Punta Cana VS Bahamas – Which is Better in 2024
There is no doubt that each of us needs some rest. Working hard for a long period without a vacation, everyone incredibly wants to get a dose of relaxation. But how to choose the place for your trip, so that it is not a disappointment and after it, you leave refreshed? It is not a secret that many people choose the Caribbean Islands for this purpose. And they often face the difficult choice of Punta Cana vs the Bahamas.
As you may have noticed, we wrote Punta Cana because it is the most popular resort town in the Dominican Republic. In addition, when we talk about the Bahamas, we will mainly talk about Nassau. In general, tourism is concentrated in this area that is also a capital.
General information about both destinations
Well, both places have some similarities. There are world-class beaches, tropical nature, one of the best snorkeling sites, but our task is to show you the advantages and disadvantages of both destinations. If we take two countries, we will see that both of them are very popular among tourists. After all, more than 7 million visitors come there every year. But if we look at the two resort towns – Punta Cana and Nassau, we see that much more tourists come to Punta Cana every year.
First of all, if you have ever wondered if there is a place that does not require Photoshop and actually looks like in the picture, then this place is Punta Cana. Probably that is why tourists adore spending the whole day on the stunning beach with a glass of cocktail. Punta Cana is almost entirely covered with coconut trees and mangroves. The main contingent of travelers is families and those who love a relaxing holiday.
The Bahamas is located north of the Greater Antilles and southeast of Florida. But technically, the location of the Bahamas is in the North Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean. The Bahamas consists of over 700 islands, and 30 of them are inhabited. This paradise is only 80 kilometers away from Florida. Tourism in the Bahamas is the main force of the economy here, so the locals are very hospitable. A large part of these islands are coral reefs, and most of them are uninhabited. Although the Bahamas are made up of many islands, tourists only are allowed to visit some of them.
When is the best time to visit Punta Cana and Bahamas?
First of all, we have to note that both countries are warm enough all year round. Nevertheless, Punta Cana is 1-5 °C (33.8 – 41 °F) warmer, especially in winter. The high season in the Bahamas is November to mid-April, so it makes the Bahamas a top pick for winter holidays. But, in winter, the average minimum temperature is about 17.6 °C (63.68 °F). Therefore, if you like it to be warmer at night, it is better to go in May or summer. The high season in Punta Cana is from October to April. And the minimum temperature does not drop below 22 °C (71.6 °F) at night.
- The warmest months in Punta Cana are from July to September. And the temperature does not drop below 25 °C (77 °F) at night, and the average highest temperature is 30 °C (86 °F). In the Bahamas, the warmest months are July, August, and September. The temperature does not drop below 23 °C (73.4 °F). And the average highest temperature is 32 °C (89.6 °F)
- And the coldest months in Punta Cana are January, February, and March. The average temperature is about 26 – 27 °C (78.8 – 80.6 °F). The coldest season in the Bahamas is winter, with the average highest temperature of 25 °C (77 °F).
- The average temperature of the water in Punta Cana is about 28 °C (82.4 °F). The average sea temperature in Nassau is 26.7 °C (80.06 °F).
- Since the climate is tropical, there is hot with the rainy seasons. Usually, the rainy season in Punta Cana is from August to October. And from May to October in the Bahamas.
- The windy season in Punta Cana is from December to March. In the Bahamas, in the northwestern islands, from December to March, when there are cold days, it gets windy.
Also, from June to early November, the Bahamas can be affected by hurricanes.
The atmosphere and local vibe comparison
Without a doubt, Dominicans are friendly and welcoming. Definitely, the locals and their surroundings create the atmosphere of Punta Cana. You can feel a tropical and relaxed vibe here and vibrant nightlife at the same time. There are many hotels and restaurants along the coast, as well as properties in more secluded areas with gardens. You can get accommodation in the area you like and with any amenities at a reasonable price. A vacation in the Dominican Republic is cheaper than in the Bahamas. In addition, the official language of the Dominican Republic is Dominican Spanish. But if you are in a city for tourists, then you will not have any communication problems.
As we already noticed, the most popular destination for tourists in the Bahamas is Nassau. Since it is the capital, it is a bustling city filled with energy. The population is about 260 thousand. In the capital, you can best feel the atmosphere and flavor of the Bahamas. But for those who do not like the noise, there are many places where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle. Moreover, the important thing that we have to mention is that the Bahamas is much more expensive than Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic. There are many world-class restaurants, which also have high prices. In addition, the official language is English, but some people speak accented English, which is considered Bahamian dialect or English based Creole.
