Best time to visit Dominica

It's hard to understand why May is quiet season here. It's hot, there are no cruise ships, and the businesses are still quiet. And there's a hiking festival.
You don’t get 1,000 species of plants without some rainfall. Nor rainforest. But this is tropical rain, in warm and feisty bursts, then the clouds part and the sun lights up the lusciousness it is famous for. The average year round temp is 28°C; 31°C in summer. The best time to go to Dominica is the dry February-April season with rain kicking in June-November. This is also hurricane season; Dominica was hit by Erika in 2015 and Maria in 2017.

Dominica Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
21
29
136
FEB
21
29
87
MAR
21
30
93
APR
22
30
87
MAY
23
31
137
JUN
23
31
185
JUL
23
31
108
AUG
24
31
246
SEP
23
31
250
OCT
23
31
239
NOV
22
30
252
DEC
21
29
176

Dominica, month by month

High season in Dominica starts in mid-December. Although you can see colourful birds year-round, including Dominica’s stunning endemic parrots, they’ll be easier to see – and noisier – outside of the rainy season. Plus, trails will be more accessible. Dry, sunny weather, however, brings more visitors and higher prices. For turtle watching, March to September is the best time to see giant leatherbacks, hawksbill and green turtles laying eggs. Or a few months later to see the hatchlings head down to the water. High season winds down in mid-April. For a last minute vacation, or someone traveling on a budget, check out the shoulder months, such as May. Many say this is the best time to go to Dominica, but it is very hot, with temperatures over 30°C. So if you’re planning serious hiking, you need to be used to the humidity and high temperatures. It’s beautifully quiet from June until mid-October, as the threat of rain scares sun seekers away. But as this is not a flop and drop on the beach place anyway, just bring raingear and enjoy the peace. Check out the annual Dive Fest in July. Businesses are generally still open until the end of August. September and October are when the hurricanes are most likely to hit. There have been fewer and fewer over the last few years, but the ones that have hit have been devastating, including 2017’s Hurricane Maria. Traditionally, many businesses shut down during these months, but your tour operator will be able to advise. Rainy season ends in November. Pan in the Sand, a steelpan event, rings out across the shores and sands every Sunday in January. With water temperatures between 26-28°C and an average of 20m visibility, diving is great all year. And there are whales here all year here, too.

Our top Dominica Vacation

Dominica nature holiday

Dominica nature vacation

Independent tour of Dominica, Caribbean's "Nature Island".

From US $1675 to US $2295 9 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Dominica or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

What happens when in Dominica

Michael Eugene, founder of our friends Jungle Trekking Adventures and Safaris, tells us one of his best times to go to Dominica: “The World Creole Music Festival (October-end) and Carnival (February) afford a special dose of local culture that can be blended with hiking and other less cultural activities. The May hiking festival, Hike Fest, is also a great time to visit. In May you have long days but it does get hot and humid. Along the trail there are only two directions – up and down. So added to the heat and humidity, we have seen experienced hikers have difficulty. So May and June’s hot period can be a challenge – you just need to be careful.”
Jem Winston, managing director at our partners Three Rivers Ecolodge & Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, says:
“Normally the hurricane season is actually good and hot weather, but you can have some bad weather days if a storm passes. With climate change though, the last few years have not stuck to the rules, and it is rare that rain prevents people from doing activities. Come in the low wet season and get huge beaches and rivers all to yourself.”

Festivals & events in Dominica

Did you know about...?

The annual World Creole Music Festival
Three nights of uber cool and contemporary Creole music resounding throughout Roseau. Always at the end of October, this segues smoothly with more traditional Independence Day celebrations, which islanders gained November 3rd, 1978. During this time Kwèyòl Day is also celebrated all over the island, with women and men donning national costume.

Responsible Travel would like to thank the Dominica tourist board for their sponsorship of this guide.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Matthias Ripp] [Intro: S. Fabric] [Best time to go: S. Fabric] [Events: nousernameforme]
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