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Belize

Weather

Belize is typically hot and humid day and night year-round. Temperatures vary by only about 4°C between the coolest part of the year (December to March) and the hottest (May to September). The daily temperature range is around 10°C from the hottest part of the day to the coolest part of the night. In the uplands (Mountain Pine Ridge and the Maya Mountains) you can expect temperatures to fall by about 3°C for every 1000ft rise in altitude, making things noticeably more comfortable.

Belize has distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season runs from mid-May to November in the south and from mid-June to November in the north. November to February is a transitional period, with the year’s coolest temperatures and a limited amount of rain. The true dry season is February to April. There’s quite a large difference in rainfall between the north of the country (around 1500mm or 60in a year) and the south (about 4000mm or 160in). In the north and center of the country there’s a dip in rainfall in August, between peaks in July and September.

When to go

In Belize the high season for tourists corresponds roughly with the dry season: December to May. The shoulder months – especially December – receive a fair amount of rain, but not enough to scare away the multitudes of travelers who want to spend their holidays in the tropics. Most hotels and resorts are more expensive during this period (high-season rates are quoted throughout this book).

The biggest influx of tourists comes between December 15 and January 15, and during the weeks around Easter. Some hotels and resorts, especially top-end accommodations, charge extra-high prices during these peak periods. If you’re using top-end or some midrange accommodations, you’ll certainly save money by avoiding these seasons.

The rainy season runs from June to November. The early months, especially May and June, are actually a wonderful time to travel to Belize: you can avoid the tourist bustle and lodging is slightly cheaper. The only ownside is that it’s outside the lobster season, so you’ll have to forego at least one local specialty. Rivers start to swell and dirt roads get muddy. Some more remote roads may not be accessible to public transportation. With too much rain, some of the caves such as Actun Tunichil Muknal are dangerous and therefore closed to the public. Southern Belize is especially precarious during the rainy season; this relatively remote region receives two to three times as much rain as the rest of the country.