November is an important month of transition in the DR, when things start to shift back towards the dry season. Instead of the reliably hot and humid temperatures of summer—and frequent rain showers—you’ll begin to see more sunshine than previous months and less humidity. To clarify, there are still rain showers this time of year but they'll likely be shorter in duration.
Expect daily temperatures to get as high as the 86°F (30°C) range and lows around 73°F (23°C), with a slight decrease by the end of the month—maybe a degree or two. Bring light, breathable clothing for the daytime, and a light layer for the evening after sundown. If you plan to explore, it's smart to bring a rain jacket and you'll want proper gear for any mountain excursions, especially considering temperatures can dip at higher altitudes.
As for major tropical storms, we're not out of the woods yet: this is the last month of the Atlantic hurricane season. That said, the DR is only struck by a hurricane on average of once every four to five years and this isn't a peak month for storms (i.e. August through October). It's still a good idea to purchase travel insurance just in case.
Crowds & Costs
Now is your last chance to take advantage of quiet environs in the DR while the masses are still at home wrapped up in their autumn routines. November is an ideal month for those who prefer more space and privacy, particularly couples and honeymooners seeking a peaceful vacation with uncrowded beaches and plenty of elbow room. Some repeat travelers say this is the best month to travel to the DR.
And because this is low season (and the last month of hurricane season) prices are still attractive making it a wise time for budget-conscious travelers. It's a great time to snag deals on flights, accommodations, and rental cars before the December rush. There might be an uptick during the week of American Thanksgiving, so it's wise to book early.
Where to Go
A long stretch of coastline runs between Santo Domingo on the southern Caribbean coast and Punta Cana on the east coast, providing a wide array of dreamlike white sand beaches. A good place to set up base is Playa Bayahibe near a village of the same name with traveler conveniences. Here you'll have easy access to the forests, beaches, and caves of Cotubanamá National Park, as well as close proximity to two offshore islands known for snorkeling and scuba diving, which would make great day trips.
You can also plan a self-guided road trip along the northern Atlantic coast. Check out walkable towns like Las Terrenas for small hotels and apartments better suited for independent travelers. This location also gives you access to a range of beaches and activities on the Samaná Peninsula. Further west are the towns of Cabarete and Sosúa, which are known for watersports, as well as the historic city of Puerto Plata with a UNESCO-listed historic district and scenic cable car.
If the rain holds, consider spending a few days in the mountains. A good base is Jarabacoa, with crisp morning air, pine trees, and access to the highest peaks in the Caribbean. A drive through the interior also offers a look at the local agriculture landscapes; the DR grows a range of crops from coffee to cacao to strawberries and few visitors see this part of the country. Another lesser-visited region is the southwest near the Haiti border, where a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is located called Jaragua National Park. You'll find quiet Caribbean beaches and a desert-like landscape boasting unique flora and fauna.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
Adventurous travelers can usually count on less rain and humidity in November for more activities throughout the day. Water sports are plentiful on the north Atlantic coast starting with Sosúa Beach, which provides several colorful reefs and shipwrecks for trained scuba divers. A short drive away is Kite Beach, a mecca for wind and kite surfing thanks to the consistent trade winds. Winter months also bring solid waves for learning how to surf on the surrounding beaches.
Further east is Samaná Peninsula where you could explore beaches and activities for several days. Take a water taxi to romantic Cayo Levantado and spend the morning kayaking or paddle boarding followed by a seafood lunch. The peninsula also offers hikes and horseback riding through the rainforest towards the mighty El Limón Waterfall where you can take a refreshing swim. Then there is Los Haitises National Park with photogenic rock formations that jut from the sea.
Inland activities include caves, lagoons, and zip-lining tours, while the Cordillera Central, the Caribbean's highest mountain range, offers white water rafting in freshwater rivers, as well as hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking. Or, you can just hang out and enjoy the scenery.
If you are near the capital of Santo Domingo, get some city culture before the holiday rush. There is a lot to do here, but you can easily spend a morning exploring the cobbled streets of Zona Colonial, where many of the very first buildings in the New World are located, followed by lunch at an elegant restaurant.
The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival, various locations. The annual jazz fest continues from October through early November. Look for free performances along the north shore, like Puerto Plata and Cabarete.
The Constitution Day, nationwide. This domestic public holiday observes the day the Dominican constitution was signed with flag-raising ceremonies and military parades. It technically falls on November 6th but the date is often changed to accommodate a long weekend for potential vacationers.
Traveling to the Dominican Republic in November? Consider these itineraries.
Dominican Republic Adventure: Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. This two-week itinerary starts in the colonial city of Santo Domingo. From here you'll explore underwater worlds in Sosúa, and head to the pristine Samana Peninsula to discover towering waterfalls, hidden beaches, and the spectacular Los Haitises National Park. End your trip in the tropical haven of Punta Cana, for some beach time and adventurous excursions.
Dominican Republic Adventure: Santo Domingo & Samaná. If you only have a week, you can take a bike tour of Santo Domingo, explore Santiago de los Caballeros, and then finish your trip in Las Terrenas with its enchanting white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters.