The Best Time of Year to Visit the Caribbean

Palm trees on the beautiful sunset background in the Caribbean

levente bodo/Getty Images

Planning a Caribbean vacation doesn't end with picking an island: You also need to figure out when to take your vacation. Fortunately, the weather in the Caribbean is delightful year-round (except for the occasional tropical storm or hurricane), but rates do vary seasonally, and every month brings its own unique events and festivals that you'll want to factor into your travel and trip planning.

  • 01 of 12
    A huge crowd at Sloppy Joe's Bar celebrating New York's Eve
    Monroe County Tourist Development Council

    January in the Caribbean is still plenty warm for most visitors from up north, making it an ideal destination to escape the cold and snow, not to mention the post-holiday blahs. New Year's Day in the islands cements the Caribbean's reputation for throwing a great party, and this also is the month where many islands' Carnival celebrations are getting into full swing.

  • 02 of 12
    Dancers performing in a parade for Carnival

    Jan Sochor/Getty Images

    There's a reason this is the most popular time of the year to visit the Caribbean: The weather is warm and sunny even though there's snow and chilly temperatures up north. Also, there is no better time for a romantic trip to the islands than on or around Valentine's Day, when many Caribbean resorts offer special packages designed to woo couples. And of course February is when Mardi Gras— the peak of the pre-Lentin celebration—takes place, and the frenzy of Carnival tops out on many Caribbean islands.

  • 03 of 12
    A sunny Caribbean beach with white sand and turquoise water
    ClickAlps / Getty Images

    By this point in the year, most people up north are sick of winter, so it's no surprise that March is so popular for Caribbean travel. The weather is dependably warm and dry, and the time is right to head to the islands if you have time off from work or school around Easter or Spring Break.

  • 04 of 12
    Conch for sale at a marina in the Bahamas

    Hiroyuki Matsumoto/Getty Images

    As far as weather goes, April is a fantastic time to travel to the Caribbean. You’ll have mostly sunny days and comfortable, moderate temperatures. If you can wait until the end of the month (the “shoulder season”) to book your trip, you’ll also save money and avoid the Spring Break crowds.

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  • 05 of 12
    Stalls selling hats, bags, fabric and other wares

    Nikada/Getty Images

    The weather is great, there's no threat of hurricanes, resorts are in the low-season mode with great rates and last-minute bargains, and there are plenty of events and festivals designed to bring visitors down to fill up those empty hotel rooms. So, what's not to like?

  • 06 of 12
    Boat racing at the Anguilla Summer Festival Images

    Low-season rates are the biggest attraction, plus warm, mid-summer temperatures—beach weather—throughout the region, including the Bahamas and Bermuda, while the northern latitudes may still be experiencing some cooler days and evenings.

  • 07 of 12
    A megayacht docked at the Atlantis resort marina
    Kerzner International

    Low-season rates are in full effect in July, plus warm, mid-summer temperatures throughout the region, including the Bahamas and Bermuda.

  • 08 of 12
    A pink sunset silhouetting palm trees

    Tristan Ashurst/EyeEm/Getty Images

    As with July, low-season rates are the biggest attraction, plus warm, mid-summer temperatures throughout the region, including the Bahamas and Bermuda. Hurricane season starts heating up, however.

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  • 09 of 12
    A scuba diver views corals and tropical fish

    Dan Hershman/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Low-season rates still apply, plus warm, mid-summer temperatures throughout the region even as things begin to cool in the northern latitudes. This is a great time to travel if you don't want to share your resort with kids, who are all back in school by now.

  • 10 of 12
    Costumed dancers perform at Fantasy Fest

    Richard Ellis/Getty Images

    Many travelers don't realize that even though the leaves are falling up north, the fall is still low season in the Caribbean, with rates spiking only in mid-December.

  • 11 of 12
    Sunset over a private villa with an infinity pool
    Agora Villa

    November visitors will enjoy off-season prices, uncrowded resorts and beaches, and generally great weather. This is also generally a good time for airfare deals. Renting a villa in the Caribbean has become a popular option for Thanksgiving celebrations by far-flung families, and cruise lines also offer special Thanksgiving cruises.

  • 12 of 12
    A Nativity Scene at St. Vincent Harbour, Granadine

    Hermann Erber/LOOK-foto/Getty Images

    The few weeks before Christmas are filled with bargain rates on hotels and airfares, since this is typically a slow travel time. Many resorts cater to families looking to spend the holidays together. Since nearly every Caribbean island has a majority Christian population, it's easy to find local holiday celebrations regardless of where you travel. Christmas Cruises to the Caribbean are very popular. And, what's better than spending a few days in December on a beach?