Best Time to Visit Curaçao: Avoid These 3 Months
The best time to go to Curaçao is almost any month of the year -- except for the last three.
Yet the last three months of the year are some of the most popular times to go to this warm Caribbean island as northerners escape from winter.
Curaçao's weather also makes the island a favorite for vacationers who want to go to the Caribbean during the region's annual hurricane season. It officially begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. The worst months for tropical storms and hurricanes are usually September and October.
Curaçao is one of the ABC islands -- Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of these Dutch-influenced islands of the Netherlands Antilles lie south of the hurricane belt, just off the coast of Venezuela.
As a result, rainfall is lower there than other Caribbean destinations. The lower rainfall attracts more vacationers than the typical island from October through December.
5 Tips on When and When Not to Go
In brief, the best and worst times to go to Curaçao depend on what visitors want to do there:
- February through June are best for rainfall, averaging about one inch a month.
- October through December are worst for rainfall, averaging nearly four inches a month. But they also are the most popular months to visit.
- June through September are best for hot beach temperatures.
- December through March temperatures are best for milder land activities.
- April through June have a great combination of low rain risk and warm temperatures.
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Curaçao Hurricane Season
Curaçao doesn’t have a hurricane season. It has a hurricane effect season.
Even though the island has never had a landfall hurricane in recorded history, it isn't entirely immune to the rains that come with the Caribbean hurricane season.
A tropical cyclone (storm or hurricane) comes within 100 miles of Curaçao about once every four years, the Meteorological Service of the Netherland Antilles and Aruba says. However, it usually passes to the north of the island, so any impact is indirect.
The most active storm and hurricane months for the Caribbean are September and October. As a result, choosing when to go is an important consideration in any vacation plans.
Unlike almost all other Caribbean destinations, Curaçao has moderate rain in September, which is usually the worst rainfall month of the year for the rest of the Caribbean. It increases to more than three inches in October and nearly four inches in November and December.
Heavy rainfall in December also makes Curaçao unusual because December is usually the month when rain subsides for most destinations.
Even though the highest level of rainfall for the island occurs in November and December, they are the two most popular months to visit for northerners seeking to escape winter snows and cold. The least popular months are May and June -- which have low levels of rain -- along with September.
Curaçao receives an average of about 22 inches of rain during the year, which is one of the lowest levels in the Caribbean. Rainfall hits a low point of a half-inch in March.
Average Curaçao Temperatures: Do You Like It Hot?
Curaçao has some of the best weather in the Caribbean. The low risk of rain isn’t the only reason the island is an attractive destination. It also is warmer than most Caribbean islands.
Temperatures are quite moderate with an average monthly air temperature of about 82 degrees Fahrenheit or 28 Celsius, according to the Meteorological Service of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. It varies by only a few degrees each month.
But the average high temperature ranges from 86 degrees Fahrenheit and 30 Celsius in January to 90 Fahrenheit and 32 Celsius from June through September.
One of the Warmest Caribbean Islands
The average highs during the summer make it one of the warmest destinations in the Caribbean.
People who visit there will find that trade winds will make time on the beach a bit more comfortable.
The average monthly low temperature ranges from 76 degrees in January to 80 degrees in September. The low temperatures occur mostly at night.
Water temperatures are balmy and average about 81 degrees Fahrenheit with only a few degrees difference each month.
Some of the more northern Caribbean destinations have water temperatures during the winter that often are too cool for swimming. Curaçao usually doesn't have that problem.
Curaçao Monthly Weather
The average Curaçao monthly weather is similar to nearby Aruba and Bonaire. It is warm to hot the entire year and dry most of the year.
January is the coolest month with an average high temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 Celsius. The average rainfall is less than two inches during the month, according to the Meteorological Service of Netherland Antilles and Aruba.
February temperatures increase only slightly, but average rainfall declines to one inch. The water temperatures are warm but not balmy at an average of 79 Fahrenheit or 26 Celsius.
Average temperatures increase by only one more degree. Rainfall declines to a half inch, which makes March the driest month of all. Based on those two factors, March is the best time of the year to visit Curaçao for a chance at good weather.
March is the best time to the year to visit Curaçao for a chance at good weather.
Curaçao weather in April is one of the best of the year as well. The average high temperature is 88 Fahrenheit or 31 Celsius. Rainfall remains less than one inch. It is a good month for weather that is warm and dry but not too hot.
Temperatures in May rise again. Average water temperatures reach a balmy level for the first time at 80 Fahrenheit or 27 Celsius. Rainfall stays less than one inch.
Curaçao weather in June reaches the hot stage with average high temperatures of 90 Fahrenheit or 32 Celsius. Rainfall is less than one inch for the final month of the year.
The only difference between July and June is an increase in average rainfall to nearly two inches. This is a time of year for Curaçao visitors who like hot weather, hot beaches and warm seawater. Summer is not a comfortable time to walk around the historic district of Handelskade, the island’s best attraction.
This month is the second hottest of the year. Rainfall hovers around two inches. Tourism rises to a high point despite the hot weather or maybe because of it.
The ABC islands are unique in the Caribbean because they usually experience little rain in September. But it is the most active month of the Caribbean hurricane season for tropical storms and hurricanes. Curaçao averages only two inches of rain. The average high temperature is 91 degrees Fahrenheit or 33 Celsius. Water temperatures reach the highest point of the year.
The most popular month to visit Curaçao is December despite rainfall that averages four inches, which is the highest of the year.
If the island has a rainy season, it begins in October. Average rainfall is three inches, which is a normal month for most Caribbean islands. The average high temperature drops only to 89 Fahrenheit or 32 Celsius.
The “rainy season” continues with a slightly higher average of nearly four inches. It is not an ideal month to visit the island, but tourism reaches the second highest level of the year.
The most popular month to visit Curaçao is December despite rainfall that averages four inches, which is the highest of the year. But many Caribbean islands experience a spike in tourism during December because of northerners who want to get away from winter temperatures. December also ends the rainy season.
Popular Months to Visit
Curaçao receives on average about 450,000 stopover tourists (who stay for multiple nights) and more than 600,000 cruise visitors each year, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
The chart above shows that the most popular months for stopover tourists are October, December and December. The least popular months are February, March and June.
Unlike most Caribbean destinations, Curaçao has steady visitor traffic during most of the year except for the increase in the last three months.
Oddly enough, the island experiences the most rain of the year in those last three months.
Best Times to Go
Anyone considering a vacation to Curaçao will find that the risk of rainy weather is low for January through September, while the risk is high for October through December.
However, October and November in particular do not see as much rain as other Caribbean destinations.
We found nearly perfect weather during our spring visit. Temperatures were warm but not unbearable. It didn't rain all week.
Curaçao is midway between Aruba and Bonaire just north of Venezuela.
© 2016 Scott Bateman