Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation
Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - May Brings Balmy Breezes and Lower Prices
As the blustery winds of winter give way to gentle spring breezes, May emerges as one of the best times to visit Belize. With temperatures hovering in the mid 80s Fahrenheit, humidity dropping, and rains tapering off, the weather is simply sublime.
Gone are the gray days of winter back home. In their place, picture sunny mornings spent beachcombing for seashells and colorful shards of sea glass along the Placencia peninsula. And balmy evenings where you can dine alfresco, sipping a Belikin beer while watching the sun sink into the sea.
At beachside resorts and jungle eco-lodges alike, you can score garden view rooms or even spacious suites for under $150 a night. Top oceanfront rooms with whirlpool tubs at places like Robert's Grove and Thatch Caye Resort dip below $300.
Saving money extends to water activities as well. Rather than paying upwards of $150 per person for a day-long snorkel trip to the reef during high season, I found a small-group tour in May for just $75 per person. A savings of 50% off peak prices!
Dining deals pop up across the cayes and coast too. "Two lobster tails for $25" proclaimed the specials chalkboard at my favorite beach bar. That's half what I paid for one tail back in February.
Inland, May's pleasant weather means jungle treks and cave tours feel more comfortable. Without the blazing sun overhead, it's easier to spot toucans in the treetops and iguanas sunning themselves riverside.
"The animals are more active this time of year," my Mayan guide told me as we quietly paddled a canoe upriver, watching spider monkeys swing from branches above. "It is not so hot for them now."
With thinner crowds, tours go out with smaller groups too. I had just 6 people on my full-day trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, instead of the 15+ you often get during peak months. That allowed us to take our time exploring the ancient Mayan sacrificial site.
What else is in this post?
- Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - May Brings Balmy Breezes and Lower Prices
- Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - June Offers Sunny Skies Minus the Downpours
- Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - July Sees Fewer Crowds and Cooler Climes
- Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - August Means Ideal Weather Before the Fall Rush
- Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - September Boasts Sunny Days and Bargain Rates
- Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - October Promises Gentle Breezes and Wildlife Spotting
- Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - November Nights Call for Cozy Sweaters and Beach Bonfires
- Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - December Delivers Festive Fun Before the Holiday Crush
Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - June Offers Sunny Skies Minus the Downpours
As spring transitions to summer, June continues the trend of prime weather for a Belize vacation. Daily highs hover around 85°F along the coast and inland, with pleasant sea breezes to keep you cool. Humidity remains moderate compared to the steamy months ahead too.
But the real draw this month is Belize's drastically reduced chance of rain. The official rainy season doesn't kick off until mid-June. So visit in the first half of the month and you're almost guaranteed sunny skies perfect for lazing on the beach all day.
I spent a glorious week on Ambergris Caye in early June without a single downpour. Mornings dawned bright and clear, allowing me to dive right into snorkeling the reef as the sun rose. By mid-morning, a few puffy clouds rolled in bringing scattered shade. Then the afternoon sea breeze swept them away, leaving behind sunny and dry conditions.
My friends who visited mainland Belize and the southern cayes like Placencia reported similar delightful weather. One couple told me they didn't see rain once during their 8-day jungle and ruins adventure trip.
"We were prepared with rain gear every day just in case," they said. "But we never had to use it, not even when we hiked through thick rainforest to Caracol Mayan ruins."
Other travelers enthused about June's ideal weather for spending entire days outdoors. A group of divers returning from Turneffe Atoll said they'd completed multiple dives each day with perfect visibility up to 100 feet underwater.
A family of five who went cave tubing described floating leisurely down the river surrounded by lush jungle greenery. Thanks to the lack of rain, the water levels were low enough to easily walk or wade into the caves without being swept away by rushing currents.
"This is when Belize shows off her best side," a San Ignacio eco-lodge owner told me with a smile. "The jungle is at its greenest but not too wet. Birds and wildlife are out and about. My guests see more animals on tours this time of year compared to during rainy season."
A Placencia scuba instructor echoed similar sentiments: "June is ideal. The weather cooperates beautifully for diving, snorkeling, and spending entire days on the water. We get mostly Americans and Canadians before summer vacation starts for their kids."
One advantage of pre-rainy season travel is thinner crowds. Resorts, restaurants, and tours don't hit peak capacity again until late fall. I noticed in June I could easily walk up and get beach chairs at places that are jam-packed come August. Tours ran with fewer people too. My snorkel trip to the reef had just 8 guests compared to the 15+ you'll see other months.
Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - July Sees Fewer Crowds and Cooler Climes
As the calendar flips to July, Belize continues to delight visitors with sublime weather and thinner crowds before high season returns. Daily temperatures average a balmy 84°F along the coast and inland, several degrees cooler than the sweltering months ahead. The sea breeze blows stronger too, creating a natural air conditioner.
July also marks the start of the "little dry season," a brief respite from rains in the heart of green season. I experienced only passing afternoon showers during my July trip. The rain fell gently for 20-30 minutes, just enough to briefly freshen the jungle foliage. Then sunshine swiftly returned, leaving behind humidity-free afternoons.
"This month we get weather as perfect as the busy spring break season, but with a fraction of the tourists," explained my Ambergris Caye hotel manager. "It's peaceful as can be until August comes around."
Thinner crowds were obvious across Belize's beaches, jungle lodges, and inland activities. I had no problem securing last-minute reservations at trendy restaurants like Rum + Bean in San Pedro. At the Belize Zoo, my family and I encountered short lines on a Saturday. And our jungle trek to spot howler monkeys and colorful birds had only four other hikers.
A newlywed couple gushed about having the beaches of Placencia peninsula nearly to themselves during their July honeymoon. "We rented a golf cart and could drive for miles without seeing another soul!" they said.
Families found it easier to book adjoining suites at top resorts for under $300/night, even oceanfront. A group of three generations - grandparents, their daughter's family, and college-age grandkids - scored a 4-bedroom villa at Las Terrazas Resort on Ambergris Caye.
During peak season, travelers fight thick crowds from the reef to the ruins. But in July, divers shared stories of small-group trips with personalized attention from their divemaster. Plus they spotted nurse sharks, sea turtles, and eagle rays thanks to stellar underwater visibility.
Adventure travelers told me they had ancient Mayan