A Great Place
When should you visit very special and unique places in the world that touch you? Places with an atmosphere you can’t describe or where you even get overwhelmed with emotion.
The difference between visiting in the morning, evening or at night:
Morning until Afternoon: Least crowded. Especially in the morning, you can experience the view without many other tourists. Even without the beautiful night view, it’s still a great experience in daylight.
Twilight / Dusk: Right before dusk it usually gets more crowded. Even more after dark. Top tip: Be there just before dusk to experience the fascinating change from daylight to darkness, while the city lights turn on slowly. Check sunset times here: http://www.timeanddate.com/sun/j...
After Dusk / at Night: Usually crowded year-round from dusk till 10 PM. That’s the time when both the last bus or the last ropeway runs (operating from 9 AM to 10 PM). After 10 PM it thins out and you experience a much quieter place. Great experience around midnight. However, staying that late means you have to pay a taxi to get back down. Otherwise, you’d have to walk and navigate down in the dark. You could also get up there and back down with your own (rental) car.
Open year-round (maintenance closure early December). Consider that even in summer it’s windy and colder up there. Bring an extra sweater in spring/summer/fall and a thick coat in winter, when it’s really cold and chilly on top of Mt. Inasa.
In general, to avoid heavy crowds don’t go during the following very busy times in Japan:
End of Dec - Jan 4: New Year’s travelers
April 29 - May 5: Golden Week
July 19 through August: School summer vacation
It's very popular hiking to the top of the Tiger Cave Temple. Therefore, start either early morning with a pleasant temp before the buses arrive or in the late afternoon when it starts to cool down, and the stairs are in the shade. The entrance to the stairway is always open, and there isn't any fee requested. Sunrise and sunset are marvelous, but you need a flashlight for the way up or down.
The summit from the distance
You get the best shot with the Buddha Statues on the top with sunlight in the morning. The downside the sun is heating up the stairs which makes it even harder to climb 1.237 steps up and down. After rainfall, the stairs are a bit slippery.
The Tiger Cave Temple is part of many day trips combined with the Emerald Pools. When the buses arrive, it gets crowded and can spoil this awesome experience. Therefore, rent a scooter or take a tuk-tuk to get there independent either early morning or late afternoon. It's also the best time to handle the heat.
The view from the summit
Weather, Seasons, and Crowds
Dry Season from December to April
It's always pretty hot day temps are above 30°C throughout the year but drier the reason that the humidity is more bearable. Showers occur mostly in the afternoon or night. Between January and March, you get frequently a clear blue sky. However, it's the peak season, very busy, and hotel prices are the highest.
Rainy Season from May to November
Wet season with higher humidity. The temps are still around 30°C but muggy. Most precipitation occurs in September. During the rainy season, everything can happen: Typical are days with 1-2 brief showers. You might even get two weeks of perfect dry weather or sometimes almost a week of straight rain. If you don't like crowds at all and can deal with unpredictable weather and rain, this is your season. Preferably not September, which is the wettest month. In the rainy season, no tourist crowds spoil the experience. It’s also the green season when rich fauna comes to life.
The best time for a visit to this beautiful region is the dry season from December to late April. It’s Thailand’s wettest region with an annual rainfall of 3.500 mm. The reason is the limestone mountain range from north to south. It gets hit by the monsoons from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand between late April and end of November. In the rainy season, it’s very rare to spot wildlife at the lake. Trails are slippery; it’s cold and wet on the one or two hours boat rides. The famous Nam Talu Cave is closed in the rainy season since it got flooded and people died.
The boat tours which are usually offered are for bigger groups, and it takes around an hour to get to one of the raft houses. These groups visit the easy accessible Coral Cave (Pakarang Cave) mostly as we did instead of the adventurous water flooded Nam Talu Cave. Ask before booking! Overall these trips are nice to get an idea of the immense size of the lake. The price p.p. in a group for one day visit is roughly 1.500 Baht / 40 € / $ 45 plus 300 Baht / 8 € / 9 $ National Park fee.
The dry season lasts from December to late April. Anyway, showers can also occur in the dry season and especially in the rainforest. The hottest months are March and April with temps up to 34°C and even more and high humidity. The rainy season starts roughly late April until the end of November. Most precipitation from May to July and from October to November.
