Waves rolling across the turquoise ocean, birds gliding in clear blue skies… mega yachts docked in full splendor. These images of paradise might seem like a dream, but in the Bahamas, exceptional, simplicity and good old-fashioned fun are all just a way of life!
You might have heard rave reviews about this part of the globe, but how much do you really know about the Bahamas, and when is the best time to go there?
The best time to visit the Bahamas is during high season, which runs from mid-December to mid-April,. While the beaches are a little more crowded, it’s a great spot for a warm winter getaway. Bahamian summers are generally warm and sometimes rainy, with daytime temperatures reaching about 89.7°F. The low season lasts from June to November.
Read on to find out more about the best time to travel to the Bahamas, and what to expect when you get there!
In this article on the Sandals Blog:
The Bahamas in a nutshell.
When to go to the Bahamas: Seasonality.
What if I booked a cruise?
The weather in the Bahamas.
Sunshine hours in the Bahamas.
Major events in the Bahamas.
Featured activity: Swimming with the pigs!
Before you go...
Located to the East of Florida, the islands of the Bahamas (there are over 700 of them!) have always been promoted as the ultimate vacation destination. This tropical archipelago is blessed with a natural beauty that is almost beyond belief, and coupled with its melting pot of people, features, sights and sounds that are packed with a unique history and culture.
Also read: The most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas.
Many of the islands of the Bahamas remain uninhabited. That in no way slows down the flowing traffic of curious tourists – because of its proximity to the United States, these islands have a flow of visitors from the US all year round. Most of these travelers arrive via the Lynden Pindling International Airport (Nassau) by plane.
Popular island destinations in the Bahamas include New Providence Island (Nassau/Paradise Island), Grand Bahama Island, The Exumas, The Abacos, Eleuthera, Long Island, Harbor Island, and San Salvador Island.
There are lots of things you need to keep in mind when planning a Caribbean vacation, and finding the right time to go is one of them. In travel industry terms, the year is made up of three very important seasons which are detailed below. Here are the pros and cons for traveling in each of these seasons:
The islands of the Bahamas are their liveliest between December and April, with lots of festivals, regattas, and other events. This is a great time to travel if you’re vacationing with kids, as there are lots of activities across the islands around this time.
These months are outside of the wet season so you can expect good weather and lots of sunshine.
The months of January and February are great for visiting the Bahamas for people who love the sun, but not extreme heat and humidity. There is also a great balance of heat and cool in March, but keep in mind that the evenings may get Caribbean chilly*, so make sure to pack appropriately if you go then.
Traveling to the Bahamas between mid-December and mid-April in general tends to be more expensive.
You may find yourself stuck in lines for longer than usual at various attractions, as many people visit at this time.
It may be more difficult to find accommodation, particularly if your heart is set on a specific villa or resort, and not open to exploring alternative places or dates.
Not to be confused with chills in winter-prone areas! On breezier than usual Caribbean nights, light-weight long-sleeved shirts or jeans/pants will do.
As between April and June see a slightly lower volume of arrivals than the previous, peak season, these shoulder season months can be a great time to explore the best of the Bahamas in a more peaceful setting.
Flight prices tend to be moderate to low in cost, so this is a great time to travel if you're on a budget.
There are lots of Spring Break-related activities that happen on the islands so there’s no short supply of things to do.
If you’re into snorkeling or scuba diving, this is an ideal time to visit the islands as the warmer than usual waters attract various species of sea life, which you might not see at other times of year.
The Bahamas is party-central during spring break, so if you’re looking for a completely Zen vacation or a romantic getaway, this might not be the best time to visit. Good to know: Sandals resorts in the Bahamas are for couples only, so nothing will stand in the way of undisturbed romance!
The wet season in the Caribbean begins in June so you might experience some rain here and there. Still a good time for a relaxing beach vacation though!
The best flight deals tend to be in the low season, so if you’re on a budget, this is the ideal time to travel.
Resorts and hotels also tend to offer great deals for staying between August and November. That luxurious Butler suite that you’ve always dreamed of, might all of a sudden be within your price range!
The island is less crowded, which is great if you desire a more personalized experience. Plus, you won‘t have any trouble finding a good spot at the beach or the pool!
As this is the off-season there’s less happening, so if you are looking for a party or plenty of events, you’ll be better to visit the Bahamas during peak season.
These months are smack in the middle of the wet season so you’re more likely to run into some rainfall. There are still plenty of beach days though!
The dry season spans from November to June, with the wet season starting in July and ending in December. If you’re going to the Bahamas during the wet season, expect to see an increase in rainfall - but still plenty of beach days. The ocean water tends to be warmer at this time, which makes it a great time for snorkeling.
Though this Caribbean territory does not experience winter, months like January tend to be cooler than most with lows of 63°F at night. Highs in January are typically around 79°F during the day.
In the Bahamas, the sunniest month is April, which sees an average 9.2 daily hours of sunshine. The least sunny month is December, with a recorded 6.9 hours of sunshine per day. You can still expect great beach weather in December, it just gets light a bit later and dark a little earlier.
When reading this graph, keep in mind the dry season spans from December to June, while the wet season starts in July and ends in December.
Now that you’re well versed with Bahamian weather, we’re on to the fun part. Bahamians love to share their very mixed culture, and for this reason, there is a wide range of activities which happen in the islands throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular events which may help you decide on the best time to visit:
This Mardi-Gras-style festival is usually held on Christmas Night into the early hours of Boxing Day (the day after), with a second round held on New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day.
Junkanoo is a big national pride event where local groups compete for boasting rights. If you win both days it is a big deal for the group (in terms of pride and bragging rights).
An annual festival is held every February in the Exumas for yachtsmen and is a homecoming for the people of Farmer’s Cay.
The Bacardi Billfish Tournament is a weeklong tournament in March for avid deep-sea fishers!
This event held in George Town in April, in the Exumas, features boat races and lots of onshore activities.
Split into four different venues and times, this fishing tournament series happens between April and June.
Pineapples, a parade, arts & crafts… what more do you need? This event happens in the first week of June.
Parades, fireworks, and lots of entertainment to celebrate the independence of the Bahamas. This takes place on July 10, with different events throughout the islands.
Authentic Bahamian seafood is on display at this festival held in October.
Three-day celebration at Nassau and Paradise Island in the last week of November. Lots of live performances!
These are just some of the events - there are loads of other regattas and festivals happening on the islands throughout the year. If you’re visiting the Bahamas, you’re bound to find something to do!
One of the most interesting things to do in the Exumas, which has gained popularity over the years, is swimming with the pigs that live there.
The most adorable pigs and piglets swim out to your boat to greet you on arrival to a tropical paradise. This is a must-do activity particularly if you’re traveling with kids!
Insider tip: Want to vacation close to the swimming pigs? Book Sandal’s luxury resort in Exuma!
Keep in mind that seasonality is something to consider when planning the ultimate Caribbean vacation in the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. Luckily, when traveling to the Bahamas, the odds are in your favor for some fun in the sun. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be better prepared for your Caribbean beach vacation.
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