Comparison Dominican Republic vs Jamaica – Dominican Republic and Jamaica are easily compared for a beautiful Caribbean vacation. The Dominican Republic has a more Spanish-influenced culture seen in its architecture while Jamaica was a British colony. And while Jamaica’s beaches are incredibly blue and breathtaking, Dominican Republic adds to this with its nature trails and hikes.
Let’s look at some comparisons for both Dominican Republic and Jamaica and help you choose the right Caribbean vacation.
Comparing Dominican Republic vs Jamaica
If you’re looking for something to add to the typical Caribbean beach trip, Dominican Republic is the better choice than Jamaica.
Where To Go in The Dominican Republic
If it’s beach resorts you’re looking for when visiting the Dominican Republic, the three top areas to choose from are Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, and La Romana. These areas would have a lot of the Dominican Republic’s all-inclusive resort culture. If it’s the mountains and off-the-beaten parts of the Dominican Republic you want to visit, you can go to Samańa Peninsula.
If you are very interested in history and want to see a lot of historic and architectural beginnings of the Dominican Republic, still with chances of spending time on the beaches, you might prefer to visit Puerto Plata.
If you want a vacation that is mostly about spending time on the beaches and doing water-related activities like catamaran and boating, diving, snorkeling, luxury resorts stay, and other touristy activities and parties, you might prefer staying in Punta Cana.
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Where to Stay in the Dominican Republic
There are dormitory rooms where you can rent a bed for as low as $10 USD a night if you want the cheapest option. Airbnb is also available, mostly for about $20-25 USD a night. Double-room hostels can cost up to $30-40 USD a night while mid-range hotels cost more or less $80 USD a night.
Book Your Travel Insurance – Dominican Republic vs Jamaica
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Things to Do in The Dominican Republic
Things to Do in Punta Cana
What is Punta Cana best known for?
Punta Cana is one of the most popular Latin America destinations especially because of its beautiful white sand beaches Punta Cana also has a lot of reputable and luxury hotels and resorts that makes it a top option for dreamy vacations and beach trips in the exptic Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana is one of the top holiday destinations for a lot of tourists around the world, especially from the United States.
Is Punta Cana Worth Visiting?
If you’re thinking of visiting a Latin American destination, Punta Cana has one of the best beaches in all of South America, and in the World. One of its most popular beaches is Juanillo.
Punta Cana is actually quite touristy for its beautiful beaches, however, there are still a lot of off-the-beaten and secluded beaches for you to spend time with your family, and friends, or for your planned romantic holidays.
If it is shopping you’re going for in Punta Cana, you can check out the area of Santo Domingo for that.
Is it Safe to Travel to Punta Cana?
Punta Cana is touristy and safe, as long as you practice regular precautions when traveling.
Top Things to Do and See in Punta Cana – Jamaica vs Dominican Republic
Here’s a quick list of the top things to do and sights to see when traveling to Punta Cana:
- Relaxing in Juanillo Beach
- Surfing in Macao Beach
- Staying in Luxury Resorts in Serenis
- Visiting Catalina Island
- Boat Partying or Taking Boat Tours
- Visiting Bavaro Beach
- Snorkeling and Diving activities in Punta Cana
- Relaxing on Saona Island
- Exploring Los Haitises National Park
- Taking Helicopter Tours
- Visiting Monkeyland
1. Relaxing in Juanillo Beach
Deemed one of the top beaches in Punta Cana, you can enjoy Juanillo Beach basking in the sun, or enjoying any beach activity.
2. Surfing in Macao Beach
The best thing about Punta Cana is that it also has a surfing beach, Macao Beach. Good for all levels of surfing, you’ll find a good support for you to practice surfing here.
3. More adventure activities in Punta Cana
4. Staying in Luxury Resorts in Serenis
Of course, one of the best things about Punta Cana is that vacation options are available, but if you’re in the country to experience some luxury, you’re in luck because Punta Cana has an area for exclusive resorts and luxury hotels. You’ll find all these in Serenis.
5. Visiting Catalina Island
Catalina Island in Punta Cana is best if you’re looking at doing some underwater activities like snorkeling.
6. Boat Partying or Taking Boat Tours
Travel to Punta Cana can be enjoyed in all ages, as you can also engage in boat parties, if you fancy a bit of party and harder and louder nights, or if you want to tour the coasts, you can take boat tours as well.
7. Visiting Bavaro Beach
Bavaro Beach is one of the top 10 beaches in the whole world and you wouldn’t regret visiting Punta Cana and spending your time here.
