The Dominican Republic enjoys a sunny, hot climate year-round. From December through mid-March, temperatures are at their best, reaching the low 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) in the daytime and cooling off in the evening. Sunny blue skies are a constant for a great part of the year, particularly in the coastal areas.
Rainfall is heaviest in the summertime, although weather patterns have been changing every year, with occasional frequent downpours in December as well. Tropical showers rarely last, unless there’s a pending storm system on the way.
Heavily populated Santo Domingo and Santiago are concrete jungles, with little break from the hot sun and high levels of humidity all year. Santo Domingo’s proximity to the Caribbean Sea, however, offers a refreshing break from the heat in the evening and morning.
The high altitude areas of the Dominican Republic—from Jarabacoa to Constanza, and including hilly parts of Puerto Plata and Barahona provinces—enjoy the coolest temperatures. Coastal towns enjoy a break from the heat thanks to steady Atlantic Ocean breezes, particularly in Bavaro, Bayahibe, the Samana Peninsula, and Puerto Plata.
Fast Climate Facts
- Seasons: Dry and Rainy
- Hottest months: July and August
- Coolest months: December through February
- Wettest months: August and September, although rain patterns now fluctuate
Hurricane Season in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30 every year. Hurricanes are uncommon in the Dominican Republic, and any tropical storms usually take place between September and October. The rainy season coincides with the hurricane season; this means you can expect more frequent rains, but these rarely last a full day or more at a time.
Stay alert to the news; the DR’s official national emergency center, the Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias, is always monitoring and organized in alerting the country and major regions of any major approaching storms or hurricanes, giving you plenty of time to return home or change plans if needed. Resorts are also emergency trained and have established shelters for guests should an unexpected hurricane approach rapidly.
You shouldn’t avoid visiting the Dominican Republic during hurricane season, however, as hurricanes and tropical storms are extremely rare. It’s important to keep them in mind in general because weather is more unpredictable due to climate change. It’s always a good idea to sign up for travel insurance in case of trip cancellations or delays.
Different Regions in the Dominican Republic
East and Southeast Region
The east and southeast of the Dominican Republic includes areas such as Juan Dolio, Boca Chica, Punta Cana, La Romana Bayahibe, and Dominicus. This is a region that’s generally dry and sunny all year. While rain is more frequent in the summer, it rarely lasts after a quick tropical shower, unless there a weather system lingering in the Caribbean.
Central Region (Jarabacoa, Constanza, San Jose de Ocoa)
The mountainous region of the Dominican Republic boasts the highest elevations in the Caribbean. This translates into the coolest temperatures in the country and in the region. Expect daytime temperatures to hover around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) in Jarabacoa, while nights see temperatures that go as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). In parts of Constanza, it gets even cooler with nighttime temperatures dipping below freezing in December. However, temperatures generally remain in the 50s Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) other times of the year. Hotel rooms and lodges in Constanza have heating, as well as chimneys, so there's no fear of being cold at night.
The southwest region of the Dominican Republic has very unique topography and is one of the least visited parts of the country. While it faces the Caribbean coastline, this region is hotter overall than other parts of the country. Barahona province is flanked by mountains as well as thick forests and numerous rivers. This translates into more rain and evenings with cool ocean breezes, depending on where you are staying. Pedernales, the adjacent border province, is the opposite. The weather is drier and the landscape more arid, with temperatures easily reaching over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) by midday. Overall the southwest is warm and dry.
The north of the Dominican Republic enjoys a breezy Atlantic Ocean facing its long shoreline. It does get scorching hot here during the summer, which also brings more rain. With climate change, however, weather patterns have varied dramatically on the north coast. Some years have seen a significant drought, while others have seen flooding. Overall it’s becoming more difficult to predict how much rain will fall. In general, however, the weather is pleasant during winter and spring, while the summer boasts high humidity and temperatures.
Santo Domingo Metro Area
Santo Domingo is the largest city in the Dominican Republic and its most populated. Temperatures here are hot and humid nearly all year, except for the winter season when breezes bring cooler temperatures in the early morning and evening. In general, it’s best to visit Santo Domingo between December and mid March. After that, temperatures reach the 90s Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and the humidity is oppressive. In the summertime, limit your walks to the coolest time of the day or bring an umbrella for added sun protection, as locals do.
Spring in the Dominican Republic
Springtime is when temperatures begin to creep, rising into the upper 80s Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius)during March and April. It gets progressively hotter as Easter approaches, and the sun rays feel stronger.
What to pack: You should pack clothes suitable for hot weather and rainy clothing, depending on where you plan to spend time. Daytime outdoor activities will require long sleeves for sun protection, unless you’re at the beaches and rivers cooling off. Sunscreen and mosquito sprays should always be in your bag, as the sun can be dangerous even on cloudy days.
Summer in the Dominican Republic
Temperatures in the summer are the most difficult to bear, with high temperatures, high humidity, and the sun beating down mercilessly. The heat is midler in the mountains and high elevation towns such as Jarabacoa and Constanza.
What to pack: Take protective cover ups, hats, long sleeve shirts, and pants if you plan to spend a lot of time exposed under the sun on boats or beaches. Evenings will be warm, but you’ll need at least one nice outfit for nights out.
Fall in the Dominican Republic
Temperatures gradually cool down starting in September, but the humidity remains. Don’t expect to cool off just yet. There are more short rainstorms in September and October, and you can expect some days where it’s cooler and breezier even if not that many.
What to pack: Pack as you would for the summer, but add on more long sleeves for the evenings when mosquitoes tend to come out.
Winter in the Dominican Republic
The weather during the winter months in the Dominican Republic is delightful. Temperatures hover around 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) during the day and drop to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) in the evening and at sunrise. Ocean breezes are felt more as well, and it’s generally perfect beach weather. This marvelous weather stretches from December through February, which happens to be the high tourist season.
What to pack: Light clothing for the daytime, as well as long sleeves, jeans or long pants, and light cardigans or scarves for the cooler, fresh evenings. It can occasionally get rainy during this time, but it never lasts long. Pack layers so you stay comfortable throughout the day.