Puerto Plata vs Punta Cana? Best Place to Visit in 2023

Which tourist destination is the best place to visit? In previous blog posts, we explained essential information about these beautiful places. Want to learn more? Please read the full article below.

Can’t decide whether to book your Punta Cana or Puerto Plata vacation? It could be a tough decision as both are top vacation destinations in the Dominican Republic. 

Puerto Plata offers a low-key atmosphere and unparalleled natural attractions, while Punta Cana is renowned for its endless sandy beaches and elegant all-inclusive resorts.

Having visited both vacation spots several times, I can compare them thoroughly. In the end, you can decide for yourself which is the best place to visit, Punta Cana or Puerto Plata?

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Excursions (Punta Cana vs Puerto Plata)

Puerto Plata offers numerous attractions you can visit directly by car, including Samaná, Las Terrenas, Salto del Limón, Cabarete, Sosua, Nágua, Sanchez, and numerous monuments and museums.

Punta Cana is more laid-back while staying in a super hotel with a fabulous beach, with proximity to restaurants or tourist attractions (Quad, Parasailing, etc.)

Puerto Plata is more “organic.”

Punta Cana is more “planned.”

In Punta Cana, excursions and day trips can seem “too touristy”; therefore, minimal local flavor is experienced.

Punta Cana has the advantage of being a more familiar place. You can visit it with your family, including the children. There are resorts designed exclusively for children’s enjoyment, such as Nickelodeon.

Instead, Puerto Plata is an excellent destination for venturing alone or as a couple. Another significant difference is the price. Puerto Plata is a lot cheaper than Punta Cana in every way.

Puerto Plata Vs Punta Cana: Which Is Better?

Puerto Plata and Punta Cana are beautiful cities. They present a wide variety of attractions and activities for visitors. Both are probably the most popular tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic.


You can never go wrong when choosing between Puerto Plata and Punta Cana, whether you are looking for an adventurous trip or a quiet and peaceful vacation.

Tourism Is Well Developed In Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata prides itself on its highly developed tourism. The city is designed to be touristic. It has hundreds of lodging options, romantic and intimate getaways, and activities focused on the family.

Take the opportunity to explore the city from the outside and the inside. Swim in the deep blue sea and relax on the sandy beach. Plus, take time to climb majestic mountains and explore the historic city center. Puerto Plata always offers something fun to do, so you’ll never get bored.

Punta Cana Is An Incomparable City Of Beauty

Punta Cana is becoming known for its tranquil and incomparable beauty. And the calm atmosphere and community of the city make it the perfect place to sit back and relax while enjoying the sea breeze.

However, Punta Cana offers more than just incredible beaches. You can go on long mountain hikes and explore mystical caves. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Dominican way of life with a series of cultural day trips.

beach in punta cana

Travelers may choose between Puerto Plata and Punta Cana, depending on their preferences. Visitors can enjoy the stunning scenery to the left and right of both and plenty of activities.

Why not visit lively Puerto Plata and tranquil Punta Cana if you can’t decide where to go? 

Where Should I Go On Vacation?

Punta Cana and Puerto Plata are both popular beach destinations in the Dominican Republic, but they are very different.

Your choice of beach vacation destination will be primarily determined by what you are looking for. Both beach destinations are tropical and offer a wide range of activities, but the beaches of Punta Cana are generally much quieter than those of Puerto Plata.


The beaches of Punta Cana are famous for their crystal clear waters, soft sand, and picturesque landscapes. The water is clear and calm, perfect for a peaceful and relaxing day at the beach.

Puerto Plata’s beaches tend to be rockier, so shoes may be required. The water is even more erratic and the waves more fierce.


While there is active nightlife in both Punta Cana and Puerto Plata, the nightlife in Puerto Plata tends to be a bit livelier and offers more variety.

Puerto Plata is a more party-oriented destination, and there are a variety of bars and clubs to choose from. Punta Cana also has many hotels but is more known as a relaxing beach destination.


Price is one of the most significant differences between Punta Cana and Puerto Plata. Punta Cana is a new tourist destination and is generally more expensive. The prices of hotels, restaurants, spa treatments, and recreational activities can often be comparable to the costs of luxury American resorts.

Puerto Plata generally offers cheaper hotels and vacation packages because it is an older beach destination. You can also save on accommodation by choosing hotel rooms near the garden instead of the beach.

What Makes Puerto Plata And Punta Cana Unique?

Puerto Plata

  • Families will enjoy family-friendly resorts as well as luxurious ones
  • The beautiful scenery that’s unmatched
  • Histories and Culture of the Dominican Republic
  • A more budget-friendly option
  • It contains more historical and culturally significant sites
  • Kitesurfing and waterfall jumping are among the thrill-seeking activities available
  • A closer connection to city life
  • Tourists are less crowded
  • Authentic cuisine available

Punta Cana

  • Pristine Tranquil Beaches
  • The best golf resorts in the world
  • A perfect place to relax in nature
  • Adventures that are fun and exciting
  • Beautiful views of the beach
  • Hotels and resorts of the highest quality
  • More relaxing activities
  • Numerous tour activities, mainly water-related, such as going on a yacht trip


Is Puerto Plata better than Punta Cana?

The answer to this question depends on your vacation needs.
Punta Cana has 32km of stunning beaches, making it the perfect vacation destination for tourists who enjoy beach activities, water sports, and ecotourism.
On the other hand, Puerto Plata is the ideal place for travelers who love mountains, nature, and waterfalls, as well as learning about the region’s history.

Is Puerto Plata cheaper than Punta Cana?

The short answer is yes! Accommodations are usually cheaper due to the age and overall quality of the resorts. For some, Puerto Plata is not quite the Caribbean that many expect. It’s older, rugged, and perhaps less visually attractive.

What is the most beautiful part of the Dominican Republic?

Punta Cana is located on the easternmost tip of the country and encompasses everything the Dominican Republic has to offer. You’ll find stunning scenery no matter where you go in this region known for its white-sand beaches. Overall, Punta Cana is the most beautiful place to stay in the Dominican Republic.

How far is Punta Cana from Puerto Plata? 

The distance between Puerto Plata and Punta Cana is 174 miles. By road, it is 250 miles.