Dominican Republic Surf Seasons: Explained

If you are a fan of surfing, then you will want to know where all of the best locations are for catching the waves, soaking up the sun and being one with the sea! Some surfers love to travel the world looking for the next sunny spot to have some fun out on the water. 

If this sounds good to you, then you will have to hit up some waves in the Dominican Republic. Now this is a place that not many people naturally think of as the next surf spot, but you will not want to miss it!  

Where is the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola, near the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Haiti on the west side, but is considered its own state, with a separate government. 

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country with lots of lush greenery, stunning seaside views and scenic beaches. It therefore comes as no surprise that this location has become a hotspot for surfers looking to ride some waves.

What is the Dominican Republic like for surfing?

Unlike other destinations such as Hawaii or Australia, the Dominican Republic does not have a deep rooted surf culture. However, it is a great spot of surfing located so close to the very wavy Puerto Rico. If you want to try out a more unknown and underground surfing spot, then the Dominican Republic should be on your list. 

All of the best surf spots can be found around the island’s northern coast, so it is not recommended to go surfing near Punta Cana as there will not be much of a surfing vibe there. You will want to head to the north shore of the Dominican Republic, to what is known as the Amber Coast, which usually gets consistent swells between November and March. 

The best place to surf in the Dominican Republic will be in or near Cabarete in the north part of the island. This is mainly due to the fact that this area is bordered by the Caribbean and the Atlantic oceans, so you can expect a lot of powerful, exciting and consistent waves. Just be careful not to wipeout too much! 

If you are thinking of heading to the Dominican Republic, then you should know a little bit about the weather, the best surf seasons and the right times to go.

Dominican Republic Surf Seasons: Explained

The Dominican Republic gets good surfing swells between the months of November and March, as the north swells come from the coast of Florida, whereas the southern reaches of the island get swells from the Caribbean sea. 

The east and northeast winds blow all year round, and are most strong during the late morning, but fall back towards the late afternoon. From November to February, some of these winds can become very strong, which makes for the perfect surfing conditions.

Just for reference, the term ‘summer’ months, we will use to refer to May to September, whereas ‘winter’ surfing months is the phrase we use for October to April. Waves in the Dominican Republic summer are very different from the winter waves that the island sees. 

This is largely due to the fact that the winter waves tend to be driven by snow storms that have passed over the coasts of the United States, which send big waves to the island. Due to the large distance that these waves have traveled across the ocean, the intervals tend to be much longer. 

It is usually less windy during the winter months, and the optimal surf conditions can stay great for longer periods of time. During the winter surf season, you can expect the average wave height to be about 5 ft or even head height!

During the summer months, the waves in the Dominican Republic tend to come from the East, with shorter intervals and small swells. The waves during this time are not very high, reaching about the chest height. Some days during the summer can also be very flat, especially during June and July, however there can be some strong winds. 

On the other hand, the Dominican Republic can receive some pretty strong hurricane swells when hurricanes have passed over the north of the island, or off the coast of the United States.

The best time for you to visit the Dominican Republic if you want to surf, depends on your level of surfing experience and expertise. If you are an expert surfer, then it is probably best that you visit between October and April to really make the most of the larger winter waves. 

On the other hand, if you are a beginner, then you will enjoy surfing all year round in Dominican Republic, but the best time would be during the summer. This is when the waves are gentle enough to paddle out and start practicing. You can also surf during the winter, as you can stay on the inside to catch some smaller winter waves.

For an intermediate surfer, then the summer season will be a great place to start, but you could head into the latter months towards the winter. Try visiting anywhere between September and May, as this will give you the best of both worlds, with the option of catching smaller waves, and riding the big ones, too. 

You should also be aware of hurricane season in the Dominican Republic. Hurricanes can often develop off the coast of Africa, from late August to September. These types of extreme weather conditions can create storms that travel towards the islands of the Caribbean. 

This can also affect how the weather conditions are in the Dominican Republic. Whilst the Dominican Republic itself does not usually suffer from lots of hurricanes, storms nearby can create exceptional surfing conditions and some incredible waves for you to try out!