Bahamas: When to Visit
Best time for Good Weather: December – April
Best time for Sightseeing: December – April
Best time for Honeymoon: May – June
Best time for Saving Money: mid-April to early December
Best time for Families: mid-April to early December
Best time for Partying: late February – mid April
Best time for Surfing & Snorkeling: December to April
Best time for Deep Sea Diving: January or July
Best Time to Visit the Bahamas
Best Time to visit the Bahamas: One of the most popular Caribbean destinations with 700 islands and 2400 cays, strewn across over 100,000 square miles of ocean the Bahamas is a popular place to escape to for a beach holiday. The best time to soak up some sun, lounge around on the plethora of beaches and avoid long lines and the crush of tourists is from late April to mid-December. The crowds are less, resort prices are lower by as much as 60%, beaches and pools aren’t jammed and frenzied, and the weather is great essentially all year round. The hurricane season officially lasts from June to November but prior to Hurricane Dorian in September of 2019, hurricanes rarely made landfall in the Bahamas, with squalls and thundershowers passing through quickly and many Bahamian hotels have a Hurricane Cancellation Policy that mitigates risk. With climate change the risk of hurricanes in the Bahamas has potentially increased but the Bahamas are still open for tourism so just watch weather reports and book accordingly.
Best Time to Book Hotels in the Bahamas: When visiting during the busy winter season, try to make reservations 2 to 3 months in advance. If booking for Christmas book 4-6 months in advance as hotels fill up quickly and become next to impossible to book closer to the date. When booking around Spring Break season (end of February to mid April) make reservations at least 3 months in advance.
Best Time to visit the Bahamas for Good Weather: The climate in the Bahamas is tropical, with a hot and rainy season from May to October and a cooler season from November to April. The temperature in The Bahamas averages between 24°C and 29°C in both winter and summer, varying only 6°C between the summer and winter months however it can be chilly in the early morning and at night. Summer months bring broiling hot sun and humidity during the day but the trade winds that blow almost continuously throughout the Bahamas provides a comfortable climate relatively all year round. The best time for good weather is between mid-December to mid-April to avoid the region’s rainy season which runs from June 1st to November 30th since the islands are located within the Atlantic hurricane belt. Rarely do hurricanes or cyclones make landfall but it is recommended to check weather reports and book/plan accordingly as we have learned with the impact of Hurricane Dorian back in September of 2019.
Best Time to Visit The Bahamas to Party: Late February to mid April draws your highschool and college students for Spring Break making this not an ideal time to visit for families and couples but the best time for party goers and singletons. Most of the bigger places, like Nassau, Paradise Island and San Salvador will be extremely crowded but feature amazing beachside partying. Destinations such as Eleuthera or Bimini Islands will be less crowded while still having the party atmosphere.
Best Time for Diving & Watersports:
The Bahamas is made up of over 2400 cays and is home to 283 sq kilometers of protected Land and Sea Park making it the ideal place for watersports such as kayaking and diving. December to mid-April is the dry season and is the best time for water sports like kayaking as there is no chance of hurricanes, all businesses will be open for rentals and excursions and you can expect sunny, hot and mildly humid conditions. When it comes to diving and snorkeling, the Bahamas are home to some of the world’s largest and healthiest reefs teeming with brightly coloured fish as well as spooky shipwrecks like Henry Ford’s concrete yacht Sapona in The Biminis. If diving to see as many sea creatures as you can is the reason for your visit to the Bahamas either January or July are the best times to sight the most amount of creatures including sharks, rays, turtles, whales and dolphins. In January the Manta Ray won’t be visible but the Whale Shark, Tiger Shark and Hammerhead sharks will be, whereas in July the Manta Ray will be visible but not the Whale, Tiger or Hammerhead Sharks. January is high-season so there will be plenty of tourists and prices will be at their highest whereas July is the low season so hotels, flights and activities will be cheaper and less crowded. If visiting in July, book ahead of time to make sure everything is open and not closed down for the low season.
Best time to Visit Paradise Island:
Formerly known as Hog Island, 8 kilometers long and less than 1.5 km wide, Paradise Island has been transformed by development and is now dedicated to tourism and is very popular with families. The Island is newly attached to New Providence island by two 600 ft bridges and is home to an array of resorts such as the world-famous, 2,300 room Atlantis mega-resort- boasting its own waterpark, aquarium, 18-hole oceanfront golf-course, casino and a 100-foot clear, underwater tunnel. The best time to visit is November – one of the Bahamas shoulder seasons, tourism is starting to pick up and the weather is improving as hurricane season is officially over. Beaches won’t be as crowded and prices won’t be as high as during the peak high season which runs from mid-December to mid-April.
