1989). The Diario of Christopher Columbus's First Voyage to America, 1492-1493. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  3. Listado de Códigos de Provincias, Municipio y Distritos Municipales, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
  4. 4.0 4.1 Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda. Informe Básico" (in Spanish) (PDF). http://censo2010.one.gob.do/resultados/Resumen_resultados_generales_censo_2010.pdf. Retrieved 2013-1-29.