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Best and Worst Times to Visit Dominica

Roseau Dominica
Roseau Dominica. Credit: Pixabay license

The best time to visit Dominica is February through April, when visitors just might get lucky and avoid any rain. But some months are better than others.

The worst time to visit Dominica is the other nine months because of its long and intense rainy season. Some months are worse than others.

Dominica, which is called the “Nature Island”, is a moderately popular Caribbean cruise destination, especially for anyone interested in ecotourism. This eastern Caribbean island is well known for its lush rain forests and hikes to waterfalls.

It is also known as one of the wettest islands in the Caribbean. We got lucky during our visit and stayed dry. But even during the dry season, the risk of rain is higher than most Caribbean islands.

Hurricane Season

The climate in Dominica is divided into two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season also is Dominica’s hurricane season.

Dominica has a long rainy season compared to other Caribbean destinations. The rainy season runs from May to December with average rainfall ranging from about seven inches a month to a high of nearly 15 inches. The Dominica rainy season is even longer than the Caribbean hurricane season, which runs from June through November.

Average rainfall for Dominica begins to get especially bad starting in August when it jumps to an average of 10 inches a month. It continues to climb each month until reaching as much as 15 inches in November, according to historical data from the Dominica Meteorological Service. For obvious reasons, that’s the worst time to visit. But few cruise lines visit the island during this time anyway.

Dominica Temperatures

Dominica monthly rainfall
© Scott S. Bateman

The best time to visit Dominica for warm temperatures is April, when the average daytime high is 84 degrees Fahrenheit or 29 Celsius.

Average daytime temperatures range from the low 80s Fahrenheit or high 20s Celsius in the winter to the high 80s Fahrenheit or mid 20s Celsius in the summer, the meteorological service says. But summer has heavy rains, which is why April is a better month for travelers to visit the island.

Nighttime temperatures on average drop into the low 70s Fahrenheit or low 20s Celsius during the winter and mid 70s or mid 20s Celsius in the summer.

Temperatures are comfortable while hiking through rain forests, but humidity adds some discomfort.

Most Popular Months to Go

Woodford Hill Beach, © Dominica Tourist Board

Cruise ships are more likely to visit during the dry season, while overnight vacationers visit steadily during most months of the year. This season is the best time to go to Dominica.

Dominica’s peak season for hotel tourists is during the warmer and wetter summer months, particularly July and August, according to statistics from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. This differs from most of the Caribbean, whose peak months are usually December through May.

The lowest month for hotel tourism is June, followed by November. Surprisingly, Dominica receives a jump in visitors in October in the midst of the hurricane season. This could be in part due to special deals and discounts often available during this month.

Final Tips on When to Go

To avoid a lot of rain, the best time to visit Dominica is during the dry season. That said, deals and offers during the rainy season may entice travelers to brave the rain.

Vacationers who plan overnight hotel visits to Dominica may want to consider travel insurance, especially during the height of the rainy season.

On average, Dominica receives more than 76,000 overnight visitors per year, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. More than 500,000 people visit the island via cruise lines.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
March 15, 2024

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