The Bahamas is one of the most popular travel destinations of the Caribbean with 700 islands and over 2,000 keys strewn across 100,000 miles of pale blue ocean in the Atlantic. If a trip to the Bahamas is on your travel bucket list, you might be wondering what’s the best and worst times to visit.
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The following are the top tips for planning your trip to the Bahamas curated from travel experts.
While the temperatures in the Bahamas stay relatively warm (24-29 degrees Celsius/75-84 Fahrenheit), the summer months bring on hot sun and stiff breezes from the trade winds.
January is one of the coolest months with an average high temperature of 22 degrees Celsius/71 Fahrenheit and night-time temps falling to 16 degrees Celsius/60 Fahrenheit.
With climate change, the risk of hurricanes in the Bahamas has increased in the past few years. Common travel wisdom says to avoid the Bahamas during hurricane season, but this is debatable. Even though hurricanes are statistically more likely during some parts of the year, it hardly means a strong tropical storm is guaranteed.
Plus, even when a hurricane does occur it usually affects only a small part of the Bahamas at a time. Even more important to know is that the peak months for hurricanes are August and September.
That said, if you plan to visit the Caribbean during the months of June through November, it’s best to be prepared for the possibility of tropical storms and even hurricanes. Even if there are no reports of tropical storms at your destination, you could experience some heavy rain if a storm is nearby.
See what’s covered under hurricane coverage with a travel insurance plan.
If you want to avoid the heaviest crowds and the rainy season, late April to mid-December is the best time to visit (with some exceptions). Resort prices are lower, pools are less jammed, and the weather is sunny and clear.
The months of August through October are more indicative of true Caribbean lifestyle with less bustle. Temperatures are warm but tolerable with trade winds keeping the nights cooler. Rain showers are quick and bring welcome respite from the midday heat.
In most cases, the hotel and resort prices are more reasonable and restaurants often have tables available without reservations made days in advance. Swimming pools and beaches are less crowded, and there is no long wait for rental cars, tennis courts, or golf course tee times.
The Bahamas is truly a year-round destination and there are a few times of the year you may want to avoid.
Hurricane season is officially from June 1st to November 30th but hurricanes occur infrequently and when one does come, satellite forecasts give travelers plenty of advance warning. Just remember, the peak months for hurricanes are August and September. The risk of hurricanes in the other hurricane-season months is less.
Vacationing college and high-school students typically make landfall in the Bahamas throughout March and into mid-April. If the idea of loud beach parties going all night long doesn’t appeal to you, avoid these months.
Hotels charge their highest prices during the peak winter season of mid-December to mid-April when snow-weary people flock to the islands. If you want to save money and visit the Bahamas, the island’s off season runs mid-April to early December.
Just because a hurricane isn’t guaranteed, it’s important to consider travel insurance for a few reasons:
The number one reason for insuring your trip to the Bahamas? Travel insurance provides travelers the reassurance that they can be reimbursed for their pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if they have to cancel a trip because of a hurricane.
If you’re planning a trip to the Bahamas, read all about how to protect your trip and yourself from hurricanes in our Hurricane Travel Resource Center
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.