Are you torn between two amazing vacation destinations? Well, you’re in luck because we’re here to help you decide between Cabo San Lucas and Punta Cana!
Both of these places are known for their beautiful beaches, exciting nightlife, and luxurious resorts. But which one is better? That’s the million-dollar question.
In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into both destinations and compare them in every way possible.
From the food to activities, and overall vibe, we’ll give you the low-down to make an informed decision.
By the end of this ultimate guide, you’ll know whether Cabo San Lucas or Punta Cana is the perfect destination for your next getaway. Let’s go!
Punta Cana has earned its stripes as a tropical paradise that packs a powerful punch of sandy beauty and vibrant people.
If a sun-kissed holiday spent embracing the vivacity of an authentic culture is what you seek, you gotta head to Punta Cana.
You can while away hours playing on the endless white shoreline or find yourself navigating through lush mountainscapes – whatever floats your boat.
Families, solo travelers and loving couples alike will all appreciate this cheerful oasis.
Cabo San Lucas is a tourist mecca that lives up to every magazine advertisement. It’s an upscale getaway that caters to international crowds, and it’s known for so much more than just adventures on the sea.
It’s where you want to go to live the “high life”; luxe shopping, dining, and partying – you name it.
And speaking of parties, you never know who you might run into at the celebrity-studded resorts or surprise appearances at restaurants!
But don’t worry, Cabo still knows when to take it slow. Those yearning for the classic Mexican charm will be rewarded with beautiful coastline resorts offering plenty of opportunity for R&R.
Punta Cana and Cabo are amazing tourist destinations, but luckily there won’t be any need to worry that your trip is going to end early due to safety concerns!
Sure, you’ll still have to keep a lookout for minor theft and practice common sense. But really, the same goes for virtually every tourist spot.
Think of it as an adventure: keeping your eyes peeled so you don’t miss out on all that these places have to offer!
If you’re planning a visit to Punta Cana, be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen! With tropical temperatures and an Atlantic-Caribbean location, there’s no bad time of year for a vacation.
The peak season starts in December and ends in March – prices naturally go up during this time.
Beat the rush by traveling in April: tourist numbers will be down while temperatures are nice and balmy.
Punta Cana’s rainiest months are July and August with some chance of a hurricane starting in September.
The truth is, Cabo is a great destination year-round. But if you want to experience the best of Cabo, you’ll want to plan your trip between May and June, or October and November.
During these months, the weather is perfect with sunny skies and warm temperatures.
If you’re looking for a more affordable trip, consider visiting during August and September.
Sure, it’s a bit hotter and there’s a chance of rain, but you’ll find great deals on hotels and activities.
And if you’re a whale lover, you’ll definitely want to plan your trip between January and March. This is when the whales migrate to Cabo, and you can take a tour to see them up close and personal.
Punta Cana welcomes you with a siren song of sandy beaches, salty air, and tropical refreshments.
The 30 miles of beaches are the stuff dreams are made of – think lush vegetation, gleaming sun, and plenty of opportunities to kick back, relax, and indulge in some R&R.
Now, Punta Cana isn’t just about lounging on the beach. You can also snorkel, kayak, and windsurf to your heart’s content.
But be warned, the waters can be a bit rough, especially for younger swimmers. And compared to Cancun, Punta Cana lacks some amenities like lifeguards and beachfront dining.
Cabo beaches steal the show with their rays of sunshine, surf-tinted beauty, and diverse range of activities.
That’s not to say you should go dive in head first – the Pacific’s unpredictable nature is ripe for a case of “I did not sign up for this!”.
Those looking for a safe dip can find 19 blue-flagged beaches scattered along Cabo’s coast.
There’s also something for everyone in terms of scenery – from remote Lover’s Beach and its 30 million-year-old granite cliffs to El Medano, with beach bars aplenty; and Playa el Suspiro, great for sunset viewing if you don’t fancy going in the water.
Punta Cana is the ultimate outdoor playground! Get ready to hit the beach and check kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, and motorboating off your bucket list.
Transition from water to land for some ATVing, ziplining and horseriding.
For the adventurous traveler, take it up a notch with a trek to Pico Duarte – the Caribbean’s highest peak.
And don’t forget a visit to one of the famous local chocolate farms where you can learn all about its history and how it’s made!
Cabo has a wealth of activities on offer: you can dive with sharks, fly above the water with a flyboard, or sink your toes into the sand and enjoy a slower-paced day of hitting up a beach club.
Those feeling adventurous can take in breathtaking views by hiking up Mt. Solmar, while all types of golfers will be charmed by its championship golf courses.
After a long day of exploring, you can sample some of Cabo’s famous tequila before heading back to your resort to relax.
But if that still doesn’t do it for you, check out the iconic Land’s End arch – it’s definitely something you want to add to your bucket list.
Punta Cana may not have quite the nightlife reputation of its chic counterpart Cabo, but there are still plenty of hotspots to choose from to let loose and make a night of it.
Coco Bongo Punta Cana is a must-visit for its mesmerizing dance performances and acrobats, while ORO Nightclub brings the heat with Dominican salsa and bachata.
But if underground adventure is what you seek, Imagine Cave Disco delivers just that – located in an actual cave!
Pre-dinner drinks? Take your pick from resort bars for bottle service or beach clubs for a more toned-down chill.
Punta Cana does its own kind of wilding out at night – and we promise you won’t be disappointed.
