The weather in the Cayman Islands, as in most places in the Caribbean, doesn't vary much from season to season. The difference between average temperatures in the summer and winter is only about ten degrees Fahrenheit, so the high season for tourism is dictated more by the weather in other places than in the Cayman Islands.
Winter in the Cayman Islands is like the month of May in much of the North American Southeast, with an average temperature hovering around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius). This makes winter the most popular time to visit, as North Americans escape the freezing temperatures of their hometowns.
Summer brings hotter weather and humidity to the Cayman Islands. There is a greater chance of rain in both the summer and fall than during other times of year. The hurricane season officially lasts from June 1 to November 30, but that shouldn't be considered cause for panic. More hurricanes hit the U.S. mainland than hit the Cayman Islands, and today's meteorological technology should provide more than enough warning for you to take proper precautions.
The crowds are the most obvious difference between visiting during the tourist season versus the off-season, and this difference causes more changes than you might initially realize. Whether you consider these differences to be beneficial or not depends largely on your travel perspective.
Visiting the Cayman Islands between December and April, in the high season of tourism, shows how the islands become a hustling, bustling myriad of vacationers, all reveling in the beautiful weather and the Caribbean experience. Hotels, shops, and restaurants offer their most extensive service with a smile. The crowds can be exciting and exhilarating, but also a little daunting. This is definitely an ideal time for small groups: singles, couples, or groups of friends who can navigate the islands with ease. The dating scene is also livelier in the high season, while it might be harder to meet people in the off-season.
Everything is more competitive in the high season. Accommodations and flights should be booked at least two or three months in advance or even earlier during certain times. Reservations are necessary, transportation is stretched thinner, and tours are generally more crowded. This is when the islands make most of their money, so they roll out the red carpet for every guest.
While the high season is exciting, the off-season may be more indicative of the true Cayman Islands. Life is less-hurried, and everything is more laid back. During the off-season, midday temperatures may rise to an uncomfortable 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit, but the Atlantic trade winds keep the mornings, afternoons, and evenings extremely pleasant. Hotels and resorts may reduce their services and diminish their staff during the off-season, and some tours or activities may be closed altogether. Hotels also reserve their major repairs or renovations for the off-season, so it's a good idea to call ahead to ensure that you won't be staying in the midst of a construction site.
The good news is that traveling in the off-season can be much less expensive. Hotels cut their rates from 20 to 60 percent, and tours and shops may cut prices to remain competitive. There is easier access to public transportation, tee times and golf courses, courts, water sports, and other activities. Flights and accommodations are easier to book. You may even be able to get a table at a nice restaurant without reservations.
...experience many of the festivities...
Many people plan their vacation to the Caribbean around a certain event or festival. In the Cayman Islands, there is always something happening. The high season is filled with events like Pirates Week, Mardi Gras, the International Windsurfing Regatta, and the famous Batabano Carnival.
Visitors who opt for the off-season, however, can still experience many of the festivities that the Cayman Islands are known for. June is considered Million Dollar Month in reference to a world-class fishing tournament that delights vacationers and locals alike. Events such as Aviation Week also occur in the off-season and are celebrated quite festively. Other carnivals, festivals, sailing regattas, holidays, and fishing tournaments take place in the Cayman Islands throughout the year.
Weather, crowds, cost, and the desire to attend local events are all important things to consider when planning when to go to the Cayman Islands. As you read through the pros and cons of travel during each season, surely you will begin to get a feel for which time of year suits you and your vacation plans best. Whenever you choose, you are sure to enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
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