If you’re planning a trip to explore Guatemala or work remotely, check out our guide to the best time to visit Antigua for weather, less crowds, and cultural events.
Antigua is a premier Caribbean getaway because of its tropical weather, convenience, and lovely beaches, – one for each day of the year. However, since most people can’t live in Antigua permanently, we must all settle for visiting.
Looking for more information on Central America? Start with these posts:
- Most Famous Historical And Natural Landmarks In Guatemala
- Famous Landmarks In El Salvador
- Famous Landmarks In Nicaragua
When’s The Best Time To Visit Antigua?
There’s never a wrong time to visit Antigua, just preferences for different times of the year. Antigua has relatively stable weather, the temperature is between the mid-seventies and high eighties year-round, and there’s always a bit of rain no matter when you choose to visit.
Two Distinct Seasons: Rainy and Dry
Two distinct seasons characterize the Caribbean: the rainy and dry seasons. In Antigua, the dry season takes place over the winter and spring and is when many tour companies and hotels recommend you go. However, this is also high tourist season, where visitors from the US and Europe escape their cold winter climates to visit the warm, clear waters of the Caribbean,
Tourism is much slower during the rainy season, summer and fall. And despite the name, it doesn’t rain much more than the dry season. The number of rainy days remains the same, it just rains more heavily during the rainy season, and there’s still plenty of sunshine to enjoy.
Most residents don’t even care about the rain and simply do their business. The sun and the heat dry clothes quickly, so you don’t need an umbrella. The dry season is still the best time to visit in terms of weather, but if you don’t mind getting a little wet, you can save money and have a great vacation.
The Dry Season: December-April
The dry season is December through April, and it rains an average of about 2 inches each month, more near the end of spring. However, remember that the number of rainy days is similar to the rainy season. It’s just lighter showers.
This is when most people visit, making it a high tourist season. Expect crowds and high prices, and book your stay a couple of months before your trip.
December is the beginning of the tourist season, and when it’s coupled with the holidays, you can expect soaring prices and large crowds. Unless you want to celebrate Christmas in Antigua, wait until after December to visit.
January is a popular time to visit Antigua. It’s the dry season, and the winter blues are beginning in the north. The SuperYacht Challenge is five races over four days.
Though still tropical, the humidity and temperature are low (still tropical), and many consider this the best time to visit Antigua.
February is another popular month, particularly around Valentine’s Day, when couples flock to the island to spend quality time together. The humidity and temperature remain low, and there’s another yacht event called the Valentine’s Regatta, perfect for couples who love to be out on the open water.
This month, the dry season begins to transition into the rainy season. In March, things start to heat up. The temperature is still in the low eighties. And the rain starts getting a little heavier.
Culture enthusiasts will want to visit during the International Kite Festival, which holds special meaning to the locals in connection to Easter. It usually takes place in late March or early April.
April has similar weather to March, with temperatures and humidity rising a little. You can avoid the wild parties and crowds, as April is when tourism begins to drop, transitioning from the high season to the low season. Overall, it’s still a great time to visit, especially considering Antigua tends to be overlooked as a spring break destination.
While you might be able to catch the International Kite Festival early this month, you can also wait for Antigua Sailing Week, the dream location and festival for sailors worldwide.
The Rainy Season: May-November
The rainy season takes place from May through November, much of which overlaps with hurricane season. This is the off-season for tourists, and many smaller hotels and attractions close down at the end of summer.
If you’re willing to brave some inclement weather, you’ll be rewarded with uncrowded beaches, great prices, and some truly unique experiences.
May marks the end of the dry season, and tourism tends to be lower than in the other months. The temperature and humidity both increase considerably, going to the mid-eighties. You can score some great deals and enjoy the sunshine, making this month an excellent option for those who want less rain but better prices.
It’s also the last month you can visit before hurricane season, making this an ideal time for scuba divers. You won’t notice the rain or heat underwater, and things like equipment and lessons are cheaper from the drop in tourists.
June starts hurricane season, but the risk is low this month. Rainfall tends to be lower this month when compared to the rest of the rainy season. The temperature tends to stay in the mid and upper eighties, making this a great time to visit the beach.
July is when the rain begins to pick up. While not overwhelming, it might be prudent to bring an umbrella in emergencies. The best way to deal with the rain is to jump into the waves or duck into a small restaurant or cafe to wait out.
Caribbean Carnaval usually takes place during this month, and tons of tourists flock to the festival, a short bump in the off-season. The Carnaval celebrates the end of slavery on the island and is a huge holiday here.
August is the middle of hurricane season, so you should watch the local weather reports while there. The rainfall and temperature also increase this time of year, so you’ll want to plan some indoor activities in addition to outdoor ones.
This is when several smaller hotels and attractions begin to close until November when the tourists start coming again. While it’s not a big deal (you can always go to more prominent places), if you had to pick one month not to go to Antigua, it would be this month. Nevertheless, there’s still tons of sunshine and beach to enjoy.
September has the highest rainfall of any month, and the temperature is also high. However, it’s also the least popular month of the year, meaning prices are meager. You can enjoy the beach and explore Antigua without crowds of tourists.
Rain tends to come and go in short heavy bursts, so there should be no problems hanging out at the beach. The rain won’t matter if you’re already wet, and the sunshine dries you quickly.
October also tends to be rainier, but this is when it begins to transition back into the dry season. Temperature, humidity, and rainfall drop a bit, but tourism is still low. You can still get great prices and participate in the International Jazz Festival this month, where big names worldwide come to Antigua to celebrate the genre.
November has less rainfall and lower temperatures, as the rainy season is nearly over. Tourism is picking up this month, and many smaller hotels and attractions have started opening again.
November is considered by many to be the best time to visit because of the low threat of hurricanes coupled with the milder weather and numerous festivals. The Moods of Pan Festival celebrates Caribbean music, and the Antigua and Barbuda Independence Food Fair celebrate local treats you can find anywhere else in the world.
Antigua’s Hurricane Season
The hurricane season in Antigua and Barbuda takes place between June and November. October is the most likely month for hurricanes to hit (at least statistically), but if you plan on visiting any time during the hurricane season, check the local weather reports.
However, you shouldn’t let the threat of hurricanes get in the way of your trip. Hurricanes are a relatively rare occurrence on the island, and the local authorities have designated shelters for tourists and residents.
That’s not to say hurricanes aren’t a threat at all. In 2017 Hurricane Irma completely wiped Barbuda, making it an uninhabited island. However, you should be fine if you follow the proper safety procedures.
Antigua: There’s Never A Bad Time To Visit!
Antigua is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean and is famous for having a beach you can visit each day of the year. And you can enjoy those beaches, as there’s never really a wrong time to visit. The sun shines year-round, and the rain bothers locals and tourists very little.
If you wonder when the absolute best time to visit Antigua is – try visiting during May or June if you want the best deals while still having great weather. July is also a great time to visit, especially during Carnaval. While this is the rainy season, rainfall remains low, and you can easily wait out showers.
Antigua is great year-round, so enjoy the sun and beach in your own time. There is the dry season, with plenty of sailing and high tourist season, and the rainy season with its share of festivals and fewer people. No matter when you choose to visit, enjoy your time there.