April in the Caribbean: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

April in the Caribbean

TripSavvy / Derek Abella 

The coldest months of winter are without a doubt the high season in the Caribbean, as people flock to the unceasing warmth of the islands in order to escape the frigid cold blanketing most parts of the world. That also makes winter the most expensive time to visit the Caribbean, so if you can withstand a few months of winter, you can save a lot of money by waiting until April to plan your trip. As spring weather is finally starting to appear in your hometown, the Caribbean is just as warm and beautiful as it is all year long.

Not only do you miss out on the high season by visiting in April, but it's also just before hurricane season begins in the Caribbean, so you can prepare for your trip and enjoy island life without worrying about the possibility of an impending storm.

Caribbean Weather in April

Throughout this tropical region, April temperatures in the Caribbean vary from daytime highs above 80 degrees F to evening lows down to 70 degrees F. There's some variation depending on the island that you visit, with the coolest temperatures usually found in the Bahamas, but overall it's comfortably hot across the entire region.

  Average High Average Low
Bahamas 83 F (28 C) 68 F (20 C)
Cayman Islands 86 F (30 C) 74 F (23 C)
U.S. Virgin Islands 84 F (29 C 76 F (25 C)
Puerto Rico 82 F (28 C) 76 F (24 C)
Jamaica 86 F (30 C) 72 F (22 C)
Barbados 86 F (30 C) 75 F (24 C)
Trinidad and Tobago 84 F (29 C) 74 F (23 C)

No matter which island or country you visit, this is considered the dry season in the Caribbean and rain is at a minimum, a very promising forecast for travelers hoping for sunny skies. Puerto Rico is among the wettest Caribbean locals in April, receiving almost five inches of rain, whereas Bonaire and Aruba are two of the driest, getting just half an inch of precipitation. Ocean temperatures are quite warm during April, too, making it the perfect time for a swim.

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, so it's unlikely that your trip in April will be affected by inclement weather. Hurricanes are unpredictable though, and peak season can vary according to geography. The season is typically busiest between mid-August and mid-September.

What to Pack

When packing for your Caribbean trip, you will want to bring a bathing suit, of course, as well as loose-fitting cotton or linen layers to keep you cool during the day. Flip-flops are also a must and, in case you want to do adventure activities, you will need sneakers, socks, and athletic clothing. Above all, do not forget to bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, as these items are marked up significantly in hotels and local shops.

For more casual evenings, pack a light sweater and long pants or a comfortable maxi dress. You will also want dressier clothes if you plan on visiting a nice restaurant or exploring the nightlife, as many have dress codes. For nights you plan on going out, you will need more formal footwear such as nice, heeled sandals or pumps for ladies, and closed-toe dress shoes for men.

April Events in the Caribbean

Though any month you choose will feel like a celebration in the Caribbean, in April you will typically find Easter celebrations in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, boat races (regattas) in St. Barth and the British Virgin Islands, gastronomical events, and much more.

  • A Taste of St. Croix: The U.S. Virgin Islands celebrates its unique and diverse cuisine at this one-day fundraiser event that draws some of the island's best chefs.
  • The Tobago Jazz Experience: This music festival attracts some top international acts to the typically sleepy island of Tobago (next to the much more lively island of Trinidad). Past headliners include Diana Ross, Rod Stewart, and others.
  • Oistins Festival: Barbados holds this annual celebration during Easter Weekend. The street fair includes cuisine such as fish cakes, fried fish, and head cheese.
  • Saborea: This long-running food festival is held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Diners can try local specialties such as mofongo along with all kinds of international dishes at this event which is meant to show off Puerto Rico's place as a gastronomical destination. (Saborea in 2021 has been postponed to a later date.)
  • Regattas: Boat racers and yacht lovers can find regattas happening around the Caribbean throughout the entire year, but two of the most exciting sailing events happen in April. Les Voiles de Saint Barth is the first one which is followed by Antigua Sailing Week. (Both the St. Barth and the Antigua regattas are canceled in 2021.)
  • St. Barth Film Festival: Celebrities flock to St. Barth at the end of April for the five-day celebration of Caribbean cinema. Imagine the glamour of festivals in Venice or Cannes but with the tropical backdrop of St. Barth and it's easy to see the appeal of this annual film festival. (The Film Festival in 2021 has been postponed to a later date.)

April Travel Tips

  • If you can wait until the end of April, known as the "shoulder season," you should. You’ll not only save money this time of year, but you will avoid the loud and sometimes raucous Spring Break crowds, especially in popular destinations like the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas.
  • If you are visiting early in the month, you can expect islands to be a little crowded at popular destinations, but there will be far fewer crowds than in the busiest months of December, January, February, and March.
  • If you want to see several Caribbean destinations at once, consider a cruise. The weather is best through April and the late peak season means that prices will be lower than your typical winter cruise.

For more help on planning your island getaway, read up on the best time to visit the Caribbean.

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