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Before visiting any country, it can be helpful to figure out what the best time to visit is. This differs from person to person, based on individual interests. Knowing what the weather is like, the peak times for crowds, or the dates of popular events, are all things that may help make your jet setting decision easier. Selecting a time to travel to Antigua is no different.
The best time to visit Antigua is between mid-December and mid-April when it's peak season, making it the perfect destination to escape wintery conditions in the US or Europe. A good secondary option is to go to Antigua in May or June. This is the period right after peak season and just before the wet season from July to November. The temperature is usually in the mid-80s.
Though there is less rain between mid-December and mid-April, make sure to book well in advance. Resorts tend to be fully booked at that time. If you choose to travel near the end of July, you’ll also find yourself in Antigua smack in the middle of carnival. Visitors often have a better experience finding availability in May and June, right in between those periods.
More on that later!
In this article on the Sandals Blog:
Celebrities in Antigua
Ready, set, pack!
The wet season
The dry season
Peak season vs Low season
Events in Antigua
Looking for romance?
Repeat visits likely
Antigua and Barbuda are a pair of islands in an area known as the Leeward Islands, where the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea meet. Some people know the island of Antigua by the name Wadadli, as it was once called by native inhabitants, who settled on the island before colonization. Antigua is a small island of roughly 108 square miles. It’s sister island, Barbuda, is only 68 square miles, and is a small coral island which is bordered by both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. However, since 2017, Barbuda has become relatively uninhabited due to a tropical storm.
Interesting facts about Antigua
Don’t let the mention of tropical storms scare you away from Antigua. It’s interesting to note that Antigua is actually one of the warmest Caribbean islands, being only 17 degrees north of the equator. Its constant tropical temperatures are perfect if you’re looking to escape the long winter months. During the winter months, when cold air from the north blows down to the Caribbean, the temperatures in Antigua still peak around the mid-70’s (Fahrenheit). In the summer months, it climbs to the 80’s.
Antigua has tons of unique natural features like the Devil’s Bridge, which is a natural arch into the sea, as well as old plantations, sugar mills, rainforests and the popular Nelson’s Dockyard. If you’re traveling to Antigua from the United States, or if you’re someone who just loved former president Barack Obama, you might be fascinated to know that in 2009, Antigua renamed its highest peak - once known as Boggy Peak - to Mount Obama.
Apart from lots of high-end duty-free shopping, many people may not know that gambling is legal in Antigua and has been for many decades (unlike some other Caribbean islands). Visitors to the island can feel free to pop into any of the island’s casinos or sports betting locations.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about Antigua is that there are actually 365 beaches on the island - all with pristine pink and white sand. The island is known around the rest of the Caribbean for having one beach for every day of the year. Set apart from other islands in the region which are mainly volcanic, Antigua is largely a coral island, and so the pink and white sandy beaches can be spotted from miles away. Most of the 365 beaches are located along the side of the island where the gentle waves of the Caribbean Sea brush along the shore – which means the waters are calm all year round. The island is also surrounded by coral reefs which add to the beauty of its beaches.
If you need a little more convincing, keep in mind that tons of writers, fashion designers, celebrities (including popular actors) and several famous cricketers (Antiguans love cricket) have either built permanent or vacation homes in Antigua. Some of the more popular names include Giorgio Armani, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and Jamaica Kincaid.
Ready, set, pack!
Now that your mind is made up about visiting Antigua, the next step is to find out the best time to visit Antigua, based on your preferences. Do you base your travels on the weather, high or low seasons, or events? Do you like Caribbean Carnival, or are you a sailor who dreams of taking part in the highly rated Antigua Sailing Week? Or do you just want to forget it all, and bask in the island’s warmth on an Antiguan beachside? Whatever your preference, it is worth noting the kind of climate you can expect during your visit.
Antigua, like the rest of the Caribbean islands, is located in the tropics. This means that Antigua enjoys hot weather all year round, and temperatures less than the mid-70’s are rare. While sunshine is the norm, it does rain in Antigua. The island’s climate is classed as tropical-marine and this means that Antigua has distinct wet and dry periods.
