Cofresi, located about 10 kilometers west of Puerto Plata, was named after Captain Roberto Cofresi, a Puerto Rican pirate. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in the 1490’s, the town had its humble beginnings as a small fishing village. Today Cofresi is a bustling resort community which consists of high-end hotels and private villas that open up to breathtaking views of the mountains and the clear blue waters of the ocean.
Cofresi is a peaceful and picturesque resort that offers visitors a quiet place to relax and unwind. Its exclusive resort area houses the brand new and expensive Ocean World which not only lets you stroll past huge aquariums displaying a myriad of aquatic life and coral reefs but actually allows you to get in it and swim with the wild life.
One of the major attractions here the world’s largest dolphin lagoon, a sea lion encounter that is a first of its kind, the world’s first shark interactive pool and many other views of exotic animals, birds and reptiles. These attractions draw more that 100 people everyday and are always a sell out. Therefore, it is recommended that reservations are done one week in advanced.
Cofresi visitors can see city residents enjoying a break in the mid-day sun under the shade of trees and on Mount Isabel de Torres, located just behind Puerto Plata. Visitors can take a gondola to the top of the mountain to enjoy a spectacular view of the city and the surrounding area. The statue of Christ the Redeemer can also be found here surrounded by beautiful botanical gardens.
The beaches in Cofresi may not be the white sand variety but they are clean and the bay itself is impressive with the soft golden sand giving way to the crystal clear ocean waters. There are also a number of native handicrafts sold under thatched huts along the beach as well as food. Sun beds are abundant and for the adventurous visitor, a variety of water sports such as diving, wind-surfing and boat rides are available even without accommodations.
Cofresi Dining is mainly concentrated in the hotels. The local cuisine feature a lot of stews and comes with a hearty serving of vegetables on the side. Casseroles and soups are also widely served and are usually accompanied with meat and seafood. Dominican cuisine is generally grain-rich. Rice plays an important role in many of their dishes like the rice and chicken (Arroz con pollo) which is a favorite dish and the locrio which resembles paella except meat is used instead of seafood.
Nightlife in Cofresi may be less than ideal as the only big show in town is the Tropicalissimo, a show that is patterned from the style of the old Tropicana of Cuba. Tropicalissimo is shown at the Barceló Bavaro Casino. There are bars near the Barceló and Melia hotels where visitors can meet the locals but don’t expect a lively place when you do decide to try it out. However, the guests don’t mind the lack of night activities as they are exhausted from a day at the beach.