Looking for a truly wild and unforgettable night on the town? Look no further than Cabo’s electrifying nightlife scene – it can definitely rival Cancun!
Everything really starts when the sun goes down, especially downtown, where you’ll find plenty of bars, clubs and lounges.
Need some liquid courage to get your evening started off strong? Check out Baja Brewery for their famous happy hour sunset views paired with a cold brew or The Jungle Bar for drinks and great tunes.
When you’re ready to go full throttle and take the party up another notch, hit up El Squid Roe, Pinky Kitty or Blue Marlin Ibiza for some serious clubbing action.
Don’t forget to plan for a leisurely morning after as the party here can go well past sunrise!
If that’s too much for you or you need a night of recovery, sign yourself up for a sunset dinner cruise instead.
Dining in Punta Cana is largely just for resort guests, due to all-inclusive packages. However, the good news is that you can fill up on international eats as well as Dominican delicacies every week.
If you’re after something more special, head over to Capitan Cook – a beachfront joint where the menu reads like a who’s who of seafood stars.
You don’t need to be a gastronome guru – everyone loves seafood!
Dining in Cabo definitely has a “cosmopolitan” feel to it. Not only can you enjoy traditional Mexican fare but if you’re looking for something different, there are plenty of French, Italian and continental restaurants downtown too.
But the real local treat is Baja Med – a unique fusion of regional dishes from the Peninsula topped off with a Mediterranean twist.
You could say Baja Med is Cabo’s version of Pacific Rim cuisine – two cultures colliding on the same plate.
There is nothing quite like it and you simply can’t find it anywhere else! This hybrid honestly deserves a special spot in culinary history, because who else brings together Mexican favorites with a hint of Mediterranean style? Well, only Cabo can do that.
Punta Cana has certainly come a long way since its small-town days, offering hundreds of all-inclusive stays.
If you’re looking to splash out on an incredible luxury suite with swim-up pool, be prepared to pay top dollar.
But if your budget is less extravagant, don’t worry – with hostels, Airbnb’s, condos and mid-range hotel options, there’s really something for everyone.
Recommended Hotels in Punta Cana:
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
If you’re headed to Cabo, it’s safe to say cheap accommodation won’t be easy to find!
With most hotels averaging around the $300+ mark a night, your wallet may need a holiday of its own.
Beachfront resorts follow suit with top-tier rooms setting you back $500 (or more).
Want to go extra fancy? Then Medano Beach should be your destination – with beach access, on-site restaurants and stunning views.
However, if you want something less pricey, hostels and private villas/condos in The Corridor are your best bet; while San Jose del Cabo hotels can offer cheaper rates if you’re looking for an old-world charm experience.
Recommended Hotels in Cabo San Lucas:
Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa
Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos
Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa
If you’re planning a 7-day trip to Punta Cana or Cabo San Lucas and you’ve got a budget on your mind, consider this first: accommodation will take the biggest chunk of it.
Peak season can get pricy – so plan accordingly! The moral of the story is this – manage your money, and you’ll manage to have an exciting holiday even on a budget.
The average one-week trip to Punta Cana for two people will cost you approximately $2,300.
Keep in mind that this is just an average, and your actual costs may vary depending on your travel style and preferences.
But with this information, you can start planning your dream vacation to Punta Cana without breaking the bank!
Here’s how it all breaks down:
First things first, let’s get you there. If you’re flying from New York City, you can expect to pay around $350 for a round-trip ticket, while those on the West Coast may need to cough up $470.
If you’re coming from the UK, international flights can cost anywhere between $600 and $900.
Now, onto accommodations. If you’re on a tight budget, hostels and 1-star hotels range from $27 to $50 per person per night.
But if you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious, mid-range hotels average around $108 per night, while 5-star stays could cost you $600 or more per night.
On average, a standard room will cost you around $260 per night, which adds up to $1,040 for a week-long stay.
Let’s talk food. If you’re looking to save some cash, budget meals will cost you around $3, while casual lunches are around $10.
But if you’re feeling fancy, 3-course dinners can cost anywhere from $14 to $67. On average, expect to spend around $395 on food for two people for a week.
Now, what about activities? Luckily, entertainment costs are relatively affordable, especially if you don’t need to rent equipment.
Outdoor activities like horseback riding and paragliding can cost between $30 and $60, while day tours average around $70 per person. You can expect to spend at least $200 for two people on activities.
The average budget for a one-week trip for two to Los Cabos is around $3,910. Of course, this is just an estimate – your actual costs may vary depending on your travel style and preferences.
First up, let’s talk about flights. Depending on where you’re flying from and when you’re traveling, you can expect to pay anywhere from $450 to $600 per person for an economy round-trip ticket.
Keep in mind that prices tend to be higher during peak season, which runs from December to April.
Now, let’s move on to accommodation. If you’re on a tight budget, you can stay in a hostel for around $50 per person per night.
However, if you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, Cabo hotels can cost anywhere from $300 to $480 per night.
That means you could be spending anywhere from $700 to $3,360 for a week-long stay.
Next up, food! While Mexico is known for its cheap and delicious food, Cabo tends to be a bit more expensive.
Expect to pay around $5 for breakfast and up to $27-$30 for a full meal. For a week-long trip for two, you can expect to spend around $490 on food.
Finally, let’s talk about activities. The good news is that there are plenty of free things to do in Los Cabos, like spending time on the beach or taking a self-guided tour.
But if you’re looking for some more structured activities, typical sightseeing will cost you around $30 per person per day.