Caribbean temperatures usually range between a very comfortable 24 and 30 degrees year round. It might be a bit cool in the early mornings and late evenings, but it warms up quickly. It can be humid, but the cooling trade winds make the climate very comfortable. The rainy season is in the autumn, and the amount of rain varies across the islands. Winters are dry, but you may encounter the occasional shower. The mountains see more rain. Hurricane season lasts from early June to late November.
When to fly to Caribbean
Winter - from mid-December to mid-April - is the peak season for flights to the Caribbean, with the highest travel times around Christmas. Hotel rates and flights to the Caribbean are at their highest and reservations must be made in advance.
The low season generally runs from mid-April through mid-December and when most travellers can find cheap flights to the Caribbean. If you can tolerate the hot and humid summer, there are some remarkable deals to be had on Caribbean flights and hotel rooms. However, many restaurants are closed for the season, and some hotels offer fewer facilities and catch up on any construction or remodelling work during the off season.
Getting around Caribbean
For getting around an island you can take a taxi or rent a car, and there’s usually a bus system. The buses usually cover all main and several minor destinations as the locals take the buses, too. Depending on which island you are visiting, the buses may run on a when-the-bus-is-full schedule rather than a timetable. Many of the islands also have rental mopeds, motorcycles, and bicycles that you can use for sightseeing and getting around.
If you’ll be travelling from one island to another in the same group, there are often options for travelling by boat or island ferry. There are also small island airlines for cheap flights around the Caribbean as well as the larger commercial carriers for flights between islands. Many of the larger airlines offer Caribbean air passes, some for a set number of stopovers, and others for unlimited Caribbean travel within the airline’s range.
Caribbean insider information
- The Bahamas have retained their British feel, especially in Nassau, and are becoming more upmarket with luxury hotels, casinos, and golf courses. Nassau and Paradise Island have historic sites, and the Bahamians are focusing more and more on eco-tourism.
- Martinique is known for its French elegance, beautiful beaches, Creole cuisine, and tropical charm.
- The British Virgin Islands are a string of islands popular with sailors and have beautiful beaches, mountains, and lush forests. The islands are also known for their friendly people and small inns.
- The US Virgin Islands have it all for an upscale vacation — gorgeous beaches, snorkelling, sailing, scenery, great shopping, and modern resort hotels.
- The Cayman Islands with their lenient tax and banking laws are popular with multimillionaires from all over the world. The landscape is not attractive (flat scrublands and swamps), but the clear water and abundant and varied marine life attract scuba divers and snorkellers.
- Puerto Rico is the most urban Caribbean island, with rainforests and ancient volcanic mountains on the interior. The island offers great beaches, casinos, hotels for all budgets, sports, and eco-tourism activities.
- Jamaica is a mountainous island with beautiful beaches and offerings that include golf, eco-tourism activities, and hotels in all price brackets. There are lots of package deals available for Jamaica.