Best Time to Visit Barbados
If your vacation calls for perfect beach scenes, duty-free shopping, cultural festivals, and tropical weather, then a visit to Barbados can deliver that almost any time of the year. While there is a high season and low season for tourists, the island has consistent temperatures year-round. As the most eastern Caribbean island, Barbados does not have much of a hurricane season. The last major hurricane to make landfall on the island was 1955.
The Caribbean island has a mix of British and West African influences, from afternoon tea traditions to sugar cane fields and the iconic reggae music that the country is known for. The other main draw to the island is its picturesque beaches like Crane Beach, Carlisle Bay, and Bathsheba Beach.
While the weather conditions do not fluctuate much in Barbados throughout the year, the lodging prices and availability do, so the timing of your vacation will come down to targeting the optimal sunshine, rates, and the events and festivals that you want to experience.
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Best Time of Year to Visit Barbados
The best time of year to visit Barbados is between mid-December and mid-April. This is the dry season, with temperatures averaging 86 degrees Fahrenheit during these months. The warm, dry temperatures make for perfect beach weather. These months are when the island sees the most tourists, and hotels can double in cost. It is also a time of great cultural festivals and lots of activity on the beaches.
Due to the influx of tourists during the high season, you should book flights several months in advance. The same goes for island tours to attractions like Harrison's Cave or snorkeling trips that book up quickly. This time of year, resorts will have peak entertainment and the water sports opportunities are in full operation.
Another great time to visit Barbados is in the shoulder months of September, October, and November when you will find great value for your time and money. The weather is still ideal for beach days and excursions, and the tourist crowds have died down a bit. Flight availability is better these times of the year, too. You will start to see price reductions for hotels and resorts. The shoulder season is ideal because you can get all of the perks of the high season for less money.
Best Month to Visit Barbados
You will find sunshine and festivals every month of the year on the island, which is what makes it such an easy destination for travel, so the timing of your vacation will depend on the kinds of experiences you want to have. The island is the surf capital of the Caribbean and there are experiences like swimming with polo horses that are special to Barbados. To help you determine the best time to travel to Barbados here is a month by month breakdown of what to expect from the weather and the events on the island.
January: January is one of the best weather months to visit Barbados. There are about nine hours of sunshine during the day, with the average daily temperatures hovering around 82 degrees Fahrenheit, making for nearly perfect beach conditions. January has low humidity, and since it is outside of hurricane season there is little chance of bad weather.
The month of January is in the peak tourist season, so beaches will be more crowded and tourist attractions will be busier. The prices for hotels and airfare will be at a premium, but you will also experience the island on full display with key January events like the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series open-water sailing event.
February: The month of February is an ideal month to visit. The temperatures and seawater are warm, so you can spend time at the beach comfortably swimming and snorkeling. February is in the dry season with low humidity, so long days outside hiking or just relaxing oceanside are not too hot. Prices for hotels are high this time of year, and the island is busy with vacationers, but it is one of the best months for festivals and cultural events.
The Holetown Festival is one of the top events in mid-February and one of the most notable of the year. Barbados comes alive with parades, revelry, and evening concerts. It is a must-experience event that showcases island culture if you are visiting during this month.
March: The high season month of March is a great time to visit Barbados, when temperatures are averaging in the mid-80s Fahrenheit, and humidity levels are still low. After March, daytime temperatures heat up, and humidity levels spike. March is in the dry season so it is a great month to visit for optimal weather.
The month of March still has many tourists. The number of tourists usually increases mid month with spring break, so expect hotel rates to increase during that period. A popular event on the island is Oistins Fish Festival, a community celebration that takes place on Easter weekend. The date fluctuates each year.
April: The month of April is in the shoulder season. That means you get the benefits of both the high season and low season, including great weather, island events, and lower prices. The high-season tourists are tapering off, so there are fewer crowds on the beaches and there is more availability on tours. April average temperatures are in the mid-80s Fahrenheit, with cooling breezes, so taking part in popular events like the Barbados Reggae Festival are comfortable.
May: May is still in the shoulder season, so it has consistently sunny days, and it is the last month before the rainy season. Rates for hotels and airfare continue to go down throughout the month. The temperatures are warm but not too hot, so you can still take advantage of outdoor excursions comfortably. Since it is just outside of the peak tourist season, the beaches are quieter and there are still many festivals on the island to enjoy. This is a month with great value for the money.
