Bahamas When to Go

The Bahamas enjoys sunny days, refreshing breezes, and moderate-to-warm temperatures with little change from season to season. That said, the most pleasant time to visit is from December through May, when temperatures average 70°F–75°F. It stands to reason that hotel prices during this period are at their highest—around 30% higher than during the less popular times. The rest of the year is hot and humid and prone to tropical storms; temperatures hover around 80°F–85°F. Temperatures in Freeport, Bimini, and the Abacos are nearly the same: a degree or two cooler in spring and fall, and a degree or two warmer in summer. As you head down to the more southern islands, expect temperatures to be about a degree or two warmer than the capital year-round.

Whether you want to join it or avoid it, be advised that spring break takes place primarily from the end of February to late March (and sometimes up to mid-April). This means a lot of vacationing college students, beach parties, sports events, and entertainment, mainly in New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Hope Town, Abaco.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30, with greatest risk of a storm from August through October. Meteorology being what it is, you generally know days in advance if the area you're traveling to will be affected. Check with your hotel if a storm is on the horizon—the islands are so spread out that, just as most of the United States was unaffected when Katrina hit New Orleans, one island could be experiencing hurricane-force winds while it's nice and sunny in another.

The Bahamas has been relatively lucky when it comes to hurricanes. Nassau, the capital and central hub of the country, has not had a direct devastating hit in many decades. A glancing blow from a storm can result in some downed trees and power lines as well as localized flooding, but Bahamians have learned how to prepare for these situations and within days manage to get things pretty much back to normal. The country enforces strict building codes to guard against major structural damage from the 100-mile-an-hour winds a hurricane can bring with it. Even in the Out Islands, where more storms have come aground, the worst damage is caused by tidal flooding, which washes away quickly.

Most hotels have meticulously detailed hurricane plans that are put into action once a major storm is headed toward the country. If the storm is a major category system, extra flights are lined up to help evacuate tourists, and some hotels have hurricane policies that offer guests free stays at a later date if their vacation is interrupted by Mother Nature.

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