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Cayman Islands

Best and Worst Months to Visit Grand Cayman

Cayman Islands Visitor Statistics
Cayman Islands overnight visitor statistics; ©
The best time to visit the Cayman Islands depends on avoiding the worst weather -- especially the hot season and the rainy season.

The best time to visit Grand Cayman is March and April. The worst time is September. But these aren't the only good and bad months.

It is because of the sometimes extreme temperatures and rainfall that the Caymans see distinct spikes and dips in the number of tourists who visit each month. Grand Cayman, the main island, is often one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean.

The chart to the right using data from the Cayman Islands National Weather Service shows that March is the most popular month of the year to visit followed by December and July.

December through April are especially popular times to go because of low risk of rainfall and more moderate temperatures. Northerners also want to get away from the cold and snow of winter.

September and October are clearly the least popular months to go because of a high risk of heavy rains along with hot temperatures. September is the worst month of the Caribbean hurricane season, which officially goes from June through November.

July has a jump in visits for families in part because school children are out for the summer. Even though July is a popular month, it is not necessarily a good time to go because of the reasons explored below.

Light Rains to Heavy Rains

Grand Cayman monthly rainfall
© 2019 Scott S. Bateman
But it's not just the heat that matters when visiting the Cayman Islands. It's also the historical rainfall patterns.

Over a 30-year history, the islands have averaged less than two inches of rain from January through April and a little more than two inches in December.

Rainfall starts to climb in May and reaches a peak in September and October during hurricane season.

Average rainfall jumps to about 5.5 inches in May, June and July, exceeds six inches in August and jumps again to more than eight inches in September and October. December rainfall drops back down to about three inches.

Hot Grand Cayman Temperatures

Grand Cayman is somewhat unique among major Caribbean destinations because it is one of the few islands that sees average daytime temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer and fall.

These hot temperatures actually start in May and last into November. They make a difference for anyone visiting the Caymans by cruise who plans to spend more time shopping, dining and visiting attractions than spend time on the beaches.

The heat may be less of an issue for anyone planning to spend a week there mainly on the beaches during the day and shopping or having fun in the cooler evenings.

If hot temperatures are an issue, it is better to visit the islands from December through April when they average in the upper 80s Fahrenheit.

Best Months to Go

The Caymans have one major event that also may impact the best times to go there. It is Batabano, the country's biggest festival, which is scheduled for early May each year.

Otherwise, it is clear that December through April are the best months of the year to visit Grand Cayman. May through November, and especially September and October, are the riskiest months to visit.

It should not be a surprise that January through April also happen to be popular months to visit the islands via western Caribbean cruises because of their ideal combination of cooler temperatures and low rainfall.

Cheapest Times to Go

© Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
September and October are the riskiest months to visit Grand Cayman because of the higher than normal amounts of rain. But they are sometimes the cheapest months to visit.

Hotels, resorts and cruise ships don't like unsold rooms and cabins, so they are more likely to offer discounts to attract customers. Cruise lines can reduce the number of ships that visit Grand Cayman in the fall, but hotels and resorts can't reduce the number of rooms.

Frugal travel planners can look for good deals during these months while keeping an eye on the 10-day weather forecast. If the forecast looks good, they should consider taking a last-minute trip to Grand Cayman if they also spot an attractive discount.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Best Times to Go   

May 11, 2020
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