Need a tropical getaway? Why not take a trip down to Punta Cana — the tropical Dominican oasis with crystal clear, sky-blue waters and white sandy beaches.
Punta Cana is a small resort town and an ideal tropical getaway for busy people who want to relax on the beach. However, the vacation planning process can be daunting, so we’ve made it easier for you.
We have compiled all the best times to visit Punta Cana in this guide.
Use this guide to help you assess the perfect time for your island getaway. We’ve also added some helpful tips along the way so you can make the most out of your vacation in Punta Cana.
Why You Should Visit Punta Cana
Punta Cana is a popular tropical tourist destination located on the Dominican Republic’s easternmost tip. Punta Cana is a resort town, which means that the town’s culture and economy are centered around tourism and vacations.
Let’s look at why Punta Cana has been a popular tourist destination since the 1960s.
White Sandy Beaches and Turquoise Waters
Being located at the furthest tip of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches and electric blue waters from the north, east, and south.
The town faces both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The softy, white, fluffy sand is another draw for many tourists.
Perfect Beach Weather
Being in the tropics, Punta Cana experiences perfect beach weather year-round. The average temperature in Punta Cana is 26°C or 79°F year-round.
The temperatures in Punta Cana stay relatively consistent year-round. In Punta Cana, the highs remain in the 80°F (high 20°C to low 30°C), while the lows stay in the low-70°F range (low 20°C).
As water surrounds Punta Cana from the north, east, and south, the town has loads of fun water activities for visitors to try.
Popular water activities in Punta Cana include windsurfing, speed boat riding, banana boating, scuba diving, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and swimming with dolphins and sharks.
The water around Punta Cana is incredibly diverse, with a fantastic array of corals, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and sea plants.
Compared to the ocean, the waters of the Caribbean sea are calm and crystal clear, giving snorkelers and deep-sea divers a spectacular view of life under the sea.
Punta Cana has many land-based adventures for those who prefer staying on land during their vacation. Popular countryside activities include horseback riding, safari tours, and dune buggies. Punta Cana is also home to several beautiful tropical bird species for tourists to spot.
Punta Cana has several all-inclusive luxury resorts along its coastal area. These resorts feature luxury rooms or suites, multiple pools, excellent buffets and restaurants, and access to clean and maintained beaches.
While the resorts are luxurious, the prices are pretty affordable. Some resorts offer stays as low as $135 per person per night.
Overall Best Time to Visit Punta Cana
Unsurprisingly, the best time of year to visit Punta Cana is also the most expensive time to visit Punta Cana. During the winter months, Punta Cana experiences perfect blue skies that reflect onto their crystal clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches.
During the winter months, Punta Cana is visually stunning. In addition to the pristine views, Punta Cana also experiences perfect beach weather in the winter months.
The sky is always sunny from December through March, without a cloud in sight. The temperatures range from the low 80s in Fahrenheit (high 20s in Celsius) throughout the day and dip down into the low 70s in Fahrenheit (low 20s in Celsius).
Humidity also remains relatively low. In addition to perfect weather and pristine views, Punta Cana is still relatively affordable during the high season.
Punta Cana consistently offers the same high-end luxury as other Caribbean destinations but at a lower price when it comes to accommodations. In addition, the price jump between low and high seasons is also much smaller than in other tropical destinations.
Cheapest Time to Visit Punta Cana
Punta Cana tends to be very affordable compared to other island getaways in the area. However, if you’re looking for the best deals, booking your stay for July, August, and September is good.
Most tourists visit Punta Cana during the winter months or January, February, and March, to escape the cold in their hometowns. However, when northern areas warm up in the summertime, Punta Cana experiences a dip in tourist traffic.
As a result, many resorts offer very affordable prices during these months. However, we should note that Punta Cana experiences humidity and rainfall during this time of year.
Usually, rainstorms during this time are relatively short and clear up within 20 minutes. Still, it’s good to be prepared with an umbrella if you’re looking to explore the city.
One key aspect to keep in mind with Punta Cana is that hotels are already significantly more affordable than other Caribbean destinations.
Taking a look at the resort Breathless Punta Cana, the price difference between the high and low seasons is only $60 per day. With such little savings, it might be worth considering booking your trip during the high season, when the weather is perfect.
Least Busy Time to Visit Punta Cana
Punta Cana’s off-season begins in May and lasts until November. During this time, Punta Cana tends to be quieter overall to visit, as many northerners enjoy good weather in their hometowns.
That being said, Punta Cana tends to get quietest from September to November for multiple reasons.
As schools restart and work picks up pace ahead of the holiday season, Punta Cana and many other tropical destinations experience a dip in tourist traffic during the fall months. So, you likely won’t see a lot of families or working professionals in Punta Cana.
However, as remote work is rising in many workplaces, this trend may change. September to November is also the hurricane season in Punta Cana.
Punta Cana isn’t hit with hurricanes every year. In fact, in the last one hundred years, Punta Cana has only seen fourteen hurricanes, the most recent being Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Suppose you’re planning a trip to Punta Cana during hurricane season. In that case, the probability that you’ll get caught in a hurricane is low. However, it’s still a good idea to purchase travel insurance.
Worst Time to Visit Punta Cana
Typically, the worst time to go to most island destinations is during the high seasons when overcrowding causes prices to skyrocket.
