Birds don’t fly south in the summer. Why? It’s hot down there. So naturally, we ignored conventional wisdom and went to Belize. In the middle of the summer. Is that the best time to visit Belize? (Hint: We loved it!)
The Best Time to Visit Belize
The best time to visit Belize is from late November to mid-April, during the country’s dry season. Although this peak season draws thousands of tourists, dealing with crowds is an easy sacrifice to make for warm temperatures, clear skies and easy access to the country’s top attractions.
– U.S. News & World Report
Sounds great, doesn’t it? What could be better than escaping the icy grip of Old Man Winter to work on your tan and snorkeling skills over a Christmas break? Forget frigid winters, we know a land of sunshine and afternoon highs in the 80s! (Mid- to upper-20s for our Celsius friends.)
Okay sure, it’s the high season so flights are full, rates are up, and crowds are thick(er). That’s the price you pay for a tropical winter vacation, right? Don’t get us wrong; we would never try to dissuade you from taking a winter vacation in Belize. In fact, we might join you. So why did we go during the off season?
The Worst Time to Visit Belize?
If the middle of winter is the best time to visit Belize, then you might think the middle of summer would be the worst time. Comparatively speaking, it may be, but that’s much like saying that milk chocolate is the worst chocolate. That is, it’s still darn good! (Note: Belizean dark chocolate may be our fave ever!) So, dismiss the idea that the low season is a bad time to be in Belize. In fact, we think it might really be the best time to go. Read on, and see if you don’t agree.
Although not quite equatorial, Belize does not experience dramatic seasonal temperature changes. The average daytime temperature along the coast ranges from the 80s to, well, the 80s, thanks to the moderating effects of trade winds off the Caribbean. They help keep temperatures and humidity from getting out of hand. That’s not to say it doesn’t get hot. Temperatures will slip into the 90s on a regular basis during the summer months.
In the jungle, you will feel the humidity, and find it hard to escape. When you venture into the rain forest and Mayan ruins, you will be a little warmer but, on average, still in the 80s. It will definitely feel hotter thanks to the humidity, though. And in the southern highlands, it will be distinctly cooler year-round.
Rainy Season & Hurricane Season
Seasons in Belize are marked much more by rainfall, with a dry winter and wet summer. Remember that Belize is a tropical country and receives more than six inches of rain per month for most of the year. The driest months are historically February, March, and April; the only months to average less than four-inches of rain. June and September make soggy summer bookends, with nearly a foot of rainfall each. However, that rarely means all-day rains. It’s more typical to have a heavy but brief downpour, leaving most of the day sunny, if not humid.
What does make summer the worst – or, at least, the riskiest – time to visit is the Atlantic Hurricane Season, from June to October. Hurricanes have had devastating effects on the tiny country over the years. The capital city of Belmopan was built in 1970 as a direct result of the former capital, Belize City, being devastated by hurricanes in 1931 and 1961. The most recent major storm to affect the nation was Hurricane Earl in 2016. Needless to say, when planning a summer vacation in Belize, keep one eye on the weather forecast and check frequently with the National Hurricane Center.
So Why is Summer Better?
You’ve likely heard that the best time to travel is in the low season. In Belize, that’s summer! Hotel rates are lower. Beaches are less crowded. Flights can be cheaper and less crowded, too, though we found that not to be the case. And summer is definitely best for dive and snorkel fans! Not only are sites less crowded, the seas tend to be calmer during the summer. Both help keep the water crystal clear and thoroughly enjoyable.
Our Top 5 Reasons to Visit Belize in the Summer
- Low Season rates
- The only crowds are locals
- The friendly locals are even happier to see you!
- Calm seas
- No lines, No waits
But our number one reason to visit Belize in the summer – or the winter: Belize is Beautiful! (And lots of fun!)
Ed. Note: Somebody forgot to include Lobster Season in the Top 5 Reasons. Seriously, $5BZ for a lobster tail grilled right on the beach. Lobster Ceviche every day. Lobster and eggs, Lobster Thermidor, lobster rolls…the list is endless. And it goes from mid-June until February. #Yum!
