If you’re planning an island vacation, you may be wondering when to go to the Caribbean. No matter if you’re planning on island hopping or are deciding on the perfect island, it’s worth noting that different Caribbean destinations have different peak seasons, and weather can vary somewhat depending on the part of the Caribbean you’re in.
Whether you want to visit when the weather is great, when costs are low, or when there’s plenty going on, in this article we will help you uncover when to visit the Caribbean for your dream getaway.
When to Visit the Caribbean: Overview
The Caribbean is known for its tropical climate and warm weather all year round, with average highs of around 82°F, though this varies between destinations.
When is best to visit the Caribbean? Generally speaking, the best time to visit the Caribbean is during the driest months, which are typically between February and May. In July through November, the Caribbean experiences the most rainfall of the year, making it the least desirable time to visit (but also the cheapest).
The rainy season shouldn’t be ruled out if you’re traveling on a budget, as the low costs often make up for the rainfall. Also, rain usually comes in brief, heavy showers, before the clouds part and you can enjoy the glorious sunshine once again.
What Months Are Hurricane Season in the Caribbean?
June to November is the official hurricane season, so although it can be cheap to visit the Caribbean in these months, be careful. This timeframe is often cited as when not to visit the Caribbean.
You may want to consider destinations that fall outside of the hurricane zone, such as the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao; Barbados; Grenada; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. If you don’t, be sure to purchase travel insurance.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in January?
As one of the driest and sunniest months in the Caribbean islands, January is a popular month for those looking to escape the cold winters back home. While there is occasional rainfall, it is generally short-lived.
If you’re hoping to visit at this time of year, it’s best to book in advance! This can also be one of the most expensive times to visit the Caribbean.
Best Places to Visit in January:
- Grenada – Visit Grenada in January to experience the Grenada Sailing Festival along the south coast, where you can see international yacht racing–truly a spectacular sight to behold!
- Saint Kitts & Nevis – If you’re traveling for New Year celebrations, you can enjoy New Year’s Day and Carnival Day in Saint Kitts & Nevis with a selection of parades, calypso competitions, and street dancing.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in February?
February is peak season across most Caribbean destinations, featuring long hours of sunshine, balmy temperatures, and just the occasional shower. If you’re planning on visiting at this time of year, note that no matter where you choose to visit, you’ll likely experience large crowds of tourists and higher prices. It’s important to book well in advance, as hotels often sell out in February.
Best Places to Visit in February:
- Grenada – If you’re visiting towards the end of February, you may be able to see turtles nesting on the beaches in the north.
- Barbados – Interested in culture and history? Spend your vacation in Barbados to experience the Holetown Festival, commemorating the anniversary of the first settlement of Barbados by the British.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in March?
With hot, dry weather in March, the Caribbean offers calm, clear seas, making it the perfect time of year to visit if you’re interested in sailing, snorkeling, or diving. As there is very little rainfall, it’s also the perfect time to travel if you wish to go hiking through one of the stunning jungles in the region.
Best Places to Visit in March:
- The British Virgin Islands – Experience the four-day Bequia Regatta during March, and enjoy a sailing celebration like you’ve never seen before!
Should I Visit the Caribbean in April?
April is another busy time for tourism across the Caribbean, although later in the month the region begins to experience a little more rainfall. Hotels begin to reduce their rates; if you’re looking for a great deal, you may be able to find a steal towards the end of April.
Best Places to Visit in April:
- Antigua – The largest regatta in the Caribbean is Antigua’s Sailing Week. With a variety of social events and informal races, there’s plenty for every sailing fanatic to enjoy, and it makes a great experience for those new to the sport as well.
- Saint Lucia – The Jazz and Arts Festival brings together a variety of both local and international musicians for a week of jazz, R&B, and calypso music.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in May?
May is one of the best months to visit the Caribbean, especially if you’re looking for a budget getaway. Prices are much lower than earlier in the year, and rainfall is just a little heavier. The roads are also much quieter at this time of year, making it the perfect opportunity to experience the relaxed and laid-back vibe the Caribbean is known for.
Best Places to Visit in May:
- St. Kitts & Nevis – Head to Saint Kitts for Labour Day, where you can see parades by workers’ unions and political parties alike, and to Nevis to enjoy community barbecues and listen to live music playing in the streets.
- St. Lucia – The Jazz and Arts Festival continues, bringing together a variety of both local and international musicians for a week of jazz, R&B, and calypso music.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in June?
One of the best times to visit the Caribbean on a budget is during June. Although the region experiences more rain, this typically comes in the form of short, heavy showers followed by plenty of sunshine.
