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Punta Cana or Riviera Maya?


Hello all,

This is my first post here, and I am hoping to get some help in deciding where to go for our vacation.

We are limited in the “All Inclusive” experience. Having only been to Riviera Maya back about 10 years ago - stayed at Iberostar and loved it. We went to Fantasy Island at Roatan a few years back, but that was more a scuba vacation than an all inclusive vacation.

Our situation has changed since and now we have 3 toddlers at 3 years old. We went to Bavaro Princess in Punta Cana last year and while we enjoyed the trip, we didn’t think it was really a 5-star resort. The room we had smelled moldy, which caused us worries with the kids. The food was only average at the buffet and a la carte restaurants and everything was too salty. The staff were great - paid lots of attention to the kids.

I wonder if we liked the Iberostar in Riviera Maya because it was the first All Inclusive we went to and we had nothing to compare it to.

Anyway, my question is - what would you recommend? Maya Riviera or Punta Cana? Like I said, the kids are only 3 (will be 3.5 when we go in November), so we are looking for a resort that’s good for kids. Any suggestion on specific resort would be appreciated too.

There will be 6 adults and 3 kids going, so budget is a consideration as well. From what I see online, I am thinking about $1,500 Cdn per adult range?

Appreciate any input from everyone.



I have been to both several times and i find the mayan more kid friendly just b/c if you forget something you have walmart there to go and grab a item. As for resorts both locations cater largely to families. I went to ocean blue and palladium in p.c. and loved them both, palladium was super kid friendly. In the mayan any of the large chains are super with young kids. They all tend to be a larger resort and offer trams, etc to get you around. Iberostar`s are very nice resorts it;s no wonder why you loved it so much… they are very kid friendly. There are iberostars in p.c , check them out… melia is really kid friendly in pc. as well


see some pics from Punta Cana : http://leonardito.com/spasongsn/bavarobeacheseng.php
from Riviera Maya : http://leonardito.com/spasongsn/rivieramayabeaches.php



We went to the Mayan Rivera last year, and we liked it for sure, lots to do and the snorkling is OUT OF THIS WORLD. But, I was disappointed in the beach, nothing compares to Punta Cana beaches!


Most Mayan Riviera resorts have little/no natural shade on the beach, wheras most Punta Cana resorts have palm trees, so getting some shady areas without “reserving” palapas in the middle of the night (a nasty business!) is do-able in PC . Young kids playing on the beach all day in intense sun should have some opportunity to cool out in a shady area.


Take a look at Barcelo Bavaro Palace deluxe, check out their website and look at the family resortit is in Punta Cana huge beach area very well appointed!they have a whole family section including pools and play areas for the wee ones!