Whether you decide to bask in the winter warmth, or brave the elements in summer, the best thing about a Belize escape is that it’s just a few hours flight from the southern United States! Belize City is served by American Airlines, Delta, United, and Southwest. There are seasonal Canadian flights on WestJet, and Copa serves Belize from Panama. In-country flights are provided by Maya Island Air, and Tropic Air Belize, which also flies to Cancun, Mexico. While driving is possible in Belize (they drive on the right, by the way), flying is a faster and affordable way to go.
Many cruise ships call on Belize City. From the port, you can catch ferries to Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Caye Chapel. For anything else, you’ll need to fly from Belize City Municipal Airport.
Many Mayan tours begin or connect in Belize City, and combine flying, driving, and boating to reach their destinations. In some cases, getting there is half the adventure!
Getting around Belize by plane was fun! Check out our time with Maya Island Air.
- Belize is the only English speaking nation in Central America! While English is the official language, you will most often hear Spanish, Creole, Mayan, Garifuna and Carib. Sometimes, all in the same sentence. Because of the Mennonite population, you may also hear German!
- The Belize Dollar is the official currency, with a fixed 2:1 rate against the U.S. Dollar. Prices are usually shown in BZ, but ask when in doubt.
- Credit cards are widely accepted in the larger towns, but ATMs are infrequent. Best to carry some cash. U.S. bills are also widely accepted (not coins), but you will get Belizean currency in return.
- The U.S. Embassy is in Belmopan, as are most other embassies. The Embassy offers a variety of citizen services, and it’s a good idea to keep their number and address handy. Just. In. Case.
- For more important info on visiting Belize, see our Beginner’s Guide to Belize.
Ready to Go?
The only question now is whether you’ll go in winter or summer! If we haven’t quite convinced you to holiday in Belize in either season – or both! – then watch for our next post. We’ll explore where to find The Best of Belize, the Adventure Capital of Central America!
Have you been to Belize, or would you like to go? We hope the answer is yes, and that you’ll share your thoughts and experiences in the comments! If you enjoyed this post, consider signing up for our updates (All wham, no spam!) or sharing with your friends on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter with the buttons below. (A million thanks in advance!)
Need More Convincing?
Get acquainted with our favorite Central American destination with these posts:
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Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs about Belize? Thanks a ton!
Hi there – thank you for the kind words, and for reaching out! You can get a good start by searching for Belize here on TravelLatte! We have a few posts up, with more on the way. There are several good blog posts about Belize by leading travel bloggers, but for a local’s point of view, we really enjoy San Pedro Scoop, which is based in and all about our favorite part of Belize, Ambergris Caye. Another good resource written by a Belizean is Belize Adventure. Happy reading!
Low prices and smaller crowds sound perfect to me! I don’t see a problem with visiting out of season. I travelled to Far Northern Queensland in the so called ‘wet (low) season’ and loved it – it rained one full night only the whole week long visit!
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I’ve only been to Belize in March and we loved it – we stayed on Ambergris Caye and Blackbird Caye for diving and amazing snorkeling. I’ve been to the Caribbean in July (Grand Cayman) and agree that it was a lovely time to visit – a few afternoon showers would blow in and blow out giving a break from the heat and setting up for amazing sunsets! Thanks kindly for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin
We did get a few showers – only one that we would call a downpour – but nothing that lasted more than maybe 30 minutes. Then back to the sunshine and ocean breezes! Very comfortable most of the time. Thanks for your comment, Erin!
ooh yes, I am dreaming of Belize now. I think I would go any time but you’ve convinced me that summer is a great time to go. I am not a fan of crowds at all. Thanks for joining #FarawayFiles
To be fair, “crowded” is a relative term and, even in the high season, you won’t see the crowds in Belize that you would in places like Cancun. All the same, the low season also means some lower pricing, still good weather and, best of all, Lobster season! 🙂 Thanks for reading, Katy!