The wet season
Across the Caribbean, the wet season begins in June and ends in November every year. This is typically during the summer and fall months. The season is categorized by a slight increase in rainfall, and occasionally, tropical storms. It’s understandable that you may be uneasy about traveling to Antigua during the rainy season, but the chances of you being caught up in bad weather are very slim. In fact, if you plan a two week vacation to Antigua, it might only rain once during your whole trip. Luxury accommodation is often available at a lower rate during this period and you'll find less crowds on the beaches and around the swimming pools.
The dry season
The dry season runs from December to May - or the winter and spring months. If you want to escape winter, this would be the best time, as the weather is usually warmer and the chance of rain is less likely. The weather is always exceptionally pleasant during this season, and the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea are even calmer. Expect more crowds in the dry season, which is perfect if you are looking for a party!
There really isn’t a bad time to visit Antigua based on the weather. However, if you’re not willing to brave a few days of moderate rain, or if you're looking for a lively vibe, you may want to avoid the low season. If your dream is to catch a tan on one of the 365 beaches, the dry season from December to May is your best bet – although the beaches might be a bit more crowded than usual.
Insider Tip: If you’re looking to catch the island at its most lush and green period, travel between the months of December and January. The weather also tends to be more moderate, with cooler breezes, around this time!
Peak season vs Low season
Antigua’s population as of 2011 is 80,161, and in 2017, the island saw a total of 247,000 tourists, so chances are, you’ll find slightly more crowded beaches during peak season. Here are important periods to note if you prefer a more intimate island experience.
The peak tourism season in Antigua runs from mid-December to mid-April. Although only five months long, there are several activities that attract travelers to the island at that time. Not only will visitors be looking to escape cold US winters, but the Antigua Charter Yacht Show is held in December which means that sailors from across the seas will be descending upon the island. Additionally, the Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival takes place from late March through early April. Kite flying is still a big part of Antiguan culture, specifically during Easter.
Since it’s neither quite the high nor low season, the months of May through June are referred to as the shoulder season. These spring months still attract relatively large crowds since the Antigua Sailing Week begins in late April and carries through to early May.
If you’re looking to avoid crowds and want to find your perfect spot on one of Antigua’s 365 beaches, the best advice is to visit the island any time from July to November. The only major activity happening during this period is Carnival, from July to August. Tourism arrivals dip in again at the end of August so this may be the best time to avoid crowds and feel like you’re just another Antiguan and not get caught up in the hustle and bustle. Less people means that finding the perfect accommodation should be relatively easy and available at a lower rate!
Events in Antigua
Antigua’s calendar of events is always jam-packed with traditional festivals, and those with a more modern twist. Let’s look at some of these festivals which may influence the dates of your next flight to Antigua.
Super Yacht Challenge
January 31 to February 3
2019 saw the ninth edition of this race, which took the form of a series of five races over four days. The challenge took place along Antigua’s south coast.
Jolly Harbor Yacht Club’s Valentine’s Regatta
February 14 to February 16
One of the more exciting events on Antigua’s sailing calendar, the Valentine’s Regatta features exciting races and live bands. The event will next be held over February 14th - 16th, 2020.
The Rohrman Triathlon
This sporting event is the largest of its kind in Antigua. It is open to children as young as 6 years old, and is held in honor of triathlon athlete Jonathan Rohr.
Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival
This festival is held at Devil’s Bridge and is a gathering of hundreds of kite enthusiasts and their bright homemade kites.
Antigua Sailing Week
April 27 to May 3
Set in the Nelson’s Dockyard, this world-renowned regatta attracts over 100 yachts from local, regional and international crews.
Run in Paradise
This half-marathon attracts runners from all over the world and follows a course through some of Antigua’s beautiful and historical locations.
Antigua and Barbuda Mango Festival
Mangoes in every possible way - and not just food! This event is organized by Antigua and Barbuda’s Ministries of Agriculture and Tourism. The mango festival is held at Antigua’s Botanical Gardens.
Antigua Summer Carnival
July 26 to August 6
10 days’ worth of events for Antigua Carnival includes pageants, concerts and streets fairs meant to celebrate the abolition of slavery. The festivities end on the first Monday and Tuesday of August (which are observed as National Holidays) with J’ouvert along the city streets and then Carnival City.
Find out more about Antigua Carnival, and other carnivals in the region by checking out our complete Caribbean Carnival calender.
Antigua and Barbuda Independence Food Fair
Street vendors in Antigua are encouraged to set up shop with local treats at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium for the annual Food Fair. November 1st is also Antigua’s Independence Anniversary.
