Punta Cana or Nassau? 10 Points for Comparison


Everybody wants a Caribbean that’s as close and beautiful as Nassau in the Bahamas or Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

But choosing between the two of them? Now that’s a tough call.

Both Nassau and Punta Cana appeal to a broad international traveling public. From the United States, guests tend to be slightly more from the eastern seaboard but it’s not a hard fast rule. Both islands boast long and fascinating colonial and pre-colonial histories and both claim to be the first stop of Christopher Columbus.

Still two of the most popular locations in the entire Royal Holiday collection, both Nassau and Punta Cana are well worth considering for your next holiday. These ten points are intended to make that consideration easier, and perhaps a bit more fun too.


Royal Holiday

Nassau, Bahamas

Royal Holiday

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic


Flight time from Miami, about 55 minutes. Flight time from Miami, 2.5 – 3 hours


The Bahamas are a Commonwealth Realm, a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations, with Elizabeth II as constitutional monarch and an independent parliamentary system of government. Thus English, the official language, is widely spoken. The Dominican Republic has a congressional republican form of government and was a colony of Spain from 1492 until the War of Independence in 1844. Spanish is still the official language, but English is spoken widely particularly in tourist areas.


Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas, though far from “urban” is well established and well developed with a long history of receiving leisure travelers from all over the world. Guests can explore the wide range of the city, from a charming colonial center, to the far flung beaches. Punta Cana is a relatively “young” tourist development at the very eastern tip of the island. As such, most of the services that aren’t included within a resort are very nearby and most local people make their livings from the tourist industry.


Royal Holiday travelers take in the


Royal Holiday travelers choose from


None of the above is All-Inclusive. Guests can choose from a variety of eating establishments, onsite or offsite, near and far. All of the above are All-Inclusive resorts and include most of the services you require on the resort grounds. Off-site services are limited.


Because Nassau offers many shorter term vacations, and many high class attractions, dollar for dollar, it is more expensive when compared directly with more distant Punta Cana. Punta Cana is somewhat more affordable overall. In a relatively isolated tourist-only zone, most of what you’ll pay for will be included in your resort, but there are some great bargains just beyond.


The variety of casinos and fun-spots away from your hotel will be much more in Nassau which caters to an international sun & fun crowd. There are also several museums, cultural points and Think All-Inclusive everything with most of what you’ll be doing on or very near the hotel. That said, there are some very attractive eco-tourism and nature sites very nearby.


Cuisine is slightly more “international” in nature and will only surprise most guests with flair and some truly excellent gourmet experiences are available. The DR offers some true surprises, more sea food, and some memorable specials. Influences include Spanish, Caribbean and African cuisines.


The sea can vary from turquoise inlets and tide pools to more dark and choppy Atlantic waters depending on which side of the island and which beach you visit. Punta Cana offers – almost exclusively – wide, luxurious white beaches and the turquoise waters for which the area is world famous.


Nassau is visited everyday by cruise ships from all over the Caribbean, and it’s usually the first stop of ships arriving from the Mediterranean, too. It can get crowded. Metropolitan and sometimes even worldly, it’s still a very small island. Hispanola is a much bigger island and only in Prime season will it sometimes feel truly crowded. Most of the year, Punta Cana is a laid back and very relaxing respite from more hectic parts of the world. Cruise ships come calling only occasionally.

What do you think?

Have you been to Punta Cana or Nassau or to both? Maybe after all the two places are simply incomparable. There have been too many holidays and celebrations held at both places to really get down to a fair comparison of the two places.

But maybe we missed something simple and obvious that really should have been included above.

Please let us know in the comments section below.