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very much paradise like:) lucky you! #farawayfiles
Hi Tanja – A lot of Belize was like paradise. But then we ran into thickets of mosquitoes or other not-so-paradise moments. Like everyplace, I guess – pros and cons, but mostly paradise! 🙂 Thanks for reading!
it’s helpful to know that snorkeling and diving are better in summer since those are some main reasons to go. I don’t know about that jungle humidity though. I can’t imagne leaving humid NYC in summer for someplace more humid! LOL.
Hi Eileen – One thing we noticed on the islands is that the humidity isn’t so overbearing thanks to the almost constant breeze. And, of course, when you’re underwater… 😉 We are no fans of high humidity either, but our home base is in Texas, so we were thankful to be someplace at least a little cooler. Thanks for reading!
We haven’t been to Central America at all! We really need to remedy that fact and Belize looks like just the place. We are suckers for off season travel and love a good rain storm so this article is the perfect inspiration for us! Thanks for linking up, #wkendtravelinspiration
Hi Jim (and Corinne!) Glad you liked it! Belize was a great introduction to Central America, especially as an English speaking country (unless you speak Spanish). Given some of your travels that we’ve read about, I think you’d enjoy it. There is just enough authentic culture (no manufactured toursity events), and lots to explore. We did get a great rainstorm on the way in from the reef one afternoon. We may have gotten more wet on the boat than we did in the water! 😉 Thanks for reading.
I’ve been to Belize three times. Diving, touring, and visiting my friend’s family (she’s Belizean). It is the humidity that can get you but I have never found it unbearable.
Lucky you! We have met several people lucky enough to go on a regular basis. You’re right about the humidity, especially if you’re from a dry climate. At least on the coast and islands, you have that lovely sea breeze to keep it from getting too bad, but you really can’t escape it. Thanks for reading, Rhonda!
Sounds fabulous! I always prefer to travel outside the main tourism season because I hate large crowds and always try to save on costs as well. It’s good to hear that the humidity and temperatures are not too bad in summer… Belize is going on my bucketlist 🙂
We still find it hard to believe that it’s low season when the weather is so nice! In fact, we just may keep Belize on our bucket list, and go back for more! Thanks for your comment, Birgit!
I’ve heard that Belize is just amazingly beautiful and it is on our list of places to visit. What a surprise to me that it is English speaking? That would make this gorgeous place super easy to visit! We always travel with the kids and they love a beach!
This is great! Now I know the perfect time to head to Belize as I have been planning to go there for years! Such helpful information here. I would love to be just surrounded by locals. Thanks for coming to Fly Away Friday! I hope to see you this week!
Ooohhh I’ve always wanted to visit Belize! Your photos are just as beautiful as I imagine it to be! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday! Hope to see you again this week! xo
Hi Kana – Thanks for your comment, and the nice words about our photos. 🙂 The country is definitely easy on the eyes, as they say! Working hard to join you guys again this week – thanks for the invite!
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Glad to hear you enjoyed visiting Belize, brought back some great memories. I visited in February when I went and it looked far less busy which is surprising as that’s the dry season. It amazes me that an english speaking Caribbean destination is still not crazy popular given that it is right there basically next to the USA. Would love to go back, have a Belikin and explore some more.
Hi David – We couldn’t figure that out either. Great weather, short flight from the US, beautiful water and jungles, lots to do…but not slammed with tourists. Not that we’re complaining!! We are happy to go and enjoy this tropical playground and let everyone else rub shoulder-to-shoulder in other spots. 😉 Glad we were able to get you wondering down memory lane!
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Love your article on Belize and I am ready for a visit. You gave me some great ideas on what to do while there. Stunning photos! I am ready to sit on the beach look at the view of the ocean. Thanks for sharing! #TheWeeklyPostcard
Hi Stephanie! We have more ideas on what to do in Belize coming your way! But we do love to sit and stare out at the sea. In fact, having breakfast by the pool overlooking the ocean was just about our favorite activity! As always, thanks for reading!
