September's steamy temperatures provide perfect conditions for lazing away under a swaying palm tree with long swims in the turquoise sea. This being wet season, though, visitors can expect regular bursts of rain that might drop in at a moment's notice. There are still lengthy hours of sunshine for hitting the beach, especially in the morning before the midday heat. You'll want to limit outdoor exercise, drink plenty of water, and perhaps take a siesta in the afternoon—this is a Spanish-speaking country after all.
Expect daily highs to creep up to 89°F (32°C) and lows to drop around 75°F (24°C), which can feel even warmer with the humidity. The sea is also at its warmest temperature this month for those who are looking for long leisurely swims and watersports. Bring plenty of light, breathable attire, plus a rain jacket and sturdy walking shoes in case of wet conditions while out and about exploring. Pack waterproof trail shoes for any excursions in the national parks or mountains, as well as a few layers as the temperature begins to drop at higher altitudes.
While September is peak hurricane season, the DR is only struck by a hurricane on average of once every four to five years. It's smart to purchase travel insurance in case of cancellations or rescheduled plans.
Crowds & Costs
This is a quiet month in the DR when domestic and international travelers wrap up their summer holidays and get back to daily routines in anticipation of autumn. September is a great time to come for those who prefer less party vibes and want more space and privacy. Solo travelers, couples, and honeymooners seeking a peaceful vacation with uncrowded beaches and excursions will be in heaven if the weather holds.
Yes, it is peak hurricane season—and a bit of a gamble—but there are advantages of traveling to the DR this month, especially for budget-conscious travelers. This is when you'll find some of the most favorable rates on flights, accommodations (even the upscale options), 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
If a relaxing beach vacation is the mission, there are hundreds of resorts all over the island’s 800-mile (1287 km) coastline. Large all-inclusive resorts are plentiful around the hub of Punta Cana, home of the country’s busiest airport and a stunning white sand beach called Playa Bavaro that stretches for 30 miles (48 km)—ideal for extra long beach walks. As far as resorts go, it's a mixed back here in terms of quality ranging from mediocre to ultra-luxury with everything in between. It’s worth checking the rates of some of the more upscale options this time of year as you can snag some good deals. The same goes for La Romana, another resort area, which can be reached from Punta Cana or Santo Domingo.
This is also a great time to plan a more adventurous road trip along the northern Atlantic coast. If flying in and out of Santo Domingo, you can shoot straight up to Samaná Peninsula. Look for small hotels and apartments for independent travelers, especially in the expat-friendly village of Las Terrenas where you will have access to all the glorious beaches and activities on this lush peninsula. Continue the journey west and stop in Cabarete and Sosúa for watersports, and then Puerto Plata, a UNESCO-listed city. Loop back down to Santo Domingo through the picturesque interior. If the rain doesn't deter you, consider a day or two in Jarabacoa, a popular base for activities near the Caribbean's highest mountain range: Cordillera Central.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
September's hot and muggy weather is a good time to take advantage of activities on the water. From Punta Cana and La Romana, you can sign up for fishing excursions or snorkel trips to the islands of Catalina and Saona, known for coral reefs, starfish, and turtles. Or spend the day on Cotubanamá National Park with secluded beaches and archaeological sites to explore.
If staying on the Samaná Peninsula, break up the beach time with rainforest hikes towards El Limón Waterfall where you can cool off with a swim. You can also take boat trips to a romantic island called Caya Levantado as well as Los Haitises National Park, with rugged rock formations and caves known for petroglyphs. Further west, Sosúa Beach is the best spot for trained scuba divers with several colorful reefs and shipwrecks, while Kite Beach is a mecca for wind and kite surfing with several instructors available for hire.
Cloudy days are perfect for sporting a rain jacket and heading to a city. Try taking the 10-minute cable car ride in Puerta Plata to get to a botanical garden, or spend a few hours at the air-conditioned cultural center of Santiago. The historic capital of Santo Domingo—and the first city in the Americas—has a fortified colonial center, museums, and a national park called Los Tres Ojos, with limestone caverns and lakes formed thousands of years ago.
Dia de las Mercedes, in between La Vega and Santiago. This annual procession on Sept. 24 is in honor of Our Lady of Mercy, the Virgin who helped assist Christopher Columbus in battle. The sanctuary is located on a small hill called Santo Cerro, a holy place is located in the middle of the Dominican Republic.
Feria Ganadera El Cupey, Puerto Plata. Cowboys and equestrians gather on the north coast for this annual September festival featuring horseback riding competitions and live music.
Traveling to the Dominican Republic in September? Consider these itineraries.
Dominican Republic Adventure: Santo Domingo & Samaná. With this weeklong adventure, you'll visit Santo Domingo on a bike tour and explore the cultural sights of Santiago de los Caballeros. Finish your trip in the expat-friendly village of Las Terrenas with its enchanting white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters.
Dominican Republic Adventure: Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. With this two-week itinerary, 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 with a few days to relax along one of the best beaches in the world.
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