Traveling in the Caribbean during the Hurricane Season
Bunny recently had a special and unique chance to spend a whole month in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, this month was October which is known as the hurricane season in the region. That made her a bit apprehensive at first.
What does the hurricane season mean in the Caribbean?
"Hurricane weather" in Mexico, Grand Cayman and Grenada
The chances of actually ending up in the middle of a hurricane are slim but the danger is real. No-one wants their precious holiday ruined by weather.
Bunny was anxiously reading guide books and weather forecasts before her trip. The annoying answer was, of course, that nobody knew what the weather would be like. She might be lucky and enjoy a string of sunny days and clear skies, or she might end up holding on to her hat in gusty winds and miserable rain - or worse.
Luckily, for once, Bunny had more time at her disposal (a whole month!) so she decided she could risk it a bit. A couple of rainy days would not ruin her month in paradise. She was also keenly aware of the positives of traveling during the hurricane season: the prices would be low and the crowds thin! Who could resist that?
An Idea Is Born
To help others, Bunny decided to keep a weather diary during the month of October to provide a sample of October weather for other travelers in the same position. It is all completely random, of course, but at least Bunny's diary gives a sample of what the weather might be like in the Caribbean during the hurricane season.
And it all depends on your itinerary, of course. Some parts of the Caribbean are more susceptible to hurricanes than others. Bunny started the month in one of the safer locations in terms of their location on the hurricane belt: Grenada.
Into the Eye of the Hurricane (Almost)
She flew to Grenada on 30 September. The American Airlines flight from Miami was reasonably smooth which was a pleasant surprise as Matthew (a powerful category 4 hurricane) had been making its way towards Jamaica and Cuba, having narrowly bypassed Grenada only a couple of days earlier. That was a close call right there in the beginning...
Bunny's Day-to-Day Recap of the October “Hurricane-Season” Weather:
1 October (Grenada, main island): Cannot get better than this! Lovely clear skies, sunshine from morning to the evening, sand between your paws... High temperature of 31C, with a cooling wind. Perfect day in the Caribbean.
2 October (Grenada, main island): The day started off a bit overcast, with some sunny spells until lunch time. Bunny kicked off the day with some yoga and enjoyed kayaking in the calm sea afterwards. A nice breeze cooled off the daily high of 31C. In the afternoon, some proper rain and thunder raged around for a while. Perfect timing for a little afternoon snooze! And then the sun made a comeback again just in time for a lovely sunset.
3 October (Grenada, main island): A beautiful sunny morning. Bunny was up snorkeling at 6.30am. Some yoga and swimming before lunch. The sun decided to grace the day until late afternoon when the clouds started to gather. Some far-away thunderstorm action happened in the evening but there was no rain. Bunny sat drinking in the swim-up bar, happy as can be.
4 October (Grenada, main island): Another beautiful sunny day, spent snorkeling and eating pizza by the pool. At the same time, the news reported that hurricane Matthew had killed 7 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
5 October (Grenada, main island): Beautiful sunny weather. Only the occasional rogue wave provided a hint that something was amiss in the distance. Bunny was literally knocked over by the ocean’s fury more than once, losing her sunglasses and favorite hat to the greedy sea gods. An afternoon sunset cruise was a little short of sun but heavy on the drinks instead. A short rain shower made sure Bunny got wet on the deck but the weather eventually gave way to a beautiful sunset.
Beautiful clear skies and gorgeous sunsets in Grenada
6 October (Grenada, main island): A beautiful sunny day in Grenada, while Matthew was wreaking havoc in the Bahamas. A total of 283 people reported dead in Haiti, while Florida prepared for Matthew. Hundreds of flights are cancelled, including to and from Grenada. Bunny is happy to be stuck where she is.
7 October (Grenada, main island): Lots of rain in the morning, grey skies and cloudy during the day. This was the day when Bunny and Mr. Bunny got married on the beach in Grenada. And, of course, it rained! But thankfully not during the ceremony itself. The evening was beautiful though. Even the weather gods decided to have mercy on Bunny.