Belize has always looked stunning in pictures. I’d love to go someday! (And the Carribean too.) The fact that it’s the only English-speaking in Central America probably makes it more of a draw! I too prefer to travel in the low season, as long as the weather doesn’t ruin your plans totally. Belize in low season sounds like a lot of upside with not much downside. What’s not to like? 😉
We kept asking ourselves, “Why is this low season again?” All we could come up with is the risk of hurricane season (which is generally pretty low), and people taking advantage of temperate weather in places that are generally too cold outside of summer. Oh, and it’s not conch season. But then, it is lobster season, so… 😉 We did run into lots of families, many of them with several generations, so great for a family getaway or just a couple, like we did. Either way, we bet you’d enjoy it! Thanks for your comment, Michelle.
Belize looks amazing and I am beginning to see more and more about it – your photos are definitely tempting me and your tips on when to visit are super useful as I know very little about that region, its seasons and when is the best time to go! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Lexx – We were pretty amazed by Belize, and we think you’ll continue to hear more about it. Most areas are really under-developed, so it’s been an “off the beaten path” sort of destination. As always happens, it’s getting more popular so development is starting to happen which means we’ll hear more about it. Luckily, I think we have years before that builds out, and people are pretty adamant about keeping things natural and limiting development. One thing that’s nice is the variety of activity: you’ve got water sports along the coast, and an hour inland (or less) you’ve got mountains and jungles to hike! It will be interesting to see how long you can resist visiting. 😉 Thanks for reading, Lexx!
Looks like summer can be a lovely time to go to Belize (as long as you don’t happen to coincide with any tropical storms)!! Haven’t been to there, but we often visit places on off-season for lower prices and less crowds!
Hi Jessica (and Laurence!) – Belize is known for being a pretty budget-friendly destination, but off season savings make it even better. Like you say, though, minus the occasional tropic storm threat. We enjoyed having stretches of beach to ourselves, and small groups on excursions, but we did find one drawback: some of the tours operate less frequently during low season. Just takes some extra planning if your heart is set on a particular ruin or diving trip. There are certainly plenty of alternatives to keep you busy! Thanks for commenting!
“Beer as cold as my ex girlfriend’s heart” Hilarious. You’ve certainly convinced me to go to Belize. Looking forward to next week’s offering. 🙂
Those signs cracked us up! “No Wi-Fi – Talk to each other & get drunk” – hilarious is right! Glad we could talk you into it! Just in case you need a little more convincing, we’ll have plenty of tempting thoughts over the next few installments. 🙂 Thanks for reading, Shona!
I haven’t been to Belize, but lobster season is call my name. I’m a teacher, so it’s good to know that low season is still doable!
Seriously…lobster everything, and super cheap. And in the mostly great weather, and we’re wondering why it’s still low season! Very doable, we’d say, and a great way to recharge before heading back for the school year. You can seriously enjoy some quiet time in a hammock…with some nice lobster ceviche. 🙂 Thanks for reading, guys!
Really good to know that the summertime is still good. When we lived in Fiji, the winter was the busy tourist season and summertime was known as cyclone season, so the off-season. But honestly, it was still pretty good most of the time there during the summer. It was hot and sticky and humid, but was still reasonably sunny with an afternoon thunderstorm. Everything is much cheaper too. #flyawayfriday
Hi Juliette – We’ve been considering a summer trip to Fiji, so that’s good to know, too! We really did have great weather, and the locals claimed it’s really the norm. We only hear about weather in Belize when there’s a hurricane, so it’s easy to forget that it’s beautiful more often than not. Thanks so much for your comment!
