While the Caribbean is eternally popular for travelers looking to escape the snow and hail of the winter months up north, the fall is also a great time to visit. The shoulder season is well-known for being a smart time to travel for cost-conscious vacationer, as hotel rates and airline tickets are cheaper. The water is warm enough to swim in for all year, while trade-winds keep much of this part of the world cool when you’re on island time. September is during peak hurricane season, however, so travelers should prepare in advance (and consider purchasing travel insurance).
Read on for your guide to visiting the Caribbean in September.
Urgent Seasonal Information for Fall in the Caribbean
Hurricane season in the Caribbean hits its peak in September, and while the odds of your vacation being affected by a tropical storm or hurricane are greatest during this month, the overall danger is relatively small. For example, the National Hurricane Center states that while September travelers to Puerto Rico have an 8 percent chance of encountering a hurricane, it only applies if you spend the entire month there. So, if you only stay one week, the odds of a hurricane hitting are just 2 percent, even in the heart of storm season.
September Weather in the Caribbean
September temperatures typically range from about 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) to 88 degrees F (25 degrees C), and summer humidity levels are still present on many islands. There are around 12 rainy days in during September in the Caribbean.
Average September High/Low Temperatures:
- Antigua and Barbuda: 87 F (31 C) / 78 F (26 C)
- Aruba: 90 F (32 C) / 81 F (27 C)
- The Bahamas: 88 F (31 C) / 78 F (26 C)
- Barbados: 87 F (31 C) / 79 F (26 C)
- Belize: 88 F (31 C) / 78 F (26 C)
- Bermuda: 82 F (28 C) / 75 F (24 C)
- Cuba: 89 F (32 C) / 76 F (24 C)
- Dominica: 88 F (31 C) / 76 F (24 C)
- Dominican Republic: 89 F (32 C) / 74 d F (23 C)
- Grenada: 86 F (30 C) / 78 F (26 C)
- Jamaica: 88 F (31 C) / 78 F (26 C)
- Puerto Rico: 88 F (31 C) / 77 F (25 C)
- Turks and Caicos: 83 F (28 C) / 82 F (28 C)
Warm, mid-summer temperatures can be found throughout the region, even in late September. This is a great time to travel if you want to avoid kids, as they are most likely back in school at this point. That being said, if you do plan on taking a family trip and your kids are not in school, September is a great time to get great deals on Caribbean travel because it is one of the less popular travel times.
What to Pack
Since the temperatures will feel like summer, it's best to pack loose-fitting, breathable 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, plenty of sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. It also would be wise to pack some rain gear, considering the weather can be unpredictable. You will also want to pack some dressier clothes for visiting nice restaurants or clubs and more footwear that isn't flip-flops and sneakers.
Keep these tips in mind for carrying personal belongings: Bring small bag to keep essentials and carry wallets in your front pocket. Bringing a small bag has two major advantages; it's easier to carry around and harder for someone to grab something out of your bag. Putting a wallet in your front pocket makes it harder for a pickpocket to grab without you noticing.
September Events in the Caribbean
From fiestas in Aruba to Carnival in Belize, and sand sculpture competitions in Bermuda, there are plenty of events to keep travelers engaged in the local culture and community while traveling in the Caribbean. If you’re visiting in September, we recommend volunteering for the coastal cleanup in the Bahamas, and celebrating Independence Day in Belize. Read on for more information about September events in the Caribbean.
- The International Coastal Cleanup: This marine cleanup is spearheaded by the Ocean Conservancy and occurs annually on the third Saturday in September in Freeport, in Grand Bahama.
- Fiesta di Cunucu: This annual tradition in Aruba celebrates the rural heritage of Aruba, with folkloric dance and music at traditional Cunucu houses.
- Belize Independence Day: Occurs on September 21st to celebrate when the nation gained its independence from the British in 1981. (Belize had been a British colony since 1862). Celebrations begin on St. George's Caye Day on September 10th and end up on Independence Day.
- Belize Carnival: The annual Carnival is held in September in Belize to showcase music, theatre, fashion, and dance. The Carnival was started by the Belize Women for Cultural Preservation movement in 1975 to showcase arts and culture in Belize.
- Bermuda Sand Sculpture Competition: Witness artists from all over the world build unbelievable sand structures in Horseshoe Bay Beach in Bermuda. The annual competition was started in 1996 by the Institute of Bermuda Architects.
September Travel Tips
- While reduced crowds are a plus for many travelers, resorts may feel a bit deserted this time of year, and you may find that not every attraction will be open, so it is recommended to research in advance.
- Tropical storms and hurricanes are the biggest negative about traveling to the Caribbean this month, and you should prepare before your travels by learning about hurricanes and tropical storms in the Caribbean.
- Travelers should capitalize on the discounted rates in the Caribbean in September by checking out the best Caribbean vacation deals.