When is the Best Time to Visit Belize?
Belize is one of the western hemisphere’s most idyllic vacation spots. Weather varies a bit throughout the year, but there is never a wrong time to make your way to Belize! Perhaps you dream of diving the legendary Blue Hole in the barrier reef just off the coast of Belize, experiencing Belize’s rich culture during an annual festival, or fly casting for a bucket list gamefish on the salt flats. Read on to learn more about the ideal time of year to plan your trip, whether you want to try something new every day or doze away the afternoon to the sound of tropical bird calls.
Belize by the Calendar
The Caribbean nation of Belize welcomes visitors from all over the world every month of the year. Many people make their way to the postcard-perfect islands and lush jungles of Belize in the winter to escape the cold and ice of the northern hemisphere, and people fleeing winter in the north won’t be disappointed. The weather remains favorable for much of the year if you’re willing to plan ahead.
The winter months in Belize lure visitors from colder climates year after year. Daytime temperatures hover around the mid-eighties Fahrenheit, and the waters are warm and inviting. Days are long and sunny, and the evenings are pleasant and fair. Belize is a popular destination for travelers who wish to celebrate the winter holidays in a tropical climate rather than shoveling snow. Christmas and New Years Holidays book early. Families return year after year, and it’s never too early to plan your vacation. Best of all, you won’t have to miss out on decorations or festivities just because you leave the cold behind! Much of the population of Belize practices Catholicism, so Christmas is celebrated widely.
There is a lull in visitor volume after holiday travelers return home in January, but the weather in Belize remains enticing throughout the spring. Humidity edges up slightly, but trade winds on the coast and cayes keep conditions ideal for all types of vacationers. At a true jungle lodge like Cotton Tree Lodge, there’s always a hammock in the shade or a refreshing tropical cocktail to sip on the river patio to beat the afternoon sun.
Families traveling for spring break and the Easter Holiday begin to swell tourist numbers again in March and April, and prices rise accordingly during the spring months. Make plans early to take advantage of some of the most ideal conditions of the year.
The change from the dry winter and spring months to the wet season of summer begins just after spring break in late April and May, but it’s by no means a total washout. Temperatures still reach the mid-eighties, and skies remain sunny most days. Tropical showers will pop up some days and last a couple of hours, and many evenings and overnights will see rain. If you’re the kind of person who is happy making contingency plans and maybe pulling on a light sweater with your nightcap, the drop in prices around May will be very appealing.
August and September are the rainiest months in Belize, and some attractions and even accommodations may shut down for maintenance during the late summer. It is still possible to experience an adventure to remember in Belize during the wet season. Rain doesn’t fall day and night any time of the year but can be expected pretty regularly during the late afternoon and evenings. With flexibility, you can still find time to fit in tropical adventures and relaxation.
As the wet season wains and temperatures begin to rise in October, travelers who can take advantage of the off-season will find small crowds and low prices before the holiday season visitors arrive in late November. Temperatures are in the seventies and eighties, and after the wet season, everything in Belize is riotously green and vibrant. Blue Caribbean waters and lush green jungles await fall visitors.
Choose Your Adventure
There are a lot of different reasons to plan a trip to Belize. You might be planning to float down an inland river one lazy afternoon, soak up the sun on a sandy beach, or visit some of the most intact and accessible Mayan ruins anywhere. You can do it all in Belize. When should you visit Belize? Make plans based on your can’t miss activities.
Belize boasts nearly ideal conditions for anglers, and many visitors every year travel to Belize to experience a fishing paradise. The chance to land the “big three” gamefish: tarpon, bonefish, and permit, lures many to Belize’s coastal waters, and with good reason. Belize has gained a reputation as one of the best places to fly fish the shallow salt flats for these exciting game fish. Inland rivers and miles of reefs and atolls, not to mention the deep blue waters of the Caribbean season, beckon anglers to enjoy unforgettable fishing excursions.
Bonefish are present in the coastal waters of Belize all year, while tarpon are migratory—and numbers increase starting in April to reach a peak in August. March is the beginning of permit season, and anglers will spot them in the coastal lagoons and shallows. The most dedicated anglers will plan a trip during the summer to get a chance to land all three!
Reef fish species—including snapper, grouper, and jacks—are also abundant throughout the year in Belize, as are deepwater fish. This wide variety of species gives anglers a great reason to wet their line year-round.
World Famous Diving
Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, a UNESCO world heritage site. The Barrier Reef is the largest in the western hemisphere and draws snorkelers and divers to its waters all throughout the year. From casual snorkeling to dedicated dives, visitors to Belize will find a spectacular underwater world to explore.
Snorkelers near the coast may find the shallows a little murky where the rivers empty into the ocean during the rainy season. Scuba divers will enjoy the best water clarity and visibility in the summer, but conditions are good all year round to explore the reefs, atolls, and lagoons of Belize’s coastal waters. Belize’s Blue Hole is ranked as one of the world’s best dives on many lists and will reward divers any time of the year.
Kayaking and canoeing are also popular activities for vacationers in Belize who love the water. Those hoping to kayak or canoe inland or near the coast will find the wind and waves at their calmest during the summer months.
Bird watchers will want to get in on the action on the islands of the barrier reef. Nature preserves and a lack of development make the islands and atolls off Belize’s coast a haven for a wide variety of bird species. During your stay, you may spot flamingos and frigate birds, roseate spoonbills, egrets, and more.
Events to Remember
The vibrant culture and history of Belize are worth a trip all on their own. Several festivals and holidays are worth noting when you consider when to visit Belize.
Carnival is celebrated in Belize, as in many South and Central American countries, during the week leading up to Lent with street parties, dancing, and—in Ambergris Caye—with a wild flour fight. Just be sure not to wear your favorite outfit!
La Costa Maya is celebrated in San Pedro in August with music, dancing, food, and celebrations of the cultures of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. On the subject of food, Belize’s lobster season is exactly as delicious as it sounds. These delightful seafood dishes begin to arrive on plates in June.
Experience traditional drumming, dancing, and cultural cuisine during Garifuna Day in November. Also known as Settlement Day, Garifuna Day is celebrated across the country, especially here in the Toledo district and its capital city, Punta Gorda.
Join us at an authentic jungle lodge in Toledo’s beautiful southern district for the Chocolate Festival at the end of May. Here in the epicenter of chocolate production, you can visit a cacao farm with us, taste many types of chocolate, experience other products made from chocolate, and even indulge in a chocolate massage at our spa!
By the Numbers
There is no wrong time to visit the beautiful Central American nation of Belize. English is widely spoken, and the people of Belize are warm and welcoming. Vacation in Belize to explore culturally significant Mayan archeological sites, follow a guide through the jungle trying to spot exotic wildlife, or simply relax and unwind in a breathtaking new place. From kayaking down inland rivers to enjoying romantic nights beneath the jungle canopy, Belize offers a diverse and gorgeous collection of experiences for your next vacation.
Belize on a Budget
Visitors drop off in the late summer as the humidity edges up a bit and the weather grows a little wetter. Regardless, there are still beautiful days to be found and ample opportunities to experience the wonders of Belize. From August to October and up until the holiday season, which kicks off in mid-November, great deals are easy to find in Belize.
Plan ahead to make sure everything you want to do is possible during the fall, and you might be able to land a bargain! Just be sure to pack a sweater for the evening—and plan to read a book (or enjoy a rum punch) during pop-up showers.
Some of the more popular cayes and sites in Belize might experience more traffic during the high seasons during the winter holidays, Easter Holiday, and spring break season, but numbers are not overwhelming. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider planning your trip to Belize during the wet season or after all the tourists have gone home from their spring break trips in May.