Your stunning photos and information on Belize has convinced me to go. I am ready to visit in the off season. I like less people calm seas and the warm weather. Sure the cheaper fares help. I pinned this for later use. Great video. Now you will need to write about a great place to stay while in Belize ? Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel
Stephanie, have you been peeking at our notes? We’ll cover places to go and a great place to stay in the coming weeks. (It’s like we read your mind!) We gotta say, for a ‘low season,’ summer in Belize is pretty sweet! Thanks for reading…we hope you get there before too long!
We would love to visit Belize, and I’m sure we wouldn’t mind off-season. In fact, we went to Cancun during the summer and though we got a few showers, it wasn’t bad. We still enjoyed it and there were less people. Same thing with Costa Rica. If we can have beaches almost to ourselves, it’s a win!
No kidding! Whaaat? An empty(ish) beach? Why, yes please! It’s nice that Belize is a little cooler than Cancun in the summer, but we actually got more rain on our last visit to Cancun than we did in Belize. We were just reading about your stay in Costa Rica – very tempting! Definitely a future destination for us. 🙂 Thanks for reading, guys!
Thanks for this insight into Belize. We are heading here in November on a cruise and pretty excited about that as it will be our first time. Have pinned for future reference too. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard
Thanks for reading, guys – we’re really glad you found it useful! A friend of ours who visited on cruise did warn that the cruise line excursions make for a tough decision: You generally have time to either go inland for the Mayan ruins, or go coastal for snorkeling or diving. Decisions decisions! November should be nice, though, whichever way you go! Enjoy!
I’ve never been to Belize, but my oh my, that photo of the beer in front of that incredible water has me thinking about it now. Considering that it’s 105F here, I can deal with the Belize heat. Smaller crowds would be fine, too. I was worried that you’d say that the waters were rough during the summer, but it seems that it is not the case. (I visited Phuket, Thailand in the off season because the hotel rates were better. The beaches were red flags the whole time, instead of as smooth as glass as it is in the high season.)
Hi Michelle – To be honest, we didn’t know about the calm seas in Belize during the summer until we got there. We commented about it to one of the boat crews, and they said it’s always that way in the summer. Something else to consider in Belize is that the reef is anywhere from 20 yards to 20 miles off-shore, so the waves break there. It’s shallower and smoother between the reef and the shore. Makes things like paddle boarding and snorkeling much easier and more enjoyable. And the water was so clear! Thanks for your comment; we hope you get to Belize before long – we think you’d enjoy it!
We made a habit of visiting almost every place “off season.” Less money and less crowds. Like Hawaii, Belize doesn’t seem to experience big seasonal temperature changes, so why not. However, I have to say that sometimes you may get rained on pretty bad on these tropical islands during the winter season. I think your milk chocolate comparison is great, although if there was only milk chocolate in the world I’d probably not be a chocolate addict (lol). #TheWeeklyPostcard
Ha! We’d still take the milk chocolate, but probably not as much of it. 😉 Hawaii is a good comparison, as it’s also fantastic almost any time of year. Off Season is more about when people can go, instead of when it’s not a good time to go. It’s a great way to stretch that travel budget! Thanks for your comment, Anda!
We visited Belize in December and it was cold and rainy! I definitely see perks to going in the summer – so beautiful!! You better BELIZE it!
Well, somebody had to break out the puns, right? 🙂 It actually got cold? If you listen to the locals and the tourist bureau, that never happens! One perk that we forgot to mention is Lobster Season, starting in June and going all the way to February. Seriously, lobster everywhere you look, and it’s like $5BZ for a juicy lobster tail! It was unBELIZEable! (Hey, you started it!) Thanks for reading, Jenn!
I went to Belize in August (and have been to other countries in Central America in September and October) and felt like the weather was perfect. We did not get too much rain (it was mostly sunny skies). Plus, you know how these places are. It can rain for a couple of hours and then things clear up. And, I do not think people have to worry that much about hurricanes. It is really bad luck if one of those mess up your vacation. #WeekendWanderlust
Hi Ruth – We had the same experience in July: Great weather almost all of the time! We got a couple of days with showers, but only one big downpour. Like you said, after an hour – maybe not even that long – it was sunny skies and clear sailing. We’ve enjoyed following your travels around the world, but somehow missed your post on Belize! We’ll have to go find that now. Thanks so much for your comment!
