The best time of year to visit the tropics
The tropics. A place of warm weather and stunning scenery. For many European and North American travellers, the tropics offer a welcome respite from the cold, dark winters, offering, in exchange, lush vegetation and crystal-clear waters that are a sight to behold.
Unsure where we're talking about? Where are the tropics? Look no further; we'll tell you all about them.
Where are the tropics?
The tropics lay between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south. This means the tropics are found in parts of Africa, Asia, South America, Central America and Oceania. Anywhere that's south of the USA's Florida and Hawaii and north of Australia's Darwin is considered tropical. In other words, the tropics is the area on either side of the equator, within the latitudes of Cancer and Capricorn.
What's the weather like in the tropics?
The weather in the tropics is, unsurprisingly, tropical. This means hot and humid conditions all year round, with temperatures averaging between 20-30 degrees Celsius. Unlike further north and south, where we subdivide our year into four seasons, Spring, Summer, Winter and Autumn/Fall, in the tropics, the two main seasons are the wet and dry seasons.
The wet season, also known as monsoon season, typically runs from May to October. This is the time of year when the tropical rains come, and they can come down hard. In some places, like Indonesia and Malaysia, rainfall during the wet season can be intense, with daily downpours lasting several hours.
On the other hand, the dry season is typically much milder and more pleasant. This is the time of year when most people from colder climates like to visit the tropics, as the weather is more stable and sunny. The dry season runs from November to April, although in some places, it can extend till June or even July.
When to visit the tropics for a beach holiday?
If you're looking to escape the winter blues and catch some rays on a tropical beach, the best time to visit the tropics is during the dry season. This is typically from November to April, although in some places it can extend till June or even July.
The best countries for a beach holiday in the tropics include Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Maldives, Fiji and the Seychelles. Each country has unique charms, so it's worth researching to find the perfect destination for you.
When to visit the tropics for a jungle adventure?
If you're looking for a more adventurous holiday, the wet season (May to October) is the best time to visit the tropics. This is when the rains come, and with them comes an increase in wildlife activity.
Some of the best countries to visit for a trek in the forests or jungles are Malaysia, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize. Of course, the wet season isn't for everyone, and if you don't like the idea of getting caught in a downpour, then it's best to avoid this time of year.
Where are the best city breaks in the tropics?
If you're looking for a cultural city break in the tropics, there are plenty of great options to choose from. Brazil's Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia are both excellent choices, as is Cuba's Havana.
Other cities worth considering include Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta. Each of these cities has a unique character, and there's plenty to see and do in each one.
We hope this short guide has woken an interest in visiting the tropics. With such regular and predictable weather systems, and a wide range of countries and activities to choose between, you're spoiled for choice, so get researching! Whether you're looking for a beach holiday, a jungle adventure or a cultural city break, the tropics have something to offer everyone.