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Taino Bay Cruise Port, A Guide To The Puerto Plata Cruise Port

The Taino Bay Cruise Port in Puerto Plata is an exciting cruise port with many activities for arriving cruise ship passengers.  The port has many activities available that visitors can enjoy. Cruise ship passengers can spend the day exploring Taino Bay and enjoying everything that Taino Bay offers. Whether you venture out and explore Puerto Plata or spend your day relaxing in the lazy river or the swimming pool at Taino Bay, you will have a fantastic port day during your visit to this incredible cruise port. 

Cruising to Puerto Plata

There are two cruise ship ports in Puerto Plata, Amber Cove and Taino Bay. While Amber Cove was developed by Carnival Cruise Line and is more commonly used by Carnival, Taino Bay Cruise Port was developed the Dominican Republic and is used by other cruise lines such as MSC and Royal Caribbean. Both cruise ports have many amenities and experiences for its cruise ship passengers. You are in luck if you have arrived in Puerto Plata and your cruise ship is docked at Puerto Plata’s Taino Bay Cruise Port. Taino Bay is located near the heart of Puerto Plata and is within walking distance of the town of Puerto Plata. You can choose to venture out and explore the town, as there are many things to do in Puerto Plata or enjoy your port day in Taino Bay.

What is There to Do at the Taino Bay Cruise Port?

Taino Bay is an all-encompassing cruise port. The port was designed so that cruise ship passengers would have many activities to choose from if they stayed in port. The design of Taino Bay does not disappoint. Let’s explore the many amenities offered at Taino Bay.

Taino Bay Map
Taino Bay Map

Getting Off Your Cruise Ship at Taino Bay

Taino Bay is a great cruise ship port, as there is no tender. I love cruise ship ports without tenders, as it is much quicker to get off the ship and start exploring the area. When your cruise ship docks, they must be cleared for customs. Once the ship is cleared by the local authorities in Puerto Plata, you will hear the announcement letting you know that you can make your way to the gangway and exit the ship. This is when the excitement begins!

Take a Ride on a Tuk-Tuk to the Taino Bay Cruise Port

Once you get off the ship, you will be greeted by tuk-tuks. The tuk-tuks are available to give you a ride from the ship, down the pier, to the entrance at Taino Bay. The tuk-tuks are complimentary for cruise ship passengers. However, the drivers do appreciate a tip. If you decide not to take a tuk-tuk, you can walk to the entrance of Taino Bay. The walk is not very long, about a 5 or so minute walk, depending on how fast you walk.

The Entrance to Taino Bay

When you reach the entrance to Taino Bay, you will come to a circular-shaped area with a large courtyard. This is the official entrance to Taino Bay. There are a few stores in this shopping area, and if you have an excursion booked, you will find the pre-booked tour area where you will be lining up. You will also have the opportunity to purchase excursions if you haven’t done so. There are signs pointing to this area, making it easy to find. You will also see people guiding passengers to the correct location. 

This shopping area has a few amenities that you should be aware of. There are restroom facilities, a stand where you can book last-minute tours, and a Diamonds International store entrance. At Diamonds International, a popular jewelry store and cruise favorite, you can purchase diamond and Tanzanite jewelry. They also have a nice selection of Crown of Light diamond pieces. If you are interested in the popular Dominican Larimar gemstone, you will also find a nice selection of Larimar jewelry. Keep in mind though, that if you purchase Larimar Jewelry at the cruise port, you will be paying higher prices. Going into town, you can buy nice pieces of Larimar Jewelry at better prices.  

In this area, there are also a few stands where you can purchase something to drink, such as fresh coconuts or a beer. As you make your way through the entrance, you will come to the Duty-Free Shop. To get to the main attractions in Taino Bay, you need to walk through the duty-free store. Once you pass through the duty-free shop, the fun really begins.

The Shopping Area at Taino Bay Cruise Port 

As you make your way through the duty-free shop, you will come to what I describe as the shopping mall area of Taino Bay. The area doesn’t really look like a shopping mall; it is a beautiful, Caribbean-style, spacious shopping area with water features around the stores.  There are a number of stores where you can spend a few hours exploring, shopping, and buying souvenirs to take home. You will find many Dominican artisan souvenirs to choose from, as well as t-shirts, mugs, magnets, and parrots. Parrots are a theme at Taino Cruise Port. You will see a few parrots around the area, so it is fitting that you can take a parrot sculpture home if you’d like. You will also find a few stands that serve drinks in this area. 

