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A practical guide to the Dominican Republic

National holidays and celebrations

Most public holidays in the Dominican Republic have religious origins and, with the majority of Dominicans being devout Roman Catholic Christians, these can often be big events or parties in true Dominican style.

If you're not sure when is the best time to go, contact one of our travel advisers and we can advise you on dates to avoid, or dates to aim for.

  • New Year's Day: 1st January
  • Epiphany ('Dia de Reyes'): 6th January: When Dominican children receive their Christmas presents.
  • Our Lady of Altagracia: 21st January. The Dominican Republic's main patron saint.
  • Juan Pablo Duarte's Day: 26th January. Celebrating a visionary former leader.
  • Independence Day: 27th February.
  • Good Friday: late March or early April. Widely celebrated with processions and masses.
  • Labour Day/May Day: 1st May
  • Corpus Christi: Between May and June
  • Restoration Day:16th August. Commemorating the start of a war against the Spanish.
  • Our Lady of Las Mercedes: 24th September. The nation's second patron saint.
  • Constitution Day: 6th November. Signing of the nation's first constitution.
  • Christmas Day: 25th December

Eating Out

The Dominican Republic's distinctive dishes have been influenced by Spanish, indigenous Taino and African flavours. Local cuisine resembles that of other Latin America countries, but with some distinctive specialities to try. We definitely recommend a trip to a local restaurant during your holiday.

Sample the local breakfast of mangu (mashed plantain), savour a plate of guisado (stewed meat), taste some handmade empanadas (small, savoury pies), dig in to a dish of locrio de pollo (rice and chicken) or try the national dish: 'La Bandera' (rice, beans, meat, vegetables and green plantains).

For a truly authentic Dominican meal experience, we recommend heading to El Conuco Restaurant in Santo Domingo to sample "La Bandera" while you watch traditional Merengue dancers perform. For for the freshest seafood dishes, we love the La Punta restaurant at Bayahibe beach, which serves the best catches of the day.

Weather

Temperatures remain hot all year long, with little variation between seasons. Often referred to as 'the land of endless summer', the Dominican Republic is a year-round destination.

  • The hot and humid summer runs from May to October. Highs can reach 31°C, and nights are cooler. Tropical-showers occur during summer but are short lived.
  • Winter lasts from November to April. Humidity is lowest at this time of year and temperatures hover between 20°C and 28°C in coastal regions.
  • It's considerably cooler in the central region - in the Cordillera Central mountain range temperatures can drop to below freezing.
  • The hurricane season runs from June to November, with most storms usually developing in August and September.

Meterological information

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Average °C 262525262727282828282827
Minimum °C 212020212223232324242322
Maximum °C 313030313131323232323231
Sunshine (hours) 889998999988
Rain (cm) 7746714101417161413

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