When it comes to crowds, Punta Cana has serious seasonal fluctuations, and in the last decade it has burst into the mainstream as a convenient and affordable all-inclusive winter hot spot. This means the prime tourist season runs from late December to early April, when the weather is at its best. During this time hotels and beaches can be packed, but temperatures stay supremely comfortable, with days in the low 80s and nights dipping to the low 70s.
In the summer hurricane season, from June to November, the region can get downright empty, not to mention sweltering hot. Unlike Caribbean destinations farther south, the Dominican Republic is directly in the path of many tropical storms, and landfalls are common, so weigh that consideration carefully and get good travel insurance when planning for an off-season trip to Punta Cana. September and October have especially strong weather, and in fact, some resorts will close then to make improvements for the high season.
Shoulder-season travel—April and May—is the best way to beat the crowds and possibly score a deal on accommodations and flights. Weather will be a bit warmer than in the winter, though only be a few degrees.
Because it’s little more than a resort zone, Punta Cana itself doesn’t have a lot in the way of festivals and local events, but the Dominican Republic—like most Latin American countries—is very religious and therefore celebrates all major Christian holidays. Unique happenings to consider include the procession of Our Lady of Altagracia, a countrywide pilgrimage to the beautiful basilica in Higüey town, about 45 minutes from the hotel zones. Another is the Punta Cana Carnival in late February or early March.