Both Aruba and Punta Cana are highly appealing destinations for individuals who are interested in visiting the Caribbean.
In this article, we compare and contrast Aruba with Punta Cana to help you gain clarity on which destination will be suitable for your next Caribbean adventure.
As a general rule, Aruba is ideal for persons looking to relax on white sand beaches with turquoise waters and hiking in a desert-like environment. Alternatively, Punta Cana is ideal for persons looking for stunning white sand beaches with turquoise waters as well as a bubbling nightlife experience.
Read on for more attributes of Aruba and Punta Cana. This article was written by a Caribbean national.
Aruba Vs Punta Cana- Which Destination Is Bigger
Punta Cana has the larger landmass than Aruba being 183.5 square miles.
Furthermore, it is also home to the higher peak in Dominican Republic and the entire Caribbean at an elevation of 10,184 square feet.
Pico Duarte is a popular hiking trail. Persons can take approximately three days and two nights to complete.
On the other hand, Aruba has a smaller landmass of only 69.5 square miles with the highest point of elevation being Mount Jamanota which stands at 620 feet.
Aruba Vs Punta Cana- How Does The Landscape Differ?
The landscape of both destinations could not be more polar opposites.
Individuals who love destinations that are arid and desert like will fall in love with Aruba especially when visiting Arikok National Park.
The park covers an area of approximately 8,000 acres which is roughly 20% of the landmass of Aruba.
The highest peaks of elevation being Jamanota Hill and Arikok Hill are in this park
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 Punta Cana- What Are The Official Languages
As a former dependency of the Netherlands, Dutch is the official language of Aruba.
Papiamentu which is broken form of Portuguese is regularly spoken by locals on the island.
English is taught on the island in the school system and as such visitors will have no difficulty communicating with the locals.
Spanish is the official language of Dominican Republic and by extension Punta Cana as it was previous a colony of Spain.
As a popular tourists vacation spot, many of the hotel and services workers in Punta Cana are fluent in English.
Aruba Vs Punta Cana- 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, as a region in the Dominican Republic the official currency of the Punta Cana 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 Punta Cana. Change is usually given in local currencies.
Aruba Vs Punta Cana- Which Is Destination Is Better For Beaches
This category is truly difficult to choose as both destinations have stunning white sand beaches with crystal blue waters.
Playa Macao is a favorite of local and visitors in Punta Cana. It is known for its white sand and clear waters.
Bavaro Beach is also another popular spot known for its beautiful white sand and turquoise waters.
Likewise, Eagle beach in Aruba is regarded as the best on the island.
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.
If you are visiting Aruba during the Easter season, this beach is often crowded as camping on Eagle Beach is a popular Easter pastime.
While visiting beaches on the Northern side of Aruba, certain beaches have undercurrents so please ensure and read all signs.
Aruba Vs Punta Cana- Which Is Destination Is Better For Nightlife
The nightlife scene in Punta Cana is more energetic and vibrant than Aruba. It consists mainly of restaurants, bars, casinos, discos and nightclubs.
As a Spanish speaking region, 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 are Coco Bongo, Oro Night Club and Imagine Disco Clubs.
Contrastingly, there is nightlife in Aruba but is not to the same scale as Punta Cana.
Nevertheless, party lovers can 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.
Aruba Vs Punta Cana- Which Destination Has Greater Hurricane Risk
Punta Cana 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 in Dominican Republic 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.
Furthermore, Hurricane Nicole also affected the island in November 2022.
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 Punta Cana- Unique Things To Do In Both Destinations
The Conchi Natural Pool, Aruba-this is truly an amazing sight to behold as the pool is formed by a group of boulders which is approximately 20 feet long.
You can swim and relax in the water while admiring an up close view of the sea.
Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve, Punta Cana- this consists of 1,500 acres of land designated as a reserve for educational, scientific and recreational activities.
The reserve was named Indigenous Eyes as it was inhabited by Taino Indians. There is a lagoon perfect for swimming and numerous hiking trails.
On a whole, Aruba is ideal for visitors who want to relax on white sand beaches with turquoise waters and relax in the Conchi Natural Pool. On the other hand, Punta Cana is suitable for individuals who want to relax on white sand beaches and explore the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve.
Need More Information?
The mission of Around The Caribbean is to provide our readers with accurate information written by Caribbean nationals to help you make an informed vacation decision.
Feel free to explore more content on Aruba, Punta Cana and the rest of the Caribbean using the search bar located at the top of this page.
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