Taino Bay Shopping Area
Taino Bay Shopping Area

The Aviaries at Taino Bay

There are several aviaries scattered around Taino Bay. The aviaries have many beautiful, colorful parrots. You will definitely notice them as you walk around the port. They are so colorful and the birds add to the beauty of Taino Bay. 

The Beach Lounging Area at Taino Bay Cruise Port

If you love sunbathing on a beach, Taino Bay has you covered. Well, sort of. After you pass through the shopping mall area, you will arrive at a beach area that is perfect for sunbathing. The beach area is next to the shoreline, and there are loungers available for sunbathing. The only drawback is that there is no water access in this area. There isn’t a regular beach at Taino Bay, just a sandy lounging area for sunbathing. However, if you would like to get a great photograph of your cruise ship, this is one of the best places to do that, as the sand area has a great view of the ship. It is the perfect place to take a selfie with the cruise ship in the background. 

Entrance to the beach area at the Taino Bay Cruise Port
Entrance to Beach Area at Taino Bay Crise Port

The Pool Area at Taino Bay Cruise Port

If you keep walking through the sandy area, you will reach the pool area. You can also get to the pool area by walking through the shopping area. The pool area is a great place to spend a few hours relaxing, swimming, and sunbathing. There are in-pool loungers to enjoy as you cool off in the pool. The pool area is lively with music and a couple of bars, including a swim-up bar, where you can order drinks. 

Swimming pool area at Taino Bay cruise port
Swimming pool area at Taino Bay

The Lazy River

The Lazy River is on the West end of Taino Bay. You will come to the Lazy River when you pass over the bridge from the shopping area. There is a very nice beach area with large bed loungers near the entrance to the Lazy River. The loungers have shade, so this is a great place to get a little sun and a bit of shade. The lounging area around the lazy river is large and does not feel crowded at all. You will not have a problem finding a lounger or a hammock in this area. However, that could change as this part of Taino Bay gets more popular. 

The best part of the Lazy River is that there is no charge to use this attraction. Inflatable inner tubes are available to use for floating down the river. The lazy river is a great place to relax and float leisurely in the water. 

If you are looking for a place to get a drink after floating in the river, the Tiki Bar is near the hammock area, and Taco Lovers Mexican Food is not too far away. 

Monkey Island

A popular and fun attraction that you can participate in at Taino Bay is Monkey Island. Monkey Island really isn’t an island. It is an enclosure where you can visit with squirrel monkeys. The monkeys are absolutely adorable. They will climb on you, sit on your shoulder, and sometimes on your head. You will be given instructions on how to interact with the monkey so that there aren’t any problems. The monkeys are not dangerous and are friendly. However, they are still wild animals. You do not want to startle them and risk getting bitten by one of the monkeys. Unfortunately, visiting Monkey Island is not free. There is a $25.00 USD charge for this attraction. However, that is less than the cost of the Monkey Land shore excursion, which can be closer to $80.00 or $90.00. 

The Restaurants and Bars at Taino Bay

There are several restaurants and bars around the Taino Bay cruise port. The largest restaurant is San Mangu, where you can try local dishes from the Dominican Republic. There is also Casa Palapa, a Mexican restaurant, Taco Lovers, and the Blue Parrot, to name a few. The Blue Parrot is located very near the pool area. If you would like to have a drink, there are about 8 bars located at Taino Port. You can enjoy a Mojito at the Mojito Bar located near the pool area as well as the swim-up bar. The Taino Bay Rum Bar is a great place to try some of the local Dominican Rum. You will not have a problem finding a great place to grab a drink or get a bite to eat at Taino Bay. 

San Mangu Restaurant at Taino Bay
San Mangu Restaurant at Taino Bay

Finding Taxis at Taino Bay Cruise Port

If you are interested in visiting Puerto Plata and you do not have a shore excursion booked through your cruise ship, you can easily get to town. The Taxi area is located at the end of Taino Bay. This is the area where shore excursion buses drop off passengers at the end of their tour. You will need to make your way through Taino Bay to find the taxi area. Once you reach the exit, you will see taxis available for hire. You will also find several tour operators offering tours for sale. If you like, you can also walk into town. As with any city, you should be careful and stay aware of your surroundings.

Taino Bay Wrap-Up

A visit to this beautiful Puerto Plata cruise port can be an unforgettable experience. There are many things to do, such as shopping, spending time in the pool or the lazy river, and visiting the squirrel monkeys at Monkey Island. If you go on an excursion, you can unwind in this perfect cruise port after exploring Puerto Plata or the Waterfalls of Damajagua. You will absolutely enjoy your time at Taino Bay cruise port!

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