The Dominican Republic vs Dominica – Differences, Facts & Where to Stay

Confused as to which is correct: the Dominican Republic vs Dominica? Beware, it’s not the same place! They are two countries in the Caribbean and completely different. Dominica is a tiny island with 74,000 inhabitants, while the Dominican Republic, with more than 9 million inhabitants, is one of the largest countries in the Caribbean, dividing the island “Hispaniola” with Haiti.

Why the names of these two countries
are very similar

1. Dominica

You would probably ask, if they are two countries so different, then why are they called almost the same? Well, we owe that to the Columbus brothers. Dominica is called that way because Christopher Columbus discovered the island on Sunday in 1493.

2. The Dominican Republic

On the other hand, three years later, Bartolomé, Christopher’s brother, arrived in “Hispaniola” and founded the city of Santo Domingo because it turned out that he also arrived on Sunday but also to honor his father Domenico Colombo. In fact, this island was called Santo Domingo until 1944, when the “Dominicans” became independent from Haiti and founded the “Dominican Republic”.

What the Dominican Republic and Dominica
have in common

The only thing these two places have in common is that they are populated by Dominicans. However, the Dominicans of Dominica are mostly descendants of African slaves, therefore black. Although there is also a small proportion that calls themselves “Caribes”, who are descendants of the first inhabitants of the islands before colonization.

Distinctive features of the Dominican Republic vs Dominica

The Dominican Republic Dominica
Region Caribbean Caribbean
Area 48,670 km2 750 km2
Number of inhabitants ~11,200,000 ~74,000
Name of residents Dominican Dominica
Capital city Santo Domingo Roseau
Language Spanish English
Currency Dominican peso East Caribbean dollar
Type of State Presidential republic Parliamentary republic

Residents and languages of the two countries

  • The Commonwealth of Dominica has been an independent country since 1978. The official language is English, but people generally speak French Creole. In particular, French Creole belongs to the Antilles Creole and has some word differences. As a result, Dominica is a member of the Commonwealth and a member of the Francophonie. The majority of the population is black and the religion is predominantly Catholic.
  • The Dominican Republic gained its independence in 1966. The Dominican Republic is a Spanish-speaking country. Due to a large number of tourists, English is also common, and because of the proximity to Haiti, Creole (Haitian) is also spoken. The official religion in the Dominican Republic is Catholicism.

Indigenous peoples still live in Dominica

An interesting fact about Dominica is that the Carib Indians, originally from the Greater and Lesser Antilles, still reside here today. They were the original inhabitants of the island and are known today as the Kalinago people. They named Dominica “Waitukubuli”, which means “Great is her body.”

Today, around 3,000 people live on the island, which is the largest indigenous population in the region. Most reside in the Kalinago Territory, where you can visit the Kalinago Barana Aute, a recreated traditional village. Be respectful. Handicrafts will be on sale and you can observe traditional festivals, rituals, and dances.

Nature variety of the two
Caribbean countries

The exceptionality of Dominica’s nature

Dominica is anything but the usual island cliché. There are no pina coladas here, but banana slings made from the island’s typical rum, instead of fries only ecological products that are grown on the island, and no mass tourism. The island is so green and calm, with black volcanic beaches, lonely rivers, super friendly people, incredibly good food, an underwater paradise, and more diverse plants than inhabitants.

Dominica’s nature

Dominica’s nature

Most of the territory of this country is virgin, with a tropical forest that is the only Caribbean World Heritage Site named by UNESCO. Being an island of volcanic origin and very mountainous, there are no beaches, so the two main activities are walking in the forest and diving, which is really impressive and one of the best places in the Caribbean.

National Geographic magazine named Dominica the island worldwide with the best Sustainable Development and respect for the ecosystem.

The authorities of this country have founded several national parks, thanks to which tropical nature is protected from human encroachment. Tourists in Dominica expect trips to the vents of volcanoes, sulfur springs, boiling lakes, acquaintance with exotic representatives of the flora and fauna of the tropics. Here you can also engage in outdoor activities: kayaking, diving, hiking, horseback riding and more.

Incredible Dominican landscapes and flora & fauna

Since the country occupies a large area, its territory and the diversity of nature is much wider. Approximately one fifth of the entire territory of the Dominican Republic is protected by the state. There are more than 20 national parks, a dozen reserves, many dunes, bays, caves, and much more.

Puerto Plata, DR

Puerto Plata, the Dominican Republic

A sign that Dominicans care about nature are humpback whales, which can be observed here regularly from January to March, when they come to spawn.

