It’s one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean and you can wear your swimsuit during just about any month. But when is the best time to visit the Dominican Republic? Our handy month-by-month guide will help you plan the perfect trip.
The weather stays warm all year round in the Dominican Republic so there really is no bad time to visit. That’s said, the island does experience a rainy season and there’s distinction between the hotter and cooler times of year. The best time to visit the Dominican Republic depends on other factors too, like whether you’re tied to the school holidays or intent on keeping costs down.
The weather in the Dominican Republic
When thinking about the best time to visit the Dominican Republic, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are two main seasons; one wet and one dry. The dry season runs from December to April and is peak tourist season in the region while the wet season runs from June to November and is a quieter time tourism-wise. In addition there are two ‘shoulder’ seasons in the spring and autumn when you’re likely to get the best of worlds.
The weather in the Dominican Republic can also vary depending on where you are. In the mountainous regions it’s always a little cooler, while the inland plains see the hottest temperatures as they are away from the cooling coastal breezes. In the capital Santo Domingo, averages vary from 77F in January (the coolest month of the year) to 82F in July (the hottest month). Santo Domingo is in the south and its conditions are typical of the whole south coast.
The dry season
The weather during dry season is characterized by low levels of rainfall and pleasantly warm temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s. Loads of tourists visit the Dominican Republic at this time of year to bask in the sunshine so you should expect large crowds, especially around Christmas, New Year, Easter and spring break.
The wet season
During the wet season temperatures are at their very highest, with averages in the low 80s and daily highs of 86F or higher. Combined with high humidity things can feel quite toasty at this time of year. Despite the risk of wet weather, the low season can be a great time to visit the Dominican Republic if you’re looking for a cheaper, quieter vacation.
The hurricane season
The Atlantic hurricane season runs in line with the wet season from June to November. That may sound scary but the odds are strongly favor of a hurricane-free vacation, even if you travel during hurricane season. While the official season starts in June, it’s rare for a hurricane to hit the Caribbean so early on in the year. The peak months for hurricanes are September and October.
So, when’s the best month to visit?
The best time to visit the Dominican Republic all depends on what you want to get from your trip. The dry season is generally considered the best time to go if you want perfect weather pretty much guaranteed. You’ll find warm sunshine and little rainfall during this peak time, but the island will be busier and your vacation will inevitably be a little more expensive.
Due to the lower prices and lack of crowds the wet season can also be a good time to visit. You can still enjoy good weather especially in the months of June, July and November which often see lots of sunshine without any storms. If you’re traveling during the peak hurricane period it’s a good idea to buy travel insurance that protects your investment should a storm prevent you from traveling.
Taking into account the weather, crowds and cost, the spring shoulder season is the best time to visit the Dominican Republic. Running through April and May, this in-between time offers sunny weather without big crowds of tourists. You may see some rain as it heads towards the wet season, but any showers usually pass quickly and shouldn’t affect your vacation plans.
Check out our month-by-month travel guide for a more in-depth look:
When to visit the Dominican Republic, month-by-month
The first month of the year is well into the dry season and is one of the best times to visit the Dominican Republic weather-wise. There’s around 9 hours of sunshine per day in January with average daytime temperatures in the mid 70s making it an ideal time for a beach vacation.
If you’re visiting the Dominican Republic in January bear in mind that it’s winter in the northern hemisphere so tourists will be flocking to the Caribbean to escape the cold. This peak tourist season lasts all the way through April so you should expect busier resorts, especially along the popular southern and eastern coasts.
The average sea temperature around resorts like Punta Cana and La Romana is a warm 80F. This temperature is perfect for all sorts of water activities from swimming and snorkeling, to surfing, wake-boarding and parasailing. At resorts like Casa de Campo on the southeast coast you’ll be close to the scenic Chavon River where you can go on fishing and sailing excursions.
Wherever you decide to stay, you’ll enjoy warm temperatures and lots of sunshine in February. It’s still the peak season in the Dominican Republic but you can avoid the crowds if you plan your visit outside of the spring break and UK half term holidays.
Still in the dry season, rainfall levels are low and despite the long days of sunshine humidity levels stay relatively low too, especially around the breezy coastal resorts. With so many hours of sunshine a day, you’ll be able to top up your tan or head out and explore the the island.
At Altos de Chavon near Casa de Campo you’ll find a replica 16th-century Mediterranean village, all hand-crafted by local artisans. The village is a big draw for tourists and has an art gallery, a church, an archaeological museum and a huge 5000-seat amphitheater where you can watch a variety of performances.
Mostly dry and sunny, March is a great month for swimming and sunbathing. The third month is slightly warmer but the trade winds work to temper the heat so it never gets unpleasantly hot. There may be some light rain, but showers are typically light and quickly followed by clear sunny skies.
It’s still peak season so there’ll be quite a few tourists around, and prices will be higher than in low season. If you prefer it quieter, then try to travel during school term time rather than in spring break.
Be aware that the UX index in the Dominican Republic is high in March so pack plenty of high factor sun cream.
April is a great time to visit the Dominican Republic. Things are really hotting up towards the summer with around 10 hours of sunshine per day and average temperatures of around 80F. April is the last month of the dry season so rainfall levels are low, in fact you may not see any rain at all during your vacation.