8. Snorkelling and Diving activities in Punta Cana
Punta Cana is a host to a lot of water activities. So if you’re looking for more things to do, other than just spending time in the beach. You can engage in diving and snorkeling activities on the islands.
9. Do a Catamaran in Saona Island
One of the unique things you can do in Punta Cana is doing a Catamaran tour on Saona Island.
10. Exploring Los Haitises National Park – Dominican Republic vs Jamaica
The Dominican Republic has a national park system full of rock formations, mangroves, caves and more. Explore Los Haitises National Park and enjoy exploring the vast natural nature in Punta Cana.
11. Taking Helicopter Tours
There’s just so much to see in Punta Cana on the ground, but if you want some extraordinary adventure, see the area from the skies with a helicopter tour in Punta Cana.
12. Visiting Monkeyland
If it’s animals you want to see, visit Monkeyland to experience seeing some exotic animals in their natural habitat.
Things to do in Puerto Plata
Compared to all of the newer hotels and things to do in Punta Cana, Puerto Plata is more popular for being Dominican Republic’s first area for tourism in the whole country.
Puerto Plata is the only place in the Caribbean with an aerial tramway. You’ll see a lot of historical areas in Puerto Plata as well, that will include houses, buildings and architecture. In addition to all these, Puerto Plata also have beaches for swimming in relaxing, to add to all the local and historic things you want to see.
Here is a quick list of the top things to do in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
- Visit Playa Dorada
- Visit Fort San Felipe
- Visit Mount Isabel de Torres
- Enjoy the waterfalls of Damajaqua Cascades
- Relax in Cabarete Beach
- Visit Paradise Island
- Try the Cable Car Ride
- Visit Samana Bacardi Island
- Do some whale watching at Samana Bay
- Visit Amber Museum
- Visit Ocean World Adventure Park
- Day Visit to Cabarete
- Try Ziplines and Eco-Tours in Puerto Plata
- Visit Casa de la Cultura
- Visit Sosúa
Let’s look closely at all these spots and things to do in Puerto Plata
1. Visit Playa Dorada or Golden Beach
Playa Dorada or the Golden Beach in Puerto Plata is the most touristy beach in Puerto Plata. If it’s exclusive resorts, shopping and luxury vacation you’re after in Puerto Plata, you’ll have a great time in this area.
2. Visit Fort San Felipe / Fortaleza San Felipe
Dating back to the 16th century, Fort San Felipe is one of the most historic ports in Puerto Plata. It is a Hispanic Spanish fortress that played a lot in the Dominican Republic’s history.
3. Visit Mount Isabel de Torres – Puerto Plata
If it’s a bit more of an active adventure you’re after in Puerto Plata, hike Mount Isabel de Torres
4. Enjoy the waterfalls of Damajaqua Cascades
One of the main things to do in Puerto Plata is to visit Damajaqua Cascades, 27 waterfalls through a thick forest. If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, and want to be in the thick of it when it comes to nature, you’ll definitely love this.
Inside 27 Charcos De Damajagua, you can also do activities like rappelling, visiting cenotes and springs, and canyoning, apart from seeing 27 waterfalls. Perfect for an adventurous family day, or even enjoying with friends and loved ones.
5. Relax in Cabarete Beach – Punta Cana vs Puerto Plata
Another thing to do in Puerto Plata, Cabarete Beach is one of the best beaches in the area – don’t miss it!
6. Visit Paradise Island / Cayo Arena
Paradise Island is also known as Cayo Paraiso or Cayo Arena in Puerto Plata. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches and top thing to see in Puerto Plata, a coral islet just off the coast, in Punta Rucia. You’ll see one of the bluest beaches in the world here, so if you decide to visit Puerto Plata, try to make time for this.
7. Try the Cable Car Ride
If you’re not into hiking so much, you can go see the top of Isabel de Torres Mountain and see amazing panoramic views of Puerto Plata via a cable car ride.
8. Visit Samana Bacardi Island
Another of Puerto Plata’s top islands to visit, see Samana Bacardi Island to witness some of Puerto Plata’s incredibly blue waters.
9. Do some whale watching at Samana Bay – Punta Cana vs Puerto Plata
If you’re visiting from January to March, you might be in time to see humpback whales in Samana bay. This activity is usually available from January 15-March 25, and a pretty spectacular and unique experience in itself. If you’re visiting these days, make sure to not miss it in Puerto Plata!
10. Visit Amber Route
Amber Route is a tour you can do in Puerto Plata where you can visit these areas where they mine amber, something they do really extensively in the Dominican Republic.