Bahamas Travel Seasons:
High Season: mid-December to mid-April (esp March to – mid April for Spring Break): The islands are hustling and brimming with tourists and vacationers from mid-December to mid-April. This is the driest season in the Bahamas, almost guaranteed good weather with average daily highs of 26°C and only 6 wet days. Visitors flock to the Bahamas during these months for holidays like Christmas, New Years and Spring Break, as well as to escape the snow and polar vortexes for those visitors from the North. These months are when hotels charge their highest prices, airfare will be more expensive, and visitors can expect long waiting times for lines upon arrival. College and high-school students flock to the Caribbean for spring-break so between end of February to mid-April expect beach parties, sports events, musical entertainment, and hundreds of partying kids.
Shoulder Season (November): The Bahamas doesn’t have much of a shoulder season as it is a year-round destination but November is what you could call a transition month. November is the beginning of the drier season and right before the holiday rush starting mid-December so prices are lower. November is the official start to fall and the official end to hurricane season. Temperatures are milder than the scorching heat of the summer and the precipitation is much less than what it was in July, with only 7 wet days. Daily high temperatures average 29°C with lows of 22°C, meaning pleasant evenings and more comfortable sleeping conditions. The sun will shine for an average of 7 hours daily giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy the beaches, hanging poolside or exploring the island markets.
Low Season (Late April to Early December): Low season is typically hurricane season, running from June 1 to November 30 with the peak being between August and October. These months are more indicative of the true quintessential, Caribbean lifestyle with diminished crowds, less bustle, no frenzy. Temperatures are tolerable, with scorching sun around noon but trade winds ensure comfortable days and nights, with quick and heavy rain showers being a welcome respite from the heat and humidity. Daily highs average between 28°C and 33°C, with anywhere from 7 to 18 rainy days. The low season is a popular time for families since kids have summer break from school and the savings on hotel and airfare can be enormous. In most cases hotel rates are 20-60% lower, top restaurants often have tables available without reservations, swimming pools and beaches are less crowded or not crowded at all and you won’t have to wait for a rental car, or golf course tee times, and there is quicker access to tennis courts and watersports. There are some very important things to keep in mind about the low season which could impact your visit: Hoteliers save major renovations until the low season so you could wake up to the sounds of construction. Many programs and attractions might be closed or reduced (such as watersports) due to the weather and/or less demand. And for single and ready to mingle travelers, the dating scene is better in the winter when there are more visitors.
Weather of Bahamas:
The weather in the Bahamas is slightly different between the north-western Islands and south-eastern Islands therefore for the purposes of this article we have broken down the weather according to the two island regions. Two important differences to note is that the north-western islands are cooler during the winter (December to May) by 2-4°C and rainier in the summer with Freeport and Nassau experiencing 15-35 inches more rain per year than Mayaguana and Inagua in the south east. The north-western Islands refer to Grand Bahamas, New Providence, Little Abaco and Andros (Freeport is on the island of Grand Bahamas, Nassau is on the island of New Providence). The south-eastern Islands refer to Abrahams Bay on the island of Mayaguana and Matthew Town on the island of Inagua. The north-western islands are located to the east of Florida, while the south eastern ones are located to the northwest of Haiti.
Bahamas Weather in January:
North-Western Islands Weather in January: January is one of the coolest months of the year in the Bahamas with an average high temperature of 22ºC amongst the northwestern islands and nighttime temperatures falling to around 16ºC. The island of Grand Bahama is particularly exposed to cold air outbreaks because of its location and as recently as 2010 the temperature in Freeport fell to 5°C . January is one of the drier months of the year, with an average of 7.5 rainy days and an average of 8 hours of daily sunshine. The sea is warm enough for swimming all year round, though the water tends to be slightly cooler for the northern islands, averaging 24°C during the winter months. So you will need to pack a light jacket and layers for cooler days and evenings but make sure to also bring your swimsuit, t-shirts, dresses, shorts, sunglasses and sunscreen for the warmer, sunnier days. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 55mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in January: The south-eastern islands enjoy a tropical climate and warm weather with fairly consistent temperatures year round, though January is one of the coolest months of the year, but still warmer than the north-western islands. With an average high temperature of 25ºC and lows falling to 20ºC. January is one of the drier months of the year, with an average of 6.5 rainy days and an average of 8.5 hours of daily sunshine. The sea is warm enough for swimming all year round, the water tends to be warmer for the southern islands, averaging 26°C during the winter months. So you will need to pack a light jacket and layers for cooler days and evenings but make sure to also bring your swimsuit, t-shirts, dresses, shorts, sunglasses and sunscreen to enjoy the sun. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 48mm.)
