Caribbean vacations
Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

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Travel Tips
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Tip #3

Some of the best Caribbean vacations depend on whether they are visited by cruise or for a long-term stay.

Bahamas, Cozumel and St. Maarten are all great cruise destinations in part because of high-quality shopping and dining districts.

Aruba, Jamaica and Dominican Republic appeal to long-term stays -- Aruba because of great beaches and hotels, Jamaica and DR because of resorts.
- Scott Bateman

Caribbean Weather Forecasts

7-Day Outlooks and Current Conditions for 34 Major Destinations

Click below for a forecast
Anguilla Antigua Aruba Bahamas
Barbados Bermuda Bonaire Cayman Is.
Curacao Dominica Freeport Guadeloupe
Jamaica La Romana Martinique Montego Bay
Nassau Puerto Plata Punta Cana San Juan
St. Barts St. Kitts St. Lucia St. Maarten
St. Thomas Tortola BVI Turks-Caicos
Cancun Cozumel Riviera Maya
Central America
Belize Costa Rica Panama Roatan
Eastern Caribbean forecasts
Western Caribbean forecasts
Cruise weather forecasts

The best Caribbean weather and most popular months to visit are usually January through August, but with some important differences each month.

The first several months of the year are especially popular times to take a western Caribbean cruise and visit destinations such as the islands of Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel and the Central American nations of Belize and Costa Rica.

Temperatures are moderate for the islands, which hit highs in the 90s during the summer, and the Central American countries don't have the drenching rains that hit later in the year.

Eastern Caribbean islands are more popular during late spring and summer because they reach their ideal temperatures.

Clearly the worst time to go -- and least popular -- are the peak months of the Caribbean hurricane season in September and October.

Eastern Caribbean Weather by Email

Western Caribbean Weather by Email

What to Know about Caribbean Forecasts

Caribbean forecasting starts with weather patterns in the eastern Atlantic that move west toward the Caribbean as a result of trade winds.

For storms or hurricanes, check weather satellites and forecasts in the eastern Atlantic to get an early indication of bad weather about five to seven days out from the Caribbean.

Temperature forecasts are less of a concern for most of the Caribbean islands because they usually have daytime temperatures that vary only by several degrees each month.

Northern destinations such as the Bahamas have a much greater change in temperatures between winter and summer.

More information (offsite): Visible radar | Tropical outlook | Water vapor

Plan Vacations Around Annual Hurricane Season

Caribbean hurricaneCaribbean weather is known for more than just warm and sunny days. It's also known for an annual hurricane season that runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The hurricane season averages about 12 to 15 tropical storms each year, some of which develop into hurricanes.

June and November have only about one storm each on average, while July through September average several storms with an average of two becoming hurricanes. October averages up to four storms but few hurricanes.

Most vacationers do not experience bad weather because of the size of the Caribbean, the path of the storms or the fact that they visit the Caribbean when storms don't occur.

Visits to the Caribbean reach a low point in September and October because those months have the highest total rainfall.