Best time for weather

Barbados gets an incredible 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, so whatever time of the year you’re planning to visit you can expect some glorious days. January - April are the driest months of the year, but even in the wetter months of September, October and November, the rainfall doesn’t hang around for long and often clears up after a few hours. Here’s a breakdown of key weather seasons in Barbados:

Dry Season

January - April

The dry season runs from January to April with average temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to the high 20s Celsius. The skies remain clear, with minimal rainfall, providing ample opportunities to indulge in beachside relaxation, water sports, and sightseeing. The humidity levels are generally lower during this time too. Making it perfect for a winter sun trip, or the perfect Easter family holiday away.

Wet Season

July - November

Barbados experiences a rainy season from July to November. During this period, brief rain showers are common, at least an hour every day. However, this is usually followed by sunny spells, drying everything instantly. Although this is Barbados’ wet season, the temperatures are also at their highest. The hottest months are between June and September with temperatures reaching highs of 31°C, so the rain might come as a welcome relief. The locals describe the weather as ‘liquid sunshine’ and that really is the best description for it. Despite the rainfall, the sun still shines brightly, resulting in one of the most stunning weather patterns you could ever hope to see.

Hurricane Season

June - November

Hurricane season in Barbados runs from June to November, aligning with the rainy season. While the island is well-prepared to handle tropical storms, the risk of hurricanes affecting Barbados directly is relatively low. The island has a historically strong infrastructure and well-developed disaster preparedness measures in place.

Coldest Months

January - February

Barbados enjoys a consistently mild climate, with no distinct cold season. However, January - February is typically considered one of the cooler months, with average temperatures ranging from around 24-28°C. While it may be slightly cooler compared to other months, the heat is more manageable than it is in the summer, while still managing to feel like a scorcher to us Brits!

Busiest and quietest periods

The peak tourist season in Barbados is during the island’s dry season, December - February. The weather during these months is warm, dry and predictably beautiful, so it’s not surprising that it’s such a popular time to visit with visitors looking to escape the cold winter months at home. This weather season also coincides with Christmas and New Year, making Barbados one of the best winter sun destinations.

The quietest tourist season in Barbados coincides with the island’s west season, spanning from May to November. We think May and June in particular are the best times to make your way to this picture-perfect paradise. The weather is still marvellous, but the temperature doesn’t quite hit the highs that it will during the peak summer months. While May to November sees a decrease in tourist numbers, it doesn't diminish the appeal of visiting Barbados. The occasional rain showers and the lush green landscapes offer their own charm. Not to mention, you’ll have more flexibility and availability when it comes to booking accommodation and exploring attractions.

Best time to visit for festivals and events

Barbados is renowned for its vibrant festivals and events, offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the island's rich cultural heritage. Throughout the year, various festivals and celebrations showcase the lively spirit of Barbados, providing unforgettable experiences for visitors. Here's a month-by-month breakdown of some of the prominent festivals and events in Barbados:

January: Holetown Festival

The Holetown Festival takes place in the historic town of Holetown, marking the arrival of the first settlers in Barbados in 1627. The week-long celebration features a range of activities, including street parades, live music performances, art exhibitions, culinary showcases, and traditional craft demonstrations. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant Bajan culture while exploring the rich history and charm of Holetown.

February: Barbados Reggae Festival

Reggae enthusiasts won't want to miss the Barbados Reggae Festival, a series of events that highlight the pulsating rhythms and soulful melodies of reggae music. The festival features internationally acclaimed reggae artists, local talents, beach parties, live concerts, and DJ performances. Whether you're dancing barefoot in the sand or swaying to the reggae beats, this festival promises an unforgettable experience.

March: Oistins Fish Festival

The Oistins Fish Festival celebrates Barbados' fishing heritage and showcases the vibrant fishing community of Oistins. Visitors can indulge in an array of mouthwatering seafood dishes, including the famous Bajan fish fry. The festival also features live music, cultural performances, arts and crafts displays, and various competitions, creating a lively and festive atmosphere by the sea.

April: Barbados Gospelfest

The Barbados Gospelfest is a week-long celebration of gospel music, bringing together local and international gospel artists to uplift spirits through soul-stirring performances. Attendees can enjoy gospel concerts, choir showcases, workshops, and worship services at different venues across the island. The festival's vibrant energy, powerful vocals, and uplifting messages make it a truly uplifting experience.

May: Barbados Celtic Festival

The Barbados Celtic Festival pays homage to the island's Celtic heritage, combining Bajan and Celtic traditions in a unique fusion of music, dance, storytelling, and cultural activities. Visitors can enjoy lively performances by Celtic bands, traditional dances, workshops, and even participate in ceilidhs (Celtic social gatherings). The festival creates a bridge between two distinct cultures, showcasing the diversity of Barbados' cultural tapestry.

June: Crop Over Festival

The Crop Over Festival is the most iconic and grandest in Barbados, tracing its roots back to the 18th century when sugarcane was the island's main crop. The festival spans several weeks and culminates in a colourful and exuberant parade known as Grand Kadooment. Revellers adorned in elaborate costumes dance to the infectious rhythms of calypso and soca music, while local arts, crafts, and food vendors line the streets. The Crop Over Festival is a true celebration of Bajan culture, heritage, and artistic expression.