Bahamas Weather in February:
North-Western Islands Weather in February: There is very little change in weather in February from January, in fact temperatures remain the same with an average high temperature of 24ºC and the average minimum temperature drops down to around 16ºC. February does see a small dip in precipitation by 5-10mm and only 7 rainy days. The average sunshine hours per day increases to 8 making for more time to spend swimming since the sea temperature is a comfortable 24°C. Pack as you would for January, with a mixture of clothing keeping in mind that temperatures have been known to drop in the evenings to as low as 5°C on rare occasions. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 55mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in February: There isn’t a noticeable change in weather between January and February. The average high temperature increases only a degree to 26°C and the low to 21°C. Precipitation is 10mm less with only 6 rainy days. There will be plenty of sunshine with 8.5 hours of daily sunshine and warm water for swimming so pack as you would for January, remember sunscreen and sunglasses and add a light sweatshirt or jacket for the cooler evenings since temperatures have been known to drop as low as 15°C. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 38mm.)
Bahamas Weather in March:
North-Western Islands Weather in March: Temperatures are slightly increasing with the arrival of March. The average high temperature has risen one degrees to 25°C and the average low has risen two degrees to 18°C. This month sees the same amount of precipitation as February over six days, with Freeport seeing 50mm more than Nassau. The number of hours with sunshine increases to 9 hours. With the very warm weather, minimal rain and longer days, March is the most popular time for visitors, in particular students who come to party during their spring break so beaches and poolsides will be full but the energy will be high. Heat and humidity level in the Bahamas in March are quite low but the UV index is high so pack as you would for February and ensure to bring and use lots of sunblock when you’re out in the sun. Warm layers and a light jacket may not be as necessary but do pack them if boating, sailing or whale watching is on the itinerary. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 70mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in March: There is very little change in March, in fact that the average high temperature remains the same as it was in February, at 26°C and lows dip down to 21°C. Precipitation is nearly the same, with Abrahams Bay seeing 10mm more, with an average of 5 rainy days for the south-eastern islands. Pack as you would during the winter season, with a mix of mostly lightweight clothing, shorts, tshirts, summer dresses, sun hat and plenty of sunscreen but also bring a sweatshirt or two for nighttime. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 32mm.)
Bahamas Weather in April:
North-Western Islands Weather in April: There isn’t much of a noticeable change between March and April. Precipitation in Freeport is 30mm less than March whereas Nassau sees 35mm more at 80mm on average for the month. The average high temperature increases only a degree to 26°C, and the average low sits around 19°C making for comfortable nights for sleeping. The number of sunshine hours increases to 10 making this another great month for visiting but watchout for the high UV and humidity levels. Pack as you would for the previous months, with mostly lightweight, summery clothing for days and a couple of long-sleeve shirts or a light sweater and light pants or leggings for cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 70mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in April: In April the weather on the south-eastern islands is relatively the same as March with the average high temperature hovering around 28°C, sometimes reaching as high as 34°C. The low normally sits around 22°C. Precipitation sees a minor increase at 10mm on average more per month but showers are light and pass quickly. With 10 hours of daily sunshine April is a great month for exploring the markets, towns, parks and sights and taking a dip to cool off with sea temperatures being a comfortable 26°C. Pack lots of sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and light summery clothing and a sweatshirt or two for cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 42mm.)
