Curacao: when is the best time to go?
The isle of Curacao is every traveller's dream. Imagine this: crisp white sands, historic plantations, glittering warm waters, lip-smacking dishes, and more interesting museums than you can shake a stick at. But before you book that all-important holiday, you're going to need to figure out exactly when to go, and in a region that experiences hurricanes and huge cultural fiestas, often in equal measure, choosing the right time is crucial. Fear not - we've got this covered.
As a rule of thumb, the best weather is between December and April, as you will enjoy dry days, low humidity and cooler evenings to have a good night's sleep in. In contrast, June to November is the official hurricane season, so expect huge storms in September and October, but it's probably best to avoid the region at any point in that period.
Some opt for the spring months of April and May to make the most out of the cheaper rates, but it can be quite sticky - yes the thermometer may be a few degrees higher, but you will also have to face short and heavy showers. These downpours tend not to last a long time, but if you are looking to avoid it or those pesky mosquitos altogether, you'll have to try the peak season.
Regardless of what time of year you go, temperature variations are slim, ranging between 24 and 29 degrees C in both winter and summer. In terms of those storms, it is important not to panic, as satellite forecasts will give enough early warnings that you can take necessary precautions.
Due to December to April being the peak tourist season, you can also expect hotel and villa rates to be between 20 and 50 per cent higher than the rest of the year. January and February tend to be the priciest of months due to the great weather conditions, and don't forget that the festive period and school holidays mean premium prices for flights. Note that if you are travelling during the peak season, it's essential to make your hotel reservations months in advance to avoid any disappointment.
As expected, hotels are most full in the peak festive months of December and January, while carnival time in February can also get quite busy. September and October are the quietest months, but this is hardly a surprise when you consider the storms. At this time, the beaches are virtually ghost towns and many restaurants/bars close down for repairs and construction.
While it is nice to avoid mass tourist crowds, you will also want some people around you, especially if it's pouring it down with rain and you are travelling on your own.
Undoubtedly, the biggest annual event is carnival, a quintessential Caribbean fiesta of colours, features, parades and pageants. The entire community gets together, as Carib, African and Dutch cultures unite for something truly spectacular - February and March is when this occurs. Furthermore, on the day after Easter, Curacao welcomes the Harvest Festival, a month-long celebration that honours the region's history of slavery.
Sport fans should also be happy to hear that the Curacao Dive Festival and Challenge Surf Competition takes place in May, while March sees the Tumba Festival, where local composers and musicians of Tumba join together for a four day event.
Taking everything into consideration, we would recommend the months of March and April. At this point, the prices are starting to lower and the crowds are dispersing, while you can still make the most out of the dry weather. Add to this an extensive programme of cultural events and attractions, and what you end up with is a holiday you won't forget in a hurry - prepare to succumb to the charms of Curacao.
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