When Is the Best Time to Visit Jamaica?
Updated: October 11, 2023
AAA Travel Editor Katie Broome
Is there ever a bad time to visit the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica? Probably not — as long as you time it right to make the most of your trip. You’ll want to keep in mind the weather forecast, your to-do list and general travel conditions to ensure the best vacation experience.
Every season has its own charms in Jamaica, with some months more rainy than others, and a few times of year when major tourist areas and the all-inclusive resorts can get quite busy.
Seasonality will never be an issue when it comes to things to do, as you can do most activities in Jamaica year-round. Adventures like river rafting, zip lining, snorkeling and horseback riding are popular excursions whether it’s the middle of winter or the height of summer, thanks to the island’s tropical climate and warm water temperatures.
So what can you expect each month in Jamaica? Read on to learn more about the best times to visit and the seasonal events that may affect your travel plans.
And if you’d like expert help with planning a stress-free Jamaica vacation, contact a AAA Travel Agent at a AAA office near you.
What’s It Like in Jamaica in January?
January is one of the driest months on the island, with little precipitation and cooler than average temperatures.Daily temperatures can range from a high of 82 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of 66 degrees F, according to data from . Colder winds from the North American mainland can sometimes reach the northern coast of Jamaica in January.
New Year’s Day celebrations are a big deal on the island, with fireworks shows, parties and church services among the most popular ways to ring in the New Year.
According to the Jamaica Tourist Board, January is the busiest month for cruise passenger arrivals, so expect a crowd if you’re planning to visit Jamaica in January.
What Is February Like in Jamaica?
February is the driest month on the island, with little rainfall and cooler than average temperatures that are similar to January’s.
The temperature in Jamaica in February can range from a high of 82 degrees F to a low around 66 degrees F.
The people of Jamaica celebrate Bob Marley Day each year on February 6, in honor of the reggae legend’s birthday. Ash Wednesday may occasionally fall on a day in February, depending on the calendar year; the day is observed as a public holiday, and many locals attend church services or go to the beach to celebrate.
What Is It Like to Visit Jamaica in March?
Temperatures in March are still pleasant in Jamaica — just a degree or two warmer than in February — with highs around 83 degrees F and lows around 67 degrees F.
Rainfall is also typically low. March is toward the end of Jamaica’s dry season.
Depending on the calendar year, Ash Wednesday may fall on a day in March and is a public holiday. Many locals will attend church services or spend time at the beach on Ash Wednesday. The spring break holiday for students in the United States can bring many travelers to Jamaica during March and April, so prepare for crowds if you’re traveling around that period.
What Is April Like in Jamaica?
April marks the end of Jamaica’s dry season and also the end of peak tourist season.
Temperatures warm slightly in April in Jamaica, with highs around 84 degrees F and lows around 69 degrees F.
Good Friday and Easter Monday often fall in April and are recognized as public holidays. Themed parties are common around the Easter holiday in Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio, and the multiday Carnival festival usually takes place in April after Easter Sunday. An Easter Regatta draws crowds to the Montego Bay Yacht Club on the same weekend.
The spring break holiday in the United States can bring many students to Jamaica during March and April, so crowds are possible during this time.
iStockphoto.com/Anthony McIntyre II
What’s Jamaica Like in May?
The weather in Jamaica in May is typically a little rainier than earlier months of the year, as May marks the start of Jamaica’s wet season. Monthly rainfall totals can reach up to 12 inches, according to data from The World Bank Group.
Temperatures continue their slight warming trend in May, with highs around 84 degrees F and lows around 70 degrees F.
Jamaica’s National Labour Day is observed across the island on May 23. If Labour Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday.
How is the Weather in Jamaica in June?
Hurricane season kicks off on June 1, so keep an eye on the weather forecast if you’re planning a trip to Jamaica in June. Thunderstorms can bring heavy showers during the month, but storms typically don’t last long and generally occur in the afternoons; monthly rainfall totals in June are considerably less than those in May.
Daily temperatures can range from a high of 86 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of 72 degrees F.
June is one of the least busy months for tourist arrivals to the island, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board.
What’s It Like in Jamaica in July?
Daily temperatures continue to warm up slightly in Jamaica in July, with average temperatures ranging from a high of 87 degrees F to a low of 71 degrees F. July is the second month of hurricane season, so keep an eye on the tropics if traveling to Jamaica in summer months. Thunderstorms are likely and can bring heavy rains, though storms typically don’t last long.
The third week of July, Reggae Sumfest draws crowds of partiers to Montego Bay for a weeklong music festival featuring Jamaican reggae acts and international artists.
What Can I Expect For Jamaica Weather in August?
August is Jamaica’s warmest month, with temperatures ranging from a high of 87 degrees F to a low of 72 degrees F. Thunderstorms are likely, as August is in the middle of Jamaica’s rainy season. Hurricanes may affect the island during this time of year, so keep an eye on the weather forecast.
Two national holidays occur in August and draw big crowds: Emancipation Day on August 1 and Independence Day on August 6. Expect busier-than-normal conditions during the first week of August due to festivals and street parades related to the holidays, especially in the cities of Kingston, Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios.
What Is September in Jamaica Like?
September can be a peak month for hurricane activity in Jamaica, so keep the weather forecast in mind if you’re planning a trip to the island at the end of the summer. Temperatures range from a high of 86 degrees F to a low of 72 degrees F.
The Montego Bay Yacht Club’s blue marlin international fishing tournament is held in late September and includes events for anglers in powerboats or in canoes.
How Is the Weather in Jamaica in October?
October is Jamaica’s wettest month, with an average of 13 inches of rainfall expected over the month. Temperatures begin to cool down slightly, ranging from a high of 84 degrees F to a low of 72 degrees F. Hurricane activity is still possible into October, so keep an eye on the weather forecast if you’re traveling to Jamaica during this month.
The island observes National Heroes Day on the third Monday of October. The celebration is part of National Heritage Week, which acknowledges the contributions of Jamaicans and honors the country’s heroes and culture.
The Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament is held in late October and is considered one of the Caribbean’s oldest and largest fishing tournaments.
What Is Jamaica Like in November?
November 30th marks the end of hurricane season in Jamaica, and it’s also the final month of the island’s rainy season. Temperatures are similar to October and range from a high of 84 degrees F to a low of 70 degrees F.
If you’re visiting Montego Bay in November, you may be just in time to spectate (or play in) the Jamaica Invitational Pro-Am golf tournament. Held over three days in late November, the annual event draws golfers of all abilities to the Cinnamon Hill, Half Moon and White Witch golf courses, considered some of the best courses in the Caribbean.
What’s It Like in Jamaica in December?
If you’re considering visiting Jamaica for Christmas, you’re not alone — December is the island’s busiest month for tourist arrivals, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Rainfall chances drop considerably in December, and temperatures remain pleasant, ranging from a high of 83 degrees F to a low of 68 degrees F. Cooler winds can blow in from the mainland in winter months, but average temperatures remain a pleasant 76 degrees F.
The Reggae Marathon takes place on the first full weekend of December and includes a half-marathon and 5K event. The looped course begins and ends at Long Bay Beach Park in Negril, and the festivities include a pre-race pasta party and a beach bash after it ends.
Jamaica observes Christmas Day and the day after Christmas (Boxing Day) as national holidays, with many locals attending church services or visiting the beach on those days. Junkanoo parades commonly take place in the streets on Boxing Day and include music, dancing and costumes.
AAA Travel Editor Katie Broome
Katie Broome is a AAA Travel Expert.