Dominican Republic // The Silver Coast //

Isabela de Torres Cable Car

Puerto Plata’s crowning attraction is the suspended cable-car ride (daily 8.30am–5pm; adults RD$350, children under 10 RD$200; t 970-0501) that goes to the top of Mount Isabela de Torres. The entrance is at the far western end of town past the port, just off the Circunvalación Sur on Camino de los Dominguez, a RD$50 motoconcho- or US$15 taxi-ride away. It’s definitely not to be missed; the views of the city on this 25-minute trip to the top of the 800m peak are stupendous. At the summit a statue of Christ the Redeemer, a slightly downsized version of the Río de Janeiro landmark with its arms spread out over the city, crowns a manicured lawn. Also on the grounds are a botanical garden, a pricey café (Tues–Sun) and a souvenir shop. The mountain is now a protected national park, covered by rainforest on its far side and inhabited by 32 species of indigenous bird. Don’t wander too far beyond the area marked off for tourists, as Mount Isabela is in the process of splitting in two. The brown splotch along its face, visible from the city, is a landslide created by the split, and there are a number of deep fissures at the summit.