Best and Worst Times to Visit Barbados

Best and Worst Times to Visit Barbados

Barbados photo

The best time of year to visit Barbados is during the dry season from January through May. The worst time is during the hurricane season from August through November.

But some of the best months are cooler than average, while the worst months are warmer. When visitors go depends in part on what they want to do there. January and February are good for land activities but a bit chilly at times in the water. March through May offer warmer temperatures in the air and water.

Barbados has more than 500,000 overnight visitors and 600,000 cruise visitors every year, according to the Barbados Tourism Authority. The island is most popular with tourists from the United States and United Kingdom.

Popular Times to Visit

December, January and March are the most popular months for overnight visitors to the island, according to statistics from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The least popular months are June, September and October.

December and January are popular with tourists who want to escape cold northern winters. March is a popular month for most of the Caribbean with families who have children on spring break. All three months are part of the island’s annual dry season.

The most popular months aren’t always the best months to visit. Likewise, the least popular months aren’t always the worst months. Average rainfall and temperatures offer the best guides to choose when to go and when not to go.

Barbados Hurricane Season

Average monthly Barbados rainfall
Barbados has low monthly rainfall early in the year and high risk of rain during the fall months. © 2019 Scott S. Bateman

The Barbados hurricane season, also known as the rainy season, officially runs from June to November.

Based on the average amount of rain historically, the Barbados hurricane season is most active from August through November when rainfall increases dramatically.

During the rainy season, the average rainfall amount increases each month until it reaches a high point of nearly seven inches in October.

For Barbados, the worst weather occurs in October. For more of the Caribbean, the worst weather takes place in September. For these reasons, September and October are the least popular months to visit Barbados.

Best and Worst Times to Visit for Weather

Even though December, January and March are the most popular months to visit Barbados, April and May are the best months for a combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain.

Cruises travel to Barbados year round, although they visit the island more during the dry season than the rainy season. To increase the chances of good weather, vacation planners should travel during the dry season.

Visitors to Barbados during the rainy season may luck out with good weather. But they should consider last-minute vacations with a safe 10-day weather forecast.

Traveling to Barbados during the off season may offer more deals and cheaper flights, risky weather can make travel difficult.

The Dry Season

Average Barbados temperatures
Barbados temperatures average in the mids 80s Fahrenheit during the day and mids 70s at night. © 2019 Scott S. Bateman

The island has steady temperatures throughout the year and big swings in the amount of rainfall.

Barbados follows a weather pattern similar to the rest of the Caribbean. The weather on the island is divided into two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

The dry season runs from January to May when rainfall averages about two inches or less each month, according to historical data from the Barbados Meteorological Service. The average high temperature during the dry season hovers around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The low level of rain on Barbados is common with other Caribbean islands. Hurricane threats are non existent.

More than 64 percent of overnight visitors to Barbados come during the dry season. The peak month of tourism is December with more than 53,000 arrivals.

Discounts and the lure of fewer crowds could account for the steady amount of cruise passengers visiting the island throughout the year.

Best and Worst Times to Visit by Month


January is one of the best times to visit for low risk of rain, but average temperatures are the lowest of the year. Still, tourism is the second highest level of the year after December, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.


February has the lowest average rainfall of the year with slightly warmer temperatures. Tourism drops slightly


Tourism in March picks back up because children are on break from school. The risk of rain is almost as low as February. Temperatures edge up once again.


April is an excellent month to visit Barbados for low risk of rain and warmer temperatures. Beach lovers in particular should think about going this month instead of any month between December and March. Tourism takes a pretty big drop, so beaches are less crowded and hotel prices may drop a bit.

Barbados tourism declines again in May, the final month before the start of the Caribbean hurricane season. Average daytime temperatures reach 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 Celsius, which is near the high point of the year. The risk of rain is lower in the first half of the month than the second half.

The Caribbean hurricane season officially begins in June. The risk of a hurricane or tropical storm is quite low for any island in the Caribbean this month. But average rainfall begins to climb. Tourism drops again even though children are again on break from school.

The average monthly rainfall in July increases to more than four inches, which is a moderately high amount of rain for the Caribbean. Even so, tourism picks up a bit.


Average rainfall in August jumps to six inches, which is a high level of rain. It doesn’t stop vacationers from going to Barbados, some of whom may get lucky and have sunny skies.


Barbados is somewhat unusual for a Caribbean island because its average rainfall in September is about the same as August. Most Caribbean destinations have a big spike in September because it is the most active month for hurricanes and tropical storms. It’s a major reason why Barbados tourism plunges to the lowest point of the year.


Caribbean weather in October is the second worst of the year after September. For Barbados, it’s worse than September. Even so, tourism bounces back to nearly the same level as August.


Tourism in November bounces back even more as the Caribbean hurricane season winds down to the end. But rainfall is nearly as high in November as in October. It’s the second riskiest month of the year to visit the island.


The most popular month of the year to visit Barbados is December. Children and college students are on break from school. Northerners want to get away from cold winters. Average rainfall drops to just less than four inches, which is a moderately high amount.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.

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