The grassy lawn in front of the fort entrance will usually play host to a few vendors selling snacks, seashells, and assorted trinkets. There was a mule tied to a tree, apparently for photo opportunities. You may also meet a tour guide or two, but you really do not need one for visiting unless you like to have someone chattering about the local history. The admission is only 10 Dominican Republic pesos (less than one US dollar). Go to the roof lookout of the tower for splendid views of Puerto Plata, the Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. Try to avoid looking at the factories that are eyesores on the otherwise gorgeous shoreline. The green hills in the background vie with the passing clouds for your attention. The main level of the fort is partially reconstructed, although you can see the original interior moat and the coral that had clung onto its walls. A couple of corner sentry lookouts provide fine photo opportunities. The tower also contains a small museum of various wartime artifacts such as guns, artillery shells, and cannonballs ranging in size from marbles to bowling balls, displayed with the help of triangular pool ball racks. Old coins nd photos are also displayed, with minimal accompanying text in Spanish. One of the dungeon-like rooms served as the prison cell for Juan Pablo Duarte, a Dominican independence hero.
This can be a very quick tour if you want it to be. However, if you have the time to spare, try to linger about and enjoy the views and the quiet atmosphere. Save some time to walk around the outside of the fort. You will appreciate the stark solidity of the fort as it contrasts with the green pastures, the blue skies and pounding waves of the ocean. The grounds outside are prime areas for picnics, newspaper reading, or just lazing around. The prevalent north winds off the Atlantic Ocean create an appreciated cooling effect, although I found myself repeatedly wiping salty ocean droplets from my sunglasses. The trees seem to be growing horizontally because of these strong winds.
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New York, New York
July 14, 2010
From journal DR Adventure
April 23, 2002
From journal Bill in the Dominican Republic - PUERTO PLATA