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On July 19, 1975 was inaugurated the only funicular in the Caribbean in Puerto Plata, which today is one of the main attractions of the city on the Atlantic coast. In these almost 35 years, this unique means of transport has been used by over five million visitors, according to information published by General Administrator Grégory Burroughs, to access the 782 meter high Isabel de Torres, where a total of ten creeks and rivers have their source.
At current prices for the transportation there and back of 350 pesos for adults and 200 pesos for children there have been swamped over a billion pesos into the coffers of the company in these years.
According to Burroughs, about 400 visitors a day come to the mountain to visit the local Botanical Garden and the Christ figure.
Currently, some efforts are underway to make the destination more attractive for visitors from near and far, informs the operating company. Thus, work is being done on a road leading from San Marcos to the top of the mountain.
There are also planned a butterfly house and a large bird aviary. A restaurant on the esplanade below the Christ figure should provide better food for the guests. In addition, the botanical garden, which has gotten rather run-down over the years, will be renewed and a playground for the little visitors will be created.
A short review of the history of the Teleférico. As early as 1970, the great Christ statue "Cristo Redentor" (Christ the Redeemer) was erected on the top of Isabel de Torres. The following year, the construction of the road via El Cupey to the summit has been started. This was done in preparation for the cable car, an idea of the then President Joaquín Balaguer.
After a few months of test driving, the Teleférico was officially opened on 19 July 1975.
The cable car consists of two cabins that are pulled in a mutual direction. That is, when one cabin goes up, the other comes down. The height difference between the valley and the mountain station is 711.5 meters. The distance between the two stations is 2,630 meters. The whole system was built by the Italian company Cereti & Tanfani S.P.A. from Milan.
This article has been published in LA PLAYA, issue 2 vom 16 September 2009
The mentioned prices etc. are from that time.
El Teleférico in Puerto Plata, the only funicular in the Caribbean