Best Places to Visit in June:
- Antigua – June is the hottest month in Antigua, so if you’re a lover of hot weather you can experience average highs of 86°F and lows of 79°F.
- Grenada – You may be able to see turtles hatching on the beaches at this time of year.
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Lasting for 12 days, Vincy Mas is the most important celebration here and features steel pan bands, calypso music, and parades.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in July?
As the Caribbean enters into the rainy season, prices drop significantly. You can expect quite bad weather during the month of July, with more frequent heavy tropical showers, although there are still plenty of sunny skies. It’s important to note that you may encounter tropical storms as the region enters the official hurricane season.
Best Places to Visit in July:
- St. Lucia – Taking place over several days, the Saint Lucia Carnival is a great attraction, bringing a full-day Mardi-Gras-style party, calypso music, and performers in costume to the streets.
- Antigua – Another great spot for a carnival is Antigua, where the 10-day Antigua Carnival celebrates the emancipation of slaves with brass and steel bands and a variety of other fun attractions.
- Grenada – The Grenada Spicemas Festival features steel pan orchestras and fun-filled street parades.
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Continuing into July is the 12-day celebration of Vincy Mas with steel pan bands, calypso music, and parades.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in August?
With low prices across the region and plenty of sunshine between the occasional rain showers, August is a great time to find a good value deal in the Caribbean. Although officially a part of the wet season, the rain is experienced in short, heavy showers, and is quickly followed up by clear blue skies. It is quite hot and humid, however, and hurricane risk is fairly high.
Best Places to Visit in August:
- Grenada – Continuing this month is the Spicemas festival, where you can enjoy lively street parades and steel pan orchestras.
- The British Virgin Islands – Spread across a jam-packed two weeks is the British Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival, the main annual festival in this area. It boasts a selection of activities including horse races, concerts, sailing regattas, and parades.
- Antigua – Not only is Antigua a great place to spot turtles on the beaches during the month of August, but at this time of year, it is also home to Antigua Carnival, a 10-day event celebrating the emancipation of slaves with brass and steel bands and a variety of other fun events.
- Saint Kitts & Nevis – There’s a fun weekend full of festivities to be enjoyed as the country celebrates Emancipation Day. This marks the emancipation of slaves with a weekend of street jamming, beauty pageants, and calypso parades across both islands.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in September?
September is an incredibly cheap month to visit the Caribbean, though this is because of the increased rain and continued hurricane risk in the region. You can expect to experience short, heavy showers followed by sunshine, so it’s still a nice time to visit, particularly if you don’t mind the occasional rainfall and are looking to travel when hotels, beaches, and other attractions are much quieter.
Best Places to Visit in September:
- St Kitts – A popular public holiday this month is National Heroes Day. It celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to society and ends with a fun concert.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in October?
One of the less popular months for tourism in the Caribbean is during October, due to the increased rainfall and higher risk of storms. That said, hotels can offer some great deals during this time of year, which shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re on a tight budget.
October is the month for the highest rainfall in both Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the British Virgin Islands, so it’s best to avoid these destinations at this time of year.
Best Places to Visit in October:
- Saint Lucia – October is Creole Heritage Month, which is, as the name may suggest, the time of year when St. Lucia celebrates its Creole heritage and language with a month-long festival of events, crafts, cooking demonstrations, and live music.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in November?
The high rainfall during November is generally experienced as short, heavy showers that quickly clear to bright blue skies and sunshine, making it a time to visit if you’re looking for a good value getaway. This is still hurricane season, however, so be aware of that.
Best Places to Visit in November:
- Antigua and Barbuda – Not only can you find green turtles nesting on the beaches of Antigua, but this is also the time of year when Antigua and Barbuda celebrates their independence with a variety of street parties and parades.
Should I Visit the Caribbean in December?
December marks the beginning of the dry season in the Caribbean. This is the time of year when the rain begins to ease off and the gorgeous tropical greenery is in full bloom.
Christmas is quite a popular time to visit for tourists looking for that perfect winter escape, as is New Year’s due to the numerous celebrations across the islands with their lively beach parties and concerts. If you want to travel here in December, it’s important to make your booking well in advance.
Best Places to Visit in December:
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – During the Nine Mornings Festival, communities hold parties lasting from dawn until it’s time to head to work, with street music, dancing, and parties.
After reading our tips on when to visit the Caribbean, what do you think? When would you like to go? Let us know in the comments!
If you would like some guidance when planning your trip, visit our Contact Us page to get in touch with one of our trusted travel advisors. They can help you plan your dream Caribbean getaway from start to finish.