Let’s get straight to it: Summertime in the DR coincides with wet season, when temperatures and humidity rise, causing more rainstorms, usually in the form of regular afternoon showers. On the plus side, a sudden shower is an ideal time to take a break from the sand and siesta (like the locals). Plus, the bursts of rain often don't last long and can lead to stunning sunsets. Rest assured, though, visitors will likely experience lots of sunshine—especially in the morning hours—for enjoying time on any number of gorgeous white sand beaches.
Expect daily highs to hover around 87°F (31°C) and lows around 75°F (24°C). Evenings are still warm and humid so you won't likely need layers for going out, but it’s smart to pack a rain jacket, some bug spray, and sturdy shoes for exploration in wet conditions.
Hurricane season begins in June but it's rare for one to hit this early in the year. The peak months are later in the season (mid-August through October), and even then the DR is only struck by a hurricane on average of once every four to five years. Despite the odds, it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance in case of tropical storm disruptions.
Crowds & Costs
June is perhaps the best month to visit the DR during the low season. The beaches and tourist sights will be quieter with fewer crowds so it's easy to find your own space and peace and quiet. It’s also early enough in the summer to avoid the arrival of large families who tend to take their annual vacations, which can happen more frequently in July and August.
Rates in June will reflect the low season and it's a great time to snag deals on flights, resorts, and car rentals. As for excursions, book early as cancellations may occur this time of year due to low numbers.
Where to Go
With the onset of hot and humid weather, you probably prefer to stay as close as possible to the beach so you can enjoy coastal breezes and stay refreshed with frequent dips in the pool or sea. The nation’s busiest airport in Punta Cana has easy access to a 30-mile (48 km) stretch of postcard-worthy sand called Playa Bavaro. The area is loaded with mega-resorts so you’ll have your pick of the litter—and this being low season, there are lower rates than usual for even the most upscale options (minus the exception of where the Food & Wine Festival takes place, listed below).
Beyond the all-inclusive hubs of Punta Cana and nearby La Romana, there are more beaches to consider on the Atlantic (north) and Caribbean (south) coasts. Try the colorful village of Las Terrenas in the Samaná Peninsula with access to glorious beaches surrounded by lush green mountains boasting birds and waterfalls. Staying here also provides you with some great day trips to the nearby island of Cayo Levantado and the visually stunning Los Haitises National Park. Further west on the Atlantic coast are beaches near Cabarete known for trade winds and adventure sports, as well as the historic, UNESCO-listed town of Puerto Plata.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
Most of the all-inclusive resorts offer guests free use of non-motorized sports, including snorkel gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and sunfish, giving you many reasons to stay entertained in the water and keep you onsite. You can also look for excursions around Punta Cana like catamaran trips to nearby islands, fishing excursions, off-road buggy tours, and cooking classes.
Scuba divers will want to consider a trip to the north shore around Sosua for the country’s best dive sites with colorful coral, shipwrecks, and unique sites like the Airport Wall providing tunnels and walls to explore. Pair your scuba diving trip with a visit to nearby beaches around Cabarete where windsurfers and kitesurfers congregate. Newbies can learn either sport at Kite Beach with several options for instruction. Nearby activities also include hiking to waterfalls and zip-lining.
The highest mountain range in the Caribbean, Cordillera Central, stays a bit cooler from the higher altitude. Here you can choose between hikes, horseback riding, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting, but you may want to reconsider multi-day treks due to the potential of rain and muddy conditions. You should also avoid activities in the inland plains which can get stifling without coastal breezes.
A rainy day might happen during June and this is a great opportunity to head into the city for some culture. Santo Domingo is loaded with colonial sights dating back to the 15th century, while the country’s "second city" of Santiago has a popular cultural center with many exhibits including art, history, and even one focused on the tobacco industry.
Puerto Plaza Cultural Festival, Puerta Plata. Get a dose of local culture at this annual festival held in the third week of the month offering handicraft exhibitions, plus traditional African tribal dances, folkloric music, and merengue.
Food & Wine Festival, Punta Cana. Snag tickets for this luxury festival in early June that celebrates haute cuisine with an impressive array of food and drink tastings as well as cooking demonstrations from top chefs.
Feria Expo Mango, Bani. Known for its healthy mango harvest, this remote town, east of Santo Domingo, puts on a festival each June celebrating the tropical fruit.
Traveling to the Dominican Republic in June? Consider these itineraries.
Dominican Republic Adventure: Santo Domingo & Samaná. Get the best of both worlds with this week-long itinerary. Start by seeing Santo Domingo's historic sights on a bike tour and then explore Santiago de los Caballeros (the DR's second city). Finish your trip in Las Terrenas with its enchanting white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters.
Ultimate Dominican Republic: Samaná, Cabarete, Jarabacoa & Santo Domingo. With a bit more time, this exhilarating 10-day itinerary covers a bit more ground. Start with hiking to waterfalls on the Samaná Peninsula. Then, take your pick of world-class watersports in Cabarete before heading to the mountains to discover the rushing rivers and rugged canyons of Jarabacoa. Finish with some sightseeing in the exciting capital of Santo Domingo.
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