When to Go
When to Go
Belize, like much of Central America and the Caribbean, has two basic seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season is June through October, extending in some areas through November or even December. The dry season usually runs from December through May. However, by "dry season" Belizeans usually mean specifically the months in late winter and spring, February through May, when temperatures inland may reach 100°F. April is usually the hottest month of the year.
If you want to escape crowds and high prices and don't mind getting a little wet, visit in the rainy season. Though some restaurants may close and hotels may offer limited facilities, especially in September and October, reservations are easy to get, even at top establishments, and you'll have the Mayan ruins and beaches to yourself. The busiest time in Belize is the Christmas-New Year's period, followed by Easter, but most hotels count the high season as mid-November through April.
The dry season can be a less attractive time for inland trips, with dusty roads and wilting vegetation, but this is a good time to visit the coast and cayes, with their cooling winds from the sea.
Scuba enthusiasts can dive all year, but the water is clearest from March to June. Between November and February cold fronts from North America can push southward, producing blustery winds known as "northers" that bring rain and rough weather and tend to churn up the sea, reducing visibility. Water temperatures, however, rarely stray far from 80°F, so many people dive without a wet suit.
Belize is a small country, but there's considerable variation in weather from north to south, and also from the cayes to the mainland. Rainfall, for example, varies dramatically depending on where you are: the Deep South gets as much as 160 to 200 inches of rain each year, but the rest of the country gets a lot less, as little as 50 inches in Corozal. The cayes generally get less rain than does the mainland. The rainy season doesn't mean monsoons, but, rather, seasonal rains that green the countryside.
Belize's Caribbean coast often gets sweltering, humid weather, especially in summer, while the Mountain Pine Ridge, with elevations up to almost 3,700 feet, is cooler and less humid. Overall Belize's subtropical temperatures generally hover between 70°F and 85°F (21°C and 29°C).
The western Caribbean's hurricane season is from June through November. September and October are the two prime months for tropical storms and hurricanes in Belize. Over the past century, about 85% of storms to hit Belize arrived in those two months; hurricanes, however, are relatively rare.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe