Before you jet off to your Caribbean vacation destination, you had better check the weather! In fact, that’s one of the things you absolutely MUST do when you prepare and pack for your trip.
Luckily, Caribbean weather does not experience drastic changes throughout the year, compared to many other regions of the world.
Temperatures are almost always in the 80s and 90s, and the Caribbean islands get plenty of sunshine year round. Most Caribbean countries have tropical climates, although some, like Curacao, technically have desert climates.
You could say that Caribbean weather is divided into two seasons: wet and dry.
Feeling a sudden tinge of disappointment about the wet season?
Let us just remind you: rain has to fall at some point– otherwise how would all that lush, green vegetation survive?
Caribbean weather: the dry season
The dry season in the Caribbean normally lasts from January to May. During those months, there is less rainfall. This makes the region more popular with tourists and travelers, especially during Spring Break.
The dry season is a great time to visit the Caribbean. You won’t have to worry too much about plans getting canceled because of rainfall. In addition, you’ll be able to enjoy more warm beach days in the sun. However, it’s always a good idea to pack a poncho or raincoat just in case.
Although the temperatures in the Caribbean are fairly constant throughout the year, it can drop a bit during the breezy dry season, especially at night or at high elevations.
There are a few downsides to traveling to the Caribbean during the dry season. First, prices may be a bit higher than in the rainy season. In addition, hotels fill up faster, and beaches and other tourist attractions may be more crowded.
Nevertheless, you can simply avoid the crowds by heading to a Caribbean country “less traveled by”, like Anguilla or Suriname.
Caribbean weather: the wet season
The wet season, or rainy season, in the Caribbean coincides with the Atlantic hurricane season. Officially, it is from June 1st to November 30th. During the rainy season, prices are often lower for airfare. You can use a airfare-searching site like Kayak or Skyscanner to find and compare the best prices for the entire year.
You’ll probably notice that the lowest prices are in September or October. (That’s because those are the most popular months for hurricanes to pay a visit to the islands!)
Temperatures during the wet season can fluctuate slightly with the rain. Heat stress is much higher during the rainy season because dry spells sometimes occur. These dry spells consist of intense, humid heat. When it rains again, the cloudiness and rain make the heat feel less intense.
Hurricane season in the Caribbean
The official hurricane season in the Caribbean lasts from the beginning of June to the end of November. It is the time of year in which tropical storms and hurricanes are much more frequent.
If you plan on traveling to the Caribbean during hurricane season, be sure to check the weather forecasts for your destination country ahead of time. That way, you can avoid uncomfortable or even dangerous predicaments.
Where to get Caribbean weather information
Here is a list of sources for Caribbean weather information. If you’re headed to the Caribbean during hurricane season, it’s especially important to check with reliable sources before you travel,
- National Hurricane Center. Check this site for storm warnings and satellite images of Caribbean weather.
- The Weather Channel. Simply type your Caribbean destination into the search bar at the top of this site to get an accurate forecast.
- Caribbean Hurricane Network. Hurricane correspondents in the Caribbean islands report on current active storms, and damage done by past storms.
- AccuWeather. On this site, you can search for any location and see a satellite image of your chosen region.
What is the best time to travel to the Caribbean?
Here it is: one of the internet’s most-asked questions concerning Caribbean travel. Unfortunately, the answer really depends on the traveler! If you would rather there be less chance of getting caught in a rainstorm or hurricane, you should probably go during the dry season, from January to May.
However, it you don’t mind a little rain, and would rather avoid big crowds, you can travel to the Caribbean during the “off-season”, which is also the rainy season. This season begins from June to November, with September and October being the most prolific months for hurricanes.
What is the worst time to travel to the Caribbean?
Some would argue that the worst time to travel to the Caribbean is during the Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts from June to November. If you absolutely want to avoid rain and chances of hurricanes and tropical storms at all costs, don’t go during these months. September and October have been especially known for having high hurricane probability.
Nevertheless, September and October are great months for scoring cheap airline tickets. You’ll also find lower prices on hotels on most Caribbean islands. There will also be more hotels to choose from, since they will have more availability.
That being said, some Caribbean islands are actually outside the hurricane belt, and have a very low probability of being hit by storms at any time of year. Read The Safest Caribbean Islands During Hurricane Season to find out which ones!
Arguably, one of the best times to visit the Caribbean as far as weather goes is during December (to get away from your country’s cold weather!) or during Spring Break.
However, that just might be the worst time to visit the Caribbean as far as crowds go, especially if you go to one of the more popular Spring Break destinations like Cancún, Mexico, Negril, Jamaica or Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Looking for the perfect Caribbean destination for your next vacation? Find the right island for you! Read How to Choose a Caribbean Island for Your Next Vacation.
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