Best Time to Visit Antigua | By Month & Rainy Season

The best time to visit Antigua is just about any of the 365 days of the year. Rain or shine, this tropical paradise is inviting, warm and breathtakingly beautiful.

You can drive or hike through magical tropical jungles covering Antigua’s many hills. Visiting old sugar plantations and quaint British tea houses will remind you of the island’s British past.

Lesser Antilles, Haiti, Dominican Republic - Political map with the capitals, national borders, rivers and lakes.

Lesser Antilles, Haiti, Dominican Republic – Political map with the capitals, national borders, rivers and lakes.

There are 365 golden sandy beaches, one for every day of the year. Luxury resorts offer pampering you need to relax and unwind. The pristine reefs around the island invite divers to discover the island’s underwater treasures.

You can do all that in the rainy and dry season. It is always warm and after every tropical deluge the rain comes out, often with a rainbow or two.

We are going to cover everything you need to know about each season and what to expect. No matter when you decide to visit Antigua, I am sure you will love every bit of your time there.

Antigua in January

View of the Long bay Atlantic coast - Caribbean tropical sea - Antigua and Barbuda

View of the Long bay Atlantic coast – Caribbean tropical sea – Antigua and Barbuda

Many visitors come to Antigua to spend Christmas and New Year and stay in January. It is pretty much an ideal time to stay on the island and many people consider it the best time to visit Antigua.

The temperature is usually about 82 degrees (28°C), the humidity is fairly low and the rains are short, soft and infrequent. You can expect at least seven hours of sunshine to spend on the beach before running away from a sudden shower.

If you are diving, you will not even notice the rain. And if you are hiking through the jungle, just carry a poncho available in any local store. It will keep you dry and it will allow you to enjoy the beauty of raindrops on the hibiscus flowers and the hummingbirds buzzing around in the rain.

If you want to take part in the traditional annual Super Yacht Challenge, the best time to come to Antigua is in January. This series of five races held along Antigua’s south coast take part over four days.

Antigua in February

Antigua in February - Sailboats at the entrance of English Harbor in Antigua, seen from a hill.

Sailboats at the entrance of English Harbor in Antigua, seen from a hill.

The pleasantly warm winter weather in Antigua continues in February. Temperatures stay in the 80s. It is raining occasionally but the humidity is still fairly low. The gardens around resorts and lovely local homes are lush and full of flowers. You will see plenty of tropical fruits everywhere.

Just like in January, pleasant weather in February attracts snowbirds from the North. They fill the hotels, beaches, restaurants and bars. The island is buzzing with activities.

Antigua is a big sailing destination. From February 14 to February 16, Jolly Harbor Yacht Club organizes its annual  Valentine’s Regatta. Besides exciting races, expect a lot of parties and live music. No wonder so many yachting enthusiasts consider February the best time to visit Antigua.


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Antigua in March

Antigua in March - Panorama Sunrise in the Main Street of Antigua City with the Santa Catalina Arch and Agua Volcano, Guatemala.

Panorama Sunrise in the Main Street of Antigua City with the Santa Catalina Arch and Agua Volcano, Guatemala.

March is another great month to visit Antigua. The temperature is rising slowly but not much and is still in the low 80s. It is raining a bit more than in February but you can still expect 7-8 hours of sun every day. Enjoy the low humidity while it lasts and explore the lush island nature.

The island is great for hiking with plenty of roads and trails, but you can also join one of the organized trips in off-road vehicles. Go visit some of the old plantations and get the feel of the times of British rule on the island. Have a look at the local villages and visit roadside fruit and gift vendors.

Antigua in April

Antigua in April - This rugged coastline area on the island of Antigua is called Devil's Bridge and is one the islands main attractions.

This rugged coastline area on the island of Antigua is called Devil’s Bridge and is one the islands main attractions.

The weather in Antigua continues to be great in April, with temperatures slightly higher than in March but still pleasant. The rains are still only occasional, soft and pleasant and the humidity is tolerable.

Expect crowds to increase significantly in April. This month is the time of the famous Antigua Sailing Week and sailors consider April the best time to visit Antigua.

You and the rest of the world’s sailing enthusiasts can spend a week watching some magnificent sailboats and the world-class sailing races. Sailing folks are famous for organizing some legendary parties on the island, whether they win or not.

Strong winds that will cool you off in April are great for sailing but also for flying kites. Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival is held every year on April 22 at Devil’s Bridge.

The festival attracts not only hundreds of kite owners, with their bright, colorful and imaginative homemade kites, but also many tourists excited to watch this mainly local event.

