Jamaica’s climate means hot sun year-round, but the weather is at its most appealing during the peak tourist season (mid-Dec to mid-April), when rainfall is lowest and the heat is tempered by cooling trade winds known as the “Doctor Breeze”, worth considering when deciding the best time to visit. Nights can get chilly during this period, and you’ll probably want to bring a sweater. Things get noticeably hotter during the summer and, particularly in September and October, the humidity can become oppressive. September is also the most threatening month of the annual hurricane season, which runs officially from June 1 to October 31.

Prices and crowds are at their highest during peak season, when the main attractions and beaches get pretty busy. Outside this period everywhere is quieter and, though the main resorts throb with life pretty much year-round and the summer school holidays see an upsurge in visitor arrivals, less popular tourist areas like Port Antonio and Treasure Beach can feel a little lifeless. The good news is that hotel prices everywhere fall by up to 25 percent, there are more bargains to be had in every field of activity and a number of festivals – including the massive annual Reggae Sumfest – inject some summertime zip.

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