Jolly Harbor Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta
This is a regular on the calendar of events and features a number of boats with both experienced and amateur crews. The regatta is a day of water-based activities for both members and non-members.
Gemonite Moods of Pan Festival
A staple for steelpan lovers, this festival features the best steelpan musicians and international acts. There is also a competition aspect.
Looking for romance?
Antigua is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, and the infusion of simplicity and beauty make it one of the most romantic places in the world. If you’re planning a dream destination wedding, or looking for an exotic honeymoon getaway, Antigua may just be your go-to destination. Wedding and honeymoon packages available at all-inclusive properties like Sandals Grande Antigua are definitely worth exploring.
Insider tip: Sandals Grande Antigua has been voted the “World's Most Romantic Resort” for multiple years in a row!
Repeat visits likely…
Antigua is such a perfect Caribbean island, that it offers the best of both worlds – a tropical paradise, and the pinnacle of convenience. This is the island where there are activities year-round, and serene locations abound, making Antigua one of the top choices for an unforgettable Caribbean vacation.
Spring is a great time to visit this island paradise, with the tropical sunshine bringing temperatures between 28 and 30 Celsius on average. It is also the driest season in terms of both rainfall and humidity; so if you struggle with muggy, humid heat, then this is the best time of year to go.What month is the best weather in Antigua? ›
December to April is Antigua's high season and the coolest, driest time of year, with an average daily maximum temperature of around 28.5°C. The wet season runs from mid-June to mid-November and can have short spells of heavy rainfall and nighttime thunderstorms.What are the weather seasons in Antigua? ›
The climate in Antigua and Barbuda is tropical, hot and humid all year round, with a relatively cool, dry season from January to mid-April and a hot, humid, and rainy season from mid-June to mid-November.Is there a rainy season in Antigua? ›
The wettest months are September to November, but there are usually still plenty of sunshine hours in the day. The official hurricane season falls between July and November, although the risk of hurricanes is very low. There are also tropical storms in the Caribbean region during this period.What is the hurricane season in Antigua? ›
The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from June to November. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the Antigua & Barbuda Met Office, the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Centre and follow the advice of the local authorities.What is the cheapest month to go to Antigua? ›
While you'll see pockets of higher prices around holidays, January, February, September, October, and November tend to be the least expensive months to visit Antigua.What is the driest month in Antigua? ›
The driest months are January to April, making them the busiest, with hotels booking up quickly. The temperature is very pleasant, normally sitting in the mid-twenties.What to avoid in Antigua? ›
It's advisable to exercise standard precautions in Antigua. Crimes such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, scams, and assault are prevalent in tourist areas. Be wary of insect bites and natural disasters such as hurricanes. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings to avoid petty criminals.How often does Antigua get hurricanes? ›
The last hurricane to hit Antigua directly was in 1999 and in 50 years there have been only 6 direct hits.When was the last hurricane in Antigua? ›
The islands of Barbuda and Antigua were hit on 6 September 2017 by Hurricane Irma with catastrophic effects.
Swimming on Antigua and Barbuda in february is ideal
In february in Saint John's, Jolly Harbour, English Harbour and Codrington, swimming conditions are perfect! With water reaching a maximum of 81°F and an average of 80°F, going in the water (and staying there!) feels great.
Rainy Season The rainy season in the Caribbean typically falls between June and November however there can be some slight variation in this.Which is the best side of Antigua to stay? ›
The best coast to stay in Antigua is the west coast, starting from St. John's all the way along via Jolly beach to the English Harbour. This is because the Caribbean sea is calmer and it's very easy to access the water.Are there mosquitoes in Antigua? ›
Weather: The weather in Antigua is mostly warm and tropical. The best temperatures are usually experienced between March to August. September to November are particularly hot and humid. As with most tropical islands there is the risk of insect bites from mosquitoes and sand flies.Can you swim in the ocean in Antigua? ›
Can I swim on the Antigua beaches? Of course, you can! You should know that the coast from St John's to the English Harbour on the side of Jolly beach it's the west coast of Antigua washed by the Caribbean sea where the sea is calmer and it's very easy to access to the water.What month do most Atlantic hurricanes occur? ›
The official hurricane season for the Atlantic basin is from June 1 to November 30, but tropical cyclone activity sometimes occurs before and after these dates, respectively. The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is September 10, with most activity occurring between mid-August and mid-October.What is the most likely month for a Caribbean hurricane to occur? ›
According to the U.S. National Weather Service, hurricane season in the Caribbean runs from June 1 through November 30 and normally peaks in August and September.Should I go to Antigua in September? ›
The average high in Antigua is 31ºC in September so it's perfect if you love the heat. Temperatures only drop to 25ºC at night so you won't need to bring many warm clothes. The sea temperature's 29ºC, so it's lovely for swimming, while humidity's very high.Is Antigua or St Lucia better? ›
If you're more into kicking back on perfect white sand beaches then Antigua is perfect. However, if you have more of a thirst for adventure, then you should choose St Lucia. As with any holiday destination debate, this argument depends on what you want from your escape.How many days do you need in Antigua? ›
Three to five days is the ideal time to spend in Antigua; wandering the streets, climbing the volcanoes, soaking up the traditions and brushing up on your Spanish.
