Whether you’re planning a fun-filled family vacation or a romantic getaway for two, Barbados is one of the dreamiest destinations on earth. But when is the best time to visit the Caribbean island?
The sun shines all year round and there really is no bad time to go, but conditions and prices do vary depending on the time of year. We’ve compiled this simple month-by-month guide to help you plan your trip…
The weather in Barbados
There’s a good reason why visitors flock to Barbados from across the globe. Not only does it boast some of the best beaches and scenery in the entire Caribbean region, but it also sees around 3000 hours of sunshine each year. That said, there is a rainy season and there’s a big distinction between the high and low seasons, so it’s a good idea to plan your vacation around the kind of weather you prefer.
Barbados is in the tropics, so you can expect hot sunny days and tropical rain showers in the summer months, especially during the hurricane season (low season) which runs from June to November. That doesn’t make it a bad time to go though. Bear in mind that while the heat and humidity can soar in the summer, the prevailing northeast tradewinds stop it from getting unbearably hot. And while there is a good chance of rain, it typically comes in short showers followed quickly by sunny skies.
The cooler season runs roughly from December to mid-April when the weather is drier and less humid than other times of the year. This is the peak season or high season in Barbados, and one of the best times to visit weather-wise, especially if you prefer the good weather to be pretty much guaranteed.
Despite the distinction between the seasons, temperatures usually vary very little throughout the year with average highs sitting just below 86F and average lows in the mid to low 70s.
When is the hurricane season in Barbados?
The official hurricane season in Barbados runs from June to November, although most storms occur from August to late October (as the locals say, ”June is too soon; by October it’s all over!”). However, Barbados’ far-easterly position in the Caribbean means it’s seldom hit by hurricanes, with no serious storm occurring since 1955.
If you’re visiting Barbados during the hurricane season the odds are still excellent that you’ll have a storm-free vacation. Nonetheless, there is a risk of bad weather and you should at least plan for some rain. Make sure you get a comprehensive travel insurance policy to cover you if the weather prevents you from travelling. Also check out the hurricane forecast before travelling – the National Hurricane Center is a reliable resource to use.
When is the best time to visit Barbados?
There is no set best time to visit Barbados as ultimately it will come down to your personal preferences. If you visit in the middle of peak season you can expect great weather, but it will be much busier and your vacation will be more expensive. If you visit during the low season it will be quieter and your vacation will be cheaper, but you also risk the rain. There are a few shoulder seasons too, when you’re likely to get the best of both seasons.
Read on for our month-by-month guide:
In terms of the weather, January through to mid-April is the best time to visit Barbados. Although it’s a couple of degrees cooler than other times of year, there’s still around 9 hours of sunshine a day with temperatures peaking at around 80F. January is outside of the hurricane season so there is little chance of bad weather. The humidity is also low so the heat isn’t stifling at all. The nights get a bit cooler too but they rarely drop below 73F, so you’re unlikely to get cold if you’re out and about in the evenings. If you’re planning to visit Barbados in January, bear in mind that it’s peak season so the island will be much busier and flights and accommodation will be pricey.
During February the wonderful warm weather continues. The sea is warm too, making it perfect for swimming and water sports. Still in the dry season, rainfall levels tend to stay very low, and despite the 9 hours sunshine a day the humidity stays pretty low, too, so you’ll never feel unbearably hot. Daytime highs are around the same as January, as are the nighttime lows. February is still peak season but you can avoid the crowds and hiked-up prices if you avoid travelling during the half-term week which occurs around mid-February. Don’t forget to check out the Holetown Festival if you visit in February; it’s one of the best events of the year.
March is typically the last month before temperatures and humidity start to really heat up towards the summer. The hurricane season is still a long way off so there are no worries in that regard, and as March is typically a dry month it’s one of the best times to visit Barbados weather-wise. If you’re visiting Barbados in March, you should be prepared for daytime highs to reach around 84F. The UV index is significantly higher too so be sure to pack plenty of high-factor sun cream. In terms of school holidays, there are the UK Easter holidays and Spring Break to consider. These usually occur around mid-March for a few weeks so you should be prepared for higher prices during this period. One of the most popular events to check out in March is the Oistin’s Fish Festival, which falls around Easter week.
If you’re visiting Barbados in April, you’re likely to get the best of peak season and off-season perks. This period is referred to as the first shoulder season of the year, when the busier peak period ends but the low-season hasn’t quite kicked in. That means you can expect good weather and lower rates, making this season the best time to visit Barbados for many travelers. Daytime temperatures start to hot up in April, with highs of around 86F, but the cooling northeast tradewinds keep things comfortable. Keep in mind that although April and May are cheaper times to travel, prices fall even lower as the hurricane season kicks in.