The advantages of the tropical climate allow you to enjoy the vibrant colors of the flowering vegetation in the Dominican Republic throughout the year, especially exotic flowers created by nature with great imagination and sophistication. Three hundred species of birds live in the country, of which 32 are endemic, which is a large number for one country.

Where is the climate better:
the DR vs Dominica

There are two conditional seasons in the Dominican Republic: high and low. The high season, from November to April, is very sunny with minimal rain. The low season in the remaining months is the season of showers and thunderstorms, sometimes even hurricanes. It is from November that the water becomes even more transparent, and the swimming season is gaining momentum.

Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic

Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic

In Dominica, the climate is more humid and truly tropical. The island is generous with frequent rains and strong hurricanes. For example, storm “Erika” in 2015, which caused colossal destruction to the island nation. Planning a trip to Dominica is based on short-term forecasts.



Economic and trade aspects
in both countries

Dominica and the Dominican Republic are agricultural powers despite the fact that both of these countries are developing offshore zones and economic citizenship programs for investment.

  • In the Dominican Republic, coffee, sugar, and tobacco are mainly exported. The mining industry is also developed in the Dominican Republic. Gold and ferronickel are mined on this island.
  • The Commonwealth of Dominica is the largest exporter of bananas. Also, the export group of goods includes various exotic fruits: papaya, mango, and guava.

The Dominican Republic vs Dominica:
resorts and hotels

Best places to stay in Dominica

This island nation is a country of epic volcanoes (there are 9 of them on the island, by the way), 365 rivers, tropical forests, fabulous waterfalls, and a unique boiling lake. You can stay in Dominica in a luxury hotel, guest room, or in an inexpensive hut.

Places to stay in Dominica

Best places to stay in Dominica

  • This country has long been a non-luxury destination, but that changed when the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica was built near Portsmouth next to the Cabrits National Park. The resort has 151 rooms, 4 restaurants, and a bar, gym, spa, swimming pools, and tennis courts. Located approximately 45 minutes from Dominica’s main airport.
  • Another cool hotel is Pagua Bay House. This hotel combines luxury and nature. The high ceilings, the ocean view, the wooden flooring create all this incredible atmosphere. Suites and cottages of the hotel have huge beds, air conditioners. A nice bonus is the living room overlooking the ocean and its own tropical garden.
  • It is impossible not to mention the complex with villas – Secret Bay Resort Villas. It is located on the west coast of Dominica and is one of the best places to live on the island. The villas have private pools, huge terraces overlooking the ocean, and they also cook amazing food here. Great place to just relax or even honeymoon.

Best hotels in the Dominican Republic

The great example of a country, which resorts, various residential complexes, hotels, and villas have such a huge variety that even the most capricious can please.

Melia Caribe Resort, DR

Melia Caribe Resort, the Dominican Republic


  • The most luxurious and popular hotels of the Dominican Republic are Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach in Bayahibe, Barcelo Bavaro Palace All Inclusive and Grand Bavaro Princess in Punta Cana, Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino in Santa Domingo, and others.
  • One of the best hotels – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – is located on a vast territory 21 km from the airport, the hotel offers excellent rooms, 15 restaurants, 15 bars, a SPA center, a water sports center, a casino. On the territory of the complex there are 13 swimming pools, a mini-water park.
  • Palladium Hotel Group is located along a white sandy beach, 20 km from Punta Cana Airport. Hotel guests can use the entire infrastructure of the complex, with a few exceptions. A free train runs around the complex. Large selection of accommodation options and services. They offer special “children’s” and “family” packages.

Luxury villas in the Dominican Republic

Our favorite holiday option in the Dominican Republic is luxury villas. They are ideal for a real paradise holiday in silence and complete privacy. A villa in the Dominican Republic is an all-inclusive vacation and even more. Here you can afford a lot that is likely to be prohibited on the territory of hotels and resorts.

Private pool, terrace, personal maid and chef, security, parking, garden, and sometimes even access to your own beach. The variety of accommodations, interiors, rental conditions, and prices is impressive.

The conclusion

  • The Dominican Republic vs Dominica – these are not just different countries, but also states with different cultures, natures, economies, sizes, and even languages. Each country has its own advantages and disadvantages, the rest is very different in terms of sensations and overall impression.
  • If you want to see a lot of sights, experience minimal adrenaline, and lead your vacation calmly, the Dominican Republic is for you. But if you want to spend your holidays actively and adventurously, you love nature and exploring new places, you don’t really care about the place where you live, you are ready for any surprises – welcome to Dominica.

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