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With endless balmy weather and blue seas, the Caribbean is popular all year round. But which are the best islands to visit in October?

The month falls in storm season for some islands, but many are outside the path of storms. With plenty of sunshine and warm seas, you can enjoy a visit even more as the crowds stay away.

Any unsettled weather often passes quickly, or hits only one part of an island. The Caribbean‘s idyllic beaches, warm weather, and exciting attractions remain unchanged no matter the time of year.

Aruba

White sand beach in Aruba

Aruba

Being outside the hurricane belt, Aruba—and its “ABC” pairings of Bonaire and Curaçao —makes a perfect destination in October. The worst you can expect is a quick rain shower, which breaks any humidity.

For sun-seekers, Aruba offers the classic picture of white sandy beaches and some of the clearest waters in the Caribbean. Its dining and nightlife scene is also surprisingly lively for such a small island.

Popular fofoti trees lined up on Eagle Beach, Aruba

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Plunge into the action on some of Aruba’s best places, such as Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. Whether you enjoy sunbathing and swimming, or water sports such as paddle boarding or kayaking, your time here will go too fast.

In the desert-like interior, Arikok National Park offers cacti-filled landscapes and hidden caves. Explore the Natural Pool (Conchi), and take a dip protected by dramatic volcanic rocks.

Beautiful landscape of Casibari Rock Formation, Aruba

Casibari Rock Formation, Aruba

Standing out from the uniform flatness of Aruba is the Casibari Rock Formation. A short climb up these rounded rocks rewards you with a great view.

More amazing views are found on the northern tip of the island at the California Lighthouse, the tallest structure on Aruba. You can see what seems like most of the island itself as well as enjoy a Caribbean panorama.

Bonaire

Bonaire, one of the best islands to visit in October

Klein Bonaire

October in Bonaire means the Bonaire International Regatta, a celebration of sailing for all. Needless to say, the event includes plenty of music, eating, and drinking.

Bonaire is one of the best places to go sailing in the Caribbean. Even if you’re not a sailor, an excursion to Klein Bonaire should be the bare minimum for any visitor.

This tiny island, reached by catamaran tour or water taxi, is surrounded by a reef. It’s a perfect place for snorkeling, best experienced by drifting along the shore.

Sandy beach of Te Amo Beach, Bonaire

Te Amo Beach, Bonaire

The island is not known for its beaches (many are harsh coral sand), but a notable exception is Te Amo Beach. Its soft white sand, and rich sea life make it another popular choice for snorkelers.

On the opposite, eastern side of the island is Sorobon Beach, another beautiful white sand beach in Bonaire. It’s well-served with sunshades and restaurants.

Mangroves in Lac Bay National Park, Bonaire

Lac Bay National Park, Bonaire

Away from the beach, Lac Bay National Park is a place to kayak amid mangroves. These are unique in the Caribbean, and a vital resource for fish, birds, and many other species.

Read: Best Places to Go Diving in Bonaire

Curaçao

Aerial view of Willemstad, Curaçao

Willemstad, Curaçao

Like Aruba, Curaçao mixes colorful old Dutch architecture, beautiful reefs, and great diving. The lively capital, Willemstad, has a UNESCO World Heritage historic center and a strong arts scene, making it one of the best islands to visit in October.

Don’t miss the shopping along the Handelskade waterfront, and the fascinating Curaçao Maritime Museum there. The Kura Hulanda Museum is an unflinching look at the history of slavery in the islands.

Couple snorkeling in Curaçao Sea Aquarium Park

Curaçao Sea Aquarium Park

At Curaçao Sea Aquarium Park, a lagoon sliced out of the sea holds sharks, rays, turtles, and other species. It’s a chance to learn about the sea life you might spot around the island.

With temperatures averaging high of 86°F or 30°C in October, the beach is another attraction. Knip Beach, split into Grote Knip, and Kleine Knip, is considered one of the best beaches in Curaçao.

Pebbly beach of Mambo Beach, Curaçao

Mambo Beach, Curaçao

A good alternative is Mambo Beach, which has more facilities. After enjoying the sun, you have a wide choice of restaurants or shopping.

At Sheta Boca National Park you can experience a wilder side of Curaçao. Waves crash on untouched beaches and explode out of rocky coral caves.

St. Thomas, USVI

Aerial view of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, USVI

Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, USVI

Duty-free shoppers love Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Founded in 1666, it also has a rich history you can explore in sites such as Fort Christian.

Other sights include the 99 Steps and the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. Blackbeard’s Castle and the Historical Trust Museum are also great destinations, should you need a break from the beach.

Top view of Magens Bay in St. Thomas, USVI

Magens Bay in St. Thomas, USVI

Magens Bay is perhaps the most popular beach on St. Thomas, and for good reason. You can see it best from the hiking trails around the bay, but you’ll not want to tear yourself away from the beach for long.

At Smith Bay Beach Park and Eco Reserve, there’s plenty of good snorkeling amid coral reefs. Alternatively, find your perfect palm tree, and just laze around in its shade.

View of Buck Island, USVI from the water

Buck Island, USVI

Another snorkeler’s paradise is Buck Island, off St Croix. A trail here has underwater signs to point out its many delights.

A great escape is unspoiled St. John, the smallest USVI island. It’s one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean, and—more surprisingly—hike in a 5,500-acre National Park.

Tortola, BVI

Tortola, BVI, one of the best islands to visit in October

Tortola, BVI

While Tortola falls within the hurricane belt, October can be a good time to visit—especially later in the month. Temperatures will still be in the high 80s, but do check the forecast.

The largest island in the British Virgin Islands offers plenty of alternatives to the beach as you wait for any rain to pass. Road Town, the laid-back capital offers everything from spice shops and a shopping pier to a Folk Museum.

Sandy beach of Cane Garden Bay in Tortola, BVI

Cane Garden Bay in Tortola, BVI

The island’s beaches include Cane Garden Bay, Smuggler’s Cove, and Long Bay Beach. Visiting Cane Garden Bay is one of the best things to do in Tortola, where you’ll find a perfect bay of white sand, turquoise sea, and rich greenery.

Tortola is also a great base to sample the rest of the British Virgin Islands. Enjoy a sailing trip to neighboring islands such as Virgin Gorda or Jost Van Dyke.

Clear waters of The Baths at Virgin Gorda

The Baths at Virgin Gorda, BVI

One of the best places to swim in the world, The Baths at Virgin Gorda are a tumble of massive rocks that have created various picturesque swimming pools. You can walk along the sands to find your own secret spot to bathe in.

Norman Island is said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. It’s still an inspiration for sailors and divers wanting to get away from it all.

Antigua

Antigua, one of the best islands to visit in October

Antigua

October falls into Antigua’s shoulder season, meaning fewer visitors. That’s because of the rain—but any showers are welcome to help bring the island’s greenery to vibrant life.

The island is also blessed with several major sites where you can escape indoors. One of the best things to do in Antigua is to visit the historic Redcliffe Quay, a shopping area whose colorful buildings capture a bygone era.

Waterfront view of Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua

Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua

Even more history awaits at Nelson’s Dockyard, which has been voted “Best Attraction in the Caribbean”. Set up as a naval base in English Harbour during the 17th century, it preserves scenic forts and once-busy warehouses.

Couple eating in Backyard Rum Shack, Antigua

Backyard Rum Shack, Antigua

Speaking of the English Navy, you can’t leave Antigua without tasting the island’s famous rum. At the Backyard Rum Shack, follow the distilling process before sampling the final product.

Of course, the many beaches in Antigua remain an attraction for swimming and snorkeling. For something slightly different, take a boat tour to see the picturesque Pillars of Hercules geological formations from the sea.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman, one of the best islands to visit in October

Stingray City, Grand Cayman

Hurricanes rarely bother Grand Cayman, although October can bring rain to the island. However, with temperatures hitting the 80s, and the rain usually confined to afternoon showers, October remains a great time to visit.

That’s even more true if your focus is on, or under, the water. At Stingray City, encountering stingrays remains a spectacular experience.

Couple snorkeling in Grand Cayman

Snorkeling in Grand Cayman

The coral reefs are also immune to the weather up top. Dive among this underwater paradise, and you will be immersed in a different world.

Sandy beach of Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

At Seven Mile Beach, one of Grand Cayman’s best beaches, the fun carries on both on the sand and in the sea. It can be raining in one part of the island, but still sunny here.

The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park relies on the rains for its tropical beauty. It’s just as beautiful if you are unlucky enough to catch a shower.

Exterior of Pedro St. James National Historic Site, Grand Cayman

Pedro St. James National Historic Site, Grand Cayman

If you do need some time indoors, visiting Pedro St. James National Historic Site is one of the best things to do in Grand Cayman. Walk its grand rooms to admire the furnishings, and learn about the island’s history.

One final reason to visit Grand Cayman in October is that it’s Restaurant Month. Special set-price menus are available around the island, from brunch to dinner.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia, one of the best islands to visit in October

St. Lucia

St. Lucia celebrates its Creole heritage in October. The Art & Heritage Festival 1981 fills the month with song, dance, cuisine, and other cultural events.

Creole mixes African, French, and other influences into a distinct language spoken throughout the Antilles. Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, and Saint Lucia share a common base with strong local dialects.

Exterior of Morne Coubaril Estate, St. Lucia

Morne Coubaril Estate, St. Lucia

If the history of the island interests you, visiting Morne Coubaril Estate is one of the best things to do in St. Lucia. The estate was in the same family’s hands for more than 200 years, and they set up a sugar plantation here when the island was under French control.

Rum and chocolate-tasting tours bring history to life, as do plantation visits. October showers mean the estate’s greenery is extra lush, and hikes and ziplining are great ways to see the rainforest up close.

View of the majestic Twin Pitons, St. Lucia

Twin Pitons, St. Lucia

You can also experience some of the best hiking in the Caribbean around the dramatic Twin Pitons that dominate the island’s skyline. The rainforest here is also a great place for off-road touring.

Barbados

Barbados, one of the best islands to visit in October

Barbados

Barbados is often less affected by storms than other islands as it’s so far east. The island’s 80 or more beautiful white sand beaches are obviously a first stop to experience the best of the Caribbean in October.

Perhaps the most famous is Bridgetown’s Carlisle Bay, a calm haven of impossibly blue water for watersports.

View inside Harrison's Cave, Barbados

Harrison’s Cave, Barbados

You can escape the weather completely by plunging underground into Harrison’s Cave. A tram takes you on a ride amid the geological wonders of stalagmites, stalactites, and the 45-foot-high Great Hall.

At Gun Hill Signal Station and St. John’s Church, you can learn about the history that Barbados is known for. Both these historic sites offer wonderful Caribbean views.

The end of October also sees the four-day Barbados Food & Rum Festival. Taste the best local and international chefs have to offer in this “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.”

Dominica

Roseau, Dominica, one of the best islands to visit in October

Roseau, Dominica

If you know what bouyon, jing ping, bélé, and kadans are, you may probably already be heading to Dominica in October. That’s the time for Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival, which features all these local musical styles and many more.

The three-day festival packs out the capital, Roseau during the last weekend in October. But it marks the end of an entire month dedicated to celebrating Creole culture, including some amazing cuisine.

Lush landscape of Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica

Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica

October is also a good month to see Morne Trois Pitons National Park looking its best. This Unesco-recognized park surrounds the peak of Morne Trois Pitons, whose volcanic nature bubbles to the surface in Boiling Lake.

View of Emerald Pool, Dominica

Emerald Pool, Dominica

If the famous Emerald Pool in the park is too cold for a dip, you can find hot pools near Trafalgar Falls. Enjoy the walk to see the falls, then plunge into the nearby warm springs.

There’s more nature closer to hand at Roseau’s Botanical Gardens, venue for the World Creole Music Festival. Wander among many indigenous or imported species, many of which will look their best after rain.

Read: Best Things to Do in Dominica

Celebrity Cruises in Roseau, Dominica

Roseau, Dominica

Are you tempted to set sail for the tropics in October? Then browse our cruises to the Caribbean to find the perfect itinerary for you and your loved ones.

Free Vacation Planning Services

Free Vacation Planning Services