This January will be our 8th year going to Belize!! We have a timeshare in San Pedro and we love it ?! People are great, food is delicious and the weather is always beautiful!!
How cool is that?!? We stayed up at Grand Caribe, and seriously considered a purchase. The only timeshare option we had in Belize was aboard a catamaran based in Plancencia – which isn’t a bad idea; we may do that next time. But we do envy you going on year number eight as a temporary local! We met several families who return year after year, and several more who just moved there. Very tempting! (All of the Lobster Cerviche was a pretty strong play for us. 😉 Thanks so much for reading!
Hurray! I agree – I just posted about ALL the stuff I did on Ambergris Caye in July. I like that you can often get deals. Summer is a great time to visit.
Hi Rebecca! We were going to mention this in an upcoming post, but let’s just put it out here for EVERYONE: SanPedroScoop.com is a great resource for Belize planning, especially if you’re staying on Ambergris Caye. Plus, it’s fun to read and get that Expat-local POV. Love your site! (Added a link to your comment; hope you don’t mind! 😉 Thanks for reading and sharing – much appreciated! We’ll plan a little better next time so that: A) We don’t miss Conch season or LobsterFest, and B) We can meet up and buy you a Belikin!
Excellent post! Sound like a great place to visit in the summer. We love off-season travel, I will pin this for when I get to Belize!
Hi Kelly – you would love it! We were on the water almost every single day! If you sail there (that would be a long haul!), there are lots of islands to explore, plus the coast. And then there’s all the diving and snorkeling. Great environment for water babies! 🙂 Thanks for reading, guys!
I haven’t been to Belize but I would love to go! It seems beautiful and I can never pass up a tropical location regardless of the time of year. #weekendwanderlust
Hehehe…we’re the same way! We discovered there is so much to see, even if you just visit one of the Cayes! It’s a great family destination, too, with fun things for all ages. But that natural beauty – it sure wowed us! Thanks for your comment!
I have to admit I never thought about Belize but know after reading your post, I would like to visit. The beach looks incredible, love your colourful photos.
Thanks Oana! We should warn you that Belize is not typically a beach destination. Because of the offshore reef, the normal beach building process doesn’t happen. That also means no big waves crashing on the shore, so it’s good for kids and people who aren’t strong swimmers. There are some really nice spots to lay out your beach towels, though!
I reeeeeeeeeallly want to go to Belize!! This was really informative! Pinned! #feetdotravel
(ps…I think there’s something wrong with your page because I keep being redirected to an ad)
Hi Lolo – Belize would be a world away from your typical travels, figuratively and literally! But that’s why we travel, right? To see such differences in cultures, architecture, styles…the contrasts in our world are amazing. Hope you get there! And thanks for the heads up. #annoying – we’ll try to figure out what’s going on there.
Belize looks soooo stunning. We took the risk of going to Cuba in summer…. and got struck with three (!!) hurricanes in a week. So, we decided on January… just to be safe 😉 Though I agree, if you take the risk, you have a great time and not that many crowds.
Hi Esther! Belize does have some gorgeous sights! Three hurricanes in a week? That’s beyond crazy!! I’m sure our willingness to gamble on a southern summer would change if we ran into that. So cool that you got to visit Cuba though! Definitely a dream of ours that we need to make happen (while we can)! Thanks so much for your comment!
I would be happy to go to Belize any time! I really prefer not to go to destinations at the peak time. It’s better to go another time when the lines are not so bad. #TheWeeklyPostcard
So far, Belize is still “off the beaten path” enough that it doesn’t get as crowded as the resort towns in neighboring Mexico. Still, it was really nice to walk down the beach in solitude on occasion, or not have to get up early to “claim” a lounger by the pool! We were pretty active while there, but still found it very relaxing. Thanks for reading, Anisa!