Beaches in Punta Cana vs the Bahamas
The best Punta Cana beaches
Punta Cana is known for its jaw-dropping beaches. The city’s coastline stretches from north to south, from the Atlantic to the Caribbean. The total length of beaches is about 32 kilometers. Many beaches of Punta Cana are public, when it is the daytime access to them is open to all comers, but they are closed at night. Usually, the water is calm, so it is perfect for snorkeling and diving. But if you want to do windsurfing or other kinds of sport, you should go to Macao beach, which is the best one for watersports there. Let us take a look at a small list of the popular beaches in Punta Cana.
- Barcelo Bavaro (Playa Bavaro). This is the most popular beach in Punta Cana. The length of the coastline is about 2 kilometers, the sand is white and clean in Bavaro. Moreover, it does not heat up even under the rays of the scorching sun.
- Macao Beach (Playa Macao). It is a stunning beach, where you can do different kinds of watersports. Its charm is that it is 5 kilometers long, and there are no hotels on the coastline.
- Juanillo Beach. The beach has public access. People like to come here on their honeymoon. The coast, 3 kilometers long, covered with white sand, and washed by clear turquoise water. There are also some luxurious hotels and sun loungers with umbrellas for tourists.
- Arena Gorda Beach. This is a stunning white sand beach with turquoise water. Arena Gorda has the widest coastal strip. Also, for the constant maintenance of cleanliness, the beach received the international Blue Flag award.
The best Bahamas beaches
The Bahamas is home to many stunning islands and many more gorgeous beaches. These beaches are extremely popular with outdoor enthusiasts. The reason is that the Bahamas offers the perfect opportunity to practice almost any kind of water sport. Diving, snorkeling, surfing, windsurfing, water skiing, deep-sea fishing, yachting – and that’s not all. Moreover, on some beaches there, you can swim with dolphins and even feed sharks. So, let us take a look at the best beaches in the Bahamas.
- Cabbage Beach (Paradise Island). It is located in the capital of the Bahamas – Nassau. The beach stretches almost the entire length of the northern side of Paradise Island. There are vendors on the beach, but you need to go further, and it will be quiet and peaceful there.
- Gold Rock Beach (Grand Bahama). Without a doubt, it is one of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean, set on the edge of the Lucayan National Park. There is crystal clear water with white and soft sand.
- Treasure Cay Beach (Abacos). There is incredibly white sand, this beach has already received several international awards. Treasure Cay Resort along the beach, including Coco Beach Bar, Bahama Beach Club creates a party mood and entertainment opportunities.
- Pink Sand Beach (Harbour Island). This beach seems endless, stretching three miles long. It is located along with its eastern Atlantic Oceanside.
Which is the safest: Punta Cana or Bahamas?
The Dominican Republic is considered one of the safest countries in the Caribbean. And Punta Cana is one of the safest areas in the country. Probably, this is one of the reasons why it is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, you should not forget to keep an eye out in some remote areas, outside your resort. So, it is way better and easier to book a property with a company that knows everything about the country, locals and can help you. Our company has accommodation only in safe and guarded areas.
The Bahamas is considered one of the safest countries in the Caribbean as well. Nassau is the most popular destination for foreign tourists. About 70% of locals live there. Nevertheless, you better keep your eyes open because of pickpockets and ATM scammers. Also, we do not recommend you walk around by yourself at night because it is not a good idea that can put you in danger. If you are a woman and travel alone, do not get into strangers’ cars or into a taxi that appears unlicensed, and do not tell strangers the information they do not really need to know. All of that is because the Bahamas is quite a conservative society and patriarchal. But the Bahamas is definitely safe for families, especially if you stay in the territory of your resort.
Driving safety in both directions
- Well, we recommend you not drive yourself, but rather rent a car with a driver or take excursions with a transfer, since the locals have their unique driving habits and scams. Therefore, it is better to know their machinations in advance or just avoid driving a car in the Dominican Republic.