When it comes down to it, the reasons to love Antigua are all tied into the things the island is most known for: its beautiful white sand beaches, sailing, the 18th century Nelson's Dockyard, its culinary delicacies, the largest nesting colony of frigate birds in the Caribbean, and much more!Which side of Antigua has the calmest water? ›
Long Bay Beach is on the Atlantic side of this island. The beach is protected by a reef, so the water is mostly calm and thus ideal for swimming. During your Antigua vacation, you can get to Long Bay Beach in about 35 minutes by car from St. John's.Is the water clear in Antigua? ›
One of the gems of the Caribbean, the island of Antigua is a beach-lover's dream. With 95 miles of coastline, you won't have any difficulty finding a beautiful stretch of sand to relax in the sun while gazing at crystal clear waters.Is Antigua a luxury destination? ›
One half of the larger country of Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua is known as a luxury destination filled with high-end amenities and experiences that cater to the most discerning of travelers.Can you use American dollars in Antigua? ›
The official currency of Antigua is the Eastern Caribbean dollar which is fixed to the US dollar. * US currency, travelers checks, and major credit cards (excluding AMEX) are accepted.Which side of Antigua has the best beaches? ›
Many of Antigua's best beaches are found on the protected Caribbean side, and all are open to the public. Just to the north of Galley Bay Resort, you'll find one of my favorite beaches on the island and maybe even the entire Caribbean: Deep Bay.Can you drink tap water in Antigua? ›
The tap water on the island is relatively safe and if often used for ice cubes. That being said it can still cause upset stomachs due to the difference in composition to the water you would normally drink.
When Scuba Diving in Antigua, it is quite likely you'll encounter sharks, particularly reef and nurse sharks. It is not uncommon to see three to four sharks on a single dive.Are there tsunamis in Antigua? ›
Have tsunamis affected Antigua & Barbuda? One of the earliest reported earthquake generated tsunamis was recorded in Antigua on April 6th 1690. This was triggered by landslides at Nevis peak. The shoreline receded up to 18 m/60 feet before the waves returned to flood the coastline of Antigua.Is it always windy in Antigua? ›
In Antigua, the summers are warm, humid, and arid; the winters are cool and dry; and it is windy and mostly clear year round.
The main belts are located in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, although other areas, such as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, can also experience these storms. Hurricane activity typically peaks from late August to early October, which is why this period is sometimes called hurricane season.When did coronavirus hit Antigua? ›
|COVID-19 pandemic in Antigua and Barbuda|
|Arrival date||10 March 2020 (2 years, 10 months, 3 weeks and 5 days)|
|Date||6 July 2021|
There are no volcanoes in Antigua/Barbuda however, due to the island's proximity to Montserrat and other neighbouring volcanic islands such as: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St.What happens if you get Covid in Antigua? ›
You will be contacted by the Health Authorities and instructed to self-isolate or move to a quarantine facility. This will be determined by the Quarantine Authority. You may be instructed to stay at the Government's Quarantine facility. This would be at a charge of XCD 82 per night.What is the weather like in March in Antigua? ›
Antigua experiences warm temperatures in March, with averages of 26°C. At the hottest part of the day the temperature reaches a high of 28°C, so you'll need to be careful in the strong sunshine, especially if you're on holiday with children.Are there clothing optional beaches in Antigua? ›
Book Hawksbill Beach On-Line
The beautiful resort has four secluded beaches to offer its guests, including, for budding naturists, the only clothing-optional beach in the whole of Antigua.
