When’s the best time to go?
Whether you’re visiting laid-back Jamaica, lively St Lucia or upmarket Barbados, the Caribbean has something to suit all tastes. Delicious Caribbean food, some of the world’s best beaches and stunning scenery lie around every corner, and sunshine is practically guaranteed. With our Caribbean travel advice, you’ll be ready for the holiday of a lifetime.
The Caribbean’s tropical climate means the weather is hot and humid all year round, with distinct wet and dry seasons. Peak season (also the dry season) runs from December to April, with cooler temperatures making sightseeing and activities pleasant. Rainy season for most of the Caribbean islands runs from the middle of June until mid-November. It’s worth noting that hurricane season is from September to October, so check the weather forecast before your trip, although storms rarely make landfall.
The wettest weather for most islands occurs between August to November. Downpours are not uncommon, but luckily these are generally short and sharp, with plenty of sunshine for the rest of the day. If you’re planning a beach break, come to the Caribbean between June and September, when temperatures average 28°C.
The Caribbean is a popular destination for a winter sun break, but you will find prices are higher and the islands are at their busiest from December to April. If you don’t mind the crowds and want dry, sunny weather guaranteed, a winter break to the Caribbean is your best bet.
What should I pack?
The Caribbean has a hot, humid climate and even in winter the weather can be unseasonably warm. If you’re heading here in dry season, don’t forget to pack plenty of high-factor suncream and after sun, your swimwear, a sun hat, and sunglasses. Bringing something to cover up with at the beach or by the pool is also a good idea, as is a light jacket or jumper for cooler evenings.
Anybody visiting the Caribbean between January and April will find the weather a little cooler and wetter. You’ll need a light raincoat and some comfortable, closed shoes for rainy days.
Remember to bring your camera and a travel adaptor for charging your devices too.
Passport and Visas
Do I need a passport?
You will need a valid passport to visit the Caribbean, which must be valid for a minimum of six months from your date of entry.
For more information on Caribbean passport requirements and details of the country’s entry regulations, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/antigua-and-barbuda/entry-requirements.
Do I need a visa?
British citizens visiting the Caribbean on holiday do not need a visa. You will be given a specific period of stay upon arrival in the country. If you wish to remain in the Caribbean for longer, you will need to apply and pay for an extension through the Antigua and Barbuda Immigration Department.
For more Caribbean visa information as well as details of entry requirements to the country, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/antigua-and-barbuda/entry-requirements.
Health and Safety
Should I get travel health insurance?
Setting off on a Caribbean cruise or an All Inclusive holiday with the family? It pays to have comprehensive travel and health insurance in place, in case you become ill or are injured on your trip. Insurance could pay for emergency medical treatment or even cover the cost of flying you home. You should always check your policy documents before your holiday, so you know what is and what isn’t covered. It’s also a good idea to check that any activities you’re planning on taking part in will be covered by your insurance.
Any other tips?
- The currency here is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. However US dollars are widely accepted and it’s recommended to take some with you for your first few days, as you’ll find better exchange rates upon arrival in the Caribbean.
- For more information and travel advice for your trip to the Caribbean, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/antigua-and-barbuda.