Bahamas Weather in May:
North-Western Islands Weather in May: May brings warmer temperatures, plenty of sunshine, although more tropical showers as it is the beginning of the rainy season for the north-western islands of the Bahamas. The average high temperature increases to a very warm 28°C with lows of 21°C so a hotel with AC could be desirable to ensure comfortable sleeping temperatures. As the beginning of the wet season May sees an average of 110mm of precipitation on the northern islands but the rain comes as short and sharp downpours which soon clear. With 11 hours of sunshine in May make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, good UV sunglasses, a wide brimmed sun hat and carry a water bottle to stay hydrated. Bring lightweight, warm weather clothing, a few swimsuits and one long sleeve shirt for cooler, windy evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 110mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in May: Temperatures and the number of rainy days increase in May, though the south does not see as much rain as the north-western islands. The average high temperature is 30°C with lows of 23°C so make sure your accommodation has air conditioning to stay comfortable during the nights. Precipitation increases by 30mm in May with an average of 11 rainy days on the island of Mayaguana and only 6 rainy days on the island of Inagua. Rainfall comes short and quick so you don’t need to pack any rain gear necessarily since the heat and humidity will dry everything off fairly quickly. With 11 hours of sunshine make sure to pack all the sunscreen and sun gear, lightweight summer clothing and swimsuits to take refreshing dips in the sea with water temperatures being a comfortable 26°C. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 78mm.)
Bahamas Weather in June:
North-Western Islands Weather in June: June is the beginning of the hurricane season and although hurricanes rarely make landfall in the Bahamas the precipitation does increase with 170mm of rainfall on average over 14 days, making June one of the wettest months of the year. June is also one of hottest months of the year with an average high temperature of 31°C and lows of 23°C but with wind speeds picking up due to the hurricane season it can be cooler in the evenings. With 10 hours of daily sunshine and water temperatures being around 28°C June is still a great month for enjoying the Bahamas as it is low season so beaches and poolsides won’t be crowded and there will be no waiting in long lineups for activities and restaurants. Seek out shade as the UV levels are quite high and pack good sunscreen and sun gear, lightweight summer clothing, a waterproof layer for the heavy rain showers and swimming suits to enjoy the warm Atlantic waters. Always check the forecast for hurricane or dangerous weather warnings before booking watersport activities. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 170mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in June: Despite June being the beginning of the hurricane season in the Bahamas the south-eastern islands do not experience as much rain as the northern islands. Abraham’s Bay sees an average of 80mm in the month over 11 days whereas Matthew Town is relatively dry with only 30mm on average with 4 rainy days. June is however the beginning of the scorching hot summer weather with an average high of 31°C and lows of 24°C so having a hotel with air conditioning will be ideal. With an average of 11 hours of sunlight, swimming will be a great relief from the broiling hot sun especially since in June the Atlantic waters will be about 28°C. The UV levels are high so make sure to pack sunscreen and apply every 2 hours. With the heat and humidity now getting rather intense, bring lots of lightweight clothing, some of which includes dry-wicking material to keep from feeling too sticky. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 55mm.)
Bahamas Weather in July:
North-Western Islands Weather in July: There isn’t much of a noticeable change between June and July. The hurricane season continues, bringing 2 more rainy days in July with an average of 16 rainy days and 160 mm of precipitation. July is one of the warmest months in the Bahamas with an average high temperature of 31°C and lows of 24°C. With 11 hours of sunshine July is another great month to take advantage of the low season and have a wonderful Caribbean holiday. Pack as you would for June with lightweight summer clothing and plenty of sun gear with UV levels being high. Make sure to pack some waterproof layers as the showers are heavy, with rain expected for half the month. Male travellers should also pack a dinner jacket or two if visiting the more cosmopolitan areas like Nassau, since most hotels, restaurants and casinos require jackets for men in the evening. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 160mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in July: Although the northern islands experience quite a bit of rain in July, the south-eastern islands see far less with an average of 44mm of rain for the month. July is the driest summer month in the south but also one of the hottest so booking accomodation with reliable air conditioning will be a good idea to stay comfortable and cool in the evenings. The average daily high is 31°C and the low is only 25°C. Expect 11 hours of daily sunshine and with the high humidity and UV levels you will want to carry sunblock and water with you. Pack as you would for June with plenty of light weight summer clothing and swimsuits since the Atlantic will be very warm at 28°C and ideal for swimming. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 44mm.)
Bahamas Weather in August:
North-Western Islands Weather in August: There is very little change in weather in August from July other than an increase in precipitation. The average high temperatures increases by a degree to 32ºC and the average low temperature remains the same at a balmy 24ºC. As it is still hurricane season precipitation remains quite high with the island of Grand Bahama seeing an average of 210mm in August while the island of New Providence receives 135mm. August has the most amount of rainy days with an average of 19 so make sure to pack some waterproof layers with your summer clothes of tshirts, shorts, dresses, sunglasses and swimsuits. Since there is 10 hours of daily sunshine to enjoy also carry sunscreen and apply every 2 hours as UV levels remain quite high. Despite the majority of the month expecting rain, swimming in the Atlantic is very ideal in August with sea temperatures reaching 29°C. Always check the forecast for hurricane or dangerous weather warnings before booking watersport activities. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 168mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in August: The weather of the south-eastern islands remains quite the same in August as it was in July. The warm weather and moderate precipitation continues with an average high temperature of 32°C and a low of only 25°C. Abrahams Bay sees 12 rainy days in August however showers are short with an average of 55mm for the month. Daily sunshine decreases to an average of 9 hours per day which leaves plenty of time to enjoy the beaches and lounge poolside. UV levels remain high as does humidity so pack as you would have for July with plenty of sunscreen, wide brimmed sun hat, sunglasses and lightweight summer clothing. (Average Max Temperature: 33°C. Average Precipitation: 55mm.)
Bahamas Weather in September:
North-Western Islands Weather in September: September is one of the wettest months of the year with an average of 190 mm of precipitation with 18 rainy days. The mornings and early afternoons tend to be dry as summer showers and thunderstorms fall mainly in late afternoon and the evening. With 7 hours of daily sunshine, an average daily high temperature of 32°C and a low of 23°C, September weather is still very warm and full of sunny days. The Atlantic is wonderfully warm in September at 29°C so cooling off with a refreshing swim is still possible. Pack as you would for August, making sure to include waterproof layers with your summer clothes of tshirts, shorts, dresses, swimsuits and sun gear. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 190mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in September: September is one of the wettest months of the year on the south-eastern islands as well with an average of 95mm of precipitation and an average of 10 rainy days. Regardless of the rain, an average of 9 hours of sunshine are enjoyed on the islands with an average daily high temperature of 31°C and a low of 24°C. With such warm temperatures a rain jacket is likely to feel too warm so bring an umbrella or plan to spend some time inside, activities won’t be crowded or full as this is still the low season. Pack sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat for both sun and rain, and lightweight summer clothing, including items that have dry-wicking material to keep from feeling too sticky, as humidity levels are above 70%. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 95mm.)
Bahamas Weather in October:
North-Western Islands Weather in October: Temperatures begin to gradually cool in October, although only slightly, with high temperatures still averaging 30°C, with lows of 21°C and the humidity remains above 70%. If you plan to visit this month, you will want to check the weather forecast daily, as it is now the final month of the hurricane season and cyclones are more likely to occur in the final months. October can be one of the wettest months for the islands, with 160 mm of precipitation over 13 days. If you do decide to visit in October use plenty of sunscreen during the day as UV levels are high and there will be an average of 8 hours of sunshine per day. You will want to pack a waterproof jacket as showers are expected frequently and dry-wicking clothing to handle the humidity without feeling sticky. Warm layers won’t be needed so pack as you would for September with light summer clothing and your swimsuit since the water temperature will be 26°C. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 160mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in October: The end of the wet season, October is the rainiest month on the south-eastern islands. Plenty of tropical showers can be expected with an average precipitation of 125mm over 12 days. Temperatures are still high so the days will be hot, humid and sunny. The average daily high temperatures reach around 32°C and the low falls to around 24°C. There are 8 hours of daily sunshine and the UV levels are high so carry sunscreen with you and apply every 2 hours when out in the daytime sun. Sea temperatures are still quite warm at 26°C so swimming will still be enjoyable, remember to check the forecast for any weather warnings before heading out to enjoy the warm Atlantic waters. Pack as you would for September, with waterproof layers like a light rain poncho as well as sun gear and dry-wicking clothing. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 125mm.)
