Having traveled to Haiti several times, my fiance Dimy and I decided to take a trip over the border to explore the Dominican Republic. We planned to stay a few days in Santo Domingo, and continue to Punta Cana for the grand finale of our trip. The experience that I got in Santo Domingo vs. Punta Cana gave me two different views of the Dominican Republic. It is always important to prioritize seeing different cities within a country you are visiting.
Santo Domingo is a lively city with much to do and lots to explore. We went to see Zona Colonial which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Old ruins and cannons that decorate the city can really take you back to the days the island was colonized. We also visited the government palace, which to me had similar architectural structure of the White House. Lastly, we enjoyed an interesting mixture of food that would best be described as a mix of Dominican and Asian fusion cuisine.
From there, we hopped on another bus and headed towards Punta Cana. The ride took close to 3 hours, and as we got closer I started to notice an interesting change of scenery. The city seemed somewhat closed off compared to the open layout of Santo Domingo. Upon our arrival, we were welcomed at our beach villa that was located right on the ocean. Punta Cana is much more geared towards their tourism industry, and guests are likely to be familiar with many of the brand stores, as most can be recognized in the states. Filled with resorts, this is definitely a great location to visit if one is looking for a no fuss, relaxing experience.
Depending on what you are looking for, there is an experience waiting for all. At the time, I was more so looking to be immersed in local culture, therefore found Santo Domingo to meet my fix. With great differentiation between cities, it is important to see more than one city while visiting a country. It gives you a chance to experience different vibes within the country and helps you find areas that better suit your travel goals.
Have you ever visited a country and liked one city more than another? Let us know where below in the comments!