LivingTravelAugust in the Caribbean: weather, what to pack, and...

August in the Caribbean: weather, what to pack, and what to see

With uncrowded resorts and plenty of beach space, August is a great time to visit the Caribbean. Also, you are likely to find the best deals on flights and hotels in the Caribbean.

Some destinations can feel a bit ‘dead’ this time of year, with many attractions closed during the off-season. With temperatures in the northern latitudes nearly equal to those in the tropics at this time of year, traveling to the Caribbean is less of a draw for “fun in the sun” during August. But it is a good time to connect with the locals and enjoy the leisurely pace of life on the island.

Hurricane season considerations

The hurricane season in the Caribbean accelerates in August, although your chances of encountering a storm remain lower than in September. However, to lessen the chance of being caught in a hurricane or major storm on your trip, stay away from the easternmost islands, including Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas. The southern Caribbean, from Aruba to Tobago, is often the safest place to spend the hurricane season, as these islands are outside the so-called hurricane belt.

Caribbean weather in August

Although August is one of the hottest months in the Caribbean, it is still only a few degrees higher on average than the “colder” months, as the ocean regulates the temperature of the tropical air throughout the year. With more than 7,000 islands spread across 1 million square miles of water, the Caribbean experiences surprisingly little temperature variation in its coastal areas, with most island nations reporting average highs and lows within 5 degrees of each other.

  • Average high temperature: 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius)
  • Average Low Temperature: 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.5 degrees Celsius)

In August, the Caribbean Sea also reaches its warmest temperature, averaging 83 degrees. The greatest climatic fluctuations occur in rain, with mountainous islands generally receiving more rain on their windward sides. On average, there are around 12 rainy days in the Caribbean in August, marking the beginning of the rainy season. The wettest locations in August include Nassau in the Bahamas, as well as Martinique and Dominica.

What to pack

Loose-fit cotton or rayon keeps you cool during the day, but cotton locks in moisture, especially on the more humid islands. Don’t forget a swimsuit, lots of sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. While you can buy almost everything you need, prices on the islands reflect the cost of importing products.

Although most resorts and hotels offer poolside towels, you may want to pack your own beach towel because many don’t allow you to carry the towels out on the sand. Also, a light jacket is useful if you plan to travel to any of the higher elevations, such as the Blue Mountains of Jamaica or the Central mountain range of the Dominican Republic, or to combat overly jealous air conditioning. Umbrellas won’t do much good in a tropical storm or hurricane when strong winds accompany the rain, but a plastic poncho could protect you from a normal summer downpour without taking up a lot of space in your luggage.

Pack fancier clothes to visit good restaurants or clubs. It is always a good idea to review the dress code policy before heading out; Some places require a sports coat, others a collared shirt. You’ll also want a more formal pair of shoes than just flip flops or sneakers.

August events in the Caribbean

Anguilla Summer Festival – This annual tradition features boat races, beach parties, and parades, with plenty of delicious food, exuberant music, and pageantry to fuel the fun.

Aruba International Regatta – Sailors from around the world come to the island to compete with all types of boats, from yachts to moonfish, miniature boats and even paddle boards.

Crop Over Barbados Festival: This six-week event runs through the first week of August, culminating in the celebration of the Great Kadooment Day, which turns the streets of San Miguel into a kaleidoscope of colorful sequins, feathers and costumes.

North Sea Jazz Fest Curacao – This event closes the month with some of the hottest names in music including Prince, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keyes, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, India Arie, Sting, Carlos Santana, Sam Cook and others se bring together the best local talent on the island for three days of non-stop entertainment.

August travel tips

Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover your expenses in the event a storm cancels or interrupts your trip. Pay attention to the fine print though, as some policies specifically exclude hurricanes.

Find out about package deals in August that bundle excursions with your hotel accommodation at a favorable rate, for example, or allow you to book an adjoining room for children at a discount.

Check Caribbean Travel Rates and Reviews on TripAdvisor

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