The Best Times to Visit Belize for the Ultimate Tropical Vacation

July 20, 2023
Tucked under Mexico’s Quintana Roo state on the east coast of Central America, Belize is a nature lover’s paradise. The tiny nation punches above its weight when it comes to all the tropical adventures found along its roughly 240 miles of Caribbean coastline and within its jungle interior. 

Belize has 400 islands and cays, including Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye, and Half Moon Caye. The country’s vast stretches of protected barrier reef are part of the largest barrier reef system in the Northern Hemisphere, making the country a must-visit destination for scuba divers and snorkelers. Diverse animal species — including jaguars, pumas, and ocelots – dwell in the country’s wildlands and national reserves, including the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Plus, Mayan ruins offer a fascinating look into the area’s ancient history.

Lounge chairs on the beach in Belize

Below, we’ve tapped local experts to determine the best times to visit Belize so you can start planning your tropical escape.

  • High Season: December to April
  • Shoulder Seasons: April to May and October to November
  • Low Season: June through September

These are the best times to go to Belize for beautiful weather, fewer crowds, and more.

A man crossing a small bridge in the jungle

Best Times to Visit Belize for Smaller Crowds 

Belize is busiest around the holiday season from late December to early January and during March and April. “November and May are great times to avoid crowds as most families are preparing for the holidays or back in school from breaks,” says Janet Woollam, managing director at Victoria House Resort & Spa, a 42-key property on Ambergris Caye with a private beachfront. “During these months, travelers can have a more relaxed experience visiting low-trafficked sites like ancient Mayan temples, joining rainforest expeditions, or zip-lining over jungle canopies teeming with adorable black howler monkeys,” she says.

 Best Times to Visit Belize for Good Weather 

While “good weather” can be subjective, it’s safe to say most travelers want to enjoy sunny skies and moderate temperatures and avoid tropical thunderstorms and stifling humidity.

“January to March are the driest months to visit Belize, with prolonged periods of warm sunshine particularly in the north and central regions,” says William Allison, senior Belize specialist at Audley Travel. Woollam suggests February as a pleasant month to visit, too – but you won’t be the only one with Belize on your radar at this time of year when the temperatures are at their all-around nicest for spending time outside.

Ruins of Caracol in Belize

Best Times to Visit Belize for Lower Prices 

As long as you don’t mind the rain, June and July can be a good time to take advantage of discounted travel, Allison says.

“The rainy season (in Belize) begins in June, and with it comes lower prices at hotels,” he says. “June and July are still rewarding times to visit, and the rain is rarely the persistent rainfall that is experienced later in the season, with sharp showers predominantly falling in the afternoon and at night.”

Another perk of visiting Belize at this time of year, he says, is the start of Caribbean Spiny Lobster season, which kicks off in mid-June and runs through Feb. 15. “Placencia and Ambergris Caye are great places to try some tasty lobster dishes,” he suggests.

Woollam points to September and October as the traditional sweet spot in Belize for landing lower prices outside of the hotter summer months but warns, “This can be somewhat skewed, as interest in travel is at a high since many would-be travelers weren’t able to go on holiday for the past few years.”

Related: 11 Best All-inclusive Belize Resorts

Scuba divers in Belize swimming by a sea turtle

Best Times to Visit Belize for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling 

With waters so blue and brilliant, almost everyone who visits Belize wants to spend some time splashing in the Caribbean Sea. You can snorkel and scuba dive year round in Belize with an average water temperature of around 80 degrees, depending on the season. Water and air temperatures are slightly cooler in Belize during the dry season, which starts in November and runs to July.

To find diving and snorkeling tour operators, head to spots like Placencia, Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker. “Ambergris Caye also serves as a base to plan your offshore dive trips to the world-renowned Blue Hole dive site at Lighthouse Reef Atoll or the less-recognized but equally impressive Turneffe Atoll,” says Woollam, whose hotel arranges local scuba and snorkel tours as well as excursions further afield.

For a truly special marine encounter, Allison recommends traveling offshore from Placencia to Gladden Spit. “It’s one of the few places in the world that snorkelers and divers can encounter the magnificent whale sharks,” he says, referring to the world’s largest (and very docile, filter-feeding) fish. “They commonly visit during the full moon periods of April and May.”

View of palm trees and vegetation by the sea in Belize

Worst Times to Visit Belize 

There really isn’t a terrible time to visit Belize, as long as you can handle some inclement weather. If you want to avoid the rain, steer clear of Belize from June through November, which is when hurricane season intersects the rainiest months of the year. While rainstorms during this period are unlikely to wash out an entire day’s worth of vacation fun, they can lead to canceled activities when there’s a heavy enough downpour, so it’s something to consider as you plot out your trip.

“By early August, travel is more challenging in Belize as the wet season progresses, and there is a low risk of hurricanes” warns Allison. Travelers should also be aware that some businesses close up in September to perform annual maintenance, he says, so plan accordingly.