Both Aruba and Dominican Republic are two well-loved destinations in the Caribbean.
One major difference between the destinations is the official language.
Dutch is the principal language of Aruba while Spanish is the primary language of the Dominica Republic.
In this article, we compare and contrast Aruba with Dominican Republic so you can get a greater insight into which is more suitable for you.
As a general rule, Aruba is an ideal destination for solo female travelers seeking to relax and unwind on white sand beaches with turquoise waters. Alternatively, Dominican Republic is suitable for individuals seeking a large destination with a lively nightlife atmosphere and amazing beaches.
Read on for further details and explanations on how these two beautiful Caribbean Islands compare. This article is written by a Caribbean National familiar with both destinations.
Aruba Vs Dominican Republic- Which Destination Is Bigger
Dominican Republic is significantly larger than Aruba being 18,704 square miles.
In fact, Pico Duarte is the highest peak in the entire Caribbean region located in Dominican Republic and the 16th highest point of elevation compared to other islands worldwide.
Alternatively, Aruba is a much smaller island with a landmass of 69.5 square miles with the highest point of elevation being Mount Jamanota which stands at 620 feet.
Aruba Vs Dominican Republic- How Does The Landscape Differ?
The landscape of both countries is dissimilar. Aruba is a coral based island which is incredibly flat in topography. The island is dry and arid in appearance.
Also, Aruba is very windy due to its location near the equator which makes it an excellent spot for kite surfers.
On the other hand, Dominican Republic is green, lush and mountainous with tropical rain forests.
Aruba Vs Dominican Republic- Which Destination Is Safer
Aruba is the safer of the two destinations and is the better fit for a solo female traveler.
On the other hand, crime in Dominican Republic is high.
According to Statistica.com, in 2021 there were approximately 10 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
This homicide rate was higher when compared to 2020 when there were 9 homicides per 100,000 individuals.
Nevertheless, the above homicide rate was a decline from the year 2014 when the rate was 18 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
Visitors should exercise care and due diligence in both destinations.
Travelers should avoid leaving valuables unattended and refrain from walking in lonely and secluded areas alone.
Aruba Vs Dominican Republic- What Are The Official Currencies
Both destinations have different monetary currencies.
The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban Florin. It was introduced on the island in 1986, replacing the Netherlands Antillean Guilder.
It is pegged to the United States (US) dollar at a rate of USD$1 to AFL$1.79.
On the other hand, the official currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso.
Its symbol is $ with RD$ being used to prevent confusion with other currencies.
The Dominican Peso is issued and managed by the Central Bank of Dominican Republic and is available in bank notes and coins.
Bank notes are available in 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 bills. Alternatively, coins are available in 1, 5, 10 and 25 peso.
Nonetheless, the US dollar is widely accepted for financial transactions in both destinations. Change is usually given in local currencies.
Aruba Vs Dominican Republic- Which Destination Has Greater Hurricane Risk
Dominican Republic is the destination with greater risk of natural disasters due to hurricanes as it is located in the centre of the hurricane belt.
Hurricane Beryl made landfall on the island causing much damage to buildings and infrastructure in 2018.
In the year 2020, hurricane Isaias and Laura affected the Dominican Republic again causing damage to property in the country.
Contrastingly, Aruba is located outside the hurricane belt and therefore the risk of a hurricane making landfall in Aruba is extremely low.
Furthermore, the island does not receive a significant amount of rainfall.
Thus, there is a greater level of assurance that your days in Aruba will be filled with sunshine.
Nevertheless, if you are visiting the Caribbean during the hurricane season, it is extremely wise to consider travel insurance in the event of natural disasters which could cause travel disruptions.
Aruba Vs Dominican Republic- Which Destination Has The Better Beaches
Both islands are known for having phenomenal beaches.
Fondly referred to as the best of all beaches in Dominican Republic, playa Bahia de las aguilas is a beautiful sight to behold.
This five mile strip of white sand beach with turquoise waters is protected and preserved as part of Jaragua National Park.
As a result, there are no hotels, malls, restaurants and other amenities nearby. The only drawback is that access to this piece of paradise is a mission.
One can get there via a four wheel drive vehicle or via speed boat or catamaran from Cabo Rojo.
Moreover, Aruba also has amazing beaches with Eagle beach being the leader of the pack.
It is located in Oranjestad, the island’s capital city and is over 1000 metres long. Additionally, Eagle Beach is the widest beach in Aruba.
It is known for its white powdery sand and there are shaded areas with parking available. Turtles are fond of nesting on Eagle beach.
There are certain beaches on the northern side of the island that have strong undercurrents.
Usually there are sign on the beaches to indicate this and therefore it is wise to read all signs.
Aruba Vs Dominican Republic- Which Destination Has The Better Nightlife
Both destinations are known for having a lively nightlife atmosphere.
Nonetheless with Dominican Republic being a bigger country there are a myriad of entertainment options.
The nightlife scene in Dominican Republic consists mainly of restaurants, bars, casinos, discos and nightclubs.
As a Spanish speaking nation, the music genres primarily are reggaeton, electro and latino music.
Salsa dancing is extremely popular as well on the island.
Some of the popular places for nightlife in Dominican Republic are Onno’s Zona Colonial and La Bodega Bar.
Upscale restaurants tend to enforce a dress code for attendees. Therefore, if you are planning on having dinner, pack something a bit more formal.
Likewise, party lovers will enjoy the bars and clubs located along South Beach Aruba.
There are casinos, bowling alleys, cinemas and golf courses so visitors can enjoy a range of entertainment on a smaller scale.
Aruba Vs Dominican Republic- Unique Things To Do In Both Destinations
Natural Pool, Aruba– located in the Arikok national park, this natural pool is a great place to relax. There are rocks that form a unique pool called “conchi” or bowl.
At times, due to the strength of the waves, water shoots up into the air.
Puerto Plata Cable Car, Dominican Republic- riding the teleferico is a must visit attraction in the Dominican Republic.
The ride gives you a chance to explore and enjoy the lush and tropical scene from above.
On a whole, Aruba is the perfect destination for solo female travelers seeking a small and safe island with lively nightlife atmosphere. On the other hand, Dominican Republic is ideal for party lovers who want to enjoy a large range of entertainment activities as well as lovely white sand beaches.
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