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—if you can manage to avoid the hurricanes. September is the height of hurricane season in the Caribbean, so travelers should strongly consider also buying travel insurance ahead of any September trip. If you luck out, you can enjoy the shoulder season's cheaper hotel rates and airfares without missing out on the warm waters and cool breezes the islands are loved for.
Hurricane Season 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 during the peak of storm season.
September Weather in the Caribbean
September temperatures typically range from about 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius), and the summer humidity is still lingering. On average, there are approximately 12 rainy days during September, although raininess and temperatures of course will vary slightly, but not significantly, across islands. For example, Aruba tends to be hotter in September with an average high temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius) and lows of 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) while Turks and Caicos sees an average high of 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) and lows of 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius).
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, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. It would also be wise to pack some rain gear, considering the weather can be unpredictable and some dressier clothes, just in case you go out to an upscale restaurant.
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. Many of these events may be canceled during 2020, so be sure to check the official organizers' websites for the latest updates.
- 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: On September 21, Belize celebrates the anniversary of the day it gained independence from Great Britain in 1981.
- Belize Carnival: Since 1975, the annual Carnival is held in September in Belize to showcase local music, theatre, fashion, and dance.
- 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. Be sure to research any activities and attractions in advance to confirm they will be open.
- Keep your eye out for special packages and vacation deals that are more likely to be available at this time of year.
- Some islands are less likely to find themselves in a path of a hurricane, especially if they are further south. Islands like Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao may be a safer bet if you hope to travel to the islands in September.