The high season for tourism in Belize runs from late November to the end of April which matches the time of snow and frost in Canada, the United States and northern Europe. The high season is also the time of least rainfall in Belize. If you seek quality time on a tropical beach and less rain to explore the rainforest and nature preserves, this is the perfect time to visit. During the tourism high season and especially around the Christmas, News Years and Easter Holidays the tourism sector operates at full throttle, most accommodations and tours are booked weeks, if not months in advance, beaches are crowded, traffic on the islands such as Ambergris Cay can be a nightmare, and prices for everything are at a premium. Image above: Belizean girl at the beach at the height of summer.
Belize enjoys subtropical weather and is very similar to South Florida. The averages of daytime temps on the islands and coast hover around 27 °C / 80 °F but it can get hot during the day in the summer months, 95 °F is not unusual and some areas in the interior can hit easily 100 °F by midday at the height of summer. During the winter months it can get chilly, especially in the interior. When cold fronts pull in from North America it can get nippy for a few days; temps of 55 °F are not unusual. The best months for almost guaranteed sun and beach fun are from March to May. What better weather to take to the beach?
Every major local town celebrates its patron saint with week-long outdoor fiestas and fairs, many of them in the summer. Visitors will find amusement rides, local food, cultural events and dances and loads of fun local Belizean style. The interesting fairs held in the summer include the San Jose Succotz, Benque Viejo and San Ignacio fairs in the west (usually held in April), the National Agriculture and Trade Show in the capital Belmopan (usually held the weekend of Labor Day 1 May), the Mango Festival in Hopkins, the Cashew Festival at Crooked Tree Belize District, and the San Joaquin Fiesta in Corozal. There are many other fiestas but they tend to be smaller and perhaps not worth the while for tourists to travel the distance to experience a local fair.
Of incidental interest is that during the hot summer months, many Belizeans take to the beaches and even the rivers and creeks which are their lowest levels at this time, to seek respite from the heat. This is an ideal time to make new friends with locals and perhaps join the Belize Dating scene.
Some hotels and resorts offer discounted rates in the low season (May through mid-November). Walk-ins can sometimes offer even better deals. Reach out to the hotels directly via email or phone, or check their websites or Facebook pages for the unadvertised specials. Remember that some tourist establishments are shuttered from September to mid-October for staff vacations and hotel renovations. Choosing summer in Belize can give you considerably more bang and culture for your buck compared to going in the winter high season.
Of note is that even over-rated accommodations offer hefty discounts during the summer months. These facilities generally offer 50% off the rack rate for Belizeans year round. And in summer, extend this to tourists. You or your travel agent simply need to call or email and play hardball to get the 50% discount.
Budget travelers especially those from Canada and Europe tend to hit Belize in the summer. This can be an ideal opportunity to meet people you would not otherwise find at the height of the tourism season.