Belize/Costa Rica etc in August?


Apr 17th, 2013, 07:54 PM
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Belize/Costa Rica etc in August?

My son is getting married in August and seems to have his mind set on Caribbean/Ctrl America for the honeymoon. I'm a coastal beach guy (grew up in FLA) but I've never ventured south for this late in the summer. My gut says 'No' due to heat, bugs, hurricanes - but I've never been in the area during this time. Any thoughts? Looking for advice as well as recommendations. (Posting in another forum as well)
theshers is offline  
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Apr 18th, 2013, 04:31 AM
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In Costa Rica there are two seasons: rainy and dry. The dry season runs from December to May. The rest of the year is the rainy one. Rains usually last only a couple of hours and do not cause any problems for visitors. It is also a good time to travel because you will avoid the crowds!
Costa Rica is a tropical country, so with the exception of the cloudforest temperatures range from 25°C – 35°C all year round.

If you still worry about hurricanes (which you don't need as happen more likely around October), go to the Pacific side instead of the Caribbean side.

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Apr 18th, 2013, 07:25 AM
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Re: Belize

The risk of a hurricane in August is very low. In the past 100 years or so, there have been only a few hurricanes before September.

In mid-August, dry conditions prevail and last for a couple of weeks. It's known locally as the "Little Dry" or “mauga” season.

Chance of rain & hurricane increases in September.
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Apr 18th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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And Belize doesn't get many hurricanes at all. Most Gulf of Mexico hurricanes turn north before they come near Belize - to the east coast of Texas or the Gulf Coast of the US.

The heat isn't a linear equation such that: go south, more hot. Belize and CR will be cooler in August than Dallas or Phoenix but are far south of both.
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Apr 19th, 2013, 01:29 PM
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I have to disagree about the hurricanes. As a resident of New Orleans, I watch EVERY hurricane with interest. True, the season gets more active in September. But August can get active too.

Katrina struck us on August 29, and was the 11th named storm of the season.

Mitch hit Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua very hard.

Full disclosure. I am a tour operator that specializes in Costa Rica. So I have a vested interest. But hurricanes in Costa Rica are an extremely rare event.

It is just too far south. The closer you get to the equator, the lower the chance of a hurricane striking.

I hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,

Pat Hewitt
Travel Professional
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Apr 19th, 2013, 02:16 PM
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Yes, Belize is in the lower hurricane belt, but CR is south of Belize and can be hotter and have more rains. Contact Eliot Greenspan in CR for great info. He is a guide book writer turned travel planner for CR and knows both countries well and can help you with comparisons and planning should you opt for CR over Belize.
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Apr 20th, 2013, 08:37 AM
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I’m not sure who or what Pat_Hewitt is disagreeing with. The original question is regarding Belize & Costa Rica in August. Katrina didn’t impact either of those countries and Mitch formed in October.

My comment that the risk of a hurricane in Belize in August is very low is based on these facts:
Since 1865, only three hurricanes have affected Belize in August: an unnamed storm in 1918, Hurricane Dean in 2005 and Hurricane Ernesto in 2012. Both Dean & Ernesto actually made landfall in Mexico, but Belize received a lot of rain.
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Apr 20th, 2013, 05:51 PM
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Ernesto messed up our plans last summer because the southern cayes were evacuated. In the end we couldn't even tell it passed, so it didn't mess up our (very cool) alternate plans at all. We're heading back next spring to do the things we missed out on. Win win!
hopefulist is online now  
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Apr 21st, 2013, 07:00 AM
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I would definitely lean Central America more than Caribbean islands given concerns for hurricanes.

August-September is the dry season for the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica--the best rafting in the country is on that side (Pacuare, with an overnight at the Pacuare Lodge a honeymoon-type splurge), Tortuguero, South Caribbean etc.
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Apr 21st, 2013, 06:16 PM
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I'd head towards Manuel Antonio Costa Rica. Tulemar Bungalows is an excellent property there, and there's tons to do. Lots of wildlife, and they have their own beach. We usually travel during the rainy green season, and you can get great deals. It's usually not an all day rain. Lots of good restaurants in that area. If you want Belize, we loved Victoria House. Hurricanes are more likely to hit Belize than CR.
volcanogirl is online now  
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Well, if they did choose Belize (or Costa Rica), I'd recommend 3rd party Trip Interruption/Travel Insurance.

Both countries lend themselves well to honeymooners.

By mid-August most of Costa Rica is entering into the fairly severe part of the rainy season. September, October and early November are the rainiest months. The Costa Rican Caribbean coast's mini-dry season anomaly is more predictable in late September/early October. Although that coast does seem to operate under entirely independent weather rules...

And given her nice plug, I'll defer to Katie for weather and other advice in Belize. She lives and has lived there for some time...

That said, if this is the time window allowed (and with Trip Interruption insurance in hand, just in case), I wouldn't let weather scare me away from either destination. I've traveled extensively in both countries in August and September. If it rains, you either get wet doing whatever activity it is you're going to do anyway, or wait it out in a hammock reading a good book and sipping a cool one.

In Belize, rain doesn't much affect you scuba diving 30m down, or caving (although some of the interior cave rivers do rise to thrilling levels).
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