What's the best time to visit Antigua?
Planning a vacation to the Caribbean island of Antigua? If so, doing a little research before choosing your dates will help ensure that you pick the best time of year to visit.
From the stunning blue waters of the Caribbean Sea to horseback riding on one of 365 beaches, Antigua is a tropical vacation paradise — if you go at the right time. We’ll show you the best time to visit Antigua along with the least busy, cheapest, and worst times to go; let us be your guide!
Overall Best Time to Visit Antigua
The best time to visit Antigua is from December to April, in winter and early spring. Let’s take a closer look at why that’s the case.
Avoid Crazy Crowds and Peak Prices
One of the best reasons to visit Antigua in the winter is the lack of crowds. Especially after New Year’s, kids return to school, and families save money after holiday splurging.
Because fewer people visit, prices for everything from hotels to flights to rental cars drop. You may also be able to snag great deals on packages that include tours, meals, and more. Another perk of visiting in December-April is the atmosphere.
Because there are fewer tourists, the locals get to relax more. It’s their off-season when they recharge their batteries and focus on enjoyment.
There’s a slower, happier feeling that locals are glad to share with friendly visitors. We strongly recommend striking up a conversation with a bartender or taking a local recommendation for dinner.
Weather: You’ll Avoid Hurricane Season
One of the key reasons why most travelers prefer this time of year is the weather, which may need to be clarified at first. Antigua has a tropical climate, meaning that temperatures stay relatively consistent.
Average low temperatures hold steady in the 70s, and highs are in the 80s. The primary variable is rainfall and storms. Atlantic hurricane season typically lasts from June through November, though its onset has been creeping earlier.
Since all other weather conditions are the same during different times of the year, and hurricanes are rare in the winter and early spring, we prefer visiting outside hurricane season.
Cheapest Time to Visit Antigua
Because of the beautiful climate, Antigua is a popular tourist destination throughout the entire year. Still, like most places on earth, it sees a drop in visitors at specific times of the year.
The cheapest time to visit Antigua is during the off-season. While you’ll see pockets of higher prices around holidays, January, February, September, October, and November tend to be the least expensive months to visit Antigua.
There’s nothing specific to Antigua that causes fewer people to visit during this time. Hurricane season is a factor, but summer remains busy despite the risk of tropical storms.
The main reason is that many children worldwide are in school, parliaments are in session, and few people take holidays. Unless you’re self-employed or work in the service industry yourself, this isn’t a good time to take a trip.
Hotels and other tourist-based businesses know that.
Since tourist dollars keep Antigua afloat, everyone — from the major hotel chains to local governments and enterprises — works to bring in more people. One of the ways they do this is by offering terrific specials. Take advantage of them for a cheap Antigua vacation.
Tips for Saving Money on an Antigua Vacation
Besides visiting during the off-season, you can do other things to make your trip more affordable. First, a lot of the best things to do in Antigua are free in the first place.
Two of the best are hitting one of the hundreds of beaches or hiking around breathtaking Half Moon Bay. You can also stroll the historic dockyards or visit Indian Town National Park for free.
For great savings on food and drink, head into St. John’s, the largest city on the island. This is where more locals go to do their shopping and dining, so prices tend to be more reasonable.
You can also try some fantastic local food away from the tourist traps. Home rentals have sprung up in Antigua, too. In many cases, you can get multiple bedrooms and a kitchen for less than the price of a hotel.
Least Busy Time to Visit Antigua
The least busy time of the year to visit Antigua is January, September, October, and November.
January tends to be slow everywhere, especially after New Year’s. The December holidays drain both wallets and energy, and all but the most ardent travelers stay home.
It’s a great time to travel virtually anywhere, but the Caribbean is especially pleasant if you live somewhere cold. Autumn also tends to bring a drop in tourism, which makes it another quiet time to visit Antigua.
Families travel more in the summer, and kids go back to school, keeping more people at home. However, fall is also the last few months of hurricane season, which is another factor that may keep visitors away.
Worst Time to Visit Antigua
While there isn’t a wrong time, the worst time to visit Antigua is during hurricane season. Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June-November.
As we’ve already discussed, Antigua has good weather and welcomes visitors year-round. You won’t face seasonal closures any time of the year. The risk of hurricanes is the primary reason we’re categorizing this as the worst time to go to Antigua.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can strike any time, although historically, there seems to be a higher risk later in the season. Antigua’s rainfall is also heaviest during the months of September, October, and November.
While fall is a rainier season than the others, this is also attributable to oceanic storms brewing over the seas. Still, hurricanes aren’t enough of a threat to keep visitors away. Here are some tips for visiting Antigua and the Caribbean during hurricane season.
Visiting the Caribbean During Hurricane Season
While hurricanes are becoming more common in recent years, the likelihood of a hurricane interrupting your trip is relatively low. When you consider the deals you can get, it starts to seem worth it.