The lake pier is always crowded but as soon as the longtail boat leaves the dock the crowds disappear. There are plenty of boats with tourists, but they have good timing not too many people visit one of the caves at the same time. Lunch is served on one of the many floating raft houses. It was very well organized that people can enjoy the marvelous scenery.
To experience the amazing rainforest, wildlife, and birds it's recommended to book a private tour far to the north-west. To get there, it takes minimum two hours by boat. The only available accommodation is basic and running by the National Park. Early morning you may spot wildlife by boat along the lake. Of course, independent tours are expensive and need to be booked in advance.
Geierlay is one of the most picturesque bridges in Germany. It's very popular to visit if in the Hunsrück area. The bridge is open 24/7. The so-called visitor center is opened each day from 10 am to 4 pm except Tuesdays. Don't expect too much of it. Unfortunately, they don't provide you with lots of information in English.
It's ridiculously crowded during the summer and at weekends, especially on sunny days. In autumn the views are just spectacular with the fall foliage. To avoid the crowds visit the bridge early morning or late evening in the summer. Fewer visitors in winter only.
Tip for photographers; The sunlight is best in the evening. The sunset is just gorgeous here.
The best time to visit Antelope Canyon in Arizona, depends on what you’re looking for: Capturing the amazing light beams during peak season or experience solitude during the off-season in Lower Antelope Canyon? Read our comprehensive guide which covers every aspect of an Antelope Canyon visit! Tip: In case you are coming from Las Vegas, consider this tour: Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend Tour from Las Vegas. Why this one? Both tour guides are extremely friendly and have so much insider knowledge. Also, you save time, energy and the whole tour is very comfortable in a small group! (Pick up for is organized from your Las Vegas Hotel!) Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Special Tip: In case you have a (rental) car: Learn about the most stunning hike we've experienced in our life! Read our The Wave - Arizona article. It's an easy 1,5 hours drive from Antelope Canyon.
Light Beams (Highlight)
The light beams start around March 20 and last until early October. Best months for the beams are June, July, and August. The higher sun brings more light into the canyon. Each day the light beams are visible in the midday between 11 AM and 1:30 PM on a sunny day only. There are no light beams when it's cloudy. The most beams can be seen in Upper Antelope Canyon. They occur in Lower Antelope Canyon as well, but light beams are few and far between. You might be wondering if it's still worth visiting Antelope Canyon during off-season, without the light beams? Yes, definitely! Read on for more details:
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Antelope Canyon by Ron Holder, CC BY
Upper Antelope Canyon became a mass tourism spot, especially during high season as well as during shoulder seasons. Even Lower Antelope got a lot busier in the recent years. Our tips for 2018 and beyond:
High Season / Shoulder Season:
Expect a crowded place and fully booked midday tours from April until September. It's worse during peak months (June, July, and August) when the light is just perfect. Midday tours are jammed throughout the season. You have to choose between a crowded place with the magical beams during the season (end of March - early October) or fewer tourists without the beams in the off-season (mid-October - mid-March). You may also book a less busy tour in the early morning without the beams in 'light beams season'. You can still take great photos regardless of the time of day. Another option is Lower Antelope Canyon: Larger area, ladder climbing, fewer beams but also fewer crowds. However, Lower Canyon became busier as well recently. Book mid-week and try to go in the shoulder months (April/September), when there are already/still light beams but without the massive summer tourist crowds.
Low Season (Winter Visit):
In the off-season (mid-October - mid-March) there are no light beams, but both places are still magical. It's less busy from November to February. However, even in winter, avoid weekends if you visit Upper Antelope Canyon. It's more quiet mid-week. For even more solitude: Visit Lower Antelope Canyon in the winter. It's much quieter during the off-season, and although there are no light beams at all, the colors are gorgeous. Check the weather forecast and try to go between 10 and 11 AM because of better light conditions.
Weather / Climate
Temperature wise, you can visit any time of the year. In the winter it's much quieter (see above) but also cold sometimes. Snow is very rare. Canyon closures due to winter conditions did happen in the past but they are very unlikely. In the warm summer months, thunderstorms can occur during 'Arizona's Monsoon Season': From roughly mid-June until mid-September. Thunderstorms are usually afternoon thundershowers and more wind and lightning than rain. But still, dangerous flash floods are possible.
More weather details (you can switch between °C and °F): Page, Arizona Climate Details
Tourists / Sunbeams Calendar
It is best in morning and evening with clouds in the sky. In the late spring the vegetation behind the hat turns green and this is ideal.