The Dominican Republic VS Mexico
The DR or Mexico – which resort to choose for your vacation? The answer to the question involves studying all the nuances that assess the infrastructure and level of service in these exotic countries of the Western Hemisphere.
Mexico is one of the premier travel destinations that will meet the expectations of the most discerning traveler. A rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, architectural monuments and colorful resorts – all this arouses interest among connoisseurs of active, comfortable and measured rest. The unique North American country has a worldwide popularity among tourists from all over the world, thanks to its magnificent beaches and rich excursion programs.
The Dominican Republic attracts people with its distinctive and peaceful atmosphere. The main concept of relaxation implies unity with pristine nature. On the coasts of the island there are popular resorts with magnificent sandy beaches, palm groves and mangroves. In addition to carefree resort entertainment, the Dominican Republic offers its guests exciting tours of ancient colonial cities with historical architectural monuments.
General information about both countries
Mexico is a state on the North American continent. In the east, its shores are washed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, and in the west, the country extends to the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean. It borders the United States in the north, and a couple of Central American states in the south.
The Dominican Republic is an island state, occupying the eastern part of the famous island of Haiti and the territory of numerous coastal islands. It borders only with the Republic of Haiti in the east of the island of the same name.
As you can see, even in their location, these two places are very different from each other. But there is a lot in common between them. In particular, there are rich opportunities for a beach holiday.
So where is the best place to relax, in the Dominican Republic or Mexico? This question is not so easy, especially since these two directions of tourism are approximately equally popular and in demand. Let’s compare some of the most relevant parameters.
Best time to visit Mexico and the DR
The high tourist season in Mexico is in early winter and mid-spring. This time period is marked by moderate warm and dry weather without the characteristic tropical heat with high humidity. Thermometer columns reach levels above +25 °С. Resorts on the coasts of the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico will welcome many tourists. The water temperature does not drop below +24 °С.
The summer months in Mexico are characterized by rains and stormy winds that can spoil your holiday. Therefore, it is recommended to plan a trip to the North American region from December to April. Stable, mild weather favors ideal beaches and world heritage sites.
The tropical Dominican Republic invites its guests to enjoy all the delights of a serene and at the same time meaningful beach holiday throughout the year. The air temperature is stably kept within +29-30 °С. Only long showers and hurricanes can darken the impression of a trip to this fertile Caribbean island. The season of natural disasters lasts here from May to the end of October. Read more about the best time to visit Punta Cana as one of the most popular place in the DR.
The most comfortable months for travel are December, March and April. At this time, there is a favorable weather without precipitation, that allows vacationers to bask on the beaches, swim in the warm sea and admire the picturesque landscapes. The turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea are warming up at +28 °С.
Rainy season in the DR vs Mexico
The tropical climate of Mexico and the Dominican Republic is divided into rainy and dry periods. The rainy season in these two exotic countries lasts from May to the end of October. The predominantly capricious weather is characterized by short intense showers, high humidity and strong gusts of wind. At the same time, the heat remains during the day. The air temperature does not drop below +27 °С.
The tourist infrastructure in the seaside resorts of Mexico and the Dominican Republic continues to function steadily even in adverse weather conditions. The rainy season attracts people with a significant reduction in the cost of tours. Precipitation often occurs in the late afternoon and at night. In the morning, tourists can sunbathe on the beaches and enjoy the luscious riot of colors of the flora. Vacationers at this time need to be prepared for any whims of the heavenly office.
Popular resorts comparison
Mexico’s favorite and world-famous resorts are located on the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. The most popular resorts are Acapulco, Cancun and Riviera Maya. These picturesque cities delight tourists with a developed hotel base and a rich entertainment program. In Mexican resorts, every tourist will choose the ideal option for recreation and entertainment.
Wide sandy white strips with palm groves are washed by the crystal-clear emerald waters of the sea bays. Cozy bars, fashionable hotels, shopping malls and distinctive culture make for an unforgettable experience. A visit to the unique archaeological places and nature reserves of Mexico significantly enriches the cultural program.
Popular tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic are located in the east of the island, the coast of which is framed by the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The resorts of Punta Cana and Bavaro deserve your attention. These small towns are in line with modern ideas for an ideal vacation.
The resorts of the Dominican Republic owe their fame to the magnificent beaches that meet the global criteria for safety and ecology. The coastline excites with its soft, pristine sands, coconut palms and exotic mangrove plants. Coral reefs protect beaches from strong currents and waves, which ensures safe swimming in the ocean for adults and children. Hotels are concentrated along the coastline in the form of cozy bungalows and luxury complexes.
