All you need to know about traveling to the Caribbean during the rainy season
Every seasoned traveler knows you'll save a bundle if you visit a destination during its off-season. In the Caribbean, the slow season comes during hurricane season. While you might save a bundle of money, you could also lose out if your vacation gets canceled because of severe weather. Here's what you need to know before you commit.
When is hurricane season in the Caribbean?
While official hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, some months are historically more prone to hurricanes than others. September sees the most hurricanes overall, with 966 hurricanes and tropical storms recorded since since 1851, an average of six in that month. August and October are the next rainiest months, with three to four storm systems moving through on average.
Which islands are most prone to hurricanes?
The island of Abaco in the Bahamas gets the title of "Hurricane Capital of the Caribbean." Since 1851, the island has endured 80 hurricanes, including 18 that were severe. While that averages out to a hurricane every eight to nine years, only four severe hurricanes have hit the island since the 1950s. Key West, Fla., Cuba and Nevis have seen the most severe hurricanes. Grand Bahama, Saba, Bimini and St. Eustatius are also hurricane magnets.
What islands are not in the hurricane belt?
Islands on the far south and southeastern edge are the best places to avoid hurricanes if you're traveling from late August through October. Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago in the Eastern Caribbean are excellent choices. The islands off the coast of Venezuela are even less likely to encounter a hurricane. Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire only have hurricanes every three decades or so.
Can I cruise during hurricane season?
Go ahead and book a cruise during hurricane season. Cruise lines tend to schedule their trips to ports in the Eastern or Western Caribbean during times when hurricanes in the area are less likely. Should a hurricane develop, the cruise line reserves the right to change its itinerary without any compensation to the passengers. It will want to keep its equipment and passengers as far away from the storm as possible. That means you should make sure that any port activities you book on your own are refundable. Buy trip insurance during hurricane season that will compensate you should the cruise line cancel the voyage.
What you should know before you go?
Keep in mind that although mosquito season runs year round, increased humidity levels during hurricane season increase their population and plan accordingly. Make sure hotels, restaurants and attractions you want to visit will be open. Some close during September and October because of hurricane season and low visitor numbers.