Rising nearly 800 meters above Puerto Plata  is Isabel de Torres Peak, which Christopher Columbus named for the queen who helped fund his expeditions. You can ride to the top of the mountain via the Teleférico (Camino a los Dominguez, tel. 809/970-0501, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Thurs.–Tues., closed Wed., round-trip RD$350 per person), which you board at the base of the mountain; it takes you up to the flat top and to the Christ the Redeemer statue (a smaller version of the one in Brazil), where you can enjoy a very beautiful view of the Bahía de Puerto Plata and surrounding area.
While you’re there, amble about in the 13.5-hectare botanical garden and its multiple trails. The subtropical vegetation is home to 15 brooks and streams and is especially beautiful in the morning when the sun isn’t as hot and the air is cooler. Appreciating the vegetation on the entire mountainside can be done by guided nature walk all the way up to the top of the mountain. This nature walk takes two hours and you’ll be shown 594 plants and flowers, including fruit such as mango, guayaba, and passion fruit. Tours start in the morning and early afternoon (RD$35–50 for 1–5 people).
A less natural but perhaps more thrill-seeking way to go up the mountainside is by motorbike. There are seven different difficult paths to bump and speed over as you make your way to the top of Pico Isabel de Torres. Renting a motorbike for only RD$1,300 yields not only the bike but also the guide who drives the motorbike (with you on the back) and shows you all the nature highlights. Although this might disappoint the motocross-lovers, this terrain can be rather persnickety and nothing beats local knowledge when it comes to safety. Take your binoculars!