Dominican Republic Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Dominican Republic: particularities

Public holidays

There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
6th January Holy Three Kings
21th January Patron Saint Day of the Dominican Republic
January 26 Day in honor of the founder of the state
27th of February Independence day
March April Good Friday
March April Easter
1st of May Labor Day
May Pentecost
June 7 Corpus Christi
August 16 Day of the Restoration of the Republic
September 24 Day of the patron saint and the most gracious Virgin
25 December Christmas

Source: Countryaah – Dominican Republic Holidays

Cultural events




San Jose, Patronage Festival (18./19.)


Espirtu Santo, festival in honor of the Holy Spirit (6-10)

San Juan, patronage festival (15-24)

San Pedro, patronage festival (29.6.)


San Felipe, Patronage Festival (5.7.)

Nuestra Senora del Carmen, Patronage

Festival (15.7.) Santiago (Saint Jacob), Patronage Festival (25.7.)

Merengue Festival from late July to early August


Santa Rosa de Lima, patron saint (30.8.)


Nuestra Senora de Regla, Patronage Festival (8.9.)


Nuestra Senora del Rosario, Patronage Festival (4.10.)


Nuestra Senora de Regla, Patronage Festival

(November 21st) San Andres, Patronage Festival (November 30th)


Santa Barbara, Patronage Festival (December 4th)

Travel times

The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people who want to spend a pure beach holiday, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role. The area around Lake Enriquillo ( 300 km2 ) on the border with Haiti is one of the hottest zones in the Dominican Republic, where temperatures of 40 °C to 50 °C are measured more frequently.

For sun seekers

The Dominican Republic is located in the tropics with the typical weather in this climate zone. For people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause any problems, the country is recommended for a holiday all year round.

Climate table

The following table shows a range of climate data for the country. It should be noted, however, that the climatic conditions in different regions of the country can differ considerably from one another and thus also from the values shown. In addition, such monthly temperature averages say little about the possible current minimum or maximum temperatures. It is not uncommon for average temperatures of around 30 °C to reach maximum values of 40 °C or even more on a number of days. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the climatic conditions in the country.

Month Average number of rainy days Mean maximum temperatures in (°C) Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)
January 06-07 28-29 18-19
February 05-06 29-30 18-19
March 04-05 28-29 20-21
April 10-11 30-31 22-23
May 11-12 31-32 22-23
June 10-11 31-32 22-23
July 10-11 31-32 23-24
August 10-11 31-32 22-23
September 10-11 33-34 22-23
October 10-11 33-34 22-23
November 09-10 30-31 21-22
December 07-08 30-31 20-21

Dominican Republic: Sightseeing

  • Presents the way that DR stands for the nation of Dominican Republic as a two-letter acronym.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Colonial-era city area of Santo Domingo

The Dominican Republic is located in the Gulf of Mexico in the Caribbean east of Haiti, west of Puerto Rico. Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1492, and the Spanish colonial power built the Santo Domingo Cathedral on the island in 1512, in which the remains of Columbus are said to be buried, it is the oldest church in the New World.

The first university and hospital were also built there, and warehouses were built for trade with Europe. The 16th century chapel in Santo Domingo was built from bricks in the Castilian-Romanesque style. In the colonial city area of Santo Domingo, the royal residence, monasteries, a fortification and the first administrative buildings have been well preserved.

The urban area of Santo Domingo was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1990.

Major cities in the country

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo de Guzmán is the largest city and capital of the Dominican Republic with around 2 million residents. The city is located on the south coast of the country. The city, founded in 1498, is the oldest city on the American continent.

Santiago de los Caballeros

Santiago de los Caballeros has around 550,000 residents, making it the second largest city in the country. The city is located in the north of the Dominican Republic about 40 km from the north coast of the country.

San Pedro de Macorís

San Pedro de Macorís has around 200,000 residents and is the third largest city in the country. The city is located on the southern coast of the country about 60 km east of the capital Santo Domingo.

Special places

Columbus Square in Santo Domingo

Columbus Square in Santo Domingo is adorned with a large statue of Columbus, which points to La Isabela, the first Spanish settlement on the island of Hispaniola.

Special structures

Cigar Factory and Rum

Factory The cigar factory and the rum factory in Santiago de los Caballeros can both be visited and are very interesting to see. Goods can also be purchased there.

Tower with sundial

The large tower with sundial in Santo Domingo dates from 1753.


Lighthouse The Columbus Lighthouse is located in the east of Santo Domingo. The gigantic monument from 1992 is 237 m long and 52 m wide.


Palace of Diego de Colón

The palace of Diego de Colón, the son of Christopher Columbus, in Santo Domingo was built between 1510 and 1516 by a Spanish architect and around 1,500 Indian slave laborers. Today it houses a museum for art objects from the colonial era.

Ship armory in Santo Domingo

The ship armory in Santo Domingo dates from the 16th century. Today there is a museum for ships’ equipment.

Palace of the Captains General

The Palace of the Captains General in Santo Domingo, dating from the 16th century, was built for the royal audience, administration with jurisdiction and the Court of Auditors. The palace houses a museum that documents the period from 1600 to temporary independence in 1821.

Borgella Palace

The Borgella Palace in Santo Domingo was built in 1825 and housed the National Congress until 1947. Today changing exhibitions are shown in the building.

