With 365 gorgeous beaches and generally warm weather all year round, Antigua draws millions of tourists from around the world. Wondering when the best time to visit Antigua is? This guide is for you.
When Is The Best Time To Go To Antigua?
The crystal-clear waters and golden sand of Antigua are best enjoyed during the dry season and when there’s a less touristy crowd.
That said, if you’re asking when to visit Antigua to experience this tropical haven at its finest, May through June is the sweet spot. It comes right after the busy peak season and just before the rainy season reaches its full strength.
Antigua witnesses the highest influx of tourists from mid-December to mid-April. US and UK Holidayers who wish to escape to the tropics — away from their country’s biting winter winds — travel around this time and soak up the sun at the island’s stunning beaches.
The start of the Antiguapeak season is especially popular because it coincides with Christmas and New Year holidays. Apart from the usual aquatic adventures (like swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving) and hiking, you can witness the world-renowned Chart Yacht Show.
If you’re traveling during early spring or the last half of the peak season, you can enjoy the Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival.
As it’s the peak tourist season, expect more establishments to be open. However, you will need to allocate more budget as hotels, accommodations, and transportation costs are also usually at their highest.
Antigua’s shoulder season is from May to June. Sudden rain showers may occur as the island transitions from a dry to a wet season. However, these aren’t necessarily deal breakers — after all, there are many bargain deals from establishments and all-inclusive resorts like Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa that you can take advantage of.
Also, many agree that May is the best time to don that scuba gear and dive into Antigua’s waters. At this time, the water temperature is always warm. On the other hand, June is a great month if you want to experience Antigua as a verdant Caribbean sanctuary. Its lush greenery also starts producing the best-tasting mangoes during this time.
The Lean Months
Vacationers can enjoy off-season prices from July through November, when the Antigua rainy season is more evident. If you’re the kind of tourist who can brave the rainy weather, pack up your bags, book your flight and accommodation, get some travel insurance — and taste the Caribbean minus the thick crowd.
Apart from the festive Caribbean Carnival, other island highlights include October’s Antguan Jazz Festival and the Antigua and Barbuda Independence Food Fair, which happens every November 1.
Best Things To Do In Antigua Activities During Peak Season
Here’s a list of the best things to do in Antigua if you go there during peak season.
Explore a number of its 365 beaches
With the number of beaches Antigua offers, you can explore the island’s beaches one day at a time. But if you want to prioritize the most popular ones, consider Half Moon Bay (where the sand has hues of pink), the palm-fringed Dickenson Bay, and the clothing-optional Hawksbill Bay.
Make the most of Antigua’s dry season and hike through its natural trails and rainforests. If you’re a newbie, consider the Shirley Heights Lookout Trail and Pigeon Point, Fort Cuyer, and Fort Berkeley Circular. Moderately challenging choices include Middle Ground Trail and Mount Obama and Ridge Trail.
Attend or take part in yacht shows and challenges
Antigua is home to many yacht-related events that showcase the island’s unbeatable sailing conditions. You can attend the Charter Yacht Show if you’re traveling in December or take part in the Superyacht Challenge come March. Meanwhile, Sailing Week begins in the last week of April and runs until early May.
When Is The Worst Time To Go to Antigua?
In the Caribbean, the official hurricane season is from June to November. However, in certain islands, the weather can still be acceptable to tourists. But if we’re talking about those months you want to avoid when going to Antigua, mark September and October. Historically, these are when storms hit the island the hardest.
Weather In Antigua
Being a tropical island, Antigua weather is generally moderate, dry, and balmy, with temperatures hovering around 77 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Aided by the cool breeze from the surrounding aquamarine waters, this kind of temperature gives tourists a comfortable Caribbean vacation.
Though there are occasional and quick rain showers in May, hurricane season begins in June and peaks in September and October. During this time, rainfall averages over five inches every month. From December to April, the aforementioned peak season, the amount of rain that Antigua receives averages only two inches. The evening hours here also tend to be cooler.
Best Upcoming Events In Antigua 2023
Depending on what kind of Caribbean vacation you envision, just about any time can be the best time to visit Antigua. To help you decide, here are some upcoming island events you don’t want to miss this 2023.
Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta (February 10 to 12)
Set along Jolly Harbour on Antigua’s west coast, this festival is a three-day racing event filled with many social activities.
Royal Oceanic Race Club (RORC) Caribbean 600 Race (February 14 to 24)
This year, the yacht-racing event will be expanded to include inshore and medium-length offshore racing.
Superyacht Challenge (March 6 to 12)
Throughout this event, a premier roster of superyachts delivers a spectacular racing show where great sportsmanship reign supreme. Though it’s a competition, it boasts a generally relaxed party atmosphere.
Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival (April 10)
Kiting is a vital part of the local culture of Antigua. Make your heart feel youthful again and get friendly with locals in this annually held kite festival.
Antigua Sailing Week (April 30 to May 5)
Welcoming sailors from across the globe, the Antigua Sailing Week is a popular yacht regatta held in English Harbour. While participants compete afloat, guests and spectators can enjoy exciting parties ashore.
Antigua to Bermuda Race (May 9)
The race is back after a three-year hiatus prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It touts a “true blue ocean adventure” as participants get to sail 1,000 miles across the mesmerizing Atlantic waters.
Run in Paradise (May 29 to June 2)
Into marathons? Visit Antigua during its shoulder season and don’t miss Run in Paradise. Presented by the Antigua and Barbuda Government, it offers a 5k and 10k run/walk race, a half marathon, and a full marathon.
Antigua Carnival (August 1 to August 8)
An annual tradition held since 1957, the Carnival is punctuated by pageants, dance competitions, 24/7 parties, and a parade at the capital St. Johns.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Independence Day (November 1)
This occasion celebrates the territory’s independence from Britain in 1981. It’s a revelry marked by musical and cultural performances, competitions, parades, and fairs, including the Independence Food Fair.
Antigua Charter Yacht Show (December 4 to 9)
Celebrating its 61st year, the Antigua Charter Yacht Show’s 2023 edition will be held across three marinas: Nelson’s Dockyard, Falmouth Harbour Marina, and Antigua Yacht Club Marina.