Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
U.S. Virgin Islands

Best and Worst Times to Visit U.S. Virgin Islands

St. Thomas cruise port
St. Thomas cruise port. © Scott S. Bateman

The best times to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands are December through April during the dry season. The warmer months of March and April are even better.

But the best times also depend on what visitors plan to do when they get there. Some months are better than others for spending time on the beaches and in the water.

The worst times to visit St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands are September through November. These months fall inside the heart of the Virgin Islands hurricane season, also known as the rainy season.

The U.S. Virgin Islands rely heavily on tourism to sustain their economy. The islands welcome nearly 700,000 visitors each year by air and more than 1 million by sea, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

The island chain is one of the most visited in the Caribbean. The majority of cruise visitors go to St. Thomas while hotel visitors go to St. Thomas and St. John.

The Dry Season

The dry season in the U.S. Virgin Islands runs from December to May, although May usually has higher rainfall than the other dry season months.

Many tourists choose to visit the islands at this time because of the likelihood of sunny weather and the elimination of hurricane threat. The annual Caribbean hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30 every year. September and October are the most active months for tropical storms and hurricanes.

Nearly 60 percent of tourists to the U.S. Virgin Islands come between December and May, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The peak tourist month is March during spring break from schools. December is a popular time for visitors for the same reason.

It rains very little during the dry season with an average of about two inches a month, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. May receives the most rain of the dry months, averaging just over three inches. That’s still moderate for a Caribbean island.

Virgin Islands Hurricane Season

St. Thomas average monthly rainfall
St. Thomas average monthly rainfall. © Scott S. Bateman

The St. Thomas hurricane season officially begins June 1 and goes through the end of November at the same time as the Caribbean hurricane season. Tourism declines during this time because of the threat of bad weather.

September is the least popular month for visitors to come to the islands, followed by October. These two months are usually the worst months in the Caribbean for hurricanes, tropical storms and heavy rains. In the Virgin Islands, rainfall averages five to six inches a month from September through November or more than double the amount of the dry season.

Average Monthly Temperatures

USVI average monthly temperatures
USVI average monthly temperatures. © Scott S. Bateman

Average daytime temperatures range from 85 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 90 degrees from July through September, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

Average nighttime temperatures range from 72 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 78 from June through September. Seawater temperatures stay between the daytime highs and nighttime lows. Swimming is usually comfortable for every month of the year, although there are some exceptions during cooler days.

These numbers are historical averages. Visitors may find that actual temperatures (and rain) vary somewhat from the averages.

Most and Least Popular Times to Visit

U.S. Virgin Islands tourism statistics
U.S. Virgin Islands tourism statistics. © Scott S. Bateman

The chart to the right using data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization clearly shows that the most popular times to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands are March and December. March is popular because of spring break from schools; December is popular because of holiday vacations as well as winter break from schools.

The least popular time to visit is September, followed by October, during the worst months of the Caribbean hurricane season.

Other Tips on When to Visit

Although December through April are the best times to visit because of comfortable temperatures and low risk of rain, some travel planners may want other options.

Fewer crowds and lower prices can make rainy season months seem more appealing. But the threat of hurricanes can make travel during this time a risky bet. It’s a better option for last-minute vacations after reviewing the 10-day forecast.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
March 04, 2024

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