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Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

Morris Plains, New...
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Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

Can you tell me the difference between the two? Want to stay 5 nights . 6 days. To give you background we've been to both Aruba and Playa Pariaso (Iberostar Grand) and loved both. However, we are not ones to just sit at the beach all day. We will get very bored. We like doing excursions. For example in Aruba we did ATV Tour, Jolly Pirates snorkeling, and a few others. In Playa Pariaiso we did Zip lines, swim with the dolphins etc. We also like to participate in stuff going on at the resorts. Which Island is better for us and why? Please get back as soon as you can. Thanks.

Rehoboth Beach...
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1. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

You really cannot compare the Dominican Republic to Jamaica as they are simply two different animals.

There are at least 3 different areas in the DR. Punta Cana the most popular, Puerto Plata and La Romana. I will talk about Punta Cana since it is the most popular. If you want info on the other areas let me know.

Until the early 70's was nothing but a wasteland filled with scrub brush and palm trees. Developers decided they would make it a vacation destination and large developers moved in to build mega resorts. Each resort becoming larger and grander then the previous. You will not find history or culture of any kind in PC. Most of the resort staff will be living on the resort in staff quarters since their "home" is often hours away in different parts of the Island. They will rarely get to see their loved ones with many of them having not seen their children in months since they have had to leave them home with their parents.

The water is not potable in the DR as has been mentioned and food handling standards are no where near the standards they need to be. On our 5th trip to the DR I actually contracted Garidia, an intestinal parasite, that comes from infected food due to poor hygiene in food preparation.

The water can be very rough at times unlike the beautiful waters of Negril! Be prepared to spend a lot of time at the pools. In all of my travels it has only been when in PC & POP that we had to stick to the pools instead of the Ocean.

The people of the DR are wonderful though!

Things like snorkeling, ATV trips, horseback riding etc. in the DR plan on spending upwards of $100.00 PP per excursion! They know they have a captive audience once you are there! There are no places to walk or explore on your own so you HAVE to make like a sheep and sheeple around on a bus!

The water is drinkable, the food is wonderful and flavorable, no problems with health standards and the Jamaican vibe is like no other you will experience.

IDK if this matters but Jamaica is also an English speaking country. DR is primarily Spanish but most staff have a basic knowledge of English.....MUCH better then my Spanish!

I can't say one is BETTER, they are just completely different! For US I would choose Jamaica any day of the week over Punta Cana. We did enjoy La Romana and Puerto Plata much better then PC, but still Jamaica is a better choice for us.

Morris Plains, New...
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12 posts
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2. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

Did you always stay in Negril? If so where?

Cincinnati
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145 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

I can't comment much on the DR but a lot of the things that Frodo pointed out are reasons that deter me from going there - language barrier and non-potable water. I usually always check out pricing and reviews for DR resorts but always come back to Jamaica for the reasons Frodo listed.

I would suggest Ocho Rios because of the proximity of a lot of the excursions (Dunns River Falls, Mystic Mountain, and I believe the ATV excursion is close also). Negril is very laid back and has gorgeous beaches but the excursions aren't as close in proximity as Ocho Rios. There are some closer excursions but the more popular ones are about two hours away (Pelican Bar, YS Falls, Mayfield Falls, Appleton rum tour).

Toronto
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4. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

Commenting only on excursions, the best excursion I have EVER done in my life was the 27 waterfalls in DR. Damajaqua cascades.

I know 1 excursion isn't a reason to choose a destination but if you do end up going to DR and are in the area of 27 waterfalls I highly recommend that. It is located in the mountains where they filmed Jurassic Park. Breathtaking.

In my opinion DR has more exciting excursions.

Rehoboth Beach...
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5. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

Damajaqua Falls can be a nice excursions. I will caution those who go to be extremely careful though. PLEASE do not go when there has been any rain fall! It can turn deadly. Even at the first level. Little Adam lost his life as his family watched. Then another middle aged couple suffered the same fate in front of their teenage kids. I remember this like it was yesterday.

http://www.adamvitaterna.com/id29.html

Edited: 1:35 pm, July 18, 2012
Massachusetts
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1,729 posts
15 reviews
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6. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

vanderveen44,

If you have stayed at an IB* Grand and enjoyed it; IB* Grand Mobay would be a good fit. You mentioned you are "not ones to just sit at the beach all day" and subsequently; the beach is not a huge matter. My wife and I stayed at the IB* RH Suites (the Grand was under construction) The beach is nice but not that of Negril or Punta Cana although it is easy access and clean. There is a plethora of excursions available out of Mobay. A bonus; the Grand is not far from the airport.

7. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

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J B
Montego Bay, Jamaica
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429 posts
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8. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

Interesting. I've been thinking of traveling to DR. I guess I should do more research. Not sounding too exciting so far based on this post.

Paducah, Kentucky
3 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

we just got back from jamaica stayed in ocho rio sunset beach resort and there was twelve of us and we all hated it it was a dangerous place if you leave the resort and nothing to do at the resort so i will never ever be back in jamaica ever...

United States
Destination Expert
for Ocho Rios
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4,124 posts
102 reviews
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10. Re: Jamaica vs. Dominican Republic

What made you think it was a dangerous place if you left the resort? And there are tons of excursions close to Ocho Rios. Did you do any of them? I'm sorry you had a bad time, but we've been to Ocho Rios 5 times and never felt that way. We stay at Sandals, but still, it is Ocho Rios.