Barbados, a Caribbean gem with its idyllic beaches, vibrant culture, and endless possibilities, is a destination that can be enjoyed year-round. However, with its varying seasons and weather patterns, knowing the best time to visit Barbados can make all the difference in your vacation experience.
Whether you’re seeking sunny skies and calm seas for swimming and sunbathing, or cultural festivals and lively nightlife, we’ll help you plan the perfect trip to Barbados, no matter what time of year.
Best Time to Visit Barbados
The best time to visit Barbados is anytime between December and April. This may be quite a wide range, but that’s only because the dry season attracts a vast number of travelers who wish to avoid the hurricane season and take advantage of the warm yet dry weather.
December has average temperatures fluctuating between 81.7°F and 79.7°F. December sees the shortest days in the whole year in Bridgetown. As December is much drier than the previous months, note you’re entering the beginning of the high season.
With Christmas being around the corner, prices soar, and crowds arrive. January, like December, is a warm month with temperatures varying between 80.6°F and 78.8°F in Barbados’ capital city.
If you happen to visit in January, check out Barbados Sailing Week for a week filled with exciting races, kiteboarding competitions, and wing surfing.
Being the coldest month (if we can talk about cold weather at all), February sees the lowest temperatures (which are still quite high) — an average high of 80.2°F and an average low of 78.3°F.
February is also the month with the least rainfall in the entire year, with just 13 mm of precipitation, hence why we recommend going in the dry season.
February visitors should add the Holetown Festival to their calendars and get ready for a week-long celebration featuring events such as folk dancing and singing, games, sports, and street parades.
It’s also the perfect month to take a stroll through the stunning Hunte’s Gardens and explore picturesque mini-gardens and soak in the rare plants’ exotic beauty. In March, get ready for temperatures varying between 78.4°F and 80.4°F.
Then, like March, April is yet another hot spring month, with average temperatures hovering around 79°F during the day and around 81.3°F at night. The month is ideal for vibrant events such as the Barbados Reggae Festival.
Loved by both local and foreign reggae enthusiasts, the Barbados Reggae Festival opens its doors toward the end of April and features some of the most renowned reggae names.
Cheapest Time to Visit Barbados
The cheapest time to visit Barbados is during one of its shoulder months, i.e., May or June. Accommodation prices can quickly soar, especially at some of the top holiday resorts, so finding the right month to go can help you go easy on your wallet.
May is a moderately warm month, with average temperatures varying between 82.9°F and 80.2°F. If you’re visiting Barbados in May, you have to visit the Celtic Festival and add a bit of a cultural touch to your getaway.
It’s an experience that never goes unnoticed. May is an awesome month for those hoping to spot tree turtles too! June sees temperatures fluctuating between 81.1°F and 83.1°F. It’s also the month with the longest days.
For something more adventurous, check out the Sol Rally Barbados (Sol RB) event. Attracting drivers from across the entire world, this dynamic event is a haven for adrenaline seekers.
Another June event worth attending is the FABA-Fest (For Alumni, by Alumni). Celebrating HBCU excellence, it might very well be the event you never knew you needed as part of your voyage.
Least Busy Time to Visit Barbados
The least busy time to visit Barbados is anytime between September and early November. If you’re looking for a laid-back holiday or a quiet trip, this is the best time to go.
That said, just because things are quieter than usual doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot going on. For example, in September, you can pay the Atlantis Submarines a visit, go to the Flower Forest Botanical Gardens, or go shopping at Earthworks Pottery without any crowds or peak-season queues.
September, being the first autumn month, has average temperatures fluctuating between 84°F and 81.9°F. October sees similar temperatures — an average high of 84°F and an average low of 82°F.
These two months are the warmest months in Bridgetown. If you visit in October, don’t forget to check out the Barbados Food and Rum Festival and see all your foodie dreams come live.
With a plethora of experts to intrigue your taste buds, the festival is a must-see event. November, is also a warm month, with average temperatures ranging between 82°F and 81.5°F.
It’s also the month when you can surf Soup Bowl. This period is great for those who want to watch some international competitions such as the Independence Surf Pro and the Caribbean Junior Championships.
