Mexico vs Dominican Republic: Where Should You Go?

They’re both incredible destinations, but when you’ve narrowed your holiday choice to Mexico or Dominican Republic, which should you book?

When it comes to choosing between Mexico or Dominican Republic for your next break, as with any holiday, it depends on what you want.

However, in this blog, we’ll answer the conundrum by telling you exactly what you’ll find in each destination, as well as giving you some top resort options for your preferred location. 

So, by the end of this article, you’ll have your next holiday destination decided, resort and all! 

First, though, let’s settle this…

Beachfront hotel which could be in Mexico or Dominican Republic
When you want a vista like this, are you better going for Mexico or Dominican Republic for your next break? Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Should You Choose Mexico or Dominican Republic?

We should probably start by saying, they’re both awesome destinations. But when it comes to choosing a winner, you need to know what you want. 

If you prefer a relaxing escape which prioritises doing absolutely nothing, then the Dominican Republic is for you. On the other hand, if you like to fill your days with endless adventures, you should definitely be leaning towards Mexico

However, that’s not to say you can’t kick back in Mexico or find adventures in the Dom Rep. So, to define those answers further, why don’t we dive a little deeper into why we’ve come to that conclusion?

Aerial shot of the beach in Tulum, Mexico
Both destinations have beaches in spades, but which are for you? Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash

Why Visit Mexico?

Yes, you can spend plenty of time doing nothing in Mexico. But with dazzling beaches, renowned archaeological sites, incredible nightlife, and miles of jungle to explore, you will definitely want to get out there. 

Starting with those beaches, it’s not just the Caribbean coastline of Mexico that steals the sandy headlines. Puerto Vallarta’s stunning selection of beaches proves that the Pacific has the x-factor too. 

Elsewhere, so many of the best things to do in Mexico revolve around famous spots like Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. But there is more to discover in this diverse country than the top holiday destinations.

Granted, you are going to want to stay in some of the luxurious resorts in those areas. But there are a tonne of natural beauty spots, ancient ruins and enchanting towns to discover as well. Take the chance to get out on an excursion and go swimming in natural cenotes by day and party in the Hotel Zone all night (if that’s what you’re into).

Why Visit the Dominican Republic?

However, if you’re looking for a more chilled-out escape then we’d recommend the Dom Rep. This is mainly because the top attractions are generally found further from the doors of the luxurious five-star resorts in the Dominican Republic.

Places like La Romana or Punta Cana and Bavaro still offer enough activities to fill your itinerary. But days out are decidedly lower octane than in Mexico. Think coffee plantation tours and wildlife excursions rather than ruins and wrestling shows. 

But if you’re looking to kick back and do as little as possible, you’re in the right place. The stretches of gorgeous sand seem to go on forever. Then there are also paradisical locations like Saona Island and Macao Beach, one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic. In fact, Macao Beach was even voted one of the Best Beaches in the Caribbean by UNESCO.

So, now you know which destination is perfect for you, why don’t we tell you about some awesome resorts in both locations? 

Beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic
Head to the Dom Rep to experience Macao Beach for yourself. Photo by Marina Abrosimova on Unsplash

3 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in Mexico

The three all-inclusive resorts in Mexico that we think you should have on your radar this year offer a striking amount of amenities and external options. They are:

  1. Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
  2. Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta 
  3. Finest Playa Mujeres

1. Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa

This gorgeous beachfront property is a five-star haven in Riviera Maya, but there’s more to this resort than meets the eye. Because Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa makes up part of a wider Grand Palladium Resort Complex, you can access the amenities at three five-star hotels for the price of one. And with our latest offer, you’re barely paying for one!

Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort  & Spa and Grand Palladium White Sands Resort  & Spa also sit in the complex and between all three properties, taking your amenity count to 34 bars and restaurants, six pools, a spa, a gym and a plethora of included activities

When you’re not wandering the vast site in search of more bars, restaurants and activities, you could take the chance to book and excursion to one of the top spots in the area. Our guide to building a boss-level Riviera Maya itinerary should be able to help you choose which attractions to visit.

  • Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
  • Bedroom of a suite in Grand Palladium Colonial
  • A restaurant in the Grand Palladium Resort Complex Cancun
  • Dining tables overlooking the Caribbean Sea
  • The Baby Club room at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa

Learn more about this awesome hotel and benefit from 5 resorts for the price of 1

2. Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta

As we mentioned earlier there are plenty of things to enjoy over on Mexico’s Pacific coast and Puerto Vallarta demonstrates this perfectly. The great thing about Secrets Vallarta Bay is that it places you within walking distance of some of the best spots. 

