San Felipe de Puerto Plata

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Puerto Plata
Municipality
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
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
Founded 1502
Municipality since
1844
Municipal Districts Yásica Arriba, Maimón
Area[1]
 • Total 210.7 km2 (81.4 sq mi)
 • Urban[2] 31.96 km2 (12.34 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 8 m (26 ft)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 128,240
 • Density 608.64/km2 (1,576.4/sq mi)
 • Urban 118,496
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 Plata, usually called just Puerto Plata is the head municipality of the Puerto Plata province, on the north (Atlantic) coast of the country.

Name[change | change source]

The name Puerto Plata ("Silver Port") came from the name given by Columbus to the mountain just to the south of the city: Monte de Plata ("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 Plata 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

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.

Population[change | change source]

The municipality had, in 2010, a total population of 128,240: 63,564 men and 64,676 women. The urban population was 92.4% of the total population.[1]

Geography[change | change source]

San Felipe de Puerto Plata has a total area of 210.7 km2 (81 sq mi) (without including its municipal districts), about 11.7% of the total area of the province of Puerto Plata.[1] The city is at an elevation of 8 m (26 ft),[3] and at 215 km (134 mi) to the north of Santo Domingo.

The Cordillera Septentrional ("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 at about 5 km (3.1 mi) 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 (2,621 ft) 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.

Climate[change | change source]

Puerto Plata has a tropical wet climate (Köppen-Geiger classification: Af) with no dry or cold season as it is constantly moist (rainfalls during the whole year).[5]

The average amount of rainfall for the year in the city is 1,926 mm (75.8 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is December with 307 mm (12.1 in) of rainfall, followed by November with 283 mm (11.1 in).

The driest season is summer. The month with the least rainfall on average is July with an average of 78 mm (3.1 in) and the second is June with 82 mm (3.2 in).

Puerto Plata is in a warm region; the average temperature for the year is 25 °C (77.0 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 27 °C (80.6 °F). The coolest month on average is February, with an average temperature of 22.5 °C (72.5 °F).

Climate data for Puerto Plata (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 27
(81)
27
(81)
28
(82)
29
(84)
29
(84)
31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(88)
29
(84)
28
(82)
29.3
(84.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 23
(73)
22.5
(72.5)
23.5
(74.3)
24.5
(76.1)
25
(77)
26.5
(79.7)
27
(81)
27
(81)
26.5
(79.7)
26.5
(79.7)
25
(77)
23.5
(74.3)
25
(77.1)
Average low °C (°F) 19
(66)
18
(64)
19
(66)
20
(68)
21
(70)
22
(72)
23
(73)
23
(73)
22
(72)
22
(72)
21
(70)
19
(66)
20.8
(69.4)
Rainfall mm (inches) 209
(8.23)
162
(6.38)
134
(5.28)
160
(6.3)
168
(6.61)
82
(3.23)
78
(3.07)
88
(3.46)
97
(3.82)
158
(6.22)
283
(11.14)
307
(12.09)
1,926
(75.83)
Source: Climatemps.com[5]

Administrative division[change | change source]

The municipality of San Felipe de Puerto Plata has two municipal districts:[6]

Municipal districts of Baní
Code Municipal district Population
(2010)
180102 Yásica Arriba 8,791
180103 Maimón 21,725

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "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. "Expansión Urbana de las ciudades capitales de R.D. 1988-2010. Informe Básico" (in Spanish) (PDF). Oficina Nacional de Estadística. April 2015. p. 34. http://www.one.gob.do/Multimedia/Download?ObjId=5645f. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 De la Fuente, Santiago (1976) (in Spanish). Geografía Dominicana. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Colegial Quisqueyana.
  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. 5.0 5.1 "Puerto Plata Climate & Temperature". Climatemps.com. http://www.puerto-plata.climatemps.com/. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  6. "División Territorial 2015" (in Spanish) (PDF). Oficina Nacional de Estadística (ONE). October 2015. http://www.one.gob.do/Multimedia/Download?ObjId=6159. Retrieved 21 November 2016.


Provincial capitals of the Dominican Republic Flag of the Dominican Republic
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