Santo Domingo vs Punta Cana: Where Should I Go?

If you are looking for picturesque beaches and sprawling resorts, the the Dominican Republic is the ideal place for you. This country is a great Caribbean destination with lots of things to see and do.

In this article, we will look at the differences between the cities of Santo Domingo and Punta Cana in terms of things to do, nightlife, safety and tourist activities.

Santo Domingo

This is the capital city of Dominican Republic and is located on the south shore.

Santo Domingo is a cosmopolitan destination with a rich history and diverse cultures not to mention a wide range of tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants.

But if you are a fun of swimming in the beaches, there are no swimmable beaches nearby hence if you plan on spending an entire day in this city, then you can visit historical sites such as the UNESCO – World Heritage Site Colonial Zone where you will find museums, churches, residences including 16th century buildings.

Santo Domingo’s diverse nightlife comes to life when the sun sets. Here you can learn the merengue dance while in the company of residents or choose to relax to some soothing live entertainment in one of the piano bars.

Santo Domingo offers a wide variety of bars and restaurants where you can sample roasted duck brochettes at the French La Residence or conch empanadas at the Meson D’ Bari.

Punta Cana

Perhaps the smallest city but the perfect tourist destination that keeps growing by leaps and bounds. Punta Cana is regarded as king when it comes to tourism since it is the most ideal destination for active families who want to enjoy all the luxury that comes with the city’s great resorts and a 20-mile-long coastline that is located on the far eastern side of the island.

Here you can participate in numerous fun activities that include zip lining at the Scape park although in order to get here, you will be required to scale some rocks and crawl through a small cave hence you will need to be physically fit before to visit this place.

You can also explore this small city by horseback at a ranch of your choice. The Rancho Caribeno for example, offers well-behaved and calm horses as well as some of the most experienced and knowledgeable guides thus you will get the opportunity to sit back and enjoy a horseback ride along the beautiful beaches and through the breathtaking forested hillsides.

Although Punta Cana is limited in terms of the nightlife scene, you will still find some resorts offering great nightlife activities.

The Verdict: The Winner is…Punta Cana

Santo Domingo is not a good place to party alone especially if you do not speak Spanish. You may also have to contend with a few security issues if you decide to use the taxi transportation hence it is advisable to take a direct flight to Punta Cana where you will find more local people, incredible beaches, night clubs and discos.

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Written by TJ

Tarik aka TJ is the founder of He writes articles and uploads videos documenting his trips in different countries. Get ExpatKings Premium to get access to all of his exclusive behind the scenes videos and photos.

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