Jamaica is open for business 24/7, 365 days a year, so there is never really a ‘bad time’ to visit the tropical island.
With sunny days and good weather in all seasons, no matter when you visit Jamaica, you should be able to enjoy the island’s beaches, rivers, and countless other attractions.
At the same time though, there are some factors that might cause some visitors to prefer a particular season over another. This is all due to personal preferences though.
Continue reading below as we examine possible deal breakers that will help you determine when to book your Jamaican getaway.
Jamaican Weather Throughout the Year
Jamaica is a tropical destination, with sunny days all year round. A typical day on the island will get up to about 28°C (82.4°F) on average. In the summer, the days are generally around 33°C (91°F), while nights are cooler at about 24°C. Jamaica is mostly humid all year round, so cool breathable clothes are recommended.
Depending on where you stay on the island, you may need sweaters or a light jacket at night time. In the hilly Mandeville interior of the island, for instance, temperatures can get as low as 17°C (63°F).
When is the Worst Time to Visit Jamaica?
As we stated earlier, there is no bad time to visit Jamaica, just some that are less than ideal. Let us look at some of the factors that could influence the time you visit the island.
Like most places, Jamaica has rainy seasons. The rainiest period on the island is generally September to October. This period also falls within the hurricane season, so these rains can be intense and associated with storm clouds.
Not to be discouraged though, because compared to other places, Jamaica’s rainy season is rather mild. In fact, rain is usually expected on 14 days in September and 16 days in October and these are generally morning or evening showers that leave you with plenty of daylight hours for exploring.
In addition, if you are looking for a great deal on plane tickets and accommodation, then this is the best period to travel. Most airlines and hotels will drop prices during this off-peak period which makes it great for your budget. The island is also less likely to be crowded with tourists, making for a more authentic travel experience.
In the Caribbean, the hurricane season runs from June 1 until November 30, with the season usually getting more active from August to September. These months bring the possibility of damaging storms as well as heavy rain.
Historically, Jamaica has seen most of its major storms and rainfall in September. So if you love outdoor activities, September is not the best time to visit, as you would likely have your outdoor hours limited by rainfall. If you prefer indoor activities, though, this could still be a good time to visit as there are lots of all-inclusive resorts on the island that offer indoor activities and entertainment.
Note as well, that there is no need to fear being trapped on the island during a hurricane. The majority of Jamaica’s infrastructure, including hotels, is built to withstand the harsh weather associated with storms.
Hurricane tracking has also vastly improved, so usually, there are watches and warnings which allow you to leave the island prior to the storm’s arrival if you choose. Most guests tend to wait out the storms though and bunker down at their resorts.
December and January are the coldest months in Jamaica for islanders, but our definition of cold is generally cool to most North Americans.
In fact, this is the peak tourist season on the island, as persons traveling from more temperate climates enjoy the sunshine and still warm weather in Jamaica during this season.
You’ll find that both plane tickets and accommodation costs are at their highest in this period, so this might not be a good time to visit if you are looking for a deal.
When Should You Visit Jamaica To Avoid Crowds?
Travel to Jamaica peaks between mid-December and early April. This is because the island gets a lot of visitors fleeing the cold in North America and Europe during these months.
So if you want to avoid crowds, then this is not a good time to visit Jamaica. In addition, flights can be expensive at this time, so not a good option for those who love a good deal.
Apart from the winter tourist season, Jamaica also tends to see increased visits around public holidays such as Independence weekend and Heroes weekend. These holidays are generally celebrated with large events that bring home a lot of Jamaicans in the diaspora.
American holidays such as Spring Break also generate a large number of visitors to Jamaica.
Is It A Good Idea To Plan Your Vacation Around The Worst Times To Visit?
This is a great question, but the answer will depend on what you intend to achieve from your vacation.
For instance, are you looking for calm and relaxation, or are you looking for adventure and fun? If your answer to the question is the former, then you may want to stay away from the island during the peak season as hotels and attractions are more likely to be crowded during that period.
If you’re looking for fun and interaction, however, then you may have no problem traveling during peak season.
A drawback of traveling during off-peak season is that you may miss out on some of the island’s events which are scheduled during this time, for example, the Jamaican carnival which is held during early April. At the same time, you will likely benefit from flight and accommodation discounts as airlines and hoteliers seek to fill their planes and hotels, so this could be a major win for you.
Conversely, traveling during the off-peak season could see you arriving on the island during the hurricane season and worst-case scenario, getting caught in a storm. This is highly unlikely though, as Jamaica has not had a major storm since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Before You Go
For every destination, including Jamaica, there are good and bad times to visit.
Whether it be crowded, bad weather, or high prices, there is no denying that there are disadvantages to traveling anywhere. While some of the disadvantages may be deal breakers, not all are depending on how you look at them.
Moral of the article? Always conduct thorough research before you travel to a new destination. For more guidance on booking your tropical Jamaican getaway, check out another article in our series on the island – “the best times to visit Jamaica”.