June is the official start of hurricane season in the Caribbean but your chances of getting blown away are slim, so don't let the big storms scare you off from an island adventure to start your summer vacation.
Because many schools in the United States are still in session for half the month, destinations in the islands are still offering low-season rates, which are the biggest attraction for vacationers on a budget.
Additionally, even the northern islands experience mid-summer temperatures this time of year, making it the perfect time to hit one of the many beaches in the Caribbean—even northerly destinations like the Bahamas and Bermuda. Plus, the beaches are typically empty, there are fewer tourists at resorts and clubs, and you'll be able to get around much faster during this quieter time of the summer.
However, as a result, some destinations may feel a bit "dead" at this time of year, and not every attraction may be open. Tropical storms and hurricanes begin to become a concern, but not a big one, and there are certain destinations where you can almost guarantee rainfall.
Still, there have only been 28 hurricanes in the Caribbean during the month of June between 1851 and 2006, compared to 319 during the month of September, and even if there are hurricanes, the chances of one hitting land are incredibly slim.
What to Wear and What to Bring
In order to pack for your Caribbean vacation, you'll need to first understand what the weather will be like for your trip. Across the islands, June temperatures typically range from about 78 to 87 F in the day and 70 to 80 F at night. Meanwhile, the Caribbean Sea temperature ranges from about 81 to 82 F in June.
Summer humidity levels begin to pick up in many islands during June, and on average, about 10 days will see some rain this month. The rainiest weather is going to be found in the more northern islands, including Cuba and the Bahamas, while the driest islands will be in the southern region—Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao—at the end of the dry season.
Loose-fitting cotton layers will keep you cool during the day, especially on islands where the climate is more tropical and humidity can be an issue. Don’t forget a swimsuit, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Though most places will provide poolside towels, you may also want to pack your own beach towel if you have a particular preference in size. Also, depending on the weather, a light jacket may or may not be needed at night, and if you're worried about that early-hurricane season rainfall, a rain jacket might also be a good choice.
You’ll want dressier clothes for visiting nice restaurants or clubs, and it's always a good idea to check the dress code policy before going out. Some places require a sports coat, some require a collared shirt, and some are completely fine with you eating as long as you're wearing a shirt and shoes. You'll also want to bring more formal footwear than just flip-flops and sneakers.
Events and Festivals
There's no big signature Caribbean event in June, but a number of islands celebrate Labor Day this month, while those with English heritage honor the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.
Crop Over in Barbados and Carnival in St. Lucia are other highlights, but almost every island in the Caribbean will also be hosting local parties and special events at restaurants, bars, and clubs in major cities. Be sure to check out your favorite venues to see what performances, concerts, and one-night-only events are in June before you go.
As always, keep an eye out for weekly events going on at your resort or hotel. Even if there are no island-specific events happening, there is almost always some kind of entertainment happening every night, from cover bands to dance clubs to limbo contests.