8 October (Grenada, main island): A beautiful sunny day with only some scattered clouds. Bunny and Mr. Bunny enjoyed their low-key first day as a married couple with a slight headache. In the meanwhile, Matthew's death toll in Haiti reaches 900.
9 October (Grenada, main island): Gorgeous sunny day with a high temperature of 31C. Bunny went hobby-catting and snorkeling and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.
10 October (Grenada, Carriacou): A sunny morning with some clouds. Bunny went on a very bumpy ferry ride from the Grenada main island to lovely Carriacou. Bunny’s choices were a burning hot sun on the ferry deck or inside the hull with the risk of immediate death by capsizing. Bunny chose the open deck and earned an accompanying sunburn. A cloudy afternoon treated the survivors in Carriacou, followed by a gorgeous sunset!
11 October (Grenada, Carriacou): A hot sunny day in Carriacou and Tobago Cays, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where Bunny sailed to swim with turtles and stingrays. Another sunburn duly followed. In the meanwhile, Matthew's death toll in Florida reaches 33.
Sunny skies in Tobago Cays in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and a rainbow over Grenada
12 October (Grenada, Carriacou): Bunny woke to very heavy rain showers in the morning. Good for the sunburn! The rain didn't persist so Bunny took advantage of the cloudy day by going hiking. In the afternoon, Bunny sailed back to Grenada in beautiful afternoon sun, spotting rainbows - including a double one - on the mainland.
13 October (Grenada, main island): A nice sunny morning in Grenada, Bunny flew back to Miami in high winds. Miami awaited the tired traveler with overcast skies, with some sunny spells. Maximum temperature of 26C.
14 October (Miami, US): A nice hot sunny day in Miami, with scattered clouds. Maximum temperature of 31C. Bunny did yoga and ran around shopping for books. A beautiful sunset crowned a beautiful day.
15 October (Miami, US): Some sun in the morning, then clouds gathering towards lunch time. High winds throughout the day. Bunny prepared to go on a Caribbean cruise, boarding early and exploring the cruise ship in the afternoon sun. A big rain shower celebrated the boat’s departure from Miami port at 7pm.
16 October (sailing along the Cuban coast): Bunny woke to a beautiful sun in the morning, keeping an eye on the clouds over Cuba on the horizon. By lunch time the weather was getting a bit grey, the clouds racing towards the ship. Bunny enjoyed some sunny spells on the deck in the afternoon, only for more clouds to follow and heavy rain in the afternoon and evening. Bunny thought Cuba did not seem very welcoming from a distance and went to the casino to use up a voucher she had received in her ‘welcome aboard’ pack.
Sailing out of Miami towards Cuba
17 October (Jamaica): A gorgeous sunny morning arriving upon in Jamaica. Bunny went horse-riding on the beach (and in the sea!). Clouds started gathering before lunch again, followed by a short afternoon downpour and some thunder action. When leaving Jamaica around 5pm the weather had cleared up but some more (light) rain was waiting for Bunny out at sea.
18 October (Grand Cayman): A glorious sunny morning in Georgetown, Grand Cayman! Bunny went sailing on a cute little sail boat, swimming with stingrays and colorful fish in the turquoise water gleaming in the hot sun. Thankfully Bunny remembered to lash on the sun block this time. The afternoon saw some clouds, with a short afternoon shower sending off the ship from Grand Cayman. A nice sunset crowned a perfect day.
19 October (Mexico, Cozumel): The day started early and bright for Bunny, but a spell of rain was there again to greet her upon the ship pulling up later that morning in Cozumel, Mexico. Bunny was touring the island and observed grey, rainy scenery from the car a bit underwhelmed. Fortunately, her weather luck turned again and the rest of the day unfolded hot and sunny. A couple of Coronas and some beach hammock time later,b Bunny was ready to move to Mexico.
