October starts off much like the summer months do, with hot and humid temperatures and tropical rain showers that might pop up at a moment's notice. Despite this being the wet season, beach-goers can still count on plenty of sunshine, or at least sunshine mixed with clouds, especially in the morning hours before the heat kicks in.
Expect daily highs to reach to 88°F (31°C) and lows around 72°F (22°C), with a slight decrease by the end of the month—maybe a degree or two. Humidity will start to lessen in late October as well. In any case, bring plenty of light, breathable attire for the beach, plus a rain jacket and walking shoes for exploring. If you plan on hitting any trails, bring waterproof shoes, plus warm layers for higher altitudes.
This is the last month of peak hurricane season. The DR is only struck by a hurricane on average of once every four to five years, but it's smart to purchase travel insurance in case of cancellations or rescheduled plans due to a tropical storm.
Crowds & Costs
This is a relaxed month to visit the DR when many would-be travelers (and their kids) are in the midst of their autumn work and school schedules. This makes October an ideal month for those who prefer more space and privacy. Solo travelers, couples, and honeymooners seeking a peaceful vacation with uncrowded beaches and excursions will be in heaven as long as the weather holds. Keep in mind that there might be an uptick in tourists during the UK's October half-term break, which usually falls at the end of the month.
There are advantages of traveling to the DR during hurricane season, and brave travelers will be rewarded with some of the most favorable rates on flights, accommodations, and rental cars. If you plan to book excursions and activities, make sure to check the cancellation policy in case of inclement weather.
Where to Go
Countless itineraries are possible in the DR thanks to it being the second-largest nation in the Caribbean in terms of landmass. There are 800 miles (1287 km) of coastline, four mountain ranges, and 29 protected national parks, with diverse topography and varying climates. Where you go largely depends on how much time you have.
Visitors who fly into Punta Cana, where the country's busiest airport is located, tend to stay on this side of the country with perhaps an excursion or two in the area, like to Cotubanamá National Park and the two islands offshore that provide marine life for snorkeling and diving.
This is also a great time to plan a more adventurous road trip along the northern Atlantic coast, especially if you want to attend one of the festivals this time of year (listed below). Expat-friendly Las Terrenas offers small hotels and apartments for independent travelers, with access to a range of beaches and activities on the Samaná Peninsula. Further west are the towns of Cabarete and Sosúa for adventurous watersports, followed by the historic city of Puerto Plata, which hosts a merengue festival this month.
Few visitors make it to the southwest where the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Jaragua National Park is located, offering pristine Caribbean beaches and impressive flora and fauna. A road trip here can easily be combined with a few days in the historic colonial city of Santo Domingo before a flight home. The capital is also home to some of the best restaurants in the country and reservations will be easy to come by this time of year.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
October’s hot weather tinged with humidity is a good time to take advantage of activities on the water. The Samaná Peninsula could keep you busy for several days with an astounding array of beaches, which can be broken up with rainforest hikes to waterfalls. You can also take a water taxi to the romantic island called Caya Levantado and spend the morning kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding followed by a seafood lunch. Nearby Los Haitises National Park offers boat trips that take you through rugged rock formations jutting out of the water, as well as caves known for petroglyphs.
Further west on the north shore is Sosúa Beach, the best spot in the country for scuba divers with colorful reefs and shipwrecks, while Kite Beach benefits from trade winds making it a perfect place to learn how to wind and kite surf. Other beaches near Cabarete also offer great beginner waves for learning how to surf.
As the rainfall begins to dissipate in late October, it might be a good time to look into activities within close proximity to the Cordillera Central, the Caribbean's highest mountain range, for hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting. You might want to wait for the dry season to take a multi-day trek to Pico Duarte, the highest peak, though.
Festival Presidente, Santo Domingo. Every other October there's a huge party lasting three nights until the wee hours of the morning at the capital's Olympic Stadium that often ends in fireworks. This is the biggest Latin-music fest in the country drawing big-name acts.
Puerto Plata Festival, Puerto Plata. This major music festival is held usually around the third week of October with lots of activity along the waterfront in the form of parades, performances, and food fairs.
Dominican Republic Jazz Fest, North Shore. This annual festival offers free live jazz performances along the north shore, especially around Sosúa and Cabarete.
San Rafael Festival, Samaná. On October 24, the town of Samana has a procession followed by a party with music and dancing.
Traveling to the Dominican Republic in October? Consider these itineraries.
Dominican Republic Adventure: Santo Domingo & Samaná. This week-long itinerary offers a mix of city culture and relaxing beach time. Start by taking a bike tour in Santo Domingo and then explore cultural sights in Santiago de los Caballeros. 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. This exhilarating itinerary starts by hiking to waterfalls in the Samaná Peninsula. From here, you'll enjoy world-class watersports in Cabarete, then head to the mountains to discover the rushing rivers and rugged canyons of Jarabacoa. Your journey ends in the historic capital of Santo Domingo, where you'll visit the ancient caverns of Los Tres Ojos.
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