How do you beat the winter blues – otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? Getting more sunshine is key. But don’t just step outside for a few minutes. Plan a trip to the Dominican Republic, where the sun shines throughout the winter months and the temperatures are wonderfully warm. Find out why the Dominican Republic is the ultimate cure for the winter blues.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder affects an individual the same time each year. It varies, but the disorder usually starts in September and October, when the weather becomes colder.
- Less sunlight results in the increase of a body chemical called melatonin, which helps regulate sleep and can cause symptoms of depression.
- Experts estimate that more than half a million people are negatively impacted by less sunlight and the changing seasons.
- Between 60 percent and 90 percent of people with SAD are women.
- When natural sunlight hits the skin it triggers the body’s production of vitamin D – the “sunshine vitamin” – which protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps muscles and improves brain function.
- Some people use “light therapy” to counteract SAD. Others travel to sunnier destinations … such as the Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic Winter Weather
Dominican Republic weather is beautiful and tropical throughout the year, making a beach getaway a sun-soaked experience any time you visit. But it’s especially nice in the winter, when you can leave behind frigid temperatures at home for a Punta Cana escape. Your Instagram posts from the beach will leave your friends and family completely jealous! Winter weather in Punta Cana is usually less rainy and humid than other times of year, which is an added bonus. Here are a few Dominican Republic winter weather stats, month by month:
- December Dominican Republic weather: High of 82° F/Low of 72° F/Eight hours of sunshine per day
- January Dominican Republic weather: High of 81° F/Low of 72° F/Nine hours of sunshine per day
- February Dominican Republic weather: High of 82° F/Low of 72° F/Nine hours of sunshine per day
- March Dominican Republic weather: High of 82° F/Low of 73° F/Nine hours of sunshine per day
Dominican Republic winter outdoor adventures
In order to get all the benefits of Dominican Republic sunshine, you’ll need to get outdoors. Fortunately, Punta Cana and the surrounding areas are packed with spectacular natural beauty, ecotours and unique things to do in the Dominican Republic. Here are just a few Dominican Republic outdoor adventures to enjoy during your winter escape.
- Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park & Reserve: This 1,500-acre natural wonderland is located in the heart of Punta Cana. Here, intrepid outdoor explorers will find a dozen freshwater lagoons — and you can take a plunge into five of them. Bring your swimsuit and explore the gorgeous waters. It’s these lagoons that give the park and reserve its distinctive name; the Taíno Indians called them “eyes” in the pre-Columbian era.
- Cueva de las Maravillas: This sprawling network of underground cave network is located just a few miles from La Romana. Cueva de Maravillas was a sacred spot for the Taíno people, the area’s original inhabitants. They left behind hundreds and hundreds of amazing pictographs and petroglyphs etched into the walls of Cueva de Maravillas.
- Macao Beach: This Punta Cana beach is an under-the-radar surfing destination, with secluded beaches and perfectly rideable waves for all levels of experience. Vacaciones Barcelo can get you there – and teach you to surf, too! And when you’ve caught enough waves, the beach’s pristine white sands and gently swaying palm trees await.
- Los Haitises National Park: This Dominican Republic national park is waiting to be discovered on the island’s remote northeast coast. Lush mangroves, teeming rainforests, sparkling blue cenotes, craggy cliffs shaped over the centuries by the wind and waves … Los Haitises (“The Highlands”) is a place like no other. Birdwatchers take note: the park is home to more than 200 species of birds. You may catch sight of the Dominican Republic’s national bird, the beautiful cigua palmera.
- Parque Nacional del Este: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Parque Nacional del Este (East National Park) is one of the crown jewels of the Dominican Republic’s ecotourism world. Located on the southeastern coast, the park’s 306 square miles are filled with enough spectacular sights, sounds and experiences to last a lifetime. Additionally, the Caribbean paradise known as Saona Island is part of Parque Nacional del Este. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494, the island boasts crystal clear waters (perfect for snorkeling) and postcard-worthy beaches. Soak up the sun on Saona!
- The Sanctuary of the Humpback Whales: It’s not just people who flock to the Dominican Republic during the winter months. The country is one of the world’s most important destinations for humpbacks – they love Dominican Republic sunshine, too! Between January and April every year, at least 2,000 of these magnificent mammals congregate in the warm waters. The best place to see them is the Sanctuary of the Humpback Whales in Samaná, located in the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic.