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Jamaica coastline

When is the best time to visit Jamaica?

The best time to visit Jamaica is from November to early December — hurricane season has ended, and the hotels and restaurants are all open, but you’ll be able to enjoy the island without the busier number of visitors that arrive in mid-December. Similarly, late April and May are also less busy.

The warmest of the Caribbean islands, Jamaica boasts beach weather throughout the year. You’ll mostly find temperatures that hover around 71°F in the winter months (December to March) and around 88°F during the sultry summer months (June to August).

The months from May to October offer a chance to enjoy the island’s best festivals, as well as the heat and humidity of the rainy season. That said, the rains are usually limited to short bursts in the afternoon followed by ample sunshine, making this an excellent option if you enjoy the heat and don’t mind the occasional downpour.

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Month-by-month guide for traveling in Jamaica

Blue Mountains Jamaica

Visiting Jamaica in January - February

January and February are the coolest months of the year in Jamaica as well as the busiest. Daily temperatures hover around 77°F with a night-time low of 70°F. We suggest booking well in advance if you want to visit during these months.

Events & Festivals

  • Bob Marley Week (early February): Reggae fanatics and Rastafarians come together in the city of Kingston and Montego Bay to commemorate the life and music of Jamaica's best-known musician, Bob Marley.
Fishing boats

Visiting Jamaica in March

The temperature is warm and the skies are sunny, making this an excellent month to visit. However, Jamaica’s balmy weather attracts lots of university students on spring break.

Events & Festivals

  • Jamaica Kiteboard World Cup (late March or early April): Held in the Long Bay Beach area of Port Antonio, this is a 10-day event devoted to kitesurfing, with riders from around the world.

Visiting Jamaica in April

The early part of the month is still warm and sunny, but the temperatures and likelihood of rain increase toward the end of the month.

Events & Festivals

  • Bacchanal Carnival: A week of fluorescent-feathered costumes, live music and celebrations enlivens the streets of the island’s three major cities.
  • Jamaica Kiteboard World Cup (late March or early April): Held in the Long Bay Beach area of Port Antonio, this is a 10-day event devoted to kitesurfing, with riders from around the world.
Jamaican coastline

Visiting Jamaica in May - June

Temperatures rise a little and afternoon downpours make the warmer temperatures a bit humid. However, the crowds are almost entirely gone and the island slows to a languid pace. Restaurants, bars and beaches empty out and some hotels close down.

Events & Festivals

  • StyleWeek Jamaica & Fashion Block (late May): For three days, Kingston blossoms with fashionistas, designers and models from both the United States and Europe.
  • The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival: International and home-grown artists come together for a week of concerts.
Local Jamaican dishes

Visiting Jamaica in July - August

If you visit during these months, you’ll experience very warm temperatures, day and night, as well as higher humidity. However, you’ll likely be one of just a few visitors and can enjoy the island’s more leisurely lifestyle as well as its most impressive cultural events. The risk of a hurricane increases throughout the summer and many hotels and restaurants shutter for the season.

Events & Festivals

  • Little Ochie Seafood Carnival: Try the local cuisine, including the mouth-searing peppered shrimp and escovitch fish, a fried filet spiked with hot sauce and topped with pickles.
  • Reggae Sumfest (late July): A five-day reggae festival.
  • The National Independence Float Parade and Grand Gala: The streets of Kingston fill with bright floats, costumed groups, music and marching bands to celebrate the island’s independence.

Visiting Jamaica in September - October

These months are the rainiest and have the highest risk of hurricanes. However, it’s unusual to experience consecutive days of heavy rain. Prices are at their lowest, with many hotels undergoing renovation or shut entirely.

Steel drums

Visiting Jamaica in November - December

Rains disappear in November, leaving the island’s skies sunny and the temperatures balmy. Hotels, restaurants and bars all reopen, but the beaches stay largely uncrowded through the middle of November. This is one of the best times to visit Jamaica. There is still some small risk of hurricanes, but it decreases steadily for the rest of the year. Visitors looking for a winter escape begin to arrive en masse in the middle of December, meaning you should book early if you want to visit around Christmastime.

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Travel advice

Practical tips for traveling to Jamaica, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest Government of Canada travel advice.