July: Barbados Food and Rum Festival

For food and rum enthusiasts, the Barbados Food and Rum Festival is a culinary delight. This festival showcases the island's diverse cuisine, talented local chefs, and world-renowned rum distilleries. Attendees can indulge in a wide range of food-related events, including cooking demonstrations, rum tastings, gourmet dining experiences, and interactive workshops that delve into the island's culinary traditions. It's a gastronomic journey not to be missed.

August: Bridgetown Market

The Bridgetown Market is a vibrant street fair held in the capital city of Bridgetown during the Emancipation Day holiday. The lively event features local arts and crafts, traditional Bajan street food, live music performances, cultural displays, and exciting entertainment for all ages. The festive atmosphere, pulsating rhythms, and vibrant colours create an immersive experience that showcases the dynamism of Barbadian culture.

September: Barbados Independence Day

Barbados Independence Day celebrated on November 30th, commemorates the country's independence from British colonial rule in 1966. The island comes alive with parades, cultural performances, flag-raising ceremonies, and various events that highlight Bajan pride and heritage. Visitors can witness the vibrant displays of national unity, immerse themselves in the rich history of Barbados, and experience the patriotic spirit that fills the air.

October: Barbados Visual Arts Festival

The Barbados Visual Arts Festival celebrates the talent and creativity of local visual artists. The festival features exhibitions, art installations, workshops, and interactive experiences that allow visitors to engage with the island's thriving art scene. Attendees can explore various art forms, from painting and sculpture to photography and mixed media, and gain insights into the inspirations and stories behind the artworks.

November: Barbados Open Water Festival

The Barbados Open Water Festival attracts swimmers from around the world who are eager to test their skills and endurance in the pristine waters of Barbados. The event offers a range of open water swimming races, including 1.5km, 3.3km, 5km, and 10km distances, catering to both competitive and recreational swimmers. Participants can also attend clinics, social gatherings, and beach parties, creating a vibrant community of open-water swimming enthusiasts.

December: Run Barbados Marathon Weekend & Christmas

Running enthusiasts can participate in the Run Barbados Marathon Weekend, a series of races that cater to all levels of runners. The event includes a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, and fun runs, allowing participants to enjoy the island's scenic routes and breathtaking coastal views while challenging their own goals.

Christmas in Barbados is an unforgettable experience, with resorts pulling out all the stops to get you into the festive spirit. Exchange your hot mulled wine in front of the fire for a cool cocktail beside the sea, and don’t forget to watch out for Santa jet-skiing in for the big day. The celebratory spirit continues into January with New Year’s in Barbados ensuring that you enter the year in style.

Best Time for Outdoor Activities

Barbados is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wealth of exciting activities such as snorkelling, surfing, and hiking. To make the most of your outdoor adventures and experience the optimal conditions, it's important to consider the best time in Barbados to engage in these thrilling activities.

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

January - April

The crystal-clear waters surrounding Barbados provide excellent opportunities for snorkelling and scuba diving year-round. The best time for underwater exploration is during the dry season, which extends from January to April. During this period, the water visibility is at its best, allowing you to discover vibrant coral reefs, colourful marine life, and even shipwrecks with remarkable clarity.

Surfing and Water Sports

November - April

Barbados is renowned for its world-class surfing conditions, attracting surfers from all over the globe. The ideal time for surfing is during the winter months, from November to April when the island receives consistent swells from the Atlantic Ocean. The famous Soup Bowl in Bathsheba is a favourite spot among experienced surfers, while beginners can find suitable breaks along the south and west coasts. Wind and wave conditions vary throughout the year, so be sure to check surf reports and local recommendations for the best spots on any given day.

Hiking and Nature Exploration

December - April

Barbados boasts breathtaking natural landscapes, including lush forests, dramatic cliffs, and scenic coastal trails. The cooler and drier months, from December to April, are ideal for hiking and exploring the island's natural attractions. During this time, the weather is more comfortable for outdoor activities, with milder temperatures and lower humidity. Popular hiking trails like the East Coast Hiking Trail and Welchman Hall Gully offer captivating experiences amidst the island's diverse flora and fauna.

Wildlife Encounters

January - April

For wildlife enthusiasts, Barbados offers opportunities to observe unique species in their natural habitats. The best time for wildlife encounters is during the dry season when animals are more active and easily spotted. Take a boat tour to witness sea turtles nesting or hatching along the beaches, or visit the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, where you can encounter green monkeys, colourful birds, and other native species.

Sunrise and Sunset Experiences

All year round

Barbados' breathtaking sunrises and sunsets are not to be missed. The early morning and late afternoon hours provide stunning lighting conditions for capturing memorable moments. Whether you're on the beach, atop a cliff, or enjoying a coastal walk, witnessing the golden hues of a Barbadian sunrise or sunset is a truly magical experience.

Ready to explore Barbados?

The best way to find out when to visit Barbados is to speak to someone who knows best. If you would like some expert advice, speak to our travel specialists. Their expert knowledge and understanding of your personal needs mean they can completely tailor a holiday that you’ll remember for years to come.

Why we're the Barbados experts
  • Airport meet-and-greet for immediate post-flight assistance
  • Escort through to your private transfer for a seamless arrival
  • Direct line of contact to Kerin's team for any requests or assistance
  • In-resort support for booking taxis, excursions and restaurants
  • Barbados lounge passes included on return

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