Puerto Plata is a land of many charms and natural beauty, visited by thousands of tourists each year to enjoy its beaches, scenery and to experience a cultural exchange with its friendly people. There`s a large catalog of tours related to water sports, golfing, eco friendly adventures and other interesting activities in the region.
Getting to know a country means getting closer to its people and its traditions, and one place to see local people interact is the flea market ( locally called Mercado de Pulgas ). A colorful landscape of textiles, shoes, food, toys, jewelry, and other used items are found in improvised stands ( mostly wood board tables ) that offer all kinds of brands for very cheap prices. Some of the items are brand new, although it`s fair to say that around 75% are second hand market.
La Pulga, as some call it, provides low income families with informal jobs, in the case of sellers, and low cost luxury items to buyers. Many Haitians are part of the market, which shows that despite past tensions, the two countries are brothers in business. A local association organizes life around the market, which ensures that tourists visiting the place will get the proper care. A police man could be seen outside by the entrance, which is a good sign.
Some boutiques ( even one with air conditioning ) set up shop along the boulevard, and according to its owner, people resist going in sometimes, thinking the fancy store will charge higher prices, which is not true. It seems the spirit of a flea market lives more in the board wood tables and hanging canopies. The market is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7:00am to 5:00pm and it is located on a central street easily reachable in Puerto Plata.