Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Best and Worst Times to Visit Guadeloupe

La Soufrière
La Soufrière volcano on a dry day. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

The best time to visit Guadeloupe is during the peak months of the dry season from January through March. The worst times are August through November during the rainy season.

The French territory of Guadeloupe in the eastern Caribbean is in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. It lies about midway between Antigua to the north and Dominica to the south. The island covers a land area of 1,628 square kilometers and has a population of 400,000. Although it is one of the larger Caribbean islands, it is not among the most popular.

The island follows the typical Caribbean weather pattern of dry months during the winter and spring and rainy months in the summer and fall.

But what is not typical about Guadeloupe is the amount of heavy rain that falls on the island each year. The high rainfall is one reason why the island doesn’t attract as many hotel and cruise visitors as other islands. But it does appeal to frequent Caribbean vacationers and ecotourists who want to visit somewhere new.

Best Months to Visit

Like nearby Dominica, Guadeloupe is one of the wettest islands in the Caribbean. Its dry season is not nearly as dry or as long as most other islands in the region.

The dry season runs from January to March when rainfall averages three inches a month. It averages about five inches a month in April and December, which are transition months between the dry and rainy seasons.

March is the best month to visit for a combination of lower risk of rain and warmer temperatures. For beach lovers, April and June are better choices. Temperatures are even warmer, but the risk of rain is only somewhat higher. May has a higher risk and historically averages six inches of rain.

Worst Months to Visit: Hurricane Season

Guadeloupe monthly rainfall chart
Guadeloupe monthly rainfall chart. © Scott S. Bateman

The annual Caribbean hurricane season hits Guadeloupe harder than most Caribbean islands. Like the Caribbean hurricane season, the Guadeloupe hurricane season begins June 1 and goes through Nov. 30.

For Guadeloupe, the worst months to visit are August through November when the average monthly rainfall jumps to eight or nine inches a month, according to Meteo France. Meteo France is the national meteorology service for France and French territories such as Guadeloupe.

Fewer cruise ships visit the island during the hurricane season because it has such high average rainfall compared to other islands.

Hotel and resort visitors stay away as well, other than last-minute vacationers who are willing to take a chance with weather for the sake of lower hotel rates.

Best Months for Temperatures

Guadeloupe monthly temperature chart
Guadeloupe monthly temperature chart. © Scott S. Bateman

Daily high temperatures stay in a tight range between the mid and upper 80s Fahrenheit throughout the year, according to 30 years of historical data from Meteo France.

They are another reason why visitors will find January through March a good time to go to the island. Although winter temperatures are comfortable for walking around, they are not always comfortable in the water at the beaches.

The average nighttime temperatures hover in the upper 60s Fahrenheit during the winter and low to mid 70s Fahrenheit during the rest of the year.

The low temperatures in the winter will often bring down seawater temperature to the point where it is chilly for swimming. So the best time to go for beach lovers is late spring to early summer.

Temperatures increase to the upper 80s Fahrenheit or low 30s Celsius during the summer. They reach a peak of 89 Fahrenheit or about 32 Celsius from July through September. Again, June is the best time to visit Guadeloupe for beach lovers because of warmer temperatures and lower risk of rain compared to later in the summer.

Rainy Season

Guadeloupe has two rainy seasons. The Caribbean hurricane season runs from June to November. But June has light rainfall for most of the Caribbean including Guadeloupe.

The island’s second rainy season is May, again like most of the Caribbean.

For Guadeloupe, the average rainfall is two to three inches a month higher than most other destinations.

During this season, the island receives much more rain. The threat of a hurricane or tropical storm increases.

Best and Worst Times for Tourism

About 73,000 cruise passengers visit Guadeloupe each year, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

The majority of cruise ship visitors travel to Guadeloupe during the winter and early spring months. The most popular month to visit Guadeloupe is March followed closely by February.

Because of its location, southern and eastern Caribbean cruise ships usually stop at Guadeloupe on their way south to St. Lucia and Barbados after visiting either St. Kitts, Antigua or both.

Cruise line travel to Guadeloupe is limited during the summer months of June, July and August.

Because of bad weather, the least popular month to visit Guadeloupe is September, followed closely by October, according to the CTO.

Guadeloupe is most popular with visitors from France, the CTO says.

After France, Guadeloupe is most visited by other European countries, followed by the United States and Canada.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the America.
February 23, 2024