Temperatures in the Bahamas average between 75°F and 84°F (24°C–29°C) in both winter and summer, although it can get chilly in the early morning and at night. The Bahamian winter usually feels like late spring—making winter the high season for North Americans rushing to escape snow and ice. Summer brings broiling hot sun and humidity. There's a much greater chance of rain during the summer and fall.
The curse of Bahamian weather, the hurricane season lasts (officially) from June 1 to November 30. But hurricanes are actually pretty infrequent here, and when one does come, satellite forecasts generally give adequate advance warning so that precautions can be taken.
If you're heading for the Bahamas during hurricane season, consult the outlook from the National Weather Service and the Weather Channel.
Avoiding Spring Break
Throughout March and into mid-April, it's spring-break season in the Caribbean for vacationing college and high-school students. Expect beach parties, sports events, and musical entertainment. If the idea of hundreds of partying frat bros doesn't appeal to you, beware. When you make your reservations, ask if your hotel is planning to host any big groups.
In the Bahamas, hotels charge their highest prices during the peak winter period from mid-December to mid-April, when visitors fleeing cold north winds flock to the islands. Winter is also the driest season.
If you plan to visit during this time of year, make reservations at least 2 to 3 months in advance. At some hotels, it's impossible to book accommodations for Christmas and the month of February without even more lead time.
Saving Money on Hotels in the Off-Season
The Bahamas is a year-round destination. The islands' off-season runs from late spring to late fall, when tolerable temperatures prevail throughout most of the region. Trade winds ensure comfortable days and nights, even in accommodations without air-conditioning. Although the noonday sun may raise temperatures to uncomfortable levels, cool breezes usually make the morning, late afternoon, and evening more pleasant here than in many parts of the U.S. mainland.
Bahamas hotel rates from mid-April to mid-December may be slashed by 20% or more. That's a boon for cost-conscious travelers, especially families.
Other Off-Season Advantages
- After the winter hordes have left, a less hurried way of life prevails.
- Swimming pools and beaches are less crowded.
- Resort boutiques often feature summer sales.
- Reservations aren't always necessary at top restaurants.
- There's no waiting for a rented car, no long wait for a golf course tee time, and quicker access to tennis courts and watersports.
- Fares for package tours and excursions are lower.
- Accommodations and flights are easier to book.
- The best attractions—sea, sand, surf, and sunshine—remain undiminished.
- You might be staying at a construction site. Hoteliers save major renovations until the off-season, so you could wake up to the sound of hammers.
- Services are often reduced. In the peak of winter, everything is fully operational. But in summer, many programs (such as watersports) might be curtailed in spite of fine weather.
Banks, government offices, post offices, and many stores and restaurants are closed on the following public holidays in the Bahamas: January 1 (New Year's Day), Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday (7 weeks after Easter), the first Friday in June (Labor Day), July 10 (Independence Day), the first Monday in August (Emancipation Day), October 12 (Discovery Day), December 25 (Christmas), and December 26 (Boxing Day). When a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, stores and offices are usually closed on the following Monday.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.