If you are wondering about the answer to the question posed in the title above – when is the best time to visit Jamaica? – it is not a simple matter. While Jamaica does have year-round good weather (for instance, Jamaica weather in December is as nice as the weather in Jamaica in May), it has its definitive peak season as well as its slow time of the year.
Think about Shoulders
If you are a seasoned traveler, you may know about a period of time described as the “shoulder season.” There are two, and they occur at the beginning of what any area might think of as its peak season, and then again as peak season transitions into the slower, quieter season. As an example, an area with a peak season in July and August has shoulder seasons in June and September.
The shoulder seasons in Jamaica run Mid-April and May, and then again November to Mid-December. This is a time when the weather is great, and you can easily plan on days at the beach, but you may experience a few windy and rainy days or days that have a bit more heat than is usually comfortable.
And what about the peak in Jamaica? Is the Jamaica weather in December a time when there are more travelers or fewer? The simplest answer is that Jamaica’s peak season begins in mid-December and runs through mid-April.
Why? Because the Jamaica weather in January through April allows travelers to escape the cold winter conditions of the Northern Hemisphere. As one travel expert said, winter “is peak season in Jamaica. The weather is slightly cooler over these months, and the island sees an influx of tourists from around the globe.”
Jamaica Throughout the Year
It is safe and accurate to say that Jamaica is lush and fairly static in terms of its weather. That makes it accurate to say that the best time to go to Jamaica is really just about any time of the year. The region does experience two rainier periods – in early May and then at the end of September. There are also the drier periods in July and August, and then again during what many say is the peak season.
The Jamaica weather in December is dry and sunny with daytime temperatures in the 80s. The days are bright and the waters calm, making it perfect for family getaways, group trips, romantic escapes, and solo trips to a tropical paradise.
Does that mean that the good Jamaica weather in December makes it the only time to book a visit? The opposite is true. While it is often identified as the best time to travel to Jamaica, it can also be a time when many spots are crowded or heavily booked with fellow travelers.
The weather in Jamaica in February is still quite fine, though it can be a bit rainy, and the weather in Jamaica in November is also comfortable, it is simply that the month of November is often seen as peak hurricane season throughout the entire Caribbean region.
Remember, too, that the temperature in Jamaica can vary greatly by where you are on the island. For example, the Montego Bay area is hottest during the month of July while it gets its coolest during the month of January. Keep in mind that temperature variations in this popular part of the island range from a high of 91 to a low of 82. The Negril area is the same, but its temperatures are generally much cooler with highs of 86 and lows of 82. Kingston is identical to Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios is one of the steadiest with temperatures varying only from around 88 to 84 degrees throughout the year.
Even rainfall varies based upon the location on the island with the southern towns like Kingston being less windy and blustery, while the northern coastal rea experiences a bit more rain. The mountains in the central part of the island are, by far, the rainiest and are a wonderful destination because of their lush and dense growth.
The “Low Season” in Jamaica
As noted, the Jamaica hurricane season is identical to that of the entire region, and it falls during the low season months of June through November. Is it unwise to book a journey? No, because Jamaica does not regularly experience tropical storms and it means that you can pay a visit when beaches are far less crowded, and yet weather conditions are still wonderful.
You may also find that some of the hottest luxury rentals are more readily available during the low season, including those along famous Seven Mile Beach in the Negril area, those tucked into luxurious Montego Bay, and, many surrounded by the natural beauty of the Ocho Rios area.
Kingston is a far more urbanized setting but is just as much fun at any time of year, and particularly for those interested in music, art and food. There is also Port Antonio, which many will recognize from movies and TV shows, and which is also where great weather can be enjoyed all year long.
Jamaica ranks as one of the most popular destinations in the entire Caribbean region. This is for many reasons, but one of the most significant is that it has ideal beach weather all year long. So, whether you want a quick getaway this fall or winter, or you are eager to experience it during the low season when crowds are much thinner, now is a good time to make some plans.
If you are curious about making a multi-stop trip to the Caribbean, whether traveling at peak season, shoulder season, or low season, don’t forget the appeal of spots like Barbados, St Barts, and Turks & Caicos. Each is an entirely unique spot, but all will be less crowded during the same low season period of June through November.