Deciding between Punta Cana vs Cancun can be difficult when planning a beach trip. Both are direct competitors for tourists who want to enjoy natural beauty, and sensational beaches, with spectacular sunrises, and sunsets.
The Dominican Republic and Mexico have a lot in common, and choosing one over the other becomes challenging. However, both of these popular tourist destinations are very different when you look closely.
If you have difficulty choosing between Cancun and Punta Cana, this post is meant for you. For your ease, we have compiled all the resources to give you a detailed comparison between these two. In this post, you will find a nitty-gritty comparison of notable things that will help you in the final decision to choose Punta Cana vs. Cancun. Let’s get started.
Punta Cana is located on the easternmost side of the Dominican Republic. It is the second most visited popular destination in Latin America and welcomes millions of tourists every year.
Punta Cana is where the Caribbean and Atlantic Sea meets and has towns with vast and endless beaches. These beaches are some of the world’s best, with fine white sand and coconut trees.
Things to do in Punta Cana
Punta Cana is a resort-based tourist destination where you can make your excursion more enjoyable. The first thing you can do in Punta Cana is snorkeling, jet skiing, and other water adventures. Punta Cana is an excellent destination for divers to have fun in crystal clear water.
If you are a night person, Punta Cana offers you value for money. You can find a lot of bars and restaurants. You can listen to music and enjoy the local flavor while eating and drinking.
Cancun is located on the Yucatan Peninsula’s northeastern coast, which faces the Caribbean Sea. Cancun has been Mexico’s second most popular place based on international tourist arrival.
Cancun is the most popular resort in Mexico, with white sand, a gorgeous river, and vibrant coral reefs.
Things to do in Cancun
You can have fun at the beach and can play different games. Enjoy deep water fishing there. Aside from this, you can do cruising as plenty of boats are available.
Cancun is famous for its seaside buildings and shopping malls. For tourists who enjoy history, it would be best if you visited museums to explore the culture of Cancun.
The aforementioned simple overview of Punta Cana vs. Cancun is just a starter. So, for the real difference, please continue reading.
Punta Cana vs. Cancun – Safety
You and your family’s safety come first before going to Punta Cana or Cancun. Both of these are safe resorts and peaceful for tourists. That being said, some common-sense safety concerns need to be addressed.
Punta Cana is considered the safest travel spot in the Caribbean. You can enjoy the beaches and wander outside the hotel area without any safety precautions. However, petty theft can sometimes happen, like snatching cell phones or other valuable things. So avoid taking valuable items and be careful if you take them along.
However, Punta Cana has taken some steps for the safety and security of tourists and has a special police division to make the place safe and sound for outsiders. Still, we recommend you follow precautionary steps.
Cancun, in general, is considered a safe spot for tourists. Drug smuggling from Cancun to the other parts of the country has been the central issue of concern for the resort. Cancun Police Depart has filed numerous reports of drug dealing with tourists.
Overall, you are secure as long as you are not involved in any illegal activity. It is the safest place in the county compared to other resorts. However, it is advised that you adhere to safety precautions to avoid mishaps.
Despite all of these, the primary issue between Punta Cana and Cancun is the weather. Both have sunny days with warm temperatures, but the weather can turn rainy. Rain is not a big problem, but seasonal rain with hurricanes poses a potential threat to your dream beach vacation. So, keep an update on the weather before heading there.
Punta Cana and Cancun – Beaches
The resort towns have beautiful white sand beaches stretching along the coastline. The beaches are incredible, with some of the world’s most popular places to soak up the sun.
The Dominican Republic has impressive white-sand beaches. The distinctive features of beaches are the extensive palm trees. Hotels are not as close to the beach area here. That’s why beaches are not overly crowded like Cancun beaches. Bavaro Beach is famous for sun-seekers.
Punta Cana beaches have it all, with a couple of notable exceptions. The presence of lifeguards is generally not available. Additionally, you can face seaweed at specific times of the year.
Mexico has 6,200 miles of coastline, of which Cancun has ten stunning beaches that rank as the best in the country. Cancun beaches lie along the hotel zone and are easily accessible. They come up with lifeguard equipment, open-air restaurants, and other necessary things. So, You can enjoy astonishing views from the hotel balcony.
Playa Delfines and Playa Langosta beaches are considered the stunning beaches of Cancun. As beaches are located in proximity to the hotel zone, most tourists spend their day there. There is always a crowd on the Cancun beaches. If you don’t like crowds, this particular beach might not be for you.
Cancun or Punta Cana – Food
Many tourists seek healthy food choices while some indulge in more traditional fare. Fortunately, you will find both local cuisines and healthy meal options in Punta Cana or Cancun, including fresh seafood.
Punta Cana offers you a variety of delicious meals. You can enjoy the traditional Dominican Republic, which includes Mangú con Los Tres Golpes (The Traditional Breakfast), Rice with Beans, Pollo Guisado (Dominican Braised Chicken), Sancocho (7-Meat Stew), and many more.
Cancun also has many delicious foods to try. You can eat Tostadas (fried tortillas), Chilaquiles (Popular Breakfast Dish), Pozole soup, Tamales(Famous street and Restaurant food), and many others.
Punta Cana and Cancun – Weather
The weather is tropical throughout the year in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Both the resorts have warm and sunny seasons with slight temperature fluctuation.
Punta Cana has a winter season from December and lasts until March. The weather is mild, and rains happen from June to August. Historically, it rains in October and November with hurricanes.
Cancun has a rainy season in June and July, which is very short. August-September is the month of hurricanes. The “cold” weather season runs from December to March.
Best Time to Visit Punta Cana
The peak visit to Punta Cana ranges from December to March. During this time of year, expect a more crowded beach in Punta Cana. The prices of tickets and hotels will likely be higher during peak season due to high demand.
The low season of Punta Cana starts from summer to the beginning of fall. During the summer season, prices go down. Still, in the low season, you will see a lot of tourists because of tropical weather conditions throughout the year.
Many tourists call April the best time to visit Punta Cana because the crowds begin to fall and prices are relatively lower than peak season.
Best Time to Visit Cancun
Cancun’s peak travel time ranges from December to April, with a massive number of tourists. Don’t forget the USA Spring Break, where you will encounter a lot of college-age students! After April summer season starts in Cancun, and the crowds start decreasing.
All in all, April and May are the best time for heading towards Cancun when the crowds clear out.
Budget and Cost of Punta Cana VS Cancun
The average travel budget in Punta Cana is RD$6,000($290) per day. This price is based on the average daily expense of other visitors in Punta Cana.
The daily meal costs you around $30 to $50 and $10 to $15 on daily transportation. Depending on the quality of accommodations, nightly rates are in the $60 to over $300 range.
Cancun costs you M$1,991 ($100) per day. It is based on the past tourists’ expenses daily.
It includes $20 to $25 on daily meals and $10 to $15 on daily transportation—the average rent of hotel rooms for a couple of ranges from $120 to $150.
We are sure you can decide between these stunning beach resorts after reading the detailed guide on Punta Cana vs. Cancun. In the post, we cover all the necessary information that you need to visit Punta Cana or Cancun.
Cancun vs. Punta Cana: Which one is Safest?
Both Punta Cana and Cancun are relatively safe and secure for you and your family by following recommended safety guidelines.
Which destination has the best beaches, Punta Cana or Cancun?
The beaches of Punta Cana are considered more visually appealing than Cancun. Punta Cana beaches are natural, less developed, and surrounded by lush green trees. Perhaps the deciding factor is that Punta Cana is almost always less crowded than the beaches in Cancun.