The weather is still great in May, and it’s the last month of the spring shoulder season, so the cost of accommodation and airfares continues to fall. It’s out of peak season but it’s not quite low season, so you can make the most of the quieter beaches and resorts, and the hotter (although slightly wetter) weather. May is one of the best times to visit Barbados if you like to sunbathe or explore without getting too sweaty. There are around 9 hours of sunshine every day, but the strong cooling winds continue to temper the heat. May is the last month of the dry season, and the official hurricane season hasn’t started yet, making it a perfect month for a Barbados beach vacation. Prices creep back up for the half term holidays at the end of May, but it still works out cheaper than the Christmas, Easter or summer holidays.
June is the first month of the rainy season, but even with the rainfall there’s still plenty of hot sunshine. It’s summer in Barbados and daytime temperatures typically peak at a hot 90F but the heat and humidity is broken by the odd afternoon rain shower. June is also the first month of the hurricane season, however storms are unlikely, especially so early in the season. That said, the risk of bad weather does exist. If you’re concerned about hurricanes we recommend checking with your travel insurance provider to make sure they offer storm-related cover. Despite the small risk, June is still a fantastic time to visit Barbados as most hotels and villas offer much lower rates in June. And there are still plenty of things to do even if it rains. You’ll also be in time for the rousing Crop Over Festival which begins in June and runs until the first Monday in August.
It’s summer all year round in Barbados, but for many travelers July to November is the best time to visit Barbados. Yes it’s the rainy season, but showers typically pass quickly with sunny skies returning within minutes. And yes it’s the hurricane season, but there’s only a low risk of storms during the summer months. If you’re a lover of warm weather, July is especially appealing with highs of around 92F in the afternoon. The sun can get very hot though so it’s a good idea to pack all your tropical vacation essentials. If you visit before the school holidays you’ll make excellent savings on flights and accommodation. And even during the school holidays you’ll find some great last-minute deals.
August is the height of the summer in Barbados so make sure you’re prepared for it to get very hot. It’s a great time for a beach vacation, but some visitors find it’s too hot and humid for more strenuous activities like hiking and cycling. It’s still the hurricane season so there’s a chance of rain and a small chance of storms, but rain showers are typically confined to afternoons and evenings so they’re unlikely to spoil your vacation. Kids are off school in August so prices will be much higher than during term-time, but not as high as winter peak-season rates. If you’re visiting Barbados in August be sure to pack plenty of sunblock, sunglasses and beachwear, and remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. The Crop Over Festival reaches its peak on the first Monday in August with the renowned Grand Kadooment Day.
September is the height of the hurricane season in Barbados. It’s also one of the months with the highest rainfall. While the chance of storms is relatively low, there’s no denying you’re likely to see some rain. It’s unlikely to ruin your trip though, as you can use rain showers as a break from the beach, or as an opportunity to explore the duty-free shops and indoor attractions like the museums and art galleries. Many people consider September to be one of the best times to visit Barbados as it’s the month when vacation prices are at their lowest. You’ll get a great deal if you go in September as the weather is usually fantastic with warm sunny days and gorgeously warm seas. School typically starts back in the first week, so any time after that is a good time to visit if you prefer it quiet. Be aware that in the quietest months of September and October some hotels, restaurants and bars will be closed.
Warm temperatures continue through October with daily highs of around 86F. It’s still the height of the hurricane season and it’s the month with the highest rainfall, but that doesn’t make it a bad time to visit. There are rarely any full days of rain, and there’s still around 8 hours of sunshine a day so you’re pretty much guaranteed to get some sunbathing in. It is a riskier time for hurricanes but you shouldn’t worry too much as Barbados rarely sees any serious storms. October is the height of low season so you can expect prices to be at their lowest, however they creep up a bit during the October half term.
The hurricane season is coming to an end in November, and the rainy season begins to taper off, although there are still likely to be light showers on some days of your vacation. Even as it heads towards winter, there are a good 8 hours of sunshine a day with temperatures peaking at around 86F. November is one of the best times to visit Barbados as it’s the end of the autumn shoulder season. This means the heat and humidity of the preceding months has started to wane and rates will be at their lowest.
The start of the peak season in the Caribbean, December often tops the polls as the best time to visit Barbados. It’s considerably drier than October and November, and the official start of the dry season (January) is just a month away. You can expect warm sunny weather in December although it’s slightly cooler with highs of around 84F. If you visit in early December you’ll find lower prices than in the holidays, while if you visit later in the month you can spend Christmas and New Year on the beach! December falls outside of the official hurricane season so there’s no need to worry about storms spoiling your vacation. But be aware that it’s one of the most popular times to visit Barbados, so it’s likely to be busy.
The best time to visit Barbados for great villa deals
While prices for vacation rentals tend to go up in the high season, you can still get some great deals if you book in advance or look out for last-minute offers. If you want to be updated on the latest Barbados villa deals, you can subscribe to our mailing list.
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