The climate in the Dominican Republic is very tropical. Much of the year is sunny and warm and the average annual temperatures hover right around 80°F (26° C). Of course, the higher up in the mountains you go, the cooler the days will be. For instance, temps in the Cordillera Central can drop into the 60s F (17° – 18° C), whereas it’s not uncommon to see temperatures above 90°F (32°C) on the coastal plains.
As far as rain, that changes with the seasons. The rainy season for the north coast, where Puerto Plata and Ocean World are, runs from November to January. For the rest of the country, the rain falls more regularly between May and November. But don’t worry, during the rainy season, the rain tends to fall in the afternoons for just a little while, and then the sun comes back out to play!
Are There Tropical Storms in the Dominican Republic?
Yes, there certainly can be. In fact, the DR is squarely within the hurricane belt. Interestingly, hurricanes claim a special history in Dominican culture. It is said that the name “hurricane” originated from the indigenous Taino people’s word for the fierce and destructive storms that can batter the island: “hurakans.”
When Europeans started arriving in the Caribbean during the 16th century, they had never seen weather like they saw here. In fact, they had no word for these powerful tropical storms, and so they borrowed the word “hurakan” and that word was then incorporated into Spanish as huracán. Hurricane is the anglicized form of the word.
Generally, the Dominican experiences hurricane season from June to November, with September being the most active month. Of course, it’s impossible to predict when storms will come. We can tell you that historically, the DR has been hit with a major storm every quarter-century, but the island can be affected by at least outer bands of storms more frequently – closer to every five years.
Having said all of this, the islanders are used to life in a tropical paradise that deals with its fair share of storms. And for this reason, they are always prepared. You can rest assured new construction, as well as much of the older construction, is up to hurricane code and drainage is sufficient around the entire country. Because the DR has become such a hot spot for globe trotters, they are taking precautions to ensure their visitors are always safe.
So, no matter what time of year you decide to visit the Dominican Republic, you can be sure your time here will be safe and secure. But, depending on when you come, you may have to beat off other tourists for that perfect spot on the beach. Most people enjoy the milder temps had here in the spring or fall. If you want to stay away from the crowds, and you don’t mind warmer temps, then you may want to come in the summer.
The Dominican Republic always has something fun going on. From art shows to food shows and giant rowdy parades, The DR’s festivals show the entire array of cultural influences which make this country so unique!
If you’d like to schedule your vacation around some exciting events, you can visit this website which lists festivals held throughout the year.
Helpful Travel Links
Dominican Republic Chamber of Commerce
Puerto Plata Airport
Gregorio Luperón International Airport
57000, Dominican Republic
I’ve had the pleasure of traveling around the world, and I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Caribbean. And I have to say one of my all-time favorite places to visit is Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.
If you are headed to the DR on vacation this year, you’re sure to have a fabulous time. I highly recommend you spend some time in Puerto Plata and, while there, be sure to visit the Ocean World facility to swim with the dolphins. There is no better way to make memories in my opinion!