We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Cuba vs Dominican Republic

Quebec, Canada
Level Contributor
336 posts
11 reviews
11 helpful votes
Cuba vs Dominican Republic

I need help! I`m trying to book a last minute vacation and i don`t know where to choose.

I heard the food wasn`t too good in Cuba and unfortunately my husband is really fussy about his food. (This is his first vacation down south). It`s getting hard to find good prices on 4 stars in Dominican. In the Dominican i`m looking at Punta Cana or La Romana (1st choice).

I haven`t checked a lot about Cuba, but would really appreciate anyone who has been to both countires and that could inform me about the Varadero area vs Cayo Coco vs Holquin, etc.

Thanks in advance.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
11,681 posts
154 reviews
118 helpful votes
1. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

Hey Sherrymac62

Ya tough decision. we've been to Varadero twice, really enjoyed it. Varadero is the party area. If thats your thing then Varaderos for you. There are however a few smaller resorts that are a little less party atmosphere. The Riu Turquesa for 1. Downside only 1 buffet rest. snack bar only open till 11;00pm. Upside most likely the best beach on the strip. Holguin area is more laid back. I think cause its a little isolated. We stayed at Brisas and we had a blast. From what I've heard and read from poster and my friend LoonyLou Brisas fully open and ready to make its mark again. We will definatly be returning to Brisas. The Cayo I can't speak about cause thats where our next adventure takes us on Mar. 30. We will be a Melia Cayo Santa Maria for 2 weeks of sun and fun and relaxation. I hear its very relaxing at Melia. The cayo are as well very isolated . Tough choice. I don't envey you. If your doing DR check out our second choice. Its the Sirenas Cockatol in Punta Cana. Just about booked there until we found a way to get to Cayo Santa Maria from Calgary. Hope this helps a bit. 56 sleeps left.

Cheers

Quebec, Canada
Level Contributor
336 posts
11 reviews
11 helpful votes
2. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

bergerman, where is Brisas?

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
11,681 posts
154 reviews
118 helpful votes
3. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

Sherrymac62

Its called Brisas Guardalavaca and if your looking in the travel books its most likely under Holguin. Its about 1 hr drive from the city of Holguin. Its near the small village of Guardalavaca. There is a boardwalk you can use to walk to the public market. Its about 10 minutes or if your with my better half, roughly 1/2 due to the many stops along the way. I'd recommend it highly if you're looking for quieter vacation.

Cheers

Montreal, Qc
6 posts
1 review
4. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

What are you looking for? A quiet place to rest or a party place for the night? We went to Cuba and RD.

Waiting for your answer.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
218 posts
2 reviews
11 helpful votes
5. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

We're family of 4 also need to make desicion. To go to Holguin or to go to Punta Cana. Where family resorts are better?

For last 2 years visited Cayo Coco (El Senador and Iberostar), we liked it but this year wanted to change location

Brantford
Level Contributor
165 posts
1 review
12 helpful votes
6. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

I've been to the DR (Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarette) and had a great time. However, I'd never go back by choice.

We were with a group of people and had a lot of fun and saw a lot of sights. We ate well, enjoyed the beaches, mingled with some of the locals and generally had an awesome vacation.

Having said that, the DR is very dirty. There lots of garbage and pollution (the resorts are generally clean) and we all got sick.

There are plenty of areas where it's not safe to go and poverty is rampant, which drive up the crime rate. A lot of people there are poor and hungry and some have resorted to begging to survive.

By contrast, Cuba is generally very safe, exceptionally clean, we've never been sick there and the crime rate is low. The Cubans are by no means rich, but they have a place to live (the worst shacks I've seen in Cuba were luxurious compared to some of the hovels I saw in the DR) and they get food rations so they generally aren't starving.

The Cubans are exceptionally friendly and tend to focus on the important things in life (family and friends) instead the material things (because they don't have any).

The food at Cuban resorts is not always great, although good food is available. The 4 and 5 star hotels have the better meals, but you can generally get good food at the ala-carte restaurants in the 3 star hotels.

Most of the travelers that return to Cuba year after year go there for reasons other than the food. It's not for every one, but if get the bug like most of the people in this forum, you'll want to go back.

This is my opinion, of course, so you'll need to decide based on what's important to you.

toronto
Level Contributor
289 posts
1 review
6 helpful votes
7. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

In the last 3 years I've been to the DR twice and Cuba 5 times.

after experiencing Cuba I wouldn't go back to the Dominican.

I never had the desire to go to Cuba as I heard what everyone talks about, the bad food! Got a great deal and that started my love affair with Cuba. My husband is too a very fussy eater, well let me tell you, he got along just fine! We've been fortunate not to get ill at either of the two.

I feel much safer in Cuba, the people are the best, the beaches are beautiful and there is a lot to see depending where you go.

We did Varadero last year with my daughter and friend, both 19, if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have gone there, more to see and more night life etc. I personally prefer Cayo Coco, Guillermo and Santa Maria mainly because of the beaches.

Go with an open mind and you will have a great time.

We've been home for a month now after 2 weeks, I even went down the first week solo and then met up with my husband, booking our next trip for March.

Go to Cuba, you'll LOVE IT!

Sun

Halifax
Level Contributor
4 posts
62 reviews
73 helpful votes
8. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

Hi Sherrymac62,

I've been to both Punta Cana and Holguin as well as Varadero. Best beach is Punta Cana. Punta Cana now has an advisory regarding Malaria (friends of mine are going there next month). Best action is Varadero for excitement. It is a 2 1/2 hr ride to Havana which is a must see! There is so much to do there including the world famous Tropicana nightclub and hundreds of museums.

Holguin area including Guardalavaca, in my opinion, is boring and the city of Holguin is very run down. Guardalavaca did have snorkeling right on the beach though, which was awesome.

Food in both countries and in other Caribbean countries is the same - bland. However the buffets have just about something for everyone. If you want to go on a trip for food, book a cruise. People in Cuba are far friendlier than Dominicans. Cubans are also very educated and musical. Cuba is safer than Dominican. I've never been to Cayo Caco but know people who have gone and they say it is beautiful. Keep in mind that in Varadero and Cayo Coco, few Cubans actually live there. They just come in to work on the resorts. To get out and see the real country & meet the people, you have to venture outside the resorts.

Good luck!

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
2,610 posts
35 reviews
96 helpful votes
9. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

Brisas Guardalavaca is our favorite. We've visited DR, Mexico, and Varadero. Weather in Holguin is usually better due to it's location. Check out Weather Underground and see what I mean.

10. Re: Cuba vs Dominican Republic

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 26 August 2009, 20:57