 Antigua in May

Antigua in May - Underwater photography of coral reefs. Clear blue water, beautiful corals.

The summer is approaching and after May the heat, humidity and rainfall will increase. So, enjoy May and the pleasant trade winds that are making the heat more tolerable. The temperatures reach 86 degrees on an average day and the rainfall is getting heavier.

The summer heat and heavy rains keep many tourists away, so hotels are less booked and start dropping prices. It is a good month to find some great bargains if you are ready to brave sudden rain showers.

There is plenty of sunshine between rains to dry you off. And you can always just jump into the waves when it starts raining.

May is considered the best time to visit Antigua if you are a scuba diver. The water is calm and the temperature is consistently warm. What makes the difference is the prices: they naturally drop at the end of the busy tourist season.

Since this is the last month before the hurricane season starts, May is just about the perfect month to visit for a scuba diving course or some fun diving.

Scuba diving can be expensive, especially if you have to book a course or rent the equipment. Coming in May might make a big difference in how many days of diving you can afford.

If you are a runner, the best time to visit Antigua is in May. The traditional half-marathon called Run in Paradise held in Antigua every year attracts marathon runners from all over the world. They follow the path through some of Antigua’s most beautiful and historically significant locations.


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Antigua in June

Fresh organic green and yellow mangoes on a mango tree - Antigua in June

June is the month of high winds. The rainy season is approaching but it is still not at full strength and the humidity is bearable. There is still plenty of sun between the rain showers, so June is a pleasant month to enjoy Antigua before the rainy season comes with a vengeance.

June is the beginning of the mango season. This delicious fruit grows in abundance all over the island and the islanders use it in so many traditional ways. Antigua and Barbuda’s Ministries of Agriculture and Tourism organize the annual mango festival – the date is decided every year.

The festival is normally held at Antigua’s Botanical Gardens, a good reason to visit this lush oasis if you have not done it yet.

Antigua in July

Carnival dresses and costumes - Antigua in July

If you were worried about the rainy season in Antigua, July will show you that there is nothing to worry about. The rains are a bit heavier this month, but quick showers are followed by clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine. You can expect about 6 inches (155 mm) of rain and the temperature reaches 88 degrees (30-31°C).

You will see how little the locals care about the rains during the traditional July Caribbean Carnival. – they ignore it! The carnival is a great reason to visit Antigua in July and many visitors consider it the best time to visit Antigua. The festival lasts ten days, until the first week of August. It celebrates the end of slavery on Antigua with colorful floats, outrageous costumes, fabulous parties, a lot of music, food and drinks.’

Of course, the carnival attracts a lot of tourists, so expect the peak crowds during this event. As locals are trying to take advantage of this big tourist draw, the prices everywhere will go up.

Antigua in August

Two kids happily running at unique Pink sand beach on tropical Barbuda island in Caribbean - Antigua in August

The real summer heat arrives in Antigua in August, with an average temperature of 88 degrees (31°C). The sun is intense and so are the rains, making the humidity pretty heavy.

The winds are dying down, so there is not much respite from the humidity. This is not the month for those who have a hard time with the tropical heat.

Swimming in warm waters is still great and so is diving, but stay away from the open beaches to avoid sunburn. It can come pretty fast, especially if you are on a boat.

As the tourists leave after the carnival, the island life will slow down. Fewer tourists means more solitude, long walks on the beach and less crowd in your favorite beach shack. Hotel prices go down this month.

Antigua in September

The restored sugar plantation windmills at Betty's Hope in the heart of Antigua. Antigua in September

September is the month of heavy rains, plenty of sun in between downpours and high humidity. Tourists usually stay away from Antigua in September as this is also the heart of the hurricane season in the Caribbean.

Low tourist season in September means better availability and better discounts in the hotels. It is also the time to visit some indoor Antigua attractions such as the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, where you can learn about the island’s history.

You should use this rainy time to visit Betty’s Hope, a 1674 sugar plantation that is beautifully preserved in memory of the slaves who were exploited harvesting sugarcane on many island plantations.

The rainy season is also a good excuse to spend some time on serious shopping. The destination: the Heritage Quay Complex in St John’s. Located in St. John’s picturesque harbor, this two-story shopping complex is a spending paradise. Try to avoid the days when a cruise ship is in the harbor, it brings huge hordes of people.


