Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic: How to Choose your Next Vacation Destination

Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic: When it comes to choosing your next vacation destination, it can often be difficult to narrow down the options. If you are considering taking a trip to Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic, there are many factors you should take into consideration before making a decision. Here are some of the major similarities and differences between these two nations to help you choose.

Both places are wonderful to spend a vacation. But when it comes to Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic, the most noticeable difference is that Costa Rica is preferred by travelers who love the forests and the jungle, while the Dominican Republic is a haven for those in love with the waters.

So, if you are interested more in seeing life in the jungles and biodiverse reserves, you should probably opt for Costa Rica. The scenic, natural beauty there will delight and captivate you. For a more relaxed vacation on some of the world’s nicest beaches, there is no better place than the Dominican Republic. There are some exceptions to these rules, however. Here is everything you should take into account before choosing your next vacation destination.

Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic- A Detailed Account

From location and weather conditions to cuisines and transportation facilities, every detail needs to be considered when you are packing your bags for your next travel destination. So, let us get into all this and and take our sides in the Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic debate.


Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic: Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic
Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic: Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic

While discussing Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic with respect to location, know that both countries are in North America. The Dominican Republic is situated on the island of Hispaniola. This nation, lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is a mélange of rainforest, highlands, and beaches. Costa Rica borders the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to the west and east respectively. Although Costa Rica has its share of beaches, its forests are teeming with wildlife, making it the animal lover’s go-to place.


The varied food in different places is one of the major attractions for almost all travelers. After all, we always try to keep our taste buds happy and satiated when we travel. The Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic debate can be quite interesting when it comes to food.

These two countries have their own famous cuisines. Let’s first have a look at some of the dishes that you must taste when you visit Costa Rica.

  • Gallo Pinto, or painted Rooster is the National Dish of Costa Rica. Despite its name, Gallo Pinto is actually a rice and beans dish, that is usually eaten as a side dish
  • Casado is a popular Costa Rican dish consisting of rice, black beans, plantain, a and tortilla, and meat.
  • Olla De Carne, which is beef stew.
  • Sopa Negra is a vegetarian soup.

There are also many food attractions in the Dominican Republic.

  • Sancocho is a meaty stew that is found only in the Dominican Republic. One popular variation is what they call the “true Dominican Sancocho,” which is a 7-meat stew.
  • Mangu, otherwise known as Plantain Mash, is a very popular dish comprising mashed plantain, which is served with eggs. It is mainly served during breakfast but can be served during dinner too.
  • Arroz Blanco is a form of white rice. Many rice dishes are served in the Dominican Republic, but they are not as common and as important as this dish. This is a traditional Dominican lunch that consists of white rice, stewed beans, braised chicken or beef, and salad.

Both have their own delicacies which may indeed lead to an endless Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic debate. If you are looking at costs, food is generally cheaper in the Dominican Republic.

Entertainments and Other Attractions

Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic: Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic: Costa Rican Rainforest
Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic: A Costa Rican Rainforest

Apart from the food and scenic beauty, every tourist destination will have some attractions that are thrilling, fun, enjoyable, and memorable. The same holds true when we are discussing Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic.

These two small countries in North America have varied memorable attractions that will make you want to stay as long as possible. If you are a lover of thrills and adventure, then Costa Rica is the best. It has attractions like aerial trams, caving, coffee tours, horseback riding, bungee jumping, rafting, canoeing, and more.

The Dominican Republic is more of a “fun in the waters” place. The major attractions include horse riding, canoeing, enjoying the El Limon waterfalls, hiking, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and so on. Once you delve deep into the waters here, you will never feel like coming out.


Some of the best resorts in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic include:

Costa Rica:

Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica: A beautiful five-star, adults-only resort with beach access, luxury suites with ocean views, a pool, and six restaurants.

JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa: A luxurious five-star resort with beautiful beaches, great restaurants, and a spa.

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo: A beautiful resort with breathtaking views of the Pacific, plus five restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, four swimming pools, a spa, and more.

Dominican Republic:

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana: A vibrant, music-themed resort offers fun for the whole family with spacious suites, a kids club and a spa to name a few of its best amenities.

Paradisus Punta Cana Resort: Paradisus Punta Cana Resort is an all-inclusive resort that offers guests world-class service and endless amenities including tennis courts, pools, private beach access and a spa.

Hodelpa Nicolás de Ovando: Set within a renovated historical building, this luxury hotel offers guests modern suites complete with L’Occitane toiletries as well as an on-site restaurant and bar. It is also in close proximity to top tourist attractions.


This is a significant point to consider when we are talking about Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic. So far as living costs are concerned, the Dominican Republic is cheaper than Costa Rica. But as a traveler, there are other costs to take into account, and you should focus only on the costs in the tourist area where you will be visiting.

So you should know that combo meals in restaurants, bottled water, or cold drinks all cost more in Costa Rica. However, the transportation cost in Costa Rica is around 15% less, which is good news for those interested in traveling around the country and make the most of the ecotourism attractions Costa Rica has to offer.


Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic: Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic: Beautiful Weather on a Dominican Beach
Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic: Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic: Beautiful Weather on a Dominican Beach

Costa Rica is mostly warm throughout the year. The period between December and April registers the most stable weather, making it the ideal time to visit. Rainfall is negligible or completely absent during these months. The Dominican Republic too, experiences warm weather, being hotter than Costa Rica. If you want to enjoy the Dominican Republic fully, go there between April and May, when the peak tourist season ends and hurricanes are yet to begin. So, as you consider Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic, make your plan according to which time of the year you prefer for travel.


After reading this Costa Rica vs Dominican Republic comparison, you should have a clear picture in your mind regarding both countries. In short, if adventure is calling go to Costa Rica, and if you are looking for a more serene experience, pick the Dominican Republic.

See Also:

Costa Rica vs Puerto Rico: Best Destination for your Next Vacation

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