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Dominican Republic

Best and Worst Times to Visit Punta Cana

Golf rises in popularity during cooler months of the year. © Dominican Republic Office of Tourism
Golf rises in popularity during cooler months of the year. © Dominican Republic Office of Tourism
This video explains the best time to visit the Dominican Republic and avoid the annual hurricane season.
Full-Screen Version | YouTube Caribbean Channel

The best times to visit Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic depend on whether visitors want warmer weather with more risk of rain or the other way around.

Punta Cana is on the western tip of Hispaniola, the island that is home to Haiti and Dominican Republic.

The city is a hugely popular resort destination and a somewhat popular cruise port. Because of its location, it is a bit cooler than some Caribbean vacation destinations.

Punta Cana Temperatures

Average daytime temperatures stay in the low 80s Fahrenheit from December through April, according to historical averages from the Dominican Republic National Office of Meteorology. Nighttime temperatures drop into the low 70s.

Punta Cana temperatures
© 2020 Scott S. Bateman

Seawater temperatures hover between the nightly lows and daytime highs. As a result, water in combination with cool currents and trade winds may make the water too chilly for swimming at times during the winter.

Still, December through April are the best months to visit Punta Cana for land activities and escape from northern winters. People who don’t mind relaxing by a heated pool may want to choose these winter months.

Beach goers will find that the summer is the best time for temperatures. Daytime temperatures move into the upper 80s Fahrenheit while nighttime temperatures move into the upper 70s. Seawater will normally feel comfortable at all times.

Best Times for Rain

Punta Cana monthly rainfall
© 2020 Scott S. Bateman

The downside of warm summer months is the higher risk of rain because of the annual Caribbean hurricane season.

During both of our summer visits, we had short bursts of intense rainfall. The clouds cleared quickly. We went during the summer for the sake of warmer temperatures, even though the risk of rain was higher. Luck is a major factor.

The driest months of the year for Punta Cana are December through April. Rainfall averages two to three inches a month, according to the National Office of Meteorology.

Punta Cana Hurricane Season

The Punta Cana hurricane season goes from June through November, just like the Caribbean hurricane season. It has the most rain during the normal peak times of the Caribbean hurricane season—September through November. The worst rain month to visit is October with an average of six inches of rain followed by November.

Rainfall from May through August averages around four inches a month. Average rainfall of four inches during the month is slightly above average, but it shouldn’t discourage people from going. May and June are better months because of a lower risk of hurricanes and tropical storms.

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.
September 15, 2021