20 October (sailing from Mexico towards Bahamas): A day at sea on a cruise ship can be full of adventures. Alternatively, you can stick to the bar and try all the cocktails. Bunny chose the latter. She started before lunch time with some sparkling wine on the sunny balcony, followed by colorful cocktails in glorious sunshine in the upper deck, threw in some pre-dinner aperatifs and finished off with cocktails in the hot tub whilst observing a nice sunset. A beautiful, hot sunny day out on the sea. A bit blurry by the evening though...
21 October (Bahamas): The day dawned a bit cloudy but developed into a very hot sunny day in Nassau. Bunny was hopping around in the heat, hoping for some clouds. Those duly appeared in the afternoon when she was walking the length of the underwhelming but pleasant enough Cable Beach snapping photos. Another nice sunset.
Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Bahamas on Bunny's Caribbean tour
22 October (Miami, US): Bunny sailed back into Miami in the morning and briefly enjoyed a sunny, cloudless sky before taking a flight to Cancun, Mexico. On arrival in Cancun, Bunny was treated with a nice sunset, and temperatures of 30C.
23 October (Playa del Carmen, Mexico): Some rain and clouds in the morning in Playa del Carmen, with the sun re-appearing during Bunny's mid-morning walk on the beach. Bunny's day ended in cloudy, partly sunny and very windy Tulum, with yet another beautiful sunset.
24 October (Tulum, Mexico): Bunny was up early, wanting to explore the Tulum ruins during a sunny morning with as few other tourists as possible. The sunshine-filled morning evolved into a very hot and sunny day, perfect for some afternoon yoga back at the hotel and lounging on the beach. The heat finally gave away for clouds in the afternoon, accompanied by strong winds and some seriously scary waves in the sea. High temperature of 29C.
25 October (Tulum, Mexico): Another early start! Some snorkeling in the Gran Cenote early in the morning, with a mixture of clouds and sun. The weather felt cooler than in the Caribbean, particularly when the sunny morning turned into a cloudy and windy day. The sun is never far behind though, making another appearance in the late afternoon, just in time for a sunset.
26 October (Tulum, Mexico): Another cloudy morning which turned into a hot and sunny day in Coba, where Bunny was day-tripping to see some more ruins and pyramids. In the afternoon, Bunny was happy to be inside the tour car when the skies opened in a very heavy rain shower for about 20 minutes. The day ended back in Tulum, with nice sun late afternoon and evening with a gorgeous sunset.
Sunshine in Tulum and Coba ruins but also some clouds gathering on Tulum beach
27 October (Tulum, Mexico): A cloudy and windy morning, a bit chilly to Bunny's liking. She even detected some drops of rain on her fur. Luckily the morning was devoted to yoga anyway. After lunch, beautiful hot sunshine graced the beach until about 5pm. Then rain and wind again... Bunny went to have a relaxing scented bath in the afternoon and by the time she emerged from her bliss, the rain had disappeared and turned into a dry and warm evening.
28 October (Tulum, Mexico): A beautiful sunny morning, the best so far in Tulum, unfortunately also Bunny's last in town. By lunch time some clouds had gathered and formed a couple of quick downpours. The showers continued on Bunny's way to Cancun airport. Once inside, drinking her last tequilas, she observed a sunny afternoon behind the airport glass windows. Bye-bye Mexico!
Sunny beaches and yoga with a view in Tulum, Mexico
29 October (Miami, US): Back in Miami, but what is it with the weather? The morning unfolded windy and rainy. It also felt cool despite the temperature of 26C. There were some drier periods around lunch time, but more rain and wind soon followed. Thank god for the hot jacuzzi on the rooftop of Bunny's favorite Miami hotel: Como by Metropolitan.
30 October (Miami, US): What was the weather like? Bunny doesn't remember. She had to fly away from her month touring paradise, back to the cold, back to the office, back to her desk.... Ugh.
As you can see above, Bunny hardly suffered during the so-called “hurricane season”. But then again, Bunny usually is lucky. Over 30 days, the final tally was that only 1-2 days were “ruined” by rain. You can’t count on having weather as good as Bunny did. But she still believes the risk is worth taking, given the significantly reduced costs and crowds of traveling in the off-season. She would definitely do it again!