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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Antigua in 2024 (Expert Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Antigua in 2024 (Expert Take)

What's the best time to visit Antigua?

The best time to visit Antigua is from December to April, perfect for beach-goers and sailing enthusiasts, featuring key events like Antigua Sailing Week. Warm year-round, the island’s dry season ensures pleasant weather for outdoor activities, even in its cooler but comfortable months. Despite its peak visitor period, Antigua remains uncrowded, offering ample entertainment and ensuring businesses stay open.

Antigua, part of Antigua and Barbuda, is a great destination for sun, sand, and surf. The island has all of the things you look for in a Caribbean vacation, including amazing beaches with white and pink sand, pleasant tropical weather, and rum cocktails by the beach.

You can also explore some of the historic sites, such as the UNESCO-protected Nelson’s Dockyard, or head inland to the rainforest along Fig Tree Drive.

Of course, if you just want to listen to music and lounge on the beach, that’s a great use of your time as well. To make the most of your beach time in Antigua, make sure you time your visit for the best time to go. We’ll show you this and more below.

Overall Best Time to Visit Antigua

View of the English Harbor in Antigua pictured during the best time to go

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Antigua is during the dry season, from December to April, which has the best weather for lounging on the beach. Like most of the rest of the Caribbean, Antigua has warm temperatures all year round.

According to the airline Virgin Atlantic, which put together a weather calendar for vacationers, the average temperature in Antigua all year long is 27-30 degrees Celsius (80-86 degrees Fahrenheit).

The coolest months are December, January, and February, but it never truly gets cold, so you can go swimming even for New Year’s. The main difference in terms of seasons is precipitation. December to May is the island’s dry season.

Although you should still expect showers, there are fewer storms than during the worst of the rainy season. The driest month is February, with only 86 mm (3.4 inches) of rain. There may be an occasional drizzle, but hardly enough to ruin your beach trip.

December to April is the season of the strongest trade winds around Antigua and Barbuda. This season has the best conditions for kitesurfing, windsurfing, and the favorite sport of most visitors to Antigua—sailing.

Thanks to the strong winds, Antigua has long been popular among sailing visitors. Serious athletes will want to visit from November to April, which is peak regatta season.

Popular races such as Antigua Sailing Week (late April) and Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (mid-April) usually happen during this time. Antigua gets the most visitors from winter into early spring, mostly Europeans and North Americans looking to escape chillier weather back home.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The island hasn’t attracted the kind of mass tourism that’s overrun other Caribbean destinations, and it has many beaches, so even during the worst of the peak season you’ll find a place to lay down your towel.

The benefit of visiting during the high season is that all businesses are open (some smaller businesses close during the off-season because it isn’t worth it for them).

There are also fun events, from beach parties to international events such as the Antigua & Barbuda International Kite Festival, which happens every Easter Monday.

Cheapest Time to Visit Antigua

View of the English Harbor in Antigua pictured during the best time to go

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Antigua is from May to July, as spring and early summer see prices lower across the island due to lower demand. By early May, the last of the sun-seekers has returned back north and the crowds have dissipated.

This means that hotels tend to lower their rates as well, since there is far less demand for their services. Even by May, you can find savings of 20-25%, and the savings increase the further into the rainy season you get.

The rainy season is also the most affordable time to get to Antigua. Flights cost the least in late spring (May) or late summer and autumn (August and November).

Cruises in the Caribbean also tend to have discounts during the early part of the rainy season, from May to August. For the sweet spot of savings and good weather, May is the best time to visit.

This month marks the beginning of the rainy season, but the average rainfall still isn’t that bad, around 97 mm (3.8 inches) of rain. Temperatures are hot, but the humidity isn’t as bad yet.

Least Busy Time to Visit Antigua

Market with St John's on a rainy day during the best time to visit Antigua

St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda – December 18, 2018: Street view of St John’s at rainy day with pedestrians and shops in St. John’s, Antigua, West Indies, Caribbean/Byvalet/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Antigua is any time from May to November, which is the rainy season. Antigua never attracts that many crowds to begin with, but during the rainy season, from May to November, the crowds are even less likely.

According to the cruise ship schedule for the town of St. John’s, the island receives the fewest cruise ship dockings from May to September.

To beat the crowds and the worst of the rainy season weather, try to visit at the beginning of the season, from May to July. There are less crowds than during the dry season, but there aren’t as many storms around.

This is a great time to explore the town of St. John. Normally, its quaint streets are packed with visitors from cruise ships, but during the rainy season, you’ll have more space to walk around, shop for souvenirs, and try some of the delicious local cuisine.

These months are actually the best times to experience local culture. As the temperature rises, the locals flock outdoors for favorite festivals and events.

Foodies should visit during Antigua and Barbuda Restaurant Week, which usually happens in May. The best event of the season is Antigua Carnival, which happens in late July/early August.

This festival commemorates the end of slavery on the island with street parties, J’ouvert performances from brass bands, and colorful parades. This event is lots of fun, but not as overwhelming as some of the bigger carnivals in the Caribbean.

Worst Time to Visit Antigua

Rain over the harbor with a rainbow during the wet season, the worst time to visit Antigua

Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Antigua is during the peak rainy season, from August to October, which also coincides with the worst of the hurricane season. Rainy season in Antigua peaks in late summer and autumn.

The rainiest month is October, which receives a whopping 196 mm (7.7 inches of rain). August, September, and November are also very rainy with over 7 inches of rain on average per month.

More concerningly, August to October also represents the worst of hurricane season in Antigua and the rest of the Caribbean. Antigua lies in the path of the worst of the hurricane route.