The best time for a Caribbean cruise is from December to April when the weather is dry, sunny, and clear skies on most days. The ideal cruising conditions of mild temperatures and calm waters typically last throughout winter and spring, making it the prime Caribbean sailing season and very traveler-friendly.What is the cheapest month to go to the Caribbean? ›
The cheapest time to go to the Caribbean is during the low season, which generally runs from May through August. The cheapest months are May and June. If you do not mind some rain showers during your vacation, you can score great deals for a Caribbean vacation.What month has the best weather in the Caribbean? ›
The best time to visit the Caribbean is during its driest months, from February to May. But the Caribbean islands enjoy a hot, tropical climate all year round, with average highs of 82°F. The wettest period is between July and November, although the official hurricane season lasts from June to November.What is the best way to get around Antigua? ›
The best way to get around Antigua is by car or taxi. Having a car can save you money, especially on longer visits, but the island can be difficult to navigate due to bumpy dirt roads and hilly areas that flood easily.
Travelers heading to a tropical destination like the Caribbean are generally after beaches and while Barbados may offer some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, Antigua (which also has beautiful beaches) still has the upper hand when it comes to more options.Do you get snakes in Antigua? ›
There are no snakes in Antigua.Are there big spiders in Antigua? ›
As every where in the world Antigua has its fair share of spiders. In Antigua the largest ones are called horse spiders. They can be as large as the palm of your hand but are very rarely seen, not poisonous and are more scared of you then you are of them.Do you need a negative Covid test to get into Antigua? ›
Are COVID-19 tests required to travel to Antigua and Barbuda? No tests are needed to travel to Antigua and Barbuda.What is the best month to visit Antigua? ›
The best time to visit Antigua is between mid-December and mid-April when it's peak season, making it the perfect destination to escape wintery conditions in the UK, Europe, or the US. A good secondary option is to go to Antigua in May or June.Is there a seaweed problem in Antigua? ›
Several Caribbean countries including Antigua and Barbuda have been dealing with the sargassum problem, which poses both economic and ecological challenges, for more than a decade.Are there pink sand beaches in Antigua? ›
Barbuda Pink Beaches, Antigua and Barbuda
Located about 30 miles north of Antigua, the Pink Sand Beach is known to be the pinkest of all Caribbean beaches, due to the high levels of coral reefs along the coast.
When it comes down to it, the reasons to love Antigua are all tied into the things the island is most known for: its beautiful white sand beaches, sailing, the 18th century Nelson's Dockyard, its culinary delicacies, the largest nesting colony of frigate birds in the Caribbean, and much more!What part of Antigua has the best beaches? ›
Dickenson Bay is in the northwestern part of Antigua, in the parish of St. John. Dickenson Bay is one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in Antigua and there are lots of things to do while there including water sports.What is considered the most beautiful island in the Caribbean? ›
1. St. Lucia. St. Lucia is arguably the most beautiful of all Caribbean Islands with its two UNESCO World Heritage designated Pitons standing proud. The Gros and Petit Pitons are two mountainous volcanic plugs that definitely contribute to the island's beauty.
As with most tropical islands there is the risk of insect bites from mosquitoes and sand flies. So be sure to arm yourself with insect repellent especially if you will be visiting between September to November.Do you get mosquitoes in Antigua? ›
There is a risk of dengue in this country. All travellers should avoid mosquito bites particularly between dawn and dusk.Do you need a car in Antigua? ›
Although public transportation in Antigua is available, relying on buses to get around is not ideal especially if you're trying to save time and see as much as possible. It is for this reason that I recommend renting a car in Antigua as the best way to explore this beautiful island.How many hours is Antigua to USA? ›
The total flight duration from United States to Antigua and Barbuda is 5 hours, 33 minutes. This assumes an average flight speed for a commercial airliner of 500 mph, which is equivalent to 805 km/h or 434 knots. It also adds an extra 30 minutes for take-off and landing.What beach has the clearest water in Antigua? ›
Carlisle Bay Beach
Carlisle Beach is located by the village of Old Road on the south coast of Antigua. This expansive beach offers clear waters, fine sand and excellent snorkeling where you can find a wide variety of tropical fish.