Bahamas Weather in November:
North-Western Islands Weather in November: November marks the end of the hurricane season, and the amount of rain begins to decrease with an average of 104mm of precipitation. November also brings temperatures that are milder than the scorching heat of the summer. Daily high temperatures average 29°C with lows of 22°C, meaning pleasant evenings and more comfortable sleeping conditions. The sun will shine for an average of 7 hours daily for a total of 11 hour of daylight, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the beaches, hanging poolside or exploring the island markets. November is a popular time to visit the islands as it’s the beginning of the drier season and right before the holiday rush starting mid-December. The UV levels are moderate and humidity is still just above 70% so staying hydrated and well protected with sunscreen is still important in November. Pack light summer weight clothing, your swimsuit to enjoy the 26°C Atlantic waters, and a few long sleeve shirts and sweatshirt for cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 104mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in November: November is one of the wettest months for the south-eastern islands, getting less rain than October but still averaging 85mm of precipitation. The rain is not too worrisome though since heavy summer showers disappear quickly. Temperatures begin to dip, but only slightly, the average high is 29°C and the daily low is a pleasant 22°C, making for refreshingly cool evenings and comfortable sleeping. There is plenty of sunshine to enjoy in November with 8 hours per day and a total of 11 hours of daylight. UV levels are moderate and humidity stays around 70% so take care and carry water and sunblock when out in the sun. You won’t need to pack any rain gear but do bring light summer weight clothing with a mixture of long sleeves and sweatshirts for the cooler evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 85mm.)
Bahamas Weather in December:
North-Western Islands Weather in December: December is one of the most popular visiting months, especially for the Christmas break. Though it is the beginning of the dry season, weather fronts can bring a bit of rain, clouds and wind, with an average precipitation of 55mm. With 7 hours of sunshine and much less rain, December is cooler and more comfortable for beach lounging, exploring and enjoying the sights and markets than the scorching heat and humidity of the summer. The average daily high temperature is 29°C, with average lows around 17°C, however, cold air masses from the United States can lower the temperature for a few days, especially on the north-western islands. It can get cold at nighttime, even below 10 °C in Freeport and Nassau. In addition to tshirts, shorts, dresses and sun gear, make sure to pack long pants, covered shoes and at least one extra layer and a light waterproof jacket. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 55mm.)
South-Eastern Islands Weather in December: December is the beginning of the dry season and the busy tourist season. Visitors begin to flock to the Bahamas for the holidays in December to enjoy the pleasant temperatures, less rain, 8 hours of sunshine and various festivals that take place on the islands. The average high temperature is 28°C, and precipitation averages 55mm. Nights are now cool enough, with lows dipping to 21°C that you’ll want to bring long sleeves, a sweatshirt or a light jacket for evenings. Humidity levels are low compared to the summer and the UV index drops too but still pack sunscreen and sun gear. Bring light summer layers and your swimsuit since the Atlantic waters will be a pleasant 25°C for swimming and watersports. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 55mm.)
Bahamian Events and Festivals:
Bahamas in January:
New Year’s Day (Jan 1) – New Year’s Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. Two major events that take place to commemorate the New Year are Junkanoo and the New Year’s Day Sailing Regatta. Junkanoo, the National Festival of The Bahamas, is an expression of Bahamian art and culture and began with African slaves as a celebration of freedom and now takes place on important days throughout the year. Starting on Boxing Day and lasting until New Year’s Day, large Junkanoo parades take place on most islands, usually starting in the early morning hours, with locals dressed in traditional dress and costumes, playing live music on goatskin drums, horns, whistles and bells, and dancing in celebration. The Sailing Regatta takes place on Nassau and Paradise Island with more than 3 dozen sailing sloops converging off of Montagu Bay.
Majority Rule Day (January 10) – This national public holiday commemorates The Bahamas gaining majority rule for the first time on January 10, 1967. This day is considered one of the most important events in the history of the country and is celebrated with a parade in downtown Freeport, a speech from the Prime Minister, gospel concerts, cultural shows and fireworks. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.
PokerStars Caribbean Adventure – Usually taking place the second week of January, poker players from around the globe head to the Bahamas for the world’s largest poker tournament outside of Las Vegas. The festival takes place at the Atlantis Resort and in addition to tournaments there are numerous parties and events held throughout the week. In 2019, the tournament was held from January 5-16.
Bahamas in February:
Rum Cay Day Festival – A one-day festival is held each year in February at Port Nelson on Rum Cay. It features a church service, cultural entertainment, Rake and Scrape bands, family fun and games, with local craft, food and drinks available for sale. It is held each year on the last Friday in February, in Port Nelson’s historic Milo Butler Heritage Park.
Bahamas in March:
Bahamian Music & Heritage Festival (Mar 7-9) – The Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival is an annual celebration of Bahamian food, music, crafts and cultural traditions. Taking place at the beginning of March, the festival is family friendly with lots of activities, including storytelling, singing, poetry reading, sugar cane peeling, onion peeling, and conch cracking contests. A gospel explosion launches the weekend of activities on Thursday evening. A line-up of the most popular local and national gospel and secular musicians can be enjoyed over the three days of the festival.
