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. And 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! 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.
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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