- Driving in the Bahamas reminds the UK. Since it follows their driving laws, including driving on the left-hand side of the road. Nevertheless, it is not the same and safe as in the UK. There are many cars and people in the city, and local drivers often do not follow the traffic rules. That is why we do not recommend driving by yourself. It is way easier and safer to hire someone to drive for you.
Outdoor activities in Punta Cana and Bahamas
Hardly anyone doubts that, even on a beach holiday, you can find many interesting places outside the resort. In both countries, amazing tropical exoticism awaits you, as well as endless opportunities for outdoor activities. That is why we have prepared some of the best places to visit in each of them.
Punta Cana excursions
- Saona Island. Well, it is a government-protected nature reserve. Saona Island is located off the southeast coast in the Dominican Republic’s La Altagracia province. There are many stunning beaches with crystal clear water and white sand, surrounded by high coconut palm trees. Being here, you will feel like in paradise.
- Hoyo Azul Lagoon. This beautiful place is a natural pool with turquoise waters, located at the foot of a cliff. In general, the excursions include hiking and swimming in the crystal clear water, but you can also book a zip line tour.
- Reserva Ecológica Ojos Indígenas. Well, “ojos” translates as “eyes” from Spanish, so this beautiful place was named “Ojos Indígenas” or “Indigenous Eyes” because of the lagoons’ unique shape. It is one of the most popular places to visit. This is a forest with 12 turquoise water lagoons. But you are able to swim only in five of them.
- Redonda Mountain (Montaña Redonda). If you like hiking or being active during the vacation – it is the best option for you. Moreover, this is an opportunity to burn a few calories. In addition, taking this excursion, you will also visit Macao Beach, which is considered one of the best beaches for water sports in the Dominican Republic.
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The Bahamas attractions
- Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. It is located in the remote eastern edge of the Bahamas, a marine protected area. If you like watersports, then this place is perfect for you. The most popular here are scuba diving and snorkeling. You will also have the opportunity to feed the endangered Bahamian iguanas there. In addition, you can see Staniel Cay’s famous swimming piggs there.
- Versailles Gardens. The beautiful gardens are next to a 14th-century Augustinian monastery. These gardens were the centerpiece of Huntington Hartford’s private estate, before being purchased by the One & Only Club. There are overlooks Nassau Harbor on one side, and the One & Only Ocean Club resort on another. So, you will have a perfect opportunity to enjoy a stroll in the uncrowded European-style garden.
- Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Centre. This place is located on Paradise Island, in the heart of Nassa. And it is best known as the home of the marching flamingos. There are about 300 animals, including Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, mammals, monkeys, jaguars, Madagascar lemurs, and reptiles.
- Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve. Well, this preserve protects the indigenous plant species. It is a world-class botanic garden in Governor’s Harbor Eleuthera. Leon Levy Preserve is an important part of The Bahamas national park system. The visitors can walk miles of trails through the native habitat, and look at the beautiful orchids, birds, medicinal plants, and more.
So, what is better in 2024 – Punta Cana or Bahamas?
As you could see, each destination has something unique to offer you. Punta Cana and the Bahamas have stunning beaches with crystal clear water and white sand. The biggest difference is that the Bahamas are much more expensive.
But at the same time, the 5-star services, and facilities of hotels are no different from Punta Cana. Moreover, a lot of people love Punta Cana more because of the privacy and freedom, since the most popular tourist town in the Bahamas is Nassau. And Nassau is the capital, that is why it is noisy and crowded there.
Punta Cana is also a little bit warmer than the Bahamas, so the choice depends on your weather preferences. In addition, the official language in the Bahamas is English, so you will not have a language barrier. Nevertheless, in the resort area, you will not have trouble with communication in Punta Cana as well. Moreover, Dominicans are known for their friendliness and hospitality.
We have also prepared a small table below, where you can see the main points of comparison of both countries.
Summary comparison of both destinations
|From October to April
|From November to mid-April
|The best beach to do water sports in Punta Cana is Macao Beach
|The Bahamas is a perfect place for different kinds of water sports
|About 28 °C (82.4 °F)
|About 26.7 °C (80.06 °F) in Nassau
No matter what choice you make. We always recommend that you travel only with a trusted company that knows everything about the country you are going to. Our company has extensive experience in the Dominican market, that is why we are always ready to help you with accommodation or excursions in Punta Cana. If you want to have an unforgettable vacation in the Dominican Republic – contact us!
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