With its mild, year-round climate, the Caribbean is always a good place to escape harsh winters elsewhere. That’s one reason why the period from December through April is the best time to visit the Dominican Republic.
Of course, there’s much more to this amazing island than its tropical climate. But there’s no denying that temperatures that rarely drop below 80ºF (26.6°C) in winter are a major attraction.
Swimmers, divers, and sunbathers also enjoy warm water temperatures throughout the year. An average high of 84ºF (28.8°C) in September falls to only 79ºF (26°C) by February before rising again.
Atlantic breezes also keep sunbathers cool on the hottest days. The fertile green interior also offers a shady respite, as well as a very different experience.
Visiting Dominican Republic By Season
The Dominican Republic is often called a land of perpetual summer for its year-round tropical climate. You can certainly expect sunshine all year round, but summer is officially from June through August.
The early part of the summer is a better time to visit, as the weather gets hotter during late July and August. High humidity makes August temperatures that can reach 89°F (31.6°C) feel even higher. The sea, though, is constantly inviting.
That humidity also extends into rainfall, and afternoon rainstorms are a regular summer feature. They may not last long, but the humidity lingers.
August is peak school holiday time, when Dominican families abroad come home, and local families join them on the beach. It’s also the start of the hurricane season, which lasts into mid-October.
While September and early October are the peak months for storms, November usually sees the threat diminish. Average temperatures are still in the 80s, and the rain eases off as the season goes on.
By November, the country starts to prepare for the coming holiday season. The island’s beaches begin to open up their facilities, and the DR Jazz Festival gets under way.
The first ball of the winter baseball season is also pitched at the end of October, with the professional final coming in January. This is also a great time to explore the lush interior that the Dominican Republic is known for on white-water rafting or zip-lining adventures.
With water temperatures in the mid-80s, and average daily temperatures rarely falling below 80ºF (26.6°C), winter is the best time to visit DR. That’s a fact not lost on the many visitors who head for its beaches, towns, and interior.
And it’s not just holiday makers who enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. From now until mid-March, migrating humpback whales can be spotted offshore.
Even if you don’t see whales, a boat trip to a beautiful coral island such as Cayo Arena will be a delight. Seeing the tropical plants of the interior, perhaps by visiting a coffee plantation, is a shadier but just as enjoyable escape.
In January, the Dominican Republic’s Carnival kicks off, filling the streets with music and dance right through February.
Spring break and Holy Week bring plenty of visitors to Dominican Republic. Semana Santa (Holy Week) is normally around the end of March, and the whole country is on holiday.
The weather is very mild, although temperatures start to climb into the higher 80s by late April. Trips to sights such as the swimming holes at 27 Charcos, or El Limon waterfall are good options to cool off.
When Is Rainy Season?
DR has two rainy seasons, from April to June, and more forcefully again from September through November. The hurricane season (officially June 1 through November 30) normally peaks in September, but there are not always severe storms during this period; you may just encounter wind and heavy rain.
When Is High Season?
Winter runs into early spring to make one long high season. The great weather makes this the best time to visit the Dominican Republic, and its beaches, towns, and many historic attractions are at their most enticing.
When Is Shoulder Season?
November is a key shoulder season before the winter rush. Usually, the rain has cleared away, but temperatures are still high, particularly in the water. Couples or honeymooners seeking a quiet beach find this an ideal time to go.
There is a quiet time in January between the Christmas/New Year holidays, and the start of the Carnival season. In May, just before the summer humidity becomes intense, good weather can intersect with falling visitor numbers to create another sweet spot.
When Is Low Season?
The hurricane season from August through November is the off-season in the Dominican Republic for obvious reasons. The week of Thanksgiving does see a boost in numbers during November, but September, and October are usually very quiet. If you don’t mind the possibility of storms, this can be a serene time to visit.