San Felipe de Puerto Plata

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Puerto Plata
San Felipe de Puerto Plata
View from the air of Puerto Plata and the Isabel de Torres mountain
View from the air of Puerto Plata and the Isabel de Torres mountain
Nickname(s): La Novia del Atlántico
("Bride of the Atlantic Ocean")
Puerto Plata is located in Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata
Coordinates: 19°48′N 70°41′W / 19.8°N 70.683°W / 19.8; -70.683Coordinates: 19°48′N 70°41′W / 19.8°N 70.683°W / 19.8; -70.683
Country  Dominican Republic
Province Puerto Plata
Municipal Districts 2
Founded 1502
Municipality since 1844
 • Total 459.71 km2 (177.50 sq mi)
Elevation[2] 8 m (26 ft)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 158,756
 • Density 345/km2 (890/sq mi)
 • Urban 123,571
  Including populations of its municipal districts
Demonym(s) Puertoplateño (female, puertoplateña)
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) AST (UTC-4)
Distance 69 km (43 mi) to Santiago
215 km (134 mi) to Santo Domingo

The Dominican city of San Felipe de Puerto, usually called just Puerto Plata is the head municipality of the Puerto Plata province, on the north (Atlantic) coast of the country.

The municipality has the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the municipalities of Villa Montellano and Sosúa to the east, the Santiago province to the south, the municipality of Altamira to the southwest and the municipalities of Luperón and Imbert to the west.

Origin of name[change | change source]

The name Puerto Plata (in English, "Silver Port") came from the name given by Columbus to the mountain just to the south of the city: Monte de Plata (in English, "Silver Mountain") because the mountain always had clouds on its top and not because there was the metal silver; that mountain now is called Isabel de Torres mountain (in Spanish, the complete name is Loma Isabel de Torres). Isabel de Torres was a lady who lived in Puerto in 1605 and had a lot of land in the mountain.[4]

The city was called first Puerto de Plata but later it was changed to just Puerto Plata, the name that is still used.

Population[change | change source]

The municipality had, in 2010, a total population of 158,756: 79,633 men and 79,123 women. The urban population was 77.84% of the total population. In this numbers are included the population of the municipal districts of Maimón and Yásica Arriba. The population of the city of Puerto Plata without those municipal districts was 128,240.[3]

Geography[change | change source]

The municipality of Puerto Plata has an area of 459.71 km². There are two municipal districts in the municipality (a municipal district in the Dominican Republic are similar to municipalities but they depend on a municipality).[5] Those municipal districts are:

  1. Maimón, to the west
  2. Yásica Arriba, to the east

The Cordillera Septentrional (in English, "Northern mountain range") runs along the southern half of the municipality. There are only two roads that go through this mountain range. It rains a lot in these mountains.

The mountain "Loma Isabel de Torres" (the "Monte de Plata" of Columbus) is 5 km to the southeast of the city of Puerto Plata. It stands alone even if it is part of the Cordillera Septentrional. On top of the mountain, there is rainforest because it gets a lot of rain there; it rains almost every day. That forest is now a national park.

It is 799 m high and there are two ways for getting to the top: by road or by a cable car (a type of car that runs on cables above the car).[4]

There are many rivers in the municipality but, because the Cordillera Septentrional is close to the coast, they are all very short. The two most important rivers are Camú del Norte and Yásica. Two small rivers that are close to the city are San Marcos and Muñoz.

There are some bays along the coast. Two of them are the Puerto Plata Bay and Maimón Bay.

History[change | change source]

Fuerte San Felipe

Columbus visited the Puerto Plata Bay on 11 January 1493. The city was founded and built by Nicolás de Ovando in 1502. Soon it became the most important port in the northern coast of the Hispaniola island and, in 1508, the king of Spain gave a coat of arms to the city.

Because there were many pirates and other British and French ships along the northern coast of the island, a fort was built here by orders of Carlos I, king of Spain; its construction took several years and it was finished in 1577. Because at that moment the Spanish's king was Felipe II, the fort was named Fuerte San Felipe (in English, Saint Phillip Fort).

In 1606, those that were living in the towns of Puerto Plata and Monte Cristi were ordered by the Spanish king to move to the southeast of the island and to found a new town: Monte Plata. Puerto Plata and Monte Cristi were, then, destroyed. They were founded again in the 18th century with families that came from the Canary Islands.

References[change | change source]

  1. Superficies a nivel de municipios, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
  2. De la Fuente, Santiago (1976) (in Spanish). Geografía Dominicana. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Colegial Quisqueyana.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda. Informe Básico" (in Spanish) (PDF). Retrieved 2013-1-29.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Noboa Warden, Margarita (2000) (in Spanish). Puerto Plata: La Reina del Océano Atlántico. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Búho. ISBN 99934-0-143-9.
  5. Listado de Códigos de Provincias, Municipio y Distritos Municipales, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica

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AzuaBaníBarahonaBonaoComendadorCotuíDajabónEl SeiboHato MayorHigüeyJimaníLa RomanaLa VegaMaoMocaMonte CristiMonte PlataNaguaNeibaPedernalesPuerto PlataSabanetaSalcedoSamanáSan CristóbalSan Francisco de MacorísSan José de OcoaSan Juan de la MaguanaSan Pedro de MacorísSantiago de los CaballerosSanto DomingoSanto Domingo Este