Caribbean: When is the best time to visit?

Rainy weather gives the Pitons in St Lucia a totally different look

When is the best time to visit the
Caribbean - especially its waterfalls?

Well considering the fact that there's a hurricane season throughout most of the Caribbean and the southeastern US, this is an important question to answer.

So let's get right to it.

First of all, hurricane season is generally from June through November, but they're generally infrequent in June or July as well as in November. That's because hurricanes typically feed off warm waters and the water is the warmest when the weather is the warmest. Of course, when the storms aren't intense enough to be hurricanes, they're generally monsoonal thundershowers or the odd system passing through at other times of the year.

So given that hurricane season occurs in the latter part of the year, it's reasonable to say that that's generally the Caribbean rainy season. Thus, resort prices tend to be lower since fewer travelers roll the dice with the weather. But that also means that waterfalls are most likely to be flowing or have their greatest volume at this time of year. Still, if you want to minimize your chances of being caught in a destructive storm while still seeing waterfalls, I'd say your best bet is around the November through December (and possibly January) timeframe.

The window for waterfalls is short because most of the streams that feed waterfalls depend on rain. When rain doesn't fall for any length of time, you can bet the falls become less than impressive or not even flowing at all fairly quickly.

Of course, peak season also begins around December so you can expect to pay higher prices as a result.

To give you an idea of how we timed our trip, we went to St Lucia on Thanksgiving weekend and we ended up with 2.5 days of sunny or otherwise fair weather and 1.5 days of dreary, rainy weather with the occasional squall and serious downpours here and there.

Some Caribbean islands seem to get hit harder than others when it comes to hurricanes, but as a St Lucian local put it, the islands "take turns" getting hit and can only brace for them. Just so you know.

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