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Antigua in October

Concert view of a saxophonist, saxophone player with vocalist and musical during jazz orchestra performing music on stage - Antigua in October

With eight inches (200mm) of rain on an average day, you better carry your umbrella with you wherever you go on Antigua in October. The best way to deal with the frequent and heavy downpour is to wait them out in one of many bars, cafes or ice cream parlors. After every shower, the sun comes out, more brilliant than ever.

The temperatures are on average in the high 80s and low 90s and the humidity can get really heavy.

This is the month when the hurricanes are most likely, at least statistically. Everyone is keeping an eye on the tropical storm-watching websites. Make sure your hotel knows what to do if a hurricane is on the way and that all safety measures are observed.

If you are a jazz lover, October for you might just be the best month to visit Antigua. Regardless of the possible hurricanes, October is the month of the very popular annual Antigua Jazz Festival. The festival attracts many upcoming as well as established artists from Antigua, the rest of the Caribbean and from the rest of the world.

Antigua in November

The rains are slowing down a bit in November, but not by much from the previous month. The same goes with the temperature and humidity.

Do as the locals do – cool off on the beach and then go sit in the shade with a cool drink. Or go to the air-conditioned hotel bar and hang out with other tourists.

If you are a diver, you should not care about the rains. The weather underwater is the same in Antigua year around. The water gets a bit murkier when it is raining but not much. And you can count on the sun coming out between the showers – after all, you are in Antigua and the sun shines every day!

On November 1, Antigua and Barbuda Independence Food Fair attracts thousands of locals and tourists alike to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Many Antigua local street vendors set up their shops with local delights. For many visitors, this is a unique opportunity to try some delicious local specialties.

For a bit of local cultural experience, do not miss Antigua’s Moods of Pan Festival. Enjoy authentic Caribbean beats for two nights under the stars.

Antigua in December

Santa Claus Hat on sunbed near tropical calm beach with turquoise caribbean sea water and white sand. Antigua in December

The hurricane season is over, the rains are slowing down, the temperature is dropping to the mid-80s in December and the cooling wind is picking up. All of that means the beginning of another high tourist season.

December, together with January, is considered one of the best months to visit Antigua. The island is at its lushest green and there is a feel of the holiday season approaching.

If you come towards the end of the month, stay for the holidays. Christmas in the tropics is a very different experience. No Santa, no snow but plenty of holiday lights and a lot of holiday parties.


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Antigua – Rainy Season

Antigua - Rainy Season - Tropical storm batters the coastline of the Cayman Islands.

The months between July and December are considered the rainy season in Antigua. If you are worried about being constantly drenched, stop worrying. The bouts of heavy rains always end with a clear sky and bright sun.

On top of that, because of the island’s flat topography, the rains are never very hard and heavy as they can be in some other places.

The best way to deal with the rain is to wait it out – when it starts raining, if you are on the beach, hop under the umbrella of your nearby beach shack. If you are in town, go sit it out in one of the bars or cafes and read your book for a while.

The great thing about getting rained on in a hot tropical country like Antigua is – you get wet and then very quickly the sun will get you dry. You will notice many locals not even slowing down and just going about their business in the rain.

If you are willing to adjust and do as the locals do, you can enjoy big discounts in hotels during the rainy season. The occupancy is low during these months and you can get some great deals.

Antigua Hurricane Season

View space of the incipient large hurricane over the ocean. Antigua Hurricane Season

Officially, the hurricane season in Antigua is from June to November. Statistically, June and November are low-risk months and the real hurricane watch starts in August. From August to October, everyone in Antigua and the rest of the Caribbean is checking daily weather reports and storm warnings.

The local authorities are doing the same thing and in case of a storm coming, they inform the population in time if there is the need for evacuation and where.

All hotels have their own hurricane plans and preparations, just like all the locals do.

You will find out from the locals that nobody is really worried much because there has not been a hurricane since 1999 and in the last 50 years the island has been hit by a hurricane only six times.

If you are on the island and there is a hurricane warning, follow the instructions by the local authorities. Some buildings are declared hurricane shelters. Your hotel might be one of them.

You will find out that the part of the preparations for a coming hurricane by the locals is to organize many well-attended hurricane parties.

Conclusion

While tourist agencies always warn tourists that the best time to visit Antigua is during the peak season from mid-December to mid-April, this is also the most expensive season, so they might be a bit biased.

It is true, during these months the weather is very pleasant and the rains are light and soft. But, the weather in Antigua is warm year-round, the water is clear and blue, and when the rains stop the sun comes out every month of the year.  So, in reality, you will have the best time in Antigua whenever you visit. You just might get wet occasionally during the wet season.

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