June: June is the first month of the rainy season, so chances of precipitation increase, but it usually only occurs in the form of an afternoon shower. It is the start of hurricane season, but storms are unlikely this early in the year. Heat and humidity are high in June, with temperatures averaging in the high 80s Fahrenheit.
Since this is the off-season in Barbados, you can take advantage of discounted rates in June for hotels, resorts, and oceanfront villas. This is a great month for travelers who want to spend more time enjoying the local scene in Bridgetown and enjoy the local food from street vendors. June marks the start of the Crop Over Festival, which runs to August, celebrating the end of the sugar cane harvest.
July: Although July is within the rainy season, many travelers prefer it because of the hot weather and low prices. It is hot and humid in July, and you will likely see some rain showers, but they are usually brief downpours in the afternoon and they dissipate quickly to reveal sunshine. The average high temperatures are in the high 80s Fahrenheit with lots of humidity. If you travel in early July before the school breaks are fully underway, you can find some nice deals on flights.
August: If you travel to Barbados in August be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, water, and a hat to prepare for the hot temperatures and humidity. August is one of the hottest months on the island, and while it is in the hurricane season, storms are not likely. You may experience afternoon showers but they generally do not last long.
Hotel rates during other months of the summer are discounted because it is the low season, but August is the exception. Kids are out of school, so prices will be slightly higher. The first part of August is also on the tail end of the Crop Over Festival, which draws the largest crowds of the entire six-week celebration of parades and parties.
September: The month of September is in the middle of the hurricane season, so rain is likely during your trip at some point. September is the month with one of the highest amounts of rainfall during the year, but still the chance of severe storms or a hurricane is low, and you can use the bursts of rain to do your indoor duty free shopping.
This month is great if you are looking for some of the lowest prices of the year to travel to Barbados. With the warm ocean waters, September is a good month to swim or try surfing at the beaches. You can take a snorkeling or diving trip to the coral reefs and shipwreck sites, and swim with the island's native sea turtles. Keep in mind that by late September some restaurants and hotels may be closed due to the slow tourist activity this time of year.
October: Barbados still has very warm temperatures into the mid-80s Fahrenheit through October. It is in hurricane season and one of the riskier months for potential heavy storms. Generally, Barbados does not experience major storms or hurricanes, but the potential is there, so you should be aware of that risk. Since October is in the low season, you can book villas and hotels for steeply discounted prices. There may be more limited availability for tours and restaurants as it is the low season.
November: By November, the rain tapers off and the potential for major storms is gone. You may still see an occasional shower but by November mostly sunny days are returning. This is a great time to visit, as it is in the shoulder season, so you have the benefit of nice weather days and hotel prices that are still discounted from the low season.
December: The month of December kicks off the peak tourist season in Barbados. Tourists start returning to the beaches, and hotel rates begin to rise. It is on the front end of the dry season, which is the best time to visit Barbados, so you can maximize your outdoor activities on the island.
Temperatures on the island average in the low 80s Fahrenheit in December, and the humidity is lower. If you want to travel in December, is it best to do it early in the month before holiday rates for airfares and hotels skyrocket, and the influx of tourists spending the holidays on the island begin to arrive.
Best Time to Go to Barbados for Weather
The best time to go to Barbados for weather is mid-December to mid-April, when the weather is predictable and consistent. Daytime highs range from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity. The dry season is the best time to visit the island, when temperatures are cooler and sunny days are the norm. This is the most active time in Barbados, with many festivals, cultural events, and tourist activities in full swing.
Cheapest Time to Go to Barbados
The cheapest time to visit Barbados is during the low season, from June to August, and the shoulder season from September to November. These are the times when you can get the best deals on the island from hotels, attractions, and restaurants. While some things may be closed in the summer months due to slower tourist activity, you can still plan a full vacation for up to 50 percent less than the cost during the high season.
Worst Time to Visit Barbados
If there is a worst time to visit Barbados, it would be from July through November during the hurricane season. Keep in mind that even though there is a risk of storms during these months, the island rarely sees severe weather or hurricanes. Worst case, you will see some rain during your visit, but it is rarely an event that will ruin the vacation. These months are more hot and humid, but you will have fewer tourists and cheaper rates at the hotels.
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Exploring Barbados and Grenada: Make sure you carve out some time away from the beach to visit some of the other attractions in Barbados, like the Animal Flower Cave, or walk through Bridgetown. Barbados has many beach resorts that are a nice alternative to traditional hotels. If you have time to add onto your vacation, a short flight to nearby Grenada would be a nice extension.