Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Best and Worst Times to Visit the Caribbean

This video explains the best time to visit the Caribbean and avoid the annual hurricane season.
Full-Screen Version | YouTube Caribbean Channel

The best time to visit the Caribbean is early to late spring. The worst time is early to late fall because the risk of rain is much higher. But it also depends on the destination.

Anyone planning their first Caribbean vacation may want to know when is the best time to go because of work or family reasons.

People with children in school may be limited to spring, summer and winter breaks, all of which are popular times to vacation in the Caribbean. But these times also tend to have higher prices as a result. Late summer brings a higher risk of rain.

People without children have more options and may find better prices in off seasons, although the weather often isn’t as good as spring and early summer.

Between 1.5 million and 1.9 million visit the Caribbean every month from December through August, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. These months are usually the best times to go. Winter has somewhat cooler temperatures, but it also has the lowest risk of rain.

September and October have the highest amounts of rain, tropical storms and hurricanes every year. They are the worst times to visit the Caribbean.

Best times to visit by destination: Antigua | Aruba | Barbados | Bermuda | Bahamas | Belize | British Virgin Islands | Cancun | Cayman Islands | Costa Rica | Cozumel | Curaçao | Dominican Republic | Jamaica | Panama | Roatan | San Juan | St. Kitts | St. Lucia | St. Maarten | Turks and Caicos | U.S. Virgin Islands
Caribbean monthly rainfall
Rainfall hits a high point for many islands in September and October. © Scott S. Bateman

The annual hurricane season, which runs from June through November, is the biggest factor to consider when planning a Caribbean vacation.

June and November have the fewest tropical storms and hurricanes during the hurricane season.

There is a steep drop in visits during September and October in particular. They have the highest risk of hurricanes and tropical storms of the hurricane season. They also are the beginning of the school year, which cuts out families and college students.

Worst Time to Visit: Hurricane Season

Hurricane season doesn’t stop many tourists from going during that period, especially during the popular month of July in part because of summer break for schools and the attraction of beaches with hot weather.

Even though June is part of the official hurricane season, it rarely has hurricanes or even tropical storms. Historically, June has averaged one tropical storm every other year, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

July and August fare worse with an average of three tropical storms with two becoming hurricanes. September averages four tropical storms with two becoming hurricanes, and October averages four storms with few becoming hurricanes. November averages one major storm every other year.

Even though hurricanes and tropical storms are more common, they rarely hit an island directly. Instead, they pass in the vicinity. Total rainfall for the destinations climbs during these months, especially in September.

For families, June is the least risky month to go for weather during the summer.

caribbean hurricanes by month
© Scott S. Bateman

Islands with Low Risk of Hurricanes

Although there are no guarantees, some islands have a low risk of getting hit by hurricanes or having them pass nearby. They include the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, which lie at the edge of the hurricane belt near the coast of Venezuela.

They also are arid islands with low average rainfall most months of the year.

Temperatures make little difference in the right time to go for the ABC islands. Just about any month is a good month. The average variation year round in temperatures is commonly about five degrees.

10-Day Weather Forecasts | See Caribbean monthly weather in: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

Best Time to Visit for Temperatures

Monthly High Temperatures by Destination
Cayman Is878687899091919191919087
Costa Rica747577787978767778777574
Puerto Plata818182838586868787868482
Punta Cana818182838586868787868482
San Juan838384858788888888888583
St. Lucia848384858787868787878684
St. Maarten828383858686868687868584
St. Thomas858586878889909090898786

The following list has the three best Caribbean destinations for warm weather by month. These average temperatures come from historical data from the meteorological services of each location. Actual temperatures in the current or upcoming year may vary from the historical averages.

Not surprisingly, the best time to visit the Caribbean for warm temperatures is the summer months of June through August. But as summer rolls forward, the risk of rain goes up.

Visitors who want the best temperatures and the lowest risk of rain should consider going from late March through April. May has a brief jump in rain risk for many destinations.

Anyone who wants to go during the summer should visit the Caribbean in June if possible.

Popular Spring Season

The Caribbean is a springtime vacation for many people and a December vacation for others. The most popular time to go is usually March and April.

Weather in the western Caribbean reaches an ideal combination of warm temperatures and low rainfall from January through April, especially in the later months.

It’s an especially popular time for western Caribbean cruises that include Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica along with Central America countries such as Belize, Costa Rica and Panama.

May is a brief and mild rainy season for many destinations.

Best Time for Prices

If there is a best time to go based on weather, crowds and prices, take a hard look at November, January and February.

Prices are better and the hurricane season is past. But temperatures also are cooler, so it is best to look at southern Caribbean destinations such as Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, Grenada and St. Lucia for warmer weather.

Avoid more northern destinations such as Cancun, the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos.

The adventurous looking for value can take a chance by getting good rates during September and October while praying they don’t see a hurricane.