Like the rest of Jamaica, Negril experiences high season from mid-December to mid-April when northerners head south to escape colder climates. It’s officially winter in Jamaica, though that’s hardly a fair label with average daily high temperatures in the 80s. While many families and couples come to trade snow for sand during the Christmas holiday, there’s more than just the undeniably gorgeous weather to draw people.. Athletes test their mettle in January’s Jamaica Triathlon, and during the week of February 6, the entire island celebrates the birthday of Bob Marley.. The busiest months are March and April with the perfect storm of Easter and Negril’s infamous spring-break bacchanalia, Jamaica Beachfest. (To avoid the college party, head to Negril’s more subdued and upscale West End.) Premium hotel and tour rates are the norm in high season, but you can often score savings by booking your trip at least two months in advance and opting for a package deal.
The mid-June to late August shoulder season dovetails nicely with summer vacation. Families can often find good deals at this time: rates are slightly lower than in high season, and many hotels offer free accommodations and food for kids. Summer in Jamaica is warm, but average daily highs rarely top 90 degrees. Plus, Negril’s arid western coast helps keeps the heat under control. From late July to early August, crowds pick up as the local residents take in Negril’s ATI and Dream weekends, two multi-day, bikini-clad dance events celebrating Jamaica’s Independence Day.
The low season—and the best travel deals of the year—kicks in from May to mid-June and late August to November, when the kids are back in school and Jamaica faces the increased potential for rain or hurricanes. October delivers the greatest chance of rain; May, August, and September aren’t far behind. Showers can be intense, but they’re typically brief, ultimately cooling the air and offering the perfect reason for a siesta. Hurricane season runs from late August through November, though historically, the most active time is August to early September. Hurricanes pose a real threat, but most resorts offer hurricane protection, and modern news delivery allows ample advanced warning.