Dominican & Mexico entertainments
Mexico offers tourists a wide range of activities for an active, extreme, and serene pastime. Vacationers can go diving, contemplating the inhabitants of the sea depths, underwater caves and coral reefs, as well as sailing along the picturesque bays. The beaches offer great opportunities for fun and entertainment – water skiing, snowboarding, scooter, and banana. Numerous restaurants, bars, and nightclubs will not let you get bored, in which fiery Latin American melodies sound around the clock.
The cities of Mexico attract with their natural sights and architectural monuments of antiquity, acquaintance with which you should definitely include in the cultural recreation program. Here you can see the unique pyramids of the Mayan tribe, various structures of the Aztecs and colonial buildings from different historical eras.
For many tourists, vacation in the Dominican Republic is associated with carefree spending time on the beaches, surrounded by tall tropical palm trees. In this fertile land, you can not only lie on a sun lounger, swim in the ocean and enjoy delicious cocktails. Various sea entertainments will dispel beach leisure. This is diving with all kinds of “shipwreck exploration”, surfing, fishing, canoeing, as well as swimming with dolphins and even sharks. On the territory of hotel complexes there are sports grounds, water parks, casinos, bars, restaurants and other entertainment establishments.
Fans of outdoor activities are recommended to go on a trip to the picturesque places of the Dominican Republic. Tourists will see original cities with colonial buildings and fascinating natural attractions – national reserves, wild jungles, canyons, mountain glades, caves and waterfall valleys. There are theme parks in the tropical thickets. Visitors can ride a buggy or enjoy a horseback riding, or take breathtaking ziplines over the jungle from the tops of the hills.
Excursions in the DR & Mexico
Tourists in Mexico have a wonderful opportunity to go on a meaningful sightseeing trip to the most interesting and significant places in the North American state. During the events, connoisseurs of Mexican attractions will inform the expedition participants a lot of information about the history, culture and traditions of the local population.
A breathtaking walk through nature reserves, national parks, archaeological sites and ancient cities of the states of Mexico awaits travelers. The routes can run along rainforests, volcanoes, deserts, lakes, canyons and waterfalls. The famous cities of the Mayan tribe – Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba and Uxmal especially attract tourists.
There are unique fortresses, temples and majestic pyramids that are the cultural heritage of mankind. It is worth spending time in the beautiful cave lake Ik-Kil. This natural well, filled with fresh water, goes 50 meters deep into the earth.
Excursions in the Dominican Republic allow vacationers to feel the atmosphere of pristine nature and get acquainted with the local colorful culture. Sightseeing tours provide tourists with several destinations. These are walks through the historical cities of the republic and trips to national reserves with amazingly beautiful landscapes.
Visitors to the Dominican Republic will be interested in visiting its capital, Santo Domingo, where you can see colonial architectural monuments and old mansions. The most vivid impressions are made by traveling to the amazing picturesque corners of the island, striking with an endless and varied series of landscapes.
Mountain ranges, caves, hills, waterfalls and mysterious islands are literally buried in a riot of green mangrove jungles and palm thickets. All these “heavenly” places of the Dominican Republic are used for walking and jeep trips.
Catamaran Tour in Punta Cana (Bavaro) – Party, Sailing & Snorkelling Experience 2023from $69 Read more
Extreme Offroad Buggy Adventure in Punta Canafrom $65 Read more
Saona Island Excursion – Caribbean Paradisefrom $75 Read more
La Hacienda Park – 7-in-1 Adventures Tour in Bávaro, Punta Canafrom $99 Read more
Katmandu Park – Punta Cana’s First Immersive Theme Parkfrom $85 Read more
Las Salinas de Baní and Dunas de Las Calderas - Unique Tour to the Pink Lakes & Wild Desertfrom $695 Read more
What are the best hotels?