However, Punta Cana is affordable, and prices don’t change drastically between seasons. As a result, the worst months to visit Punta Cana are entirely based on climate and weather effects on the overall trip.
The worst time to visit Punta Cana is from May to October. From May to October, Punta Cana experiences the highest temperatures and humidity.
Even though the temperature is only increasing by a couple of degrees Celsius, the rise in temperature and humidity can affect your overall trip negatively. Because of the rise in temperature and humidity from May through October, algae bloom closer to the beach during this time.
As a result, people visiting Punta Cana during the warmer months miss out on experiencing the turquoise blue crystal clear waters. That being said, the beaches still look beautiful around this time of year, despite algae and seaweed.
In addition to this, the warm weather and humidity also bring forth stormy weather. Most storms in Punta Cana occur overnight or early in the morning.
In addition, storms in Punta Cana rarely last more than an hour. So there’s still a possibility of being rained out on your tropical paradise vacation when booking in the summer months.
Things to Consider
Punta Cana is the perfect destination for a tropical vacation. Take a look at this section to learn more about how you can get the most out of your Punta Cana vacation.
In Punta Cana, the official currency is pesos. However, most hotels and resorts accept American dollars for purchases and tips.
In addition, most restaurants in Punta Cana accept all major American credit cards. Even so, it’s always a good idea to keep American cash-on-hand on hand for tipping and to use in the airport.
In Punta Cana, most resorts are all-inclusive. There are some hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs if you’d like to experience a more authentic Punta Cana experience. However, all-inclusive resorts are the most accessible accommodations in Punta Cana.
Guests in all-inclusive resorts are expected to stay in the resort throughout the stay. As a result, leaving the resort for sightseeing can be challenging.
Although it does rain in Punta Cana, the rain rarely lasts longer than 20 minutes. It’s rare for the rain to last an hour, let alone a day, although it can happen. However, be prepared for an intense gust of rain showers when it does rain, followed by bright sunny weather.
Taxis in Punta Cana are costly. Depending on the location of your resort, a taxi ride from the airport to your resort can cost anywhere between $10 to $80 one way.
As an alternative to taxis, booking a shuttle with your hotel or resort beforehand is best. Uber is available in Punta Cana but is not recommended as safety is a concern.
Dominican cuisine can be hard to come by if you stay in an all-inclusive resort. However, Dominican cuisine is delicious. If you come across Dominican cuisine during your visit to Punta Cana, try out some of the local dishes.
Some popular dishes are Mangu (mashed plantains) or Sancocho (seven meat stew). You can also try Mamajuana, the official drink of the Dominican Republic.
Crime in the Dominican Republic is a significant concern for many tourists. It’s good to note all emergency numbers and the numbers to your country’s embassy in Punta Cana.
Scan any travel documents and store them securely on cloud-based storage. It’s always best to expect the best and prepare for the worst when traveling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding Punta Cana.
What language is spoken in Punta Cana?
The official language of Punta Cana is Spanish. English is a common second language because the town’s economy is based on tourism. Most workers in the tourism industry can speak English. Tourists should have no trouble communicating with resort and hotel staff.
Is Punta Cana safe to visit?
While Punta Cana is relatively safe for most guests, guests should still take precautions when visiting the area. Punta Cana is listed as having a medium risk for tourists.
Hotels and resorts care about their guests’ safety and go to great lengths to maintain a safe environment. However, petty crimes such as pickpocketing have occurred in hotels and resorts.
Outside of hotels, tourists need to observe caution. Muggers and scammers target tourists as their victims. Fake police are typical scams tourists fall prey to. Scammers dress up as police and stop tourists with bogus fines that they need to pay immediately.
Women are also warned not to travel to Punta Cana alone as assailants sometimes target foreign women. Aside from crime, Punta Cana also runs the risk of natural disasters, particularly hurricanes.
While there have only been fourteen hurricanes in the last hundred years, the risk for hurricanes emerges every year from May to November. The last hurricane to devastate Punta Cana occurred in September of 2017.
Is it safe to drink tap water in Punta Cana?
The tap water in Punta Cana is not filtered. For this reason, it’s not safe to drink tap water in Punta Cana. Tourists are advised to take caution when showering.
In addition, it’s recommended to rinse your mouth with bottled water when brushing your teeth. Tourists are also advised to avoid getting ice in their drinks, as the ice may be made using unfiltered tap water.
You should note that resort guests are not warned against the water and ice served at resorts. Resorts in Punta Cana serve their guest filtered water and ice.
What is the legal drinking age in Punta Cana?
The legal drinking age in Punta Cana is 18. Alcohol servers in Punta Cana can ask for your ID at any time. Remember never to purchase alcohol for minors in Punta Cana, as it is punishable by law.
What are the tipping customs in Punta Cana?
As Punta Cana’s economy is based on tourism and service, the town does observe tipping customs. For services such as restaurant visits, it’s customary to tip 10% of the service price.
However, sometimes a 10% gratuity is already added to your bill. Therefore, always check your receipt before tipping. At hotels, tips are expected to be around $1-2 USD for bartenders, waiters, and cleaning staff per service.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Punta Cana?
Punta Cana is a beautiful place to visit year-round. We have determined winter to be the best time to visit Punta Cana. There isn’t a drastic difference between visiting Punta Cana in the winter, spring, fall, or summer.
In the end, you can visit Punta Cana whenever is best for you and still have an unforgettable experience. Happy travels!