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Barbados and Dominican Republic are both well-loved Caribbean destinations for vacation.

However, there are several differences that exist between these two countries.

One of the most obvious differences is the language spoken in both places.

Dominican Republic is a Spanish speaking nation while English is the official language of Barbados.

In this article, we explore the differences between Barbados and Dominican Republic to help you decide which is more appropriate for your Caribbean vacation.

As a general rule, Barbados is an island suitable for persons seeking an English speaking island with white sand beaches that is quieter and laid back. Alternatively, Dominican Republic is ideal for visitors seeking white sand beaches with turquoise waters and a lively nightlife atmosphere.

Read on for more information on Barbados and Dominican Republic from the perspective of a Caribbean national.

Barbados Vs Dominican Republic- Which Destination Is Bigger

Dominican Republic is materially larger than Barbados totaling 18,704 square miles.

On the other hand, Barbados is remarkably smaller with a landmass of 166 square miles.

With the greater landmass, Dominican Republic likewise has the larger population being 11,072,084 according to worldometers.

At the time of publication, Barbados had a population of 288,086 as per the same source.

Barbados Vs Dominican Republic- How Does The Landscape Differ?

The terrain and landscape of both destinations vary significantly.

Barbados is a flat coral based island with the highest point of elevation being Mt Hillaby which stands at 1,120 feet.

On the other hand, Dominican Republic is green, lush and mountainous with tropical rain forests.

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.

Barbados Vs Dominican Republic- What Are The Official Currencies

Both destinations have different currencies used for day to day transactions.

The official currency used in Barbados is the Barbadian dollar.

USD $1 is equivalent to BBD$2 and is also pegged to the US Dollar. The Barbadian currency is managed by its own local central bank.

Contrastingly, 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.

Barbados Vs Dominican Republic- Which Country Has Greater Risk of Hurricanes

Both countries are in the tropics and as such there is a hurricane season that starts on June 1 and ends November 30 annually.

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.

Barbados is located outside of the hurricane belt. Despite this, it has not been spared of the effects of hurricanes.

The last storm that made landfall was Harvey in 2017.

Tropical storm Gonzalo in July 2020 passed 12 miles to the southwest while hurricane Elsa passed south of the island in July 2nd, 2021.

Nevertheless, when traveling to the Caribbean especially during the hurricane season, it is prudent to consider travel insurance in the event to delays and interruptions due to the weather.

Barbados Vs Dominican Republic- Which Destination Has Better Beaches

Both destinations are blessed with amazing white sand beaches with turquoise waters.

Crane beach located on the southeastern end is one of the most popular beaches on the island.

Its pink sand and beautiful waters have earned it several accolades. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent. The beach shares it shores with the hotel Crane Resort.

Some of the key beach spots to explore include Juanillo Beach, El Corecito Beach and Uvero Alto Beach for amazing white sand beaches in the Dominican Republic.

Considered 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.

Barbados Vs Dominican Republic- Which Destination Has Better Nightlife                

Dominican Republic is the better of the two destinations for nightlife and is one of the best spots for party lovers in the Caribbean.

The nightlife scene 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.

Barbados on the other hand is one of the more lively destinations in the Eastern Caribbean but quieter when compared to the Dominican Republic.

The South Coast of the island is the main location for entertainment.

Every Friday there is a fish Friday event which is well loved by locals and visitors alike.

Several local meals are prepared with fish being the star ingredient.

There is usually a live band as well as vendors selling locally made hand crafted items and trinkets.

Barbados Vs Dominican Republic- Unique Things To Do In Both Destinations

Andromeda Tropical Garden, Barbados- this is a six acre garden located in Bathsheba in the parish of Saint Joseph.

This garden is open every day except bank holidays. There are several types of flora and fauna such as ferns, orchids, palms, bougainvillea and hibiscus.

There is a café and gift shop at this location where you can buy refreshments as well as local craft items and souvenirs.

Isla Saona, Dominican Republic- located off the Southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic is a 42 square mile island that is truly paradise.

Isla Saona is preserved as part of the Cotubanama National Park and is an area where turtles nest.

Access to the island is via speedboat or catamaran. The island is a favorite spot for visitors for its majestic white sand beaches with turquoise waters.

Mano Juan is the only region of the island that is inhabited.

Final Thoughts

On a whole, Barbados is perfect for visitors seeking to relax and unwind on white sand beaches on an island that is tranquil. On the other hand, Dominican Republic is ideal for persons also seeking white sand beaches but with a lively and bubbling nightlife environment.

Need More Information?

The main goal of our blog is provide readers with accurate information about the Caribbean to help them make informed vacation decisions.

Kindly use the search bar located on the top of this page for more details on Barbados, Dominican Republic and the remainder of the Caribbean islands.

The following articles linked below may also be beneficial to you.

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