Hotels in Mexico have high international standards. The resorts have built hotels of various star categories. Most of the complexes have a spacious well-groomed area, a private beach and a first-class infrastructure that provides comfortable accommodation for guests. The following hotels in Mexico deserve your attention:
- Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa 5*
- Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort 5*
- Family Concierge at Paradisus Esmeralda — All Inclusive 5*
- Fiesta Inn Playa del Carmen 4*
- Sina Suites 3*
Hotels in the Dominican Republic are focused on active, relaxing and family vacations. They offer tourists a standard list of services that meet a decent level of quality. Hotel complexes are cozy cottages or bungalows located in the middle of a tropical forest in close proximity to the coast. In the green areas there are swimming pools, restaurants, playgrounds, gyms, jacuzzies and other elements of developed infrastructure. All this fully satisfies the needs of vacationers. These hotels are probably the best in the Dominican Republic:
- Catalonia Bavaro 5*
- Be Live Collection Punta Cana 5*
- Occidental Punta Cana 5*
- Bellevue Dominican Bay 3*
- Whala! Boca Chica 3*
Condo for Rent in Punta Cana – Stunning Ocean View – Oreugafrom $413 / night Read more
Punta Cana Condo for Rent – Private Retreat on Los Corales Beachfrom $314 / night Read more
Dream Apartments for Rent in Punta Cana – Oreuga Ocean View Paradisefrom $331 / night Read more
Event Venue for Rent in Bavaro Beach, Punta Canafrom $2000 / night Read more
Quiet and Cozy Family Apartments for Rent – Directly on the Bavaro Beach, Punta Canafrom $166 / night Read more
Modern 2BR Apartment in a New Secure Residence – Paseo del Mar, near Bávaro Beach, Punta Canafrom $199 / night Read more
Service and hospitality comparison
Resorts in Mexico guarantee tourists a truly unforgettable first-class vacation. Five-star hotels have extensive grounds with swimming pools, areas for children to play, restaurants, shops, water parks, sports fields, health centers and other leisure activities. Cozy luxury apartments are equipped with everything you need: new furniture, TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators, minibars and safes.
Guests can enjoy a varied menu of food in restaurants according to the “All-Inclusive” system, a free Wi-Fi network and a nanny for a child. The friendly staff of hotels in Mexico organizes various evening shows and quickly fulfills any wishes of the guests. Beaches with an abundance of marine entertainment are equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas.
The resorts of the Dominican Republic hold a fairly high bar for the quality of service. Hotel complexes occupy vast landscaped areas surrounded by exotic plants and spreading palms. The park area of the hotels is divided into an active zone with numerous activities, and a quiet part where you can spend time in privacy.
Mostly all hotels in the Dominican Republic operate as “All-Inclusive” system and offer a considerable number of services to their clients. At the disposal of tourists are swimming pools, bars, sports grounds, playrooms for children, water activities, discos, saunas, massage parlors, casinos, etc.
The concert venues host evening shows with incendiary dances and performances by various artists. Restaurants adapt their cuisine to the European, Asian and so on mentalities. The spacious clean standard rooms of the hotels are equipped with comfortable pieces of furniture, TVs, telephones, minibars, kettles and air conditioners. Sandy beaches are equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas.
The main concept of the hotel complexes in the Dominican Republic and Mexico is to attract vacationers with the popular All-Inclusive system. The promising All-Inclusive offers a wide range of services included in the package price. It is three meals a day, snacks and drinks throughout the day, the use of all the benefits of infrastructure of the hotel, as well as all kinds of entertainment programs.
Beach Comparison – the DR vs Cuba
Mexico attracts tourists not only with its historical and cultural heritage, but also with a series of amazing and varied beaches. The sandy coasts of popular resorts are washed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Numerous entertainments, unforgettable landscapes, tall palms and all kinds of amenities create a truly heavenly environment for a measured and exciting beach holiday.
The following beaches are ideal places for tourists to enjoy swimming in the turquoise bays and sunbathing:
- Akumal Beach. Rich underwater world, coral reefs, many sea turtles.
- Tulum Beach. Long coastline with white sand, crystal clear azure sea, around the jungle, palm trees, rocks.
- Playa del Amante. Accessible only by boat across the Gulf of California. It is adorned with unusual rocks and caves.
- Puerto-Aventuras Beach. A favorite destination for divers, anglers and sailing fans.
- Playa Las Perlas. An ideal beach for families with small children because of practically no waves & dangerous currents.
- Puerto Morelos Beach. Wide beach with a calm bay of the Caribbean Sea. The coast is protected from big waves by the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere.
- Playa Norte. The picturesque beach of the island of Women. A wide coastline, warm shallow waters, endless rows of slender palms, crushed coral sand.
The most beautiful and well-groomed beaches of the Caribbean are located in the Dominican Republic. The shores fascinate the adherents of a secluded, daring and fun holiday. Coconut palms, mangroves, hills and cliffs create an enchanting landscape. On the beaches, tourists will find leisure options to their liking. Here you can simply bask in the sun, swim in peace in the Caribbean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean, and enjoy water sports.
Among the variety of beaches in the Dominican Republic, it is worth highlighting the following popular places:
- Bavaro Beach. Snow-white sand, coconut palms, tropical forests nearby. A coastal reef protects it from waves.
- Playa Arena Gorda. The cleanest secluded coast, turquoise waters, a gentle entrance to the sea.
