Holy Week in the Dominican Republic – what does it mean?

Holy Week in the Dominican Republic – what does it mean?

Last Updated on April 6, 2021 by tripcentral

What is Holy Week in the Dominican Republic?

Holy Week is largely celebrated in Roman Catholic countries, like the Dominican Republic, and at its most basic level is the week leading up to Easter. Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday when Jesus is said to enter Jerusalem and ends on Easter Monday when Jesus’ resurrection is celebrated.

In the Dominican Republic respectively, 85.4% of believing people are Roman Catholic, meaning Holy Week and Easter is an important and valued time of year. In 2022, Holy Week is from April 10 through April 16.

So, what does that mean for your vacation?

Holy Week and your all-inclusive vacation

If you’re travelling to the Dominican Republic during Holy Week, you may find some activities on the resort during all-inclusive vacations. From April 10  through April 16, 2022, motorized watersports offered by independent companies at the resorts will not be available. Some non-motorized watersports may also be limited. Many people are worried about their vacation as this often falls around March Break for Canadian students. 

The lack of access to motorized watersports is because many Dominicans are given the week off work, in recognition of the important Dominican Republic religious holiday and the importance of the Roman Catholic faith.

Due to the religious importance of Holy Week, alcohol is banned in the towns and cities of the Dominican Republic throughout the week: people visiting city centres on excursions or day trips will not be able to order or purchase alcohol. Restaurants and bars at the all-inclusive resorts are exempt from this ban, as resorts are able to purchase permits for serving alcohol during Holy Week to non-Dominican residents.

Some resorts will also close the disco and casinos on Good Friday, and limit loud music on Good Friday until after 6 p.m. Travellers may also find that excursions do not depart or run on Good Friday.

The remainder of activities and services at all-inclusive resorts will operate as usual during Holy Week.

Holy Week dates

April 10 – April 16, 2022

April 2 – 8, 2023

March 24 – 30, 2024


  1. The info in this article is SOOO wrong and misleading. Everything said here about Easter may be true for the Dominican Republic but definitely not for Cuba! Good Friday was only declared a national holiday in Cuba after the papal visit in 2012. Before that, it had been abolished (much like Christmas which was only reinstated after the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1998). Cuba was a declared atheist nation since the triumph of the Revolution (whether or not Cubans had faith is another matter altogether as there is more than one religion in Cuba). Where do your travel writers get their information from? This article just proves they know nothing about Cuba! I get your needs for content creation and hitting those keywords, but going to the lengths of fabricating bullsh***! and deliberately misinforming travellers is outrageous!

  2. I suggest any foreigner contemplating a stay in D.R. during that week to stay clear away.
    Far from holy, it is but one week of living hell for outsiders who have to survive the constant loud music at all hours of the day and night, garbage, plastic and glass bottles left behind everywhere on the beaches, urine and feces infested pools because many stay in them all day long and never get out to use the toilets, used diapers left behind on beaches and poolside, kiddie pools used as baths by mothers to clean their kids before changing their diapers, 12 people crammed into 2 bedroom condo units for the week and cars abandoned everywhere and anywhere blocking circulation on the streets preventing people from leaving and emergency vehicles from getting around. It would take 2 weeks to clean up the pool and their mess after all was over. No respect for anything or anyone.
    I owned a property in Punta Cana for several years and would actually leave the island before that period arrived.

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