International Beer Festival – The International Beer Festival takes place in The Olde Town Mall in Sandyport, Nassau. Beers from the UK, America, and Asia, as well as from the Bahamas are available but keep in mind that the festival only takes place between 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. each day. In 2019 the Beer Festival took place on March 30 – 31st.
Annual One Bahamas Music & Heritage Festival – This 3-day celebration takes place on both Nassau and Paradise Island to celebrate national unity. Highlights include concerts featuring top Bahamian performing artists, “fun walks,” and other activities. In 2019 the festival took place from March 7 – 9.
Bahamas in April:
Good Friday – This religious holiday marks the end of the Lenten season and is the first day of a long public holiday weekend which includes Easter Monday. Most Bahamians attend church services and serve fish as their main meal of the day on Friday while Easter Monday marks the beginning of the beach picnicking season for Bahamians. There are many cookouts in public parks on the Nassau waterfront, homecomings and regattas held in some Out islands. In 2019 Good Friday fell on April 19 and Easter Monday on April 22.
The Bahamas Coconut Festival – Also known as the Pelican Point’s Homecoming Festival, it is held annually on Easter Monday. Festival goers can enjoy a plethora of coconut themed dishes and pastries from local vendors, live musical entertainment, heritage themed games and several Junkanoo selections as an opportunity to participate in authentic Bahamian cultural activities. In 2019, the Coconut Festival took place on April 22nd.
Bahamas in May:
Island Roots Heritage Festival – Held in New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay, usually the first weekend of May, the festival celebrates the island’s loyalist heritage and African roots, and honors the peaceful cohabitation of the two cultures. Events include a parade, live music, a conch cracking festival, pirate demonstration, tug-of-war championship, and family friendly activities. In 2019 the event was cancelled but plans are in place for a 2020 edition.
Bahamas in June:
Randol Fawkes Labour Day – This public holiday takes place on the first Friday in June. It is celebrated with a large parade, led by local bands and a few Junkanooers, making its way through Nassau with members of the labour unions from different organizations, as well as political parties. Spectators are treated to lively music, colourful uniforms and speeches from union leaders and local politicians. In 2019 Randol Fawkes Labour Day will take place on June 7.
The Andros Crab Fest – The annual, three-day Crab Fest held is held at the beginning of June at Fresh Creek, Andros and celebrates the crab-catching ways of Andros island, which is referred to as “The Land of Crabs.” Activities include land crabs cooked in many ways, a crab cultural show, releasing of the crabs, a crab culinary contest, crabs of Andros life cycle display, and Rake & Scrape Music. The event attracts thousands of people for the weekend festivities, know that travelling to the island is by ferryboat trips and charter. In 2019 the fest will be taking place from June 20 to June 22nd.
The Eleuthra Pineapple Festival – Gregory Town on the island of Eleuthra hosts 4 days of festivities in the first week of June, to celebrate the symbol of hospitality to the Bahamians – the pineapple. The pineapple festival attracts over 5000 people every year. For many it is chance to return home for a weekend and have a family reunion. In 2019 the fest will be taking place from June 6 to June 9.
Whit Monday (7 weeks after Easter) – Whit Monday is a religious day and public holiday in The Bahamas. This holiday marks the end of the Easter cycle and the beginning of public witness of the Christian church. In 2019 Whit Monday will take place on June 10.
Barraterre Homecoming Festival & Regatta – This festival is held in Great Exhuma each year, for the last 34 years, on the weekend of Whit Monday. It festival features three days of sailing, games, quadrille dancing, plaiting of the Maypole, Bahamian food, crafts, Rake and Scrape music, a Marching Band and a Talent Show. In 2019, the Festival & Regatta will be taking place on June 10.
Bahamas in July:
Independence Day (July 10) – This public holiday marks independence from the United Kingdom in 1973 and is the National Holiday of the Bahamas. The day features parties and events countrywide, including beach festivities, parades, and fireworks. All islands celebrate, although largest events and activities can be found in Nassau and Freeport, and Paradise Island. It is a public holiday so schools and most businesses are closed.
Bahamas in August:
Emancipation Day (first Monday in August) – On the first Monday in August, Bahamians mark the abolition of slavery in 1834. The day is a public holiday across the islands, though events span the whole week before Emancipation Day with festivities, parades, and fireworks. Events include an early morning “Junkanoo Rushout” starting at 4am in Fox Hill Village in Nassau, followed by an afternoon of cookouts, cultural events such as climbing a greased pole, and the plaiting of the Maypole. It is best experienced in the former slave village of Fox Hill Village, Nassau, and in Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera Island. in 2019 Emancipation Day will fall on August 5.