Worst Time to Visit Barbados
If you’re not a fan of hurricane-prone weather and holidays spiced up with humidity, avoid visiting Barbados in the July-November period.
Similarly to the dry season, this may cover a wide scope, but that’s because Barbados has two seasons throughout the year — the dry and the wet season.
July temperatures are like the above-mentioned June temperatures — an average high of 83.1°F accompanied by an average low of 81.1°F. In August, the temperatures vary between 83.8°F and 81.5°F.
Both months are perfect for travelers who want to enjoy the dynamic Crop Over Festival. Since its inception in the colonial period, it has been significantly transformed into one of the biggest events that take place in Barbados, with parties, singing competitions, parades, and carnival events.
To escape the annoying showers, consider visiting attractions or museums, such as Harrison’s Cave, where you can marvel at the rock formations, or join the St. Nicholas Abbey’s rum distillery tour.
Things to Consider
What else should you know to ensure your Barbados trip goes smoothly? Here are our top tips and practical pieces of advice to make sure you have a wonderful stay:
- While the official currency is the Barbados Dollar (BBD), US dollars are also widely accepted. With that being said, if you pay in US dollars, you’ll probably get change in Barbados dollars.
- Driving is on the left, so unless you’re comfortable with it, we suggest avoiding driving. What’s more, locals are said to drive a bit recklessly, and the roads have potholes and speed bumps, so you may be better off sticking to other forms of transport (read more about it in the FAQ section).
- English is widely spoken and understood, so miscommunication is rare.
- As you can see, the temperatures in Barbados don’t vary much throughout the entire year. What makes things tricky, however, is the irregular rain schedule. The rains can be truly unpredictable from month to month. Plus, most of the time, they occur in the form of heavy thunderstorms or downpours, so they’re intense. That said, they don’t last long and don’t really affect the sunshine hours that much.
- June, August, and November have an average humidity of 77%, which makes them the most humid Bridgetown months.
- If you go when it’s really hot, remember to reapply sunscreen regularly and stay hydrated, especially if you engage in more demanding activities such as hiking.
- For diving, snorkeling, and other water-based fun, make sure the temperatures are between 77°F and 84.2°F — otherwise, spending time in the water won’t be comfortable. Do note that if you visit Bridgetown, for example, the coldest seawater months are February and March, with an average sea temperature of 80.8°F.
- In most restaurants, a service charge is included in the bill, so you don’t need to worry about tipping. That said, it’s common to also round up the bill if you’re happy with the service you received.
- Being a tropical island, cool, casual clothing is recommended. The nights are chilly, so packing a sweater or a jacket is advisable as well. Do note that wearing camouflage clothing isn’t allowed.
- LGBT travelers should keep a low profile, as local attitudes toward this community are still somewhat conservative. Certain same-sex activities are even illegal.
So, When Should You Visit Barbados?
- All things considered, the prime time to visit Barbados is in the dry season, that is, during the December–April period. That said, when you plan your trip, factor in the increased demand these months and book your accommodation alongside other popular excursions well in advance to ensure availability and avoid unpleasant surprises.
- If you want to visit Barbados without breaking the bank, plan your trip in May or June. Mind you, a cheaper trip in the country’s shoulder season doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy the same activities, weather, or attractions as you would in other months. In fact, you not only get to enjoy them fully — you also get to do so at a much lower rate.
- The least busy period to visit Barbados is anytime between September and early November. During this off-season, travelers get to enjoy the island without worrying about all accommodations being sold out or the front-row beach spots being taken at all times.
- The worst time to find yourself in Barbados is during the country’s wet season or in the July–November period. However, the rain periods are brief and, most of the time, won’t interfere with your travel plans.
It’s clear by now that the ideal time to go depends on your travel preferences, who you’re traveling with, your budget, the festivals you wish to attend, and the activities you hope to engage in once you’re there.
With that said, there really isn’t a bad time to travel to this amazing island. Whichever season you pick, you’ll be thrilled with your stay.
Even if (or should we say when?) it rains, you’re bound to have an awesome time. After all, locals refer to rain as “liquid sunshine,” and what’s not to like about a burst of liquid sunshine?! Happy travels!