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 a vacation from work or school around Easter or Spring Break.
March is the height of the high season in the Caribbean, and you'll generally pay the highest prices of the year to fly and stay in the Caribbean during this month. Spring Breakers start arriving in Caribbean destinations during March—notably in Cancun and Cozumel, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic, but other islands, too. Choose your destination carefully if you want to avoid a frat-party atmosphere.
Caribbean Weather in March
Weather-wise, it's hard to beat March in the Caribbean, where the days average about 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 C) and it only drops to about 73 F (23 C) at night. Rainstorms tend to be few and far between except perhaps in Bermuda, which gets an average of 4.3 inches of rain in March.
Northern island temperatures increase slowly from the cooler winter months, while southern islands becoming blistering hot spots in no time at all. Ocean temperatures increase as well, with the water warming up to anywhere between 76-78 F (24-26 C).
What to Pack
This is the dry season in the Caribbean, so moisturizer is more important than ever (lip balm, too). Light cotton clothing for daytime, and a sweater or sweatshirt for the evening. You’ll also want to pack dressier clothes for visiting nice restaurants or clubs—and bring more formal footwear than just flip-flops and sneakers.
For the ladies, bring along a small pocketbook, to keep track of money, cell phone, etc. without having to drag around your normal-sized purse. For gents, always carry your wallet in your front pocket of your slacks if possible, especially in the more busy areas to avoid any possible pickpockets. In heavily populated and metropolitan areas, it is always better to take extra safety precautions.
March Events and Festivals in the Caribbean
- St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in only a couple of islands—notably Montserrat and St. Croix—but makes for a unique and memorable Caribbean experience.
- The Caribbean is a very Catholic region, so there's also any number of Easter celebrations and parades in the islands when the holiday falls in March.
- Bermuda International Film Festival shows more than 80 independent films over nine days in March. Features, documentaries and short films are screened at four theaters on Bermuda, and the program also includes chats with filmmakers, parties, and more.
- The St. Thomas International Regatta takes over the U.S. Virgin Islands in March. It is one of the world's best competitive yacht races and is based at the St. Thomas Yacht Club, with major social events at the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas.
March Travel Tips
- This is prime time for Spring Breakers and snowbirds to escape the cold and head to the islands, so expect more crowds on the beaches and around the pool.
- It's best to arrange flights, hotels, and activities as far in advance as possible or you could risk running into sold-out rooms and seats.
- Brace yourself for extremely high rates as spring is peak tourist season. To get the best deal, book months ahead of time.