Amber Museum

The Amber Museum in Santo Domingo shows numerous fossil animals and plants enclosed in amber.

Museum of History and Geography

The Museum of History and Geography in Santo Domingo gives a good overview of the history of the country.

Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum of the Tainoculture in Altos de Chavon gives a comprehensive overview of the ancient culture of the Indians.

Casa des Tostado

The Casa des Tostado in Santo Domingo from the 16th century now houses the museum of the typical Dominican family of the 19th century, with furniture, porcelain and antiques.


National Theater in Santo Domingo

The National Theater in Santo Domingo can seat a total of 1,700 spectators. Musicals, classical and modern pieces as well as shows are shown.


Homage tower

The homage tower in Santo Domingo resembles a small fort and was first mentioned in 1503.


Gate The Count’s Gate in Santo Domingo is one of the oldest city gates. Today the national flag flies on the gate, which the National Guard overturns every day.

Heroes Monument

The Heroes Monument in Santiago de los Caballeros is a 67 m high column with angels on the top from 1940. It was built in 1865 to commemorate the restoration of the Dominican Republic.

Churches and monasteries

Chapel of Perpetual Help

The Chapel of Perpetual Help in Santo Domingo was built from bricks in the 16th century in the Castilian-Romanesque style.

Cathedral in Santo Domingo

The cathedral in Santo Domingo was begun in 1512 and supposedly houses the bones of Christopher Columbus, but this is very controversial. It is the oldest church in the “New World”.

Santa Clara Church The Santa Clara

Church in Santo Domingo dates from 1552 to 1556 and was once the first Franciscan nunnery in the New World.

Dominican monastery in Santo Domingo

The Dominican monastery in Santo Domingo was founded in 1510, the church was completed in 1535. The monastic convent founded the first university in America in 1538. Today the Catholic University of Santo Domingo is housed there.

Regina Angelorum

The Regina Angelorum Church in Santo Domingo dates back to 1564 and was dedicated to the Dominican nuns.

Mercedes Church

The Mercedes Church in Santo Domingo was built between 1549 and 1555 for the Mercedorier Order. The associated monastery is the only one on the island that is still completely intact.

Santa Barbara Church

The Santa Barbara Church in Santo Domingo was built in 1578 and destroyed around a hundred years later. At the end of the 17th century, the reconstruction of a combination of church and fortress began. The towers of different heights are striking.

San Pedrol Apostol Church The San Pedrol Apostol

Church in San Pedro de Macoris is the city’s landmark. It was built in neoclassical style in 1910.

Pilgrimage site Higüey

The pilgrimage site Higüey with the basilica Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia from 1569 and the new pilgrimage church from 1954 to 1971 are still visited by thousands of pilgrims every year.

Cathedral of Santiago de los Caballeros

The three-aisled cathedral of Santiago de los Caballeros was built from 1868 to 1895 in neo-Gothic and neo-classical style. The stained glass windows and the mahogany tarpaulin are worth seeing.

Virgen de las Mercedes pilgrimage church The Virgen de las Mercedes

pilgrimage church in Santo Cerro contains a piece of the wooden cross of Christopher Columbus, which is venerated as a relic.

Zoo, aquarium and botanical garden

National Aquarium

The National Aquarium in Santo Domingo is the most extensive in the Caribbean and offers an impressive view of the marine world.

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden in Santo Domingo opened in 1976 and is reputedly the third largest in the world.

Zoological Garden

The Zoological Garden of Santo Domingo is one of the largest in Latin America.

Natural beauties

Around 10% of the country is under nature protection. There are a total of 14 nature reserves that are open to the public.

Grotto “Los Tres Ojos”

The grotto “Los Tres Ojos” near Santo Domingo is well worth seeing because of its three lagoons with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and the blue color that is created by sulfur and calcium sulphates.

Samana peninsula The Samana

peninsula in the east of the country is a paradise for whale lovers, as humpback whales can be observed in a bay. Up to 5,000 of these animals come here every year to mate and give birth to their young.

But the approximately 1,000 km² peninsula also has wonderful beaches full of coconut palms, secluded bays and smaller offshore islands, green mountainsides with waterfalls, villages and fishermen’s huts. Las Terrenas, Las Galeras and Santa Barbara de Saman are three tourist centers on the peninsula.

El Limon

waterfall The El Limon waterfall is an impressive 55 m high cascade.

Cuevas de Cabarete

The Cuevas de Cabarete near Cabarete are an impressive grotto system.

Reservoir near San Jose de Ocoa

The large reservoir near San Jose de Ocoa is bordered by a 110 m high dam. The reservoir is used to supply drinking water, for irrigation and for generating electricity


Golf fans can choose from 26 varied top courses. Particularly noteworthy places Teeth of the Dog, The Links and Dye Fore in the luxury resort Casa de Campo Resort & Villas in La Romana. The Dominican Republic was named the best golf destination in the Caribbean and Latin America for the fourth time by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) in October 2018.

Cruise ports

In 2018, more than 800,000 cruise passengers had visited the island.

Amber Cove

The Amber Cove cruise port in Puerto Plata opened in October 2015.

Cruise terminals in Puerto Plata

The new cruise terminals are located in Puerto Plata in the north of the Caribbean island.

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