Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Caribbean Weather in February: Planning Tips

Trinidad beach
The sun sets over a beach in Trinidad, the warmest places in the Caribbean in February. © Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company Ltd.

Caribbean weather in February doesn’t always make a cruise or beach vacation a sure thing with warmth. Imagine this:

The water in Cancun was freezing. The air was freezing. The trade winds made it even worse. It was the “warm” Caribbean, and no one was going into the water except me.

The same thing happened in Aruba during our February visit, but it was not nearly as bad. Some people were going into the water—briefly—but most others were clearly staying out of it.

Welcome to the Caribbean in February. Temperatures are warm and sometimes even hot in many destinations, and people walk around in shorts for the most part.

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But cooler waters from the north sometimes bring down the temperatures even in southern waters. Nighttimes are cooler, and trade winds can make a big difference. Luck with weather also can make a difference.

There are times and places when Caribbean weather is not as warm as people might think. So anyone planning a Caribbean vacation in February should choose their destinations carefully.

Temperatures in February

Caribbean temperatures in February
Average Caribbean temperatures in February for each destination. © 2018 Scott S. Bateman

Travelers will find that Caribbean temperatures in February are good for land activities, but sometimes a problem for swimming. It depends on the location.

Among major destinations, Aruba has the warmest temperatures during the month followed by the nearby Curacao as well as Grand Cayman. St. Thomas comes in fourth place.

Other major destinations don’t do so well with temperatures in February. The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos are among the northernmost islands and have water temperatures that are often too cool for swimming.

Even though daytime high temperatures are mostly in the low 80s Fahrenheit, it’s the nighttime temperatures, wind chill and northern currents that make water uncomfortable for many destinations.

Anyone with flexible travel schedules should consider March or April instead for warmer weather.

Western Caribbean Weather in February

Caribbean Weather in February
DestinationAvg MinAvg MaxRainfallRain Days
Cayman Islands6586210
Costa Rica60750
Dominica 718244
Dominican Rep718227
San Juan718429
St. Lucia7484215
St. Maarten74842
St. Thomas72852

Vacationers will find that western Caribbean weather in February is right near the end of the coolest temperatures and also right in the middle of a dry season.

The most popular destinations such as Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize and Cozumel will have average high temperatures in the low to mid 80s Fahrenheit or high 20s Celsius.

But average nighttime temperatures will reach into the mid 60s Fahrenheit and high teens Celsius. That will cool the ocean waters and make swimming uncomfortable at times, especially in the mornings.

Rainfall will be lower than normal because late winter to early spring is a dry season for the western part of the region. The average is about two to three inches total during the month, which is low for any part of the Caribbean.

Eastern Caribbean Weather in February

Eastern Caribbean cruises have a much wider range from north to south than western cruises because the Bahamas are often part of the itinerary, even though they technically are not part of the Caribbean.

Temperatures are much cooler in the northernmost destinations such as the Bahamas, Cuba, and Turks and Caicos. As a result, swimming may not be possible in some locations, especially the Bahamas. Rainfall is low during the month.

Some eastern cruises include San Juan and the Virgin Islands, which are somewhat warmer and offer more chances for swimming and times on beaches.

Southern Caribbean

The southernmost destinations have the best chance at warm weather. Vacationers are almost guaranteed of having warm air temperatures during the day, although sea water temperatures may at times be uncomfortable, especially in the mornings.

Swimmers will also find that currents play a role in water temperatures. Some days will bring cooler waters from the north and others will bring warmer waters from the south.

Sea water during this time also has the unusual habit of having patches of water that alternate between warm and cool.

The islands with the warmest water include the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao as well as other southern locations such as Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and Trinidad.

Average Rainfall

February is definitely part of the dry season for almost every destination in the Caribbean. Rainfall drops to about two inches on average and in some places less than one inch.

Most destinations have a low risk of rainfall. The two with the most rain—Dominica and Martinique—are rainy islands with lush vegetation anyway and are known for eco-tourism more than beaches.

Another way of planning for rain is by looking at the average number of days that it rains each month. Again, most destinations see a drop and in some cases reach the lowest point of the year.

So anyone planning a February vacation in the Caribbean to get away from cold northern winters should look at the southernmost destinations to get the warmest days and most comfortable water for swimming.