The best time to visit Barbados: a month-by-month guide
Planning a trip to this Caribbean idyll? Discover the best time to visit Barbados with our comprehensive guide.
When is the best time to visit Barbados?
With its white-sand beaches, exciting attractions, and friendly locals, this Caribbean gem has it all – but when is the best time to visit Barbados?
Generally, the best time to visit Barbados is between December and early April when the weather is beautifully balmy and dry. This is the prime time to hit the island’s world-class beaches and enjoy the perfect winter sun escape.
That said, there’s so much more to Barbados than just sun, sea, and sand. Head away from the beaches and you’ll discover Colonial towns, grand plantation houses, and sugarcane fields to explore. Visit natural wonders like Harrison’s Cave, and spot wildlife including green monkeys at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve.
With so much to do all year round, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all ‘best’ time to visit Barbados. Conditions and prices vary so it all depends on your personal preferences. Here’s our month-by-month guide to Barbados’s weather and climate to help you plan your trip.
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The best time to go to Barbados: a month-by-month guide
January in Barbados
January is a fantastic time to visit Barbados. As the island enters its dry season, visitors can expect plenty of sunshine and minimal rainfall, making it the ideal time for outdoor activities and exploring the island’s breathtaking natural beauty. With average temperatures hovering around 79F (26C), it’s the perfect weather for lounging on the beach and enjoying some watersports.
January in Barbados is a busy time in the island’s cultural calendar. The world-renowned Barbados Jazz Festival is one of the biggest events, attracting international and local artists of great acclaim, for a series of performances across the island.
In addition to the Jazz Festival, January is also the month when Barbados hosts its famous Holetown Festival. This week-long extravaganza commemorates the arrival of the first settlers in Holetown back in 1627 and showcases the island's rich cultural heritage. The festival features a lively street parade, traditional music and dance performances, local arts and crafts exhibitions, and delicious Bajan cuisine. It's a time when the entire island comes alive with vibrant colors, infectious energy, and a true sense of community.
Furthermore, January marks the start of the sugar cane harvesting season in Barbados. Visitors can immerse themselves in the island's agricultural traditions by visiting sugar cane plantations, witnessing the manual cutting of the cane, and even tasting the freshly extracted cane juice. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the island's history and its significant ties to the sugar industry.
Barbados in February
During February the wonderful warm weather continues. The sea is lovely and warm, making it perfect for swimming and water sports. February is still in the dry season, rainfall levels tend to stay low, and despite the 9 hours of sunshine a day the humidity stays pretty low too, so you’ll never feel too hot.
With average temperatures ranging from 26°C to 29°C (79°F to 84°F), it's the perfect time to escape the winter chill and indulge in the island's natural beauty and vibrant culture. February is still peak season but you can avoid the crowds and higher prices if you avoid traveling during the half-term week which occurs around mid-February.
One of the most eagerly anticipated events in February is the Barbados Reggae Festival. This week-long celebration of reggae music brings together local and international artists, showcasing the best of this beloved genre. From live concerts to beach parties and jam sessions, the festival offers a lively and unforgettable experience for music lovers.
Nature lovers will also be delighted to know that February is turtle nesting season in Barbados. Visitors can witness the magical sight of endangered sea turtles, such as the hawksbill and leatherback, coming ashore to lay their eggs. Many conservation organizations offer guided tours and educational programs, providing a unique opportunity to learn about these fascinating creatures and contribute to their protection.
Barbados in March
March is typically the last month before temperatures and humidity start to really heat up towards the summer. The hurricane season is still a 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 82F. The UV index is also higher 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 highlights of March in Barbados is the prestigious Barbados Polo Season. Polo enthusiasts from around the world gather at the historic Holders Polo Field to witness thrilling matches featuring top-ranked players. Whether you're a seasoned polo fan or new to the sport, attending a polo match in Barbados is a captivating experience, complete with the beautiful backdrop of the island's picturesque landscapes.
