There are two countries in the Caribbean whose names are derived from the Latin word Dominus that means ‘the lord’. One is the Dominican Republic sometimes referred to as Dominicana and the other one is the Commonwealth of Dominica that is normally called Dominica. Those who are not very good at geography may confuse the two countries but they have very little in common aside from the fact that they both are located in the Caribbean Sea and their names sound similar. Their sizes are different, their populations are hardly comparable, and the levels of prosperity found in each of the countries are also very different. These facts entail the difference in prices in Dominicana and Dominica as well.
The Dominican Republic occupies about two thirds of the Caribbean island called Hispaniola that it shares with another country, namely, Haiti. Hispaniola is part of the Greater Antilles and it is the second largest island in the Caribbean: only Cuba is larger. The territory of Dominicana is nearly 50 thousand square kilometers and its population is about 11 million people. The capital city of Santo Domingo is home to approximately 3 million Dominicans.
Dominicana is the most popular tourist destination in the region. The country is a world-renowned resort. Why do so many tourists visit the Dominican Republic every year? Because there they can find a variety of tourist activities, good infrastructure, and a high level of services.
The terrain is rather diverse in Dominicana. As is the case with most other Caribbean islands, there are fantastic sandy beaches in the country that offer all sorts of seaside entertainment. Apart from sunbathing and splashing in the sea, you should certainly go snorkeling or scuba-diving if you find yourself in Dominicana: the coral reefs can be found very close to the shore in some parts of the island and they are fascinating indeed. One more seaside activity that is highly popular in the Dominican Republic is kiteboarding. You may have to wait for the wind to blow but when it does, gliding on the sea surface pulled by the kite is a lot of fun.
You don’t have to spend all of your time on the beach, however, as there are wonderful tropical mountain forests in Dominicana too. Go on a guided tour to see green vegetation, exotic plants, mountain streams, tropical birds and animals. You can also take a cable car to take a look at the beautiful scenery from above. Besides, it is a bit cooler at higher elevations so probably you will feel more comfortable there than on a hot sunny beach.
The Dominican Republic is a country for a comfortable Caribbean vacation. As far as the prices are concerned, they are comparatively high there. It is probably not the most affordable Caribbean island to live on. The U.S.A. is located not too far away and it is one of the main trade partners for Dominicana. The attractive thing about this is that US goods are readily available in the Dominican Republic: you can easily find high-quality products in the country. The less attractive thing about the proximity of Dominicana to the United States is that the prices in the two countries are quite comparable. This goes for the prices of goods, services, utilities, and housing. Locally grown fruit is very inexpensive while everything else is rather costly.
As far as Dominicana’s closest neighbor is concerned, Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and one of the most troubled countries in the world. It is ridden with crime, corruption, unemployment, even famine. At the same time, the poor neighbors do not cause too many problems to the visitors to the Dominican Republic but only to the local Government.
Commonwealth of Dominica
The Commonwealth of Dominica is part of the Lesser Antilles so it is located in a different part of the Caribbean. Besides, the area of the island is only 750 square kilometers and the population is a bit more than 70 thousand people. The capital city of Roseau is home to less than 3 thousand people so it is more of a village rather than a city. As you can see, the Republic of Dominica and the Commonwealth of Dominica are vastly different in terms of their sizes and populations. The same holds for their levels of prosperity: while Dominicana is a wealthy Caribbean country, Dominica is comparatively poor.
Why would you want to visit Dominica? What tourist attractions can you find there? Dominica’s nickname is ‘nature island’ and this explains why you should consider visiting the country: to see the wild nature.
Most of Dominica’s territory is occupied by national parks and nature reserves. As well as in most other places in the Caribbean, you can find beautiful sandy beaches in the country and swim in turquoise water but this is probably not the most exciting tourist activity that you can undertake in Dominica. The country is unique for its untouched pristine forests covering the mountainous regions.
People live on the shores and the center of the island is pretty much uninhabited. There you will find no people but lots of fantastic tropical plants, birds, and animals. Humans living in Dominica are very friendly and relaxed but the same can be said about the local fauna too. Consider the following fact, for example: there are four (known) species of snakes on the island but none of them is poisonous!
Speaking about the prices in Dominica, certain items cost less there than they do in Dominicana while some other items cost the same or even more. Prices for food, restaurant meals, clothing, and transportation are comparable in the two countries. The same goes for housing even though the choice of top-quality hotels is much greater in Dominicana. At the same time, you will probably be surprised to learn that buying a house or an apartment in Dominica will cost you nearly 20 times as little per square meter in Dominica as it will cost you in Dominicana (Numbeo data). Given the fact that Dominica administers a citizenship-by-investment program (and investing in real estate is an available option), you may want to consider buying luxurious accommodations there while simultaneously becoming a citizen of a wild but extremely beautiful Caribbean country.