If you decide to take the risk, make sure you buy travel insurance. That way, if something goes wrong, you won’t lose your investment. Lastly, remember that major storms anywhere in the
Caribbean Sea, mid or south Atlantic, or Gulf of Mexico may affect weather and ocean conditions in Antigua. Even if you get sunny skies, it may be too dangerous to enjoy the water. Consider that when making your arrangements.
Antigua by Month: Climate & Activities
Still unsure about the best time to visit Antigua? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:
January in Antigua offers pleasant, dry weather with temperatures ranging from 12 to 24°C (54-75°F). This month is perfect for exploring the city’s colonial architecture, visiting the vibrant Mercado de Artesanías for local crafts, and hiking the nearby Pacaya Volcano.
February continues with mild and dry weather, ideal for attending the colorful Fiesta de Santa Catarina, exploring the historic Convento de las Capuchinas, and enjoying coffee tours in the surrounding plantations.
As the dry season continues, March temperatures in Antigua range from 13 to 25°C (55-77°F). This month is great for exploring the cobblestone streets, visiting the Cerro de la Cruz for panoramic views, and experiencing the Lenten processions leading up to Semana Santa.
April brings the Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations, with temperatures around 13 to 26°C (55-79°F). The city is vibrant with religious processions, elaborate carpet decorations, and cultural festivities.
In May, Antigua sees the start of the rainy season with temperatures from 16 to 27°C (61-81°F). It’s a good time for visiting the Antigua Guatemala Cathedral ruins, exploring the Museo Casa Santo Domingo, and enjoying the lush greenery of the region.
June brings more frequent rains, with temperatures between 16 to 26°C (61-79°F). Enjoy the city’s charming cafes, visit the ChocoMuseo for a chocolate-making workshop, and explore the colorful local markets.
July is part of the rainy season, with temperatures from 16 to 25°C (61-77°F). Celebrate the Fiesta de Santiago, explore the colonial ruins, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Antigua.
August continues with the rainy season, offering temperatures from 16 to 25°C (61-77°F). Visit the nearby coffee farms for a tour, explore the artisan workshops, and enjoy the city’s fine dining options.
As Antigua’s rainy season starts winding down in September, temperatures range from 16 to 24°C (61-75°F). September is perfect for attending the celebrations of Independence Day, exploring the Antigua Market, and hiking in the surrounding mountains.
October sees the end of the rainy season with temperatures from 15 to 23°C (59-73°F). Visit the ruins of La Recolección, explore the local art galleries, and enjoy the tranquil ambiance of the city parks.
In November, Antigua’s dry season begins in November, with temperatures ranging from 12 to 22°C (54-72°F). This month is ideal for visiting the historic San Francisco Church, exploring the colonial architecture, and attending the All Saints’ Day festivities.
December brings cooler, dry weather, with temperatures ranging from 11 to 22°C (52-72°F). The city is festive with Christmas celebrations, night markets, and the unique tradition of burning the devil (Quema del Diablo) on December 7th.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s look at common questions travelers have about visiting Antigua:
How do you get to Antigua?
The only way to get to Antigua is by boat or plane, and the vast majority of visitors fly to Antigua. V.C. Bird International Airport is the country’s largest, and luckily, it’s in Antigua. Direct flights arrive from Atlanta, London, Miami, New York, Toronto, and several other locations, especially other Caribbean islands.
What currency does Antigua use?
The currency of Antigua is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. If you’re from America, you’re in luck. Its value is fixed to the American dollar, so you don’t have to do any math in your head. You will need to exchange your currency. Antiguan money looks nothing like American, even if the value is the same.
Most places in Antigua accept major credit cards, including Mastercard and Visa. Call your credit card company before you travel to alert them to your plants. Make sure they won’t charge international transaction fees.
Is Antigua expensive?
Antigua and Barbuda have high living costs compared to the rest of the Caribbean. That means consumer goods – including those tourists want – cost more money. Still, the cost of living is less than in the United States or the UK.
More importantly, the cost of your trip depends more on how you travel. There are affordable hotels and rentals on the island, as well as very high-end resorts. Choose whichever best fits your budget.
What language do Antiguans speak?
The official language of Antigua is English. The British colonized the island of Antigua in 1667, and since then, English has been the most common language.
Is Barbuda the same as Antigua?
No, Barbuda is a separate island, but Antigua and Barbuda are a single country composed of three islands. Antigua is the largest, followed by Barbuda, located directly north, separated by 27 miles of ocean.
Redonda is the third, but it’s rocky and uninhabited. Barbuda is sparsely populated compared to Antigua, and most of the large towns and cities are in Antigua. The Codrington family privately owned Barbuda until 1860.
Enjoy a Piece of Paradise in Antigua
The Caribbean is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and Antigua is one of its most breathtaking islands.
- The overall best time of year to visit Antigua is winter and early spring, December-April.
- The least busy months to visit Antigua tend to be January, September, October, and November.
- It’s cheapest to see Antigua in January, February, September, October, and November.
- There isn’t a bad time of year to go to Antigua, but be wary of Atlantic hurricane season.
The right time to visit Antigua depends more on your personal preferences than anything else. Start with this guide to choose the ideal time for your vacation. Happy travels!