For those interested in immersing themselves in the local culture, the annual Oistins Fish Festival held in March is a must-visit event. This vibrant celebration showcases the island's fishing heritage through lively music, dance performances, and, of course, a mouthwatering selection of freshly prepared seafood dishes. The festival offers a unique opportunity to mingle with locals, savor delicious Bajan cuisine, and experience the lively atmosphere of this fishing village.
Nature enthusiasts will also find March to be an exciting time to explore Barbados. The island's botanical gardens, such as Andromeda Gardens and Hunte's Gardens, are in full bloom during this month, showcasing a stunning array of tropical flowers and lush foliage. It's the perfect time to take leisurely strolls through these serene gardens, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Barbados.
Barbados in April
If you’re visiting Barbados in April, you’re likely to get the best of both the peak and off-seasons. 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.
In April, the weather in Barbados is typically warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 77 to 84F (25 to 29C). The island experiences low rainfall during this period, making it an excellent time for outdoor activities and exploring the island's natural beauty. For those interested in cultural experiences, April is an excellent time to immerse yourself in the vibrant Bajan culture, including the Barbados Celtic Festival, showcasing the island's Scottish and Irish connections through music, dance, and storytelling.
Barbados in May
The weather is still great in Barbados 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, making it a perfect month for a Barbados beach vacation. The beaches of Barbados are a major draw, and in May, they are even more enticing. The turquoise waters are calm and inviting, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Whether you prefer the popular shores of Carlisle Bay or the more secluded stretches along the east coast, you'll find the beaches in Barbados to be pristine and picture-perfect.
May in Barbados also brings the famous Crop Over Festival, a celebration of the island's sugar cane harvest with roots dating back to the 1780s. This colorful extravaganza features lively parades, music, dancing, and traditional Bajan cuisine. Visitors can witness the beauty of vibrant costumes and join in the revelry of this grand festival.
Barbados in June
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 can reach the high 80s but the heat and humidity are 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.
For food enthusiasts, June brings the Barbados Food and Rum Festival. This gastronomic extravaganza showcases the island's diverse culinary offerings and features renowned chefs, rum tastings, cooking demonstrations, and delicious Bajan cuisine. It's a fantastic opportunity to savor the flavors of Barbados and indulge in culinary delights. June is an ideal time for water activities, as the Caribbean Sea remains warm and inviting. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, while surfing enthusiasts can catch the waves along the island's eastern coast. Catamaran cruises, fishing trips, and water sports such as jet skiing and paddleboarding are also popular options.
Barbados in July
It’s summer all year round in Barbados, but for many travelers, July to November is the best time to visit Barbados. The weather in Barbados during July is hot and tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 79 to 88F (26 to 31C). The island experiences a slightly higher chance of rainfall compared to other months, but showers are usually brief and followed by clear skies, providing ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
Barbados' pristine beaches are a major draw for visitors, and in July, they are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. Popular beach destinations like Crane Beach, Miami Beach, and Mullins Beach offer soft sands, crystal-clear waters, and a range of amenities, including beach bars and water sports rentals.
Barbados in August
The weather in Barbados during August remains hot and tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 79 to 88F (26 to 31C). While the island may experience occasional showers, they are usually short-lived and followed by clear skies, allowing visitors to make the most of their time outdoors.
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the island's natural beauty in August. Barbados' botanical gardens, such as Hunte's Gardens and Welchman Hall Gully, are vibrant and lush, offering a serene escape and a chance to admire tropical plants and flowers. Exploring the island's nature reserves and hiking trails provides opportunities to discover the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in Barbados.
Barbados in September
Barbados in September presents visitors with a unique blend of warm weather, tranquil beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere. As the transition from the summer season to the wetter months, September in Barbados offers opportunities to enjoy the island's natural beauty, engage in outdoor activities, and experience a quieter side of the Caribbean.
The weather in Barbados during September is warm and tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 79 to 88F (26 to 31C). Barbados' stunning beaches remain inviting in September, although visitors may encounter occasional rain showers. The island's picturesque shores, such as Carlisle Bay and Dover Beach, still provide opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. The calmer sea conditions also make it an ideal time for snorkeling, as the waters are typically clear and teeming with marine life.