11. Day Visit to Cabarete
If you want to see other things about the Dominican Republic culture, they have a coffee farm in Cabarete, a tour popular to do in Puerto Plata. There is also shopping in the Cabarete area, so Cabarete can be a good day trip visit for you.
12. Visit Casa de la Cultura
In the Central Park of Puerto Plata, you’ll see Casa de la Cultura, a 3-story historic building where you can see symbols during the time of Ulises “Lilís” Heureaux. It’s an art gallery that you’ll definitely love if you’re into history.
13. Visit Sosúa
There is also a place for scuba diving and snorkeling in Puerto Plata, and you can do this in Sosúa. Here, you’ll also have the chance to visit Casa de Arte, a museum for arts and artifacts while you’re in the area.
Things to do in Jamaica – Dominican Republic vs Jamaica
Now, let’s look at the things to do in Jamaica.
1. SEVEN-MILE BEACH
Seven Mile Beach is one of the most beautiful places in Jamaica with its shimmering ocean and white gold sand. The Seven Mile Beach is located near Norman Manley Boulevard in Negril, a small hamlet with a population of slightly over 3,000 residents.
2. DUNN’S RIVER FALLS
Dunn’s River Falls is a living legend of Jamaica. Dunn’s River Falls, and its famous shimmering waters draw a large number of tourists and photographers. As a result, ascend the waterfall with a tourist guide who will guarantee that you have enough time to shoot amazing images and footage!
3. RICK’S CAFE –
Rick’s Cafe on the West End cliffs in Negril is one of the best places to watch a Jamaican sunset. Rick’s Cafe first opened in 1974, when Negril was still a small seafaring village, but it is now a major tourist destination visited by thousands of visitors every day.
Holywell is a pleasant respite from Kingston’s heat, nestled in the tropical mist forests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. The aroma of pure mountain air and pine trees fills this 330-acre “park within a park,” and the cold temperature at 900 meters or 3,000 feet above sea level allows Holywell‘s environment to maintain a vast variety of ferns, flowers, and trees that are rarely seen in other parts of Jamaica.
5. BLUE HOLE – Jamaica vs Dominican Republic
Blue Hole is situated into the hills just outside of Ocho Rios, is one of Jamaica’s wonderful hidden jewels. Guests can swim, cliff jump, and swing off ropes into the Blue Hole‘s turquoise waters!
6. COUPLE’S TOWER ISLE PRIVATE ISLAND –
The breathtaking views Couples Tower Isle Private Island is located in the heart of the Caribbean, surrounded by dazzling turquoise waters. White crystal sand and breathtaking scenery characterize this image scenery.
7. BAMBOO AVENUE
Bamboo Avenue is located in the parish of St Elizabeth, between Middle Quarters and Lacovia, on the main South Coast Highway. The Bamboo Avenue was established with Bambusa Vulgaris, a bamboo species that was the first to be brought to Jamaica. Bamboo Avenue is around two and a half miles long, with the tall bamboo forming a canopy over it.
8. YS FALLS
After Dunn’s River Falls, YS Falls is Jamaica’s second most popular waterfall, and it’s simple to see why. The abundance of limestone rock on the island allows for the creation of numerous beautiful, perfectly-tiered waterfalls, and YS Falls is no exception.
9. FRENCHMAN’S COVE
Frenchman’s Cove is a secluded beach and estuary where you can swim in both fresh and saltwater at the same time located in Port Antonio. Frenchman’s Cove beach earns a spot on the list thanks to its silky powder-white sand, crystal clear water, and swings!
10. BLUE AND JOHN CROW MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park is a protected area. The park is 495.2 km2 in size and comprises 4.5 percent of Jamaica’s land area. Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park biodiversity is well-known around the world. A perfect place for taking Jamaica photos.
11. BOB MARLEY MUSEUM
Bob Marley Museum is where the reggae legend used to live. Bob Marley’s home is brimming with fond memories and priceless keepsakes, all of which serve to commemorate the life and achievements of this great Jamaican singer.
12. REACH FALLS
Reach Falls are a succession of lovely falls down the Driver’s River. Reach Falls was first found centuries ago by runaway slaves seeking shelter in the John Crow Mountains from plantations in the neighboring parish of St. Thomas.
13. EMANCIPATION PARK
In Kingston, Jamaica, Emancipation Park is a public park. Emancipation Park, which is located in New Kingston, was inaugurated on July 31, 2002, the day before Emancipation Day. The Norman Manley International Airport is about a 30-minute drive from Emancipation Park.