Sightseeing, hiking and exploring are all popular pursuits in April, before the intense summer heat sets in. And since it’s nearing the end of the peak season you’ll get fewer crowds – as long as you avoid traveling over Easter.
If you’re in the Dominican Republic at the end of April you’ll be in time for the Puerto Plato Open, a popular PGA Latin American Tour event held at the signature-designed Playa Dorada golf course.
With great weather and low season prices, May is often considered to be the best time to visit the Dominican Republic. Each day sees around 9 hours of sunshine, and sun seekers will love the hotter daily highs in the mid 80s. Temperatures can soar even higher in May, but the trade winds around the coast keep things feeling comfortable.
May can bring with it a few rain showers, with the northern shores seeing more than the south. You shouldn’t let that put you off though as the rain is often a refreshing break from the heat and humidity. The sea is also lovely and warm in May so you’ll be grateful for refreshing dips and the abundance of water sports on offer.
In May the Puerto Plato Open is still running. You’ll also be in time for the Santo Domingo De Fiesta which takes place in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo every Friday and Saturday night.
June is the start of the wet season and the hurricane season in the Dominican Republic. There isn’t too much cause for concern though storms in June are rare. June is actually one of the best times to visit the Dominican Republic for a cheaper and quieter vacation.
You’ll still enjoy plenty of good weather in June with around 8 hours of sunshine per day and highs in the top 80s. Things stay lovely and warm in the evenings too with temperatures rarely falling below 70F. With this heat you’ll need to pack loose-fitting cotton clothes to keep you cool, and don’t forget a sun hat and lots of sunscreen.
It’s also a good idea to check with your travel insurance provider to make sure they offer hurricane related cover.
The sun shines all year round in the Dominican Republic but for many travelers, July in the best time to visit. Yes it’s the wet season and there’s the risk of storms, but the risk is still low in July. If you’re a lover of warm weather you’ll love the hot daily highs of 87F through July. It can get even hotter, so it’s a good idea to pack all your summer vacation essentials.
The world-famous Merengue Festival kicks off at the end of the month with celebrations throughout the city of Santo Domingo. Dedicated to the Dominican’s national dance, this event features lots of music and dancing as well as competitions, parties, food fairs and crafts exhibitions.
There are some great places to stay near Santo Domingo including the family friendly resort of Casa de Campo in La Romano.
The Dominican sees highs in the top 80s through August making it a good time to visit if you love the heat. Things stay warm in the evenings too so you can head out and about without getting cold.
Although August is still the wet season it usually rains in short sharp bursts and often only at night. And as it’s nearing the peak of hurricane season you’re likely to find some excellent rates on flights and accommodation. Prices do creep up during the school summer holidays but you’re still likely to find some great deals.
With the high heat and humidity in August you may find strenuous activities a bit too exhausting. The weather is more suited to lazy days spent sunbathing, swimming or enjoying a variety of water-sports. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses and beachwear, and remember to drink lots of water throughout the day.
If you’re traveling in September, be aware that it’s the height of the Atlantic hurricane season. It’s also one of the months with the highest levels of rainfall. While the chances of your vacation being affected are still statistically low, you may want to get a comprehensive travel insurance policy and check the hurricane forecast before you travel.
Despite the rain and the chance of storms, September can actually be a great month to visit the Dominican Republic. The weather is hot and sunny, plus there are fewer vacation crowds around once the school term starts.
You can use any rain showers as a break from the beach or as an opportunity to explore the duty-free shops and other indoor attractions. The Zona Colonial has some fascinating old buildings such as the Alcazar de Colon Fortress and the Primada Cathedral.
Like September it’s still the height of the hurricane season but you shouldn’t let that put you off too much. Temperatures are in the mid 80s and there’s around 8 hours of sunshine a day so you can still pack in some sunbathing.
It’s still low season tourism-wise so you can expect lower prices, however they usually creep up during the October half term.
Events-wise you’ll be in time for the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival which comes to Santo Domingo and Santiago at the end of the month.
The good news about November is that there’s a lot less rain compared to the previous months. And even when it does rain it’s usually in short downpours that mostly come in the evenings. The humidity is also lower in November which is welcome news for those who want to head out without being hampered by the heat.
November is the last official month of the hurricane season and also still the low season, meaning lower prices for flights and accommodation. In fact, many travelers consider November to be the best time to visit the Dominican Republic before the hubbub of December sets in.
There are around 7 hours of sunshine a day in December and average highs along the south coast are in the 80s. This drops to the low 70s at night so you’ll still feel lovely and warm.
Christmas is on the horizon, and school is out at the end of the month, so there are a choice of vacation options to choose from. Visit in early December and it’ll be quieter and a little cheaper. Visit later in the month and it’ll be busier and more expensive but you’ll get to spend Christmas on the beach.
The best time to visit the Dominican Republic for great villa deals
Low-season offers are easy to find in some of the Dominican Republic’s best resorts, including Casa de Campo on the southeast coast. While prices for tend to go up in high season, you can still get some great last-minute deals in the Dominican Republic.