September in Barbados offers a quieter and more laid-back atmosphere compared to the peak tourist months. With fewer visitors on the island, you can enjoy a more serene and authentic experience. This is an excellent time to immerse yourself in the local culture, interact with friendly locals, and explore the island at a leisurely pace.
Barbados in October
October in Barbados marks the transition from the rainy season to the drier period, offering a delightful mix of warm weather, cultural celebrations, and natural beauty. While the month may see occasional rain showers, they are typically short-lived, allowing for plenty of sunshine and enjoyable outdoor activities.
The weather in Barbados during October remains warm and inviting, with average temperatures ranging from 77 to 84F (25 to 29C). The humidity begins to decrease, making it a comfortable time to explore the island's stunning beaches and engage in various water sports.
October in Barbados presents fantastic opportunities for water-based activities. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can explore vibrant coral reefs and shipwrecks teeming with marine life. Fishing charters offer thrilling experiences for anglers, while catamaran cruises provide a leisurely way to explore the island's picturesque coastline.
Overall, Barbados in October offers a combination of enjoyable weather, cultural celebrations, natural beauty, and culinary delights. Whether you're seeking cultural immersion, outdoor adventures, or simply relaxation on the beach, Barbados in October promises a memorable Caribbean getaway.
Barbados in November
Barbados in November is one of the best times to visit 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. Many travelers say Barbados in November really shines as the best time for a vacation.
The weather in Barbados during November is delightful, with average temperatures ranging from 77 to 84F (25 to 29C). The humidity continues to decrease compared to the previous months, providing comfortable conditions for outdoor exploration and relaxation on the island's stunning beaches.
Water activities are popular in November, and the Caribbean Sea around Barbados is balmy and inviting. Snorkeling and diving are fantastic during November, with leisurely boat tours and catamaran sailing are a great way to explore Barbados’ picturesque coastline. Overall, Barbados in November offers pleasant weather, ideal for outdoor activities. Whether you’re craving a beach vacation, cultural immersion, or adventurous activities, November is a fabulous time to visit Barbados.
Barbados in December
Barbados in December is a wonderful time to visit, as the island sparkles with holiday cheer, pleasant weather, and a festive atmosphere. With warm temperatures and clear skies, December offers an idyllic escape for those seeking relaxation, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences.
At 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 82F.
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 in Barbados is filled with festive celebrations and cultural events. The island comes alive with Christmas decorations, music, and vibrant street festivals. The Barbados Christmas Festival, known as "Carols by Candlelight," features live performances of traditional carols, concerts, and festive displays, spreading holiday cheer throughout the island.
A quick guide to the best months to visit Barbados
When is 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’s 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 traveling. Also, check out the hurricane forecast before traveling – the National Hurricane Center is a reliable resource to use.
When is the rainy season in Barbados?
The rainy season in Barbados typically runs from June to November. During this period, the island experiences higher rainfall and a greater chance of tropical storms or hurricanes, as it falls within the official hurricane season in the Caribbean. While rain showers can occur throughout the year in Barbados, the intensity and frequency of rainfall are generally higher during the rainy season. It's important to note that even during the rainy season, Barbados still enjoys plenty of sunny days, and rainfall is often in the form of brief showers rather than continuous rainfall.
When is the cheapest time to go to Barbados?
The cheapest time to visit Barbados is during the off-peak ‘shoulder seasons’, from May through June and September through November. During these periods, Barbados experiences lower numbers of tourists and less crowded attractions.
When is whale season in Barbados?
The whale-watching season in Barbados typically runs from January through April, when laying humpback whales pass by the island on their annual migration.
So, when is the best time to visit Barbados?
The most popular time to visit Barbados is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. This period brings warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and low chances of rain. During this period, the island is bustling with tourists, and you can look forward to plentiful outdoor activities, festivals, and vibrant nightlife.
If you prefer a more relaxed vacation, then the shoulder season of May through June and September through November are fantastic times to visit Barbados. During these months, you will have pleasant weather, with occasional refreshing rain showers, and less crowded attractions and beaches.