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Best and Worst Times to Visit St. Barth

Gustavia Harbour, St. Barts. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Gustavia Harbour, St. Barts. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

The best time to go to St. Barth is January through April during the dry season. The worst time is September through November during the rainy season. Early summer offers warmer weather but a somewhat higher risk of rain.

The island, officially known as Saint Barthélemy, is only 16 miles or 25 kilometers away from the larger St. Maarten in the eastern Caribbean.

This tiny but alluring island has a population of less than 8,000 people. But it manages to attract 200,000 tourists every year. It is well known as a hotspot for yachts and celebrities.

About 70,000 visit the island for overnight vacations in the villas and boutique hotels while another 130,000 visit by boat, according to the CIA Factbook. Many of the boat visitors come to the island by charters and shore excursions from St. Maarten.

The area has warm temperatures throughout the year but wide swings in the amount of rainfall.

Popular Times to Visit

St. Barth average monthly temperatures
St. Barth has the same temperatures as the nearby St. Maarten. © Scott S. Bateman

Winter is the most popular time to visit St. Barth as people from northern countries try to escape from cold and snowy winters.

The high season is December through April. But is that time the best time to go to St. Barth?

The answer is yes for low risk of rain but maybe not for temperatures.

Rainfall reaches a low point in the area during February and March when it averages only about two inches a month, according to the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten.

An average rainfall of two to three inches in a month is a low-risk amount of rain for anyone who visits the Caribbean.

St. Maarten and St. Barts average monthly rainfall
St. Barth also has about the same average monthly rainfall as St. Maarten. © Scott S. Bateman

But the average high temperature is about 84 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 29 degrees Celsius during those months, according to the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten. The average low is about 74 degrees Fahrenheit or 23 Celsius.

Those temperatures are ideal for land activities but they are not always ideal for swimming. A combination of lower water temperatures, strong winter trade winds and cooler ocean currents may make swimming uncomfortable at times, especially in the early mornings.

Average rainfall increases to three inches in April and four inches in May. Four inches in a month is above average for most Caribbean destinations. May is a brief rainy season in the Caribbean for many islands.

Average rainfall drops to two inches in June, when the average high temperature is 88 degrees Fahrenheit. That makes June an attractive month for vacationers who want to spend time on the beaches and in the ocean water.

St. Barth Hurricane Season

June also is the official beginning of the Caribbean hurricane season.

The season brings tropical storms and the more serious hurricanes to the region. They rarely hit an island directly, but they do increase the average rainfall. That said, June is the mildest month of the Caribbean hurricane season.

The St. Barth hurricane season has an increase of rain to a high point of five inches in September and an even higher six inches in November. The fall months are the worst times to visit St. Barth.

Otherwise, the best time to visit St. Barts for people who want to escape northern winters is January through April. The best time for ocean activities is either April or June.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the America.
February 19, 2024