The Caribbean's most popular islands for travelers have one big claim to fame: year-round tropical weather. In North America, February is a frigid month with low temperatures gripping the northern states of the U.S. and pretty much all of Canada. Consequentially, everyone from snowbirds and spring breakers likes to make their way down to the Caribbean at this time of year, seeking warmer climates and fruity drinks.
Winter is high season for all of the islands in the Caribbean Sea, so while yes, you can expect high hotel rates, crowded pools, and sold-out tours in February, the good weather and plethora of exciting events are strong counterpoints for why you should go.
February Weather in the Caribbean
The weather across islands of the Caribbean in February is relatively unvaried and generally pleasant wherever you go. Wind can sometimes make the ocean choppy throughout February, but you can pretty much depend on good beach weather most days. Rain does happen from time to time and it's generally more cloudy in February than in other peak travel months.
Average February High/Low Temperatures:
- Antigua and Barbuda: 82 degrees (28 C) / 74 degrees (23 C)
- Aruba: 86 degrees (30 C) / 77 degrees (25 C)
- The Bahamas: 78 degrees (25 C) / 67 degrees (19 C)
- Barbados: 83 degrees (30 C) / 76 degrees (30 C)
- Belize: 82 degrees (28 C) / 72 degrees (22 C)
- Bermuda: 68 degrees (20 C) / 61 degrees (16 C)
- Cuba: 79 degrees (26 C) / 64 degrees (18 C)
- Dominica: 83 degrees (28C) / 71 degrees (21 C)
- Dominican Republic: 85 degrees (29 C) / 67 degrees (19 C)
- Grenada: 83 degrees (28 C) / 75 degrees (24 C)
- Jamaica: 85 degrees (29 C) / 74 degrees (23 C)
- Puerto Rico: 70 degrees (21 C) / 59 degrees (15 C)
- Turks and Caicos: 77 degrees (25 C) / 76 degrees (24 C)
February is a pretty dry month, particularly for islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Typically, Dominica is the rainiest island in February, averaging just 4 inches of rain for the month. St Lucia, Puerto Rico, and Martinique also see rain frequently with an average 14 to 15 days of rain during February, but the average rainfall rarely exceeds 2 to 4 inches. If you really want to try to avoid the rain, Aruba, Bonaire, Barbados, and Jamaica, all average less than one inch of rain during February, but of course, there are no guarantees.
For swimming, average water temperatures throughout the region hover around 80 degrees (27 C), which is on the cooler side for the year, but not drastically cooler than the summer months. It's still very warm compared to the beaches you'd find in the northeastern U.S. at this time.
There's little use worrying about a hurricane interrupting your travel plans in February. Winter storms can happen, but they are extremely rare. The last storm to hit the Caribbean in February was a tropical depression recorded in the year 1952 and it did not cause serious damage or injury.
What to Pack
The Caribbean enjoys the same warm temperatures year-round, so you'll want to pack swimsuits, summer-weight clothing, sandals, and lightweight shoes. You should also pack a light sweater for nighttime. It doesn't get significantly cooler when the sun goes down, but it can get chilly sometimes. Take a poncho or raincoat if you plan on being there for a week or longer because you'll likely catch some rain during that time.
If you're escaping the cold weather, you'll still probably want to have a coat to wear on your way from home to the airport and vice versa. You'll have to keep it with you throughout your trip though, so consider bringing along a lightweight puffer jacket that can roll up into a small package. Also, make sure you have a pair of close-toed shoes with you, just in case you arrive home to snow.
February Events in the Caribbean
The Caribbean's high season happens to sync up with a number of annual events that are worth checking out if you're in the area or making a whole trip for.
- Bob Marley's Birthday: Every year on February 6, Jamaica celebrates the life and music of their most famous Jamaican: Bob Marley. Usually, events are organized by the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston during the week leading up to his birthday.
- Carnival: February is when Lent begins and the frenzy of Carnival hits its peak on many Caribbean islands like St. Martin, Jamaica, Curacao, St. Barts, Martinique, Trinidad, and Dominica. Every country has its own traditions, so be on the lookout for parades and special events going on wherever you end up staying.
- Valentine's Day: There's 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.
- Valentine's Day Jump Up: Every year on Valentine's Day, the U.S. Virgin Islands celebrates with a giant block party in St. Croix.
- Puerto Rico Freefall Festival: During this annual skydiving festival, three aircrafts are available to ensure daredevils can get in as many jumps as possible.
- Barbados Holetown Festival: This small town tradition celebrates the anniversary of very first English settlement in a big way with events like pageants, marches, concerts, vintage car parades, and more.
- Rum Cay Day Festival: On Rum Cay Day, all the locals of Rum Cay in the Bahamas will be out and about to celebrate in Port Nelson with live music and family games.
February Travel Tips
- February is the third busiest month behind March and April, so you can expect crowds and rates on the high end for hotels and flights, but it's not as bad as it is about to get.
- Cruising is a popular way to see more of the Caribbean in a short amount of time and it can actually be cost-effective to do so in February when rates are a little lower. Additionally, the dry season means the waters are less likely to be choppy.
- February school vacation brings lots of families down to the islands, so avoid school vacation weeks if you're looking for a romantic getaway and book rooms and packages well in advance. You could also book a room at an adults-only resort if you'd rather not share the pool with the kiddos.