- Playa Bayahibe. A calm place away from the crowds of tourists, shallow water. The beach is surrounded by exotic trees
- Playa Rincon. The beach is located on the Samana Peninsula. Quiet coastline in a picturesque bay lined with palm trees, mangrove forest and rolling hills.
- Playa Dorada. An abundance of entertainment, hotels and bars amidst picturesque tropical plants. The wide coast is covered with golden sand.
Family and kid-friendly vacations
In the resorts of Mexico for family tourists with children, a standard set of versatile recreation opportunities has been prepared. The magnificent sandy beaches, exciting excursion programs, theme parks, zoos, all kinds of water parks and entertainment complexes will bring a lot of vivid impressions and joys to young travelers.
The popular resort area of the Riviera Maya corresponds to the idea of an ideal holiday with children of different ages. Here are concentrated luxury hotels that provide accommodation for family tourists. The guests are offered children’s clubs, playgrounds, swimming pools and vast green areas for long walks.
The animators hold fun events, parties and carnivals. The coastal waters are distinguished by the absence of strong currents and dangerous waves. Water activities with slides and attractions are organized on the beaches. School-aged children will certainly be interested in jungle trips and visits to the ancient cities of the Aztecs, which are home to magnificent architectural monuments.
The Dominican Republic warmly welcomes tourists with children. This exotic country has created comfortable conditions for the stay of young travelers. The most attractive resort in the Dominican Republic is the city of Punta Cana. Its hotel complexes offer their guests children’s clubs, animation services, as well as a special menu for the smallest guests. Most of the hotel areas are equipped with play areas, water parks and swimming pools.
Luxurious beaches are washed by transparent and shallow bays. The fine white sand does not heat up in the sun. Slender rows of tall palms with lush crowns create a saving shade. Natural barriers from coral reefs protect the shores from strong waves, currents and dangerous predatory sharks. Punta Cana is famous for its many interesting activities. These are theme parks where you can swim with dolphins, see exotic animals and birds, and take an entertaining walk through the mangroves.
Souvenirs from Mexico & the DR
From Mexico tourists usually bring:
- National drinks (tequila, mezcal, pulque)
- Sweets made from cacti, coconut, milk, nuts or exotic fruits
- Spices, more than 80 types of pepper and hot Mexican sauce
- Poncho, hammocks
- Jewelry, hand-made souvenirs
- Figurines of Indians, skeletons, mythical creatures, animals, gods
- Masks, symbols or costumes of Indians of different tribes
- National women’s and men’s clothing and hats, such as a sombrero
In the DR vacationers usually buy:
- National drinks (rum, fruit and coconut liqueurs, mama juan)
- Cocoa, cigars
- Cosmetics with natural oils
- Souvenirs with Dominican symbols
- Jewelry with local stones: larimar and amber
- Souvenirs with Indian and mythological symbols
- National musical instruments
- Paintings by local painters in the style of Haitian naive
- Lime dolls
You can read this article about popular souvenirs from the Dominican Republic →.
Mexican and Dominican shopping
Mexican shopping will like many vacationers. The tourist resorts of Cancun and the Riviera Maya are home to numerous shopping malls with brand stores and designer boutiques. They sell clothes, shoes, perfumes, jewelry and much more. There are also many budget markets specializing in the sale of souvenirs.
Local products are distinguished by bright ornamental patterns. These are traditional straw hats, sombreros, ponchos, embroidered bags, wooden figurines, jewelry, masks, dolls, Mayan calendars and other handmade items. The cost of a sombrero starts at $12. A bottle of Tequila will cost $24. The poncho can be purchased for $16. Various decorations and trinkets are sold for $3 and higher.
Large commercial shopping complexes of the Dominican Republic are concentrated in Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. Tourists will find a considerable number of shops with branded items, accessories and electronics from the world’s leading manufacturers. In general, it is difficult to find cheap things here.
Noteworthy are small supermarkets, markets, shops where tourists can buy traditional souvenirs of the Dominican Republic. These are alcohol, cigars, coffee, cocoa, spices, paintings and various trinkets. Their cost starts at five dollars. Jewelry made of a semi-precious emerald-colored stone – Dominican larimar – is especially popular among vacationers. Larimar rings, earrings and pendants can be purchased for $10 or more.
The Dominican Republic or Mexico? These two countries are popular tourist destinations, offering travelers an atmosphere of historical and natural attractions. The long, exhausting flight to these exotic countries is more than offset by the mesmerizing tropical landscapes, stunning beach resorts and a rich cultural entertainment program. The excellent level of infrastructure creates comfortable conditions for an impressive vacation. The resorts of Mexico and the Dominican Republic are worthy of the attention of tourists.
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