14. MARTHA BRAE RIVER
Martha Brae River is located in Trelawny Parish on Jamaica’s north coast, snakes its way through the lush rainforest. Jamaica photography at Martha Brae River will be amazing with these clear blue waters.
Negril is a city in Jamaica’s west coast. Negril is famous for miles of sandy beaches in small bays with calm, turquoise waters. If you like taking Jamaica photos Negril is one of the Jamaica tourist spots and people love it so much.
16. MONTEGO BAY
Montego Bay is the capital of Jamaica’s parish of St. James. By population, Montego Bay is the fourth-largest in the country. Doctor’s Cave Beach and Walter Fletcher Beach, which has an amusement park, are two popular beaches. Montego Bay is amazing to have Jamaica photography if you love blue waters and beaches.
17. SOMERSET FALLS
Somerset Falls is a lovely cascade, but in comparison to Hidden Falls and the cave-like grotto it falls into, we’d argue that it’s more of a side attraction. A shelter with picnic tables was located above the lower cascades in the Somerset Falls region, immediately downstream of a wide and colorful pool into which the main waterfall poured.
18. REGGAE FALLS
Reggae Falls, also known as Dam Head, is a hidden gem nestled in the steep rural town of Hillside, Saint Thomas. Reggae Falls isn’t fully natural because the Johnson River, which feeds it, was once used to power a hydroelectric power plant.
19. MAYFIELD FALLS
Mayfield Falls is just one of those falls where we had to keep our expectations in check. Mayfield Falls allows to take a shower at its foot or even get behind its water curtain.
20. ROSE HALL GREAT HOUSE
Rose Hall Great House is one the most famous houses in Jamaica. Rose Hall Great House was built in 1770 and provides the perfect backdrop for your Jamaican photography, as well as some interesting history.
21. HELLSHIRE BEACH
Hellshire Beach is the exquisite tropical getaway you’ve always imagined. In Hellshire Beach, the picnic facilities and seating places are excellent! Relaxing on the sand or picnic mats allows you to take in the splendor of tropical nature and the ocean. In Hellshire Beach, you’ll most likely take your most popular Jamaica photography!
22. WINNIFRED BEACH
In Portland, Jamaica, Winifred Beach is a popular local public beach. With local food vendors, donkey rides, and a lovely beach, Winifred Beach offers a completely unique Jamaican experience.
23. OCHO RIOS
Ocho Rios is a port city on Jamaica’s north coast. Ocho Rios is currently a resort with a cruise ship dock and a busy bay beach flanked by hotels, and it was formerly a fishing community. Ocho Rios can be a great place to take photos of Jamaica and at the same time relaxing in their luxury resorts.
24. PORT ANTONIO
Port Antonio is the municipality of Portland Parish and is located on Jamaica’s northeast coast. Port Antonio is noted for being a jumping off point for adjacent tropical jungles, mountains, and waterfalls!
25. SPANISH BRIDGE
Spanish bridge was erected in the 17th century and flanked by shaded trees and enormous bamboo, hangs over a languid bend in the river. If you’re feeling courageous, there’s a rope swing off the bridge that’s higher than it appears, or you can watch the local lads show off their tricks.
Kingston is the capital of Jamaica, and it is located on the island’s southeast coast. Despite its many commercial opportunities, Kingston’s resort region is also noted for its cultural, educational, and leisure offerings. More museums, food and nightlife alternatives, and event opportunities are available here than everywhere else on the island.
27. TRIDENT CASTLE
Trident Castle is standing above the pure blue Caribbean Sea in front of the Blue Mountains, is a sight to behold. Trident Castle, which was erected for Baroness Elizabeth Siglindy Stephan von Thyssen, is now a costly vacation residence that world-class athletes, well-known politicians, and prominent movie stars rent for thousands of dollars.
28. FORT CHARLES
Fort Charles was built by Jamaicans in the mid-seventeenth century. For decades, Fort Charles guarded Jamaica’s coastal borders. Many kings, aristocrats, and rulers passed through Fort Charles.
Where to Stay in the Dominican Republic
Around $20 USD would be the range of your budget for accommodation in Punta Cana. There are hotels mid-budget $50-70 USD and you can find luxury accommodations starting from $120 USD.
Final Thoughts – Which is Better, Dominican Republic vs Jamaica
The winner in this comparison for us is the Dominican Republic. You can’t go wrong with either, as both Dominican Republic and Jamaica offer the best that the Caribbean can give – blue beaches, culture, and historical sights. The Dominican Republic pushes this further having wonderful greenery and nature, mountain hikes and for a more activity trip in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic wins over Jamaica.
Tell us what you ended up choosing and have a wonderful trip!