Aruba and Punta Cana are both popular holiday destinations in the Caribbean Sea. Both of these two places offer beautiful beaches as well as nice, cozy resorts. Aruba is actually one of the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located north of Venezuela. Meanwhile, Punta Cana is a resort town in the Dominican Republic.So, which one does make a better place to spend your vacation? See the comparisons below!
Area and Safety
One of the differences between Aruba vs Punta Cana is the safety. This is an important factor that will greatly affect your decision. Do you prefer to stay in an all-inclusive resort or to wander around an island? If you just want to stay in an all-inclusive resort without exploring the outside, Punta Cana is still viable. See also: Punta Cana vs La Romana.
But it is not a good choice if you want to wander and explore. The environment outside the resorts is not safe. The resort town, after all, is meant by the government to keep the tourists grouped in one safe spot. The towns and villages outside Punta Cana’s resorts are poor and dangerous for tourists.
On the other hand, Aruba does not have many all-inclusive resorts. Some notable ones are Hotel Riu Palace and Barcelo. However, Aruba is much safer. It is a much more inviting island where you can freely wander around, visit casinos and restaurants, and enjoy various forms of entertainment. Excursions are available from multiple sources. You can rent a car and explore the island.
Aruba is somewhat isolated from South America’s main land. As the effect, the island has fostered the evolution of several endemic animals and plants. It is the habitat of the endemic Aruba Rattlesnake, Aruban Whiptail, Brown-throated Parakeet, and Burrowing Owl. The flora here is different from the typical tropical island vegetation; there are xeric scrublands, cacti, thorny shrubs, and evergreens. The island has several interesting beaches and places such as the Alto Vista Chapel, Arikok National Park, Lourdes Grotto, and Quadiriki Caves.
On the other hand, activities in Punta Cana are mostly water sports such as snorkeling, windsurfing, speedboats, banana boats, cruises and party boats, and scuba diving. There are just few other activities, such as horse riding, safari tours, and dune buggy.
Reaching Aruba is relatively easier, especially if you are a citizen of the Netherlands or the United States. A citizen of the Netherlands can go to Aruba without any visa, although a passport is still required. The United States has a full pre-clearance facility in Aruba.
Meanwhile, the best way to reach Punta Cana is by a direct flight to the Punta Cana International Airport. Of course, you need a passport and visa. The land-based transportation is not very good.
In general, Aruba is a more recommended choice. It is relatively easier to access, and it has many more attractions. The place is generally safer, as you can wander and explore around. However, if you prefer to stay in an all-inclusive resort and enjoy great beaches and water activities, Punta Cana is still a viable option.