So, if the choice of six bars four restaurants and three pools has you at a loss, you could always start out on foot and head down to the Malecon. The Malecon is the beating heart of Puerto Vallarta. Countless bars, restaurants, cafes and shops all line a coastal beachfront boardwalk which offers unique and colourful art installations as well as magnificent sunset views. You could even walk to the end of Sunset Pier and catch the dying of the light in a spectacular show. 

Meanwhile, keen golfers will also love the fact that the resort is close to not one but two 18-hole championship golf courses – Vista Vallarta Club de Golf and Marina Vallarta Golf Club. 

3. Finest Playa Mujeres

Finest Playa Mujeres is a 450-room five-star oasis in Playa Mujeres. Boasting a warm family-friendly environment and an incredible array of amenities including 10 pools, 12 restaurants, 15 bars, a spa, gym, as well as land and water activities – there’s plenty here to keep everyone entertained. 

Plus, if you fancy getting out and see more of the best things to do in Playa Mujeres, there are a host of excursions available too!

  • Finest Playa Mujeres, By The Excellence Collection
  • Aqua Bar
  • Junior Suite at Finest Playa Mujeres,
  • Outside a row of swim-up suites at Finest Playa Mujeres
  • Outside area of a swim-up suite at Finest Playa Mujeres

3 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in Dominican Republic

Moving over to the top spots in Dom Rep, we have another 3 staggering sites to indulge your lounging bone. 

  1. TRS Turquesa
  2. Dreams Flora Resort & Spa
  3. Lopesan Costa Bavaro

1. TRS Turquesa

If you’re thinking about getting away on an adults-only all-inclusive escape to Dominican Republic, then you won’t find many better properties than TRS Turquesa. Similar to Grand Palladium Colonial in Mexico, this resort also sits in a Grand Palladium Resort Complex. Except this time there are three other resorts to explore. 

The other good news here is, while you’re free to explore everything the resort complex has to offer, only TRS guests can access the facilities at Turquesa. From your luxurious beachfront perch you can watch the world go by or just spend your days trying to experience every amenity at your disposal.

That cracking resort count takes your list of bars and restaurants over 40 and also gives you access to 7 pools, a spa, gym and a host of sports and water sports. 

  • TRS Turquesa Hotel, Punta Cana
  • Pools at TRS Turquesa
  • Romance Suite at TRS Turquesa
  • Sun loungers outside a poolside suite
  • La Adelita

2. Dreams Flora Resort & Spa

The newest Dreams Resort opened in late 2022 and it has wasted no time in wowing guests with a host of incredible inclusions. The standard Dreams Unlimited-Luxury® privileges are there again to help your stay run smoothly. Plus, you have the chance to explore 18 bars and restaurants, 4 pools and a soothing resort spa

From your plush five-star home on the beach in Punta Cana you can indulge every sense during your stay. But if you need some help there, the acclaimed Dreams Spa by Pevonia® is waiting to make your acquaintance with a host of indulgent treatments. 

Alternatively, you could choose to head out adventuring and make the 25-minute journey from Dreams Flora Resort & Spa into central Punta Cana. Perfect for when you want to break up your beach days with some exploration. 

3. Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort, Spa & Casino

Making the short journey, a little further up the coast from Punta Cana, we come to our next destination, Bavaro, and the gorgeous setting of Lopesan Costa Bavaro

Another five-star destination, this resort is also the biggest of the six featured above with over 1,000 rooms on offer to couples, groups and families. Lounge in the sun at over 7 poolside locales and wander along The Boulevard where 12 eateries and 11 bars wait to sate your appetites. 

Plus, if you fancy a flutter, you could always spend your evening glamorously taking to the tables in the resort casino. 

  • Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort, Spa & Casino
  • Aerial shot of Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort, Spa & Casino
  • sun loungers in the pool
  • Rooms at Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort, Spa & Casino
  • Maraes Restaurant

When is the best time to visit Mexico or Dominican Republic?

Whether you’ve chosen Mexico or Dominican Republic you don’t need to worry about one being better than the other at a certain time of year. 

Because the climate of each country is relatively similar, the best time to visit either is from around December – April.

During this time in Mexico and the Dominican Republic you’ll be treated to the dry season when rain is less prevalent and the mercury is still rising to around the 28-30 degree mark. 

Woman walking in the Caribbean Sea in the Dominican Republic at sunset
Put yourself in this picture and discover Mexico or Dominican Republic at the best time of year. Photo by Leonardo Rossatti.

Where will you choose?

Now you’ve got all the facts, which one are you thinking? 

Are you going for an all-out adventure in Mexico or dialling up the serenity in the Dom Rep? 

Whichever location you choose, we have a range of high-end resorts waiting to make your stay super special. Click the button below to check out all our latest offers. 

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