The best time to visit Belize may depend on what you want to do. For example if you are an avid SCUBA diver, the best time may be when the waters are generally calm and this is in summer which is the off season for tourism. The tourism high season in Belize coincides with the cool and dry seasons – December to April. Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday in November, is when overnight tourists start to travel to Belize.
There are a few scattered rains in December when cold fronts start to arrive in Belize but this is tempered by the cooler temperatures and is well received by visitors and residents alike. Hotels and tourism resorts have high rack rates during this season as that is when demand is highest. Budget travelers need to take this into account. Traveling to Belize outside the high season can make for lodging discounts of 25% or more. The same applies to airline ticket prices. Reason why we always encourage potential visitors to contact our supporting advertisers directly, rather than through a third party, to negotiate the best bang for your buck.
The single biggest wave of tourists is between December 15 and January 15, and during the weeks around the Easter season in April. Many visitors are fleeing the frost and snow in their home countries at this time and looking to spend their holidays in the tropics.
Easter in Belize includes the longest single holiday on the Belize calendar, four consecutive public and bank holidays starting from Holy Friday and including Easter Monday. The international Cross Country Cycle Race is a highlight of this holiday. The weather tends to be dry and warm at this time and most Belizeans and visitors, including an increasing influx from the elite in Guatemala and El Salvador, make for the beaches and rivers to cool off and enjoy the sun, swimming, fishing and other recreational water sports.
Tourism lodges charge top dollar during these peak tourism periods. Experts recommend avoiding the high season if you are looking to save money. Some resorts offer discounts in the high season provided that you book well in advance and make a deposit but you need to hunt around for those unadvertised specials
The rainy season runs from June to November when annual Belize rainfall is highest. The early months of May and June when rainfall is just getting underway, are a good time to travel to Belize as you can escape the tourist rush and hotel rates tend to be lower.
The downside is that some dirt roads get muddy and this may curtail visits to remote areas. When there is heavy rainfall, floods in the south, portions of some public highways are temporarily closed. Some caves, especially those used for cave tubing such as the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (ATM) network are not safe and are closed by the authorities during these conditions. While ground travel may be impeded in times of high rainfall, air transportation is readily available throughout the year.
Summer In Belize
Summer is the traditional “low season” for tourism in this country, and some resorts actually close down for a couple of months due to slow business. But Belize can be attractive for those seeking a summer break. During the summer months Belize receives less visitors giving tourists the opportunity to find more privacy in areas such as the beaches, caves and Maya Ruins. High traffic areas such as Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker get crowded to saturation level with locals during vacations such as Easter but outside this time frame you will see less tourists.
In the rainy season, rain showers can be heavy so make your vacation plans accordingly. Ambergris Caye and the islands are generally avoided by tourists in the rainy season. Belize’s water temperature ranges between 79 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Recent developments in the tourism transport niche include scheduled helicopter tours and rentals to the more natural and historic landmarks including the Great Blue Hole.
One of the best features about spending a summer vacation in Belize of course are the summer savings. Rates start falling from around May 1st. and remain relatively low until November.
Note: Change of seasons here has no effect on time. Belize has no Daylight Savings Time. We are set on GMT -6 (Central Time) year-round no matter the season!
When planning your trip, keep in mind the Belize Public and Bank Holidays.
Article by M.A. Romero Chief Information Officer (RET) to the Government of Belize.