|Town||Expatriates||Settlers||Getting There||Nearby||Getting Around||Attractions|
Why choose Sosúa?
The entire North Coast is for bargain-hunters, explorers and singles looking for an active vacation, including a jumping night life. One of the towns is Sosúa which is centrally located on the North Coast, close to many other destinations you can explore on your own or on excursions. You will find numerous small hotels as well as large all-inclusive resorts.
Sosúa is the Acapulco of the Dominican Republic. You could say that this is where tourism first began back in the 70s and 80s. Despite development, Sosúa still keeps its charm with the highest density of shops and restaurants in the Batey section of the destination.
Foreigners who originally came for a beach holiday have now established their own expatriate communities and businesses. There are large numbers of Germans, Austrians, Canadians and Americans who live here year round. The one kilometer long Sosúa Beach continues to be the main attraction of the area. In spite of the large number of vendors who have set up shop right on the beach, it's still one of the most spectacular in the Dominican Republic.
Sosúa was originally settled by around 600 Jewish refugees fleeing the Second World War who set up a dairy community. As a result, Sosúa began to thrive and was soon discovered by the wealthy from nearby Puerto Plata, Santiago and San Francisco de Macoris who came and set up vacation homes. Most of the original Jewish settlers have moved on, but the dairy that produces the Productos Sosúa continues to this day. The Sosúa Synagogue has a museum with photos and memorabilia of the first Jewish settlers. You can also attend services there. Tourism took off in the '70s and '80s, with the sleepy beach town catering to thousands of day trippers from Playa Dorada resort and to overnighters staying in the many small hotels that sprang up in Sosúa. The town built a reputation for its night life. It is said that Sosúa wakes up when Puerto Plata and Playa Dorada go to bed! In the '90s, tourism evolved towards the all-inclusive trend and several large resorts were built in the area. Guests still come from nearby Playa Grande, Rio San Juan, Playa Dorada and Puerto Plata for dining, beach town shopping and night life entertainment.
Port of Entry/How to get there
Fly into the Gregorio Luperon International Airport of Puerto Plata (POP), about a 10 minute drive from Sosúa. If you fly into Las Americas International Airport (Santo Domingo) you will be 4 hours drive away. There is Caribe Tours bus service from Santo Domingo to Sosúa, from which you can take a minibus or taxi to your hotel. Minibuses travel to Sosúa all day long from Puerto Plata, Playa Dorada or Cabarete.
What else is nearby?
Sosúa is half way between Puerto Plata (25 kilometers to the west) and Cabarete. A stop there is a must for all those traveling the North Coast. In Sosúa, you are near all the attractions in Puerto Plata, Playa Dorada, Cabarete and Playa Grande (about one hour's drive away). The best way to see it all is to rent a car. Drive west one day all the way to the La Isabela museum, near Luperón. On the way visit Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata, Cofresí, Costambar and then La Isabela. Go swimming in Luperón beach prior to returning to Sosúa. On the next day drive east all the way to Rio San Juan, Pueblito Principe (a small Dominican-style shopping street) and Playa Grande in María Trinidad Sánchez province, with a stop at Cabarete Beach.
For the most part you can get around Sosúa on foot if you are staying in the neighborhoods of El Batey or Charamicos. The streets are well lit and there are lots of people outside day and night. Motorcycle rentals are common. And there are many minibuses and taxis for trips to Puerto Plata, Playa Dorada or Cabarete.
The main attraction of Sosúa is the beach, the shops and restaurants. Snorkeling is an option but is not spectacular in this area. Sosúa Beach is a U-shaped beach of fine white sand in a sheltered cove. Multiple water sports can be hired right on the beach. It is easy to swim to the reefs. At night, Sosúa is a different scene altogether, with partying going on until the early morning hours. Sosúa is close enough to Puerto Plata to enjoy all its attractions. Visit the Amber Museum, take the cable car ride up to the Botanical Gardens atop Isabela de Torres Mountain. Take a tour of the rum factory with free samples and an option to buy quality rum. Spend the morning at the Columbus Water Park with its many slides and pools. Spend the afternoon at the Go Kart/Bumper Car park that is open all night. These two parks are just a 15-minute drive from Sosúa.
North Coast excursions include safari-style jeep trips into the countryside, catamaran day trips off Sosúa Beach, horseback riding excursions into the outback, trips to Cabarete and La Isabela Park off Luperón (where the first European settlement in the New World was built in the 15th Century), Cofresí Beach, and the Puerto Plata city tour (may or may not include the cable car ride).
The all-inclusive concept in hotels is a relatively recent development, so there are still a large number of good restaurants in the Sosúa area. They mainly cater to the large foreign community in the area.
Sosúa gets up when Puerto Plata goes to sleep. So expect lots of activity at Sosúa's discotheques starting after 11 pm.
Live bands: At the Britannia Pub in Sosúa, owners Linden and Barb have live music some weekends.
The shops feature all sorts of beach wear, artistically painted t-shirts, hats, pareos (beach wraps), arts and crafts… you name it, its here. You can shop in the town stores or right on the beach, remembering always to haggle for the best price!
Moderate amount of fish near the coral reef makes for decent underwater photo opportunities. You can see flounder, parrot fish, grouper, porcupine and dozens of other varieties. You can easily snorkel from the beach to the reefs. Taking a tour allows you to reach reefs further out and to focus on having a good time in the water, as your valuables are guarded. Snorkelers can swim about 150 feet from shore and find coral reefs and delightful opportunities for feeding fish and taking underwater photos. There are usually several dive boats in the same vicinity, so everybody is aware of the presence of divers and snorkelers. The water is very calm in most areas, with only a couple of tricky currents, and it is crystal clear on most days.
The better scuba diving opportunities are to the West and the East of Sosúa. Several dive shops offer varied excursions. Divers of all levels can enjoy shallow reefs, shipwrecks, freshwater cave diving, deep water diving and possible encounters with humpback whales and other large creatures. Summer air temperatures can hit the mid 90s, while winter temperatures drop to the 70s. Water temperatures range from the high 70s to low 80s, and visibility ranges from 70 to 100 feet.
Plenty of small boat fishing trips can be booked in Sosúa.