The island country has been hit by strong storms in the past, most notably Hurricane Irma and Maria in 2017, which led to the evacuation of the entire nearby island of Barbuda. Visiting during the rainiest months is a bit of a gamble.

Rainy season doesn’t mean that it rains all day, every day. You can have several days of sunshine or sporadic showers just in the afternoons.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can have a week of non-stop rain or get caught in a dangerous tropical storm when electrical power and transportation on the island are non-existent. There are some benefits to visiting during peak rainy season.

This season sees the fewest visitors and lowest hotel prices in Antigua. However, the bargains may not be as good as you expected because many hotels close during the worst of the rain—especially smaller family-run hotels, which tend to be the best budget options.

Antigua by Month: Climate & Activities

Amazing aerial view with still water showing the boardwalk and harbor of Antigua during the best time to visit with blue sky


We’ve looked at the best, cheapest, least busy, and worst time to visit Antigua, but you might want to take a closer look at specific months to plan your travel dates. Here’s what you can expect in terms of climate, events, and prices each month of the year in Antigua. 


During January (peak season), participate in the Hiking Challenge from Wallings Dam to Signal Hill on the 2nd Sunday for rainforest and ocean views. Temperatures are mild and warm (74–82°F) with 2-3 rainy days. St. John’s Public Market is bustling and beaches are lively. Hotels cost $449/night on average. 


Still in the dry peak season, mild February sees highs between 74–82°F with 2-3 rainy days. St. John’s Botanical Gardens come to life with the annual Wadadli Day games, food, and music among the tropical plants. Beach days are idyllic and hotels cost $513/night on average this month. 


March sees slightly warmer temperatures as spring begins (74–83°F with 2-3 rainy days). Festive Easter and seasonal celebrations are happening this month. Hang out at the all-white Sunset Beach Party at Salt Plage and watch the International Kite Festival on Easter weekend. Hotels are around $423/night. 


April is when the temperatures start to heat up, reaching 76–84°F and seeing a little more rain (about 4 rainy days). Antigua is less crowded this month. Stick around for Antigua Sailing Week the last week of April for dock parties, food, and regattas with 200+ sailboats racing from Nelson’s Dockyard. Hotels cost about $419/night on average. 


The rainy hurricane season is just around the corner, so conditions are wetter in the less-crowded month of May with 6-7 rainy days and still-warmer highs ranging from 77–85°F. The first week of the month, Dockyard Day at Nelson’s Dockyard offers a historical celebration of the fishing past of Antigua. Rooms cost about $347/night on average this month. 


The hurricane season begins in earnest in June, bringing about a solid week of rain to the island with highs around a toasty and humid 86°F. Crowds are small with the wetter weather, so it’s a fine time to enjoy usually-busy beaches and indoor museums. Hotels cost around $316/night this month, and Antigua flights are at their lowest of the year. 


July is a quiet time to visit Antigua (aside from the Antigua Carnival, the biggest annual event in the last week of July) with temperatures from 79–87°F. It’s hot and humid with 8-9 rainy days. Rooms cost around $301/night on average. Check out the PiAngo (pineapple/mango) festival in Christian Valley Agricultural Station. 


The Antigua Carnival wraps up the first week of August, when highs hit 87°F on average and there are roughly 10 rainy days. It’s wet and humid, but also one of the cheapest months to visit Antigua with rooms around $294/night on average. Check out the Urlings Seafood Festival by Turner’s Beach this month. 


Hurricane season rages on in Antigua during the wet (10-11 rainy days) and hot (79–87°F) September. The weather means prices are among the lowest of the year at around $304/night for hotels on average. Between the rains, it’s a nice time to visit museums and hike around the coasts. 


October is busy with events in Antigua, like the Antigua & Barbuda Independence Festival that lasts for 10 days at the end of the month and the Francis Nunes Sportfishing Tournament and Seafood Festival. Average highs drop a degree to 86°F and hotels are around $333/night this month. 


The rainy hurricane season winds to a close this month, with 8 rainy days and highs around 85°F. People start to arrive in higher numbers ahead of the winter peak season, so rooms rise to about $387/night on average. The Independence Festival wraps up and the International Cricket Fest takes place over 4 days at the end of the month. 


With hurricane season in the rearview, the number of rainy days drops to 5-6 this month and temperatures range from a mild 75–83°F. Christmas festivities happen around the island, like Carols by Candlelight at the Antigua Yacht Club and a Christmas Champagne Party at Nelson’s Dockyard. Hotels cost around $375/night this month as peak season hits. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Phone booth on the beach of Antigua


Here are some common questions that you may also find helpful when planning a trip to Antigua:

What is the best month to go to Antigua?

The best month to go to Antigua is April, which has great weather, not too many crowds, and plenty of sailing events.

When is the rainy season in Antigua?

The rainy season in Antigua lasts from May to November. The rainiest months are from August to November.

When is the hurricane season in Antigua?

The hurricane season in Antigua is similar to the rainy season, from June to November. The worst storms usually occur between late August and early October.

When is the hottest month in Antigua?

The hottest month in Antigua is June, which has average daily high temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures are hot throughout the year.

When should I avoid going to Antigua?

Avoid Antigua during the worst of the rainy season, from late August to November. The weather is not pleasant for enjoying the beach, and there’s a high risk of storms.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Antigua?

The best time to visit Antigua is similar to the best time for the rest of the Caribbean, during the dry season from December to April. Expect good weather and excellent sailing.

So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Antigua has to offer. Happy travels!