Fox Hill Day Festival (second Tuesday in August every year) – This festival is part of the Emancipation Day celebrations and an important event at the festival is the Emancipation Day Memorial Service. It is the oldest festival to take place on the islands and is deemed to be the largest festival next to Junkanoo. The festival hosts cultural events such as a band performances and the Fox Hill Congo Junkanoo group. Bahamian dishes and deserts are available and other entertainment. In 2019 the festival will be taking place on August 13.
Bahamas in September:
No large events or festivals occur on the islands in September
Bahamas in October:
Discovery Day (Oct 12) – Many countries celebrate the exploits of Christopher Columbus, who discovered the New World. In the Bahamas, he is said to have landed on San Salvador on October 12, 1492. San Salvador has a parade every year on October 12. This day is marked on a Friday or Monday in mid-October, and is also referred to as Columbus Day.
National Heroes Day (Oct 14) – National Heroes Day is a public holiday in the Bahamas and is celebrated annually on the second Monday in October. This holiday honours Bahamian national heroes. Banks, businesses and many shops will be closed on this public holiday. An official National Heroes Day ceremony is held with a keynote speech by the Prime Minister. National Heroes will be celebrated with a week of activities to honour heroes from a cross-section of civil society.
Conch Festival (Oct 12) – This annual festival showcases the history and culture of “conching” in South Andros and features a number of indigenous cultural activities that emphasize the conch. The festival includes lots of other local food and drinks, plus children’s games and activities and a Junkanoo Rush-out.
International Culture, Wine and Food Festival – During this weekend long event, the Bahamas celebrates cultures around the world through food, entertainment, and more. The festival is hosted at the Botanical Gardens on New Providence. In 2019 the event is scheduled to take place on October 19-20 from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Bahamas in November:
Guy Fawkes Day (November 5) – Nighttime parades through the streets are held on many of the islands, culminating in the hanging and burning of an effigy of Guy Fawkes, the British malefactor who was involved in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 in London. The best celebrations are in Nassau.
Bahamas in December:
Bahamas International Film Festival – Week-long screening of documentaries, shorts and feature films from around the world and spotlighting Bahamian films. Opening and closing galas, awards ceremony, educational sessions and discussions with the film’s creators are all part of the festival. Dates for 2020 are to be announced.
Festival of Lights Boat Parade – Usually takes place on the second Saturday in December, that now serves as the unofficial kick-off to the Christmas party season. Locals decorate their boats and other water crafts with strings of holiday lights, and set sail in a convoy out in Nassau Harbour, in a nautical salute to Christmas under the stars. Waterfront restaurants and bars offer a Festival of Lights special evening promotion for visitors.
Abaco Christmas Festival – Takes place every year on the first Saturday in December, kicking off the holiday season in The Abacos and bringing together family and friends. Activities include early Christmas shopping at the Arts & Crafts Bazaar; a Food Court filled with a variety of Bahamian foods, pastries and beverages; performances from Choirs, Quartets, Soloists, Marching and Calypso Bands; a Dog Show and a Junkanoo rushout.
Christmas Day (December 25) – Christmas is celebrated in The Bahamas with many carnivals and festivals. Christmas in Bahamas includes the famous Junkanoo parade. The participants in the parade wear colorful dresses and dance to the music of cowbells, drums and whistles. Among the Junkanoo troupes are the Saxons, Valley Boys and Roots. The most spectacular Junkanoo parade occurs in Nassau. The parade can also be witnessed on Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Bimini and Abaco. Christmas celebrations are further enriched with Christmas drinks which include ginger beer, sorrel, mauby, sweet potato fly (a fly is a fermented drink) falernum, shandy, rum and wines. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.
Boxing Day (December 26) – Starting on Boxing Day, each island hosts its own Junkanoo festival but the largest is in Nassau on New Providence Island. A festival, parade, dance contest, masquerade party, Junkanoo celebrates the history and flavour of the islands with beaded and costumed performing troupes, drums, cowbells, whistles with thousands of people filling the streets. Junkanoo parades begin at 2 a.m. on December 26 and lasts until dawn of January 1st, New Year’s Day.