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When to Go to the Caribbean

Cancun is hugely popular during spring break. Wikimedia
Anyone planning their first Caribbean vacation may want to know when is the best time to go.

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

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 summer.

Overall, more than 1.5 million visitors go to the top Caribbean destinations on average each month. But there are two distinct seasons for popularity. The first is December through August and the second is September through November.

Between 1.5 million and 1.9 million visit every month from December through August. Then there is a steep drop in visits during September and October in particular, which suffer from the dual problem of being at the tail end of the hurricane season and the beginning of the school year, which cuts out families and college students.

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

Risky 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 experiences 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 storm every other year.

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

Islands with Low Risk of Hurricanes


Although there are no guarantees, some islands have a low risk of getting hit by hurricanes. 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 5 degrees.

Popular Spring Season


Grand Cayman cruise port
Grand Cayman is a popular cruise port in the spring.
© Cayman Islands Depart. of Tourism
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.

 > Category: Best Times to Go   



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