What is the best season to visit the Virgin Islands? The answers are as different as the people who travel here. To create the perfect Virgin Islands experience, it’s important to ask yourself some questions before you book your flight!
- What’s your type of weather? Do you love dreamy, drizzly days or cloudless skies?
- Are you a quiet type or a people person?
- Are you visiting family and friends who live in the VI?
Ask a local about the weather and you’ll probably get the reply, “80 degrees, sunny, with a 30% chance of rain,” punctuated by a jovial smirk. We tease because that’s the forecast every day in the Virgin Islands (unless there is a hurricane coming.) Joking aside, there are differences between the seasons that will affect your travel experience.
Low Season/Off Season – June to November
If you’re not big on crowds, this is the time to visit the VI. You will have the world’s most popular beaches to yourself (almost). Many residents love September and October because they can lime (the local word for relax) and take time off from work. Most businesses close for at least two weeks during September. This is the best time to visit your VI friends and family!
The ocean water temperature rises to around 80 degrees. (If you’re a diver, you can shed the wetsuit.) The weather becomes hot, humid, and punctuated by scattered thundershowers. Everything slooowwws down – even slower than our usual Island Time.
Tropical storms and hurricanes can occur as early as June and as late as October. If you travel here in September, you are almost guaranteed to experience the majesty of a Caribbean storm.
Off Season is the time of the armchair meteorologist. Noses are glued to iPhones displaying Weather Underground or Weather Underground. Heated debates on aggregate storm models and who is the best severe weather blogger can be overheard in any sailor bar.
The Virgin Islands hasn’t had a significant hurricane in over a decade, so visitors are perplexed by all the closed businesses in September. The understanding of why low season is low has been lost to most non-residents. These days, travelers come to the islands in summer/early fall to take advantage of the discount airfares and rockbottom room rates.
High Season/Peak Season – December to May
December 14th is the semi-official beginning of high-season in the VI. Excitement is in the air as the Virgin Islands comes alive after the slow summer months. Restaurants, bars, and hotels are reopen for business and smiling faces welcome you from every doorway.
High season is a fun and exciting time to visit the islands but expect to pay top dollar. Book in advance (rooms, tables, rental Jeeps, and watersport excursions) or you might find yourself out of luck.
Everything is in full swing by Christmas as Northerners escape the cold. By February room prices are 30% higher than the lowest summer rates. The beaches are full, the vibe is high, and a non-stop flood of visitors cruise through the streets with cocktails in hand. Spring Break is the last hurray before the islands ease back into summer.
You won’t see much of your friends and family if you visit from January through March. It’s hustle time for anyone who works for a tourist related business. (Which is pretty much all of them here.) Of course, lifestyles vary, so ask!
Welcome to the Virgin Islands
Regardless of when you choose to travel, temperatures range from the high-70s to the mid-80s year-round, skies are sunny, and the rum flows freely. If you wanna lime (slang for relax), book your flight from July to November. If you wanna wine (slang for dance), then we’ll see you from December to June. Either way, welcome to the Virgin Islands!
About the Author
Catherine Turner spends her time sailing in the Caribbean, blogging from her MacBook Pro on the beach, and sipping coconut water from the nuts that plop into the sand next to her. Before tuning in and dropping out Catherine was a nightclub owner and a resort showgirl. A lifetime ago, she spent a decade chained to a desk as a computer programmer/data analyst. She loves to write, paint, snuggle, and to practice yoga. If she doesn’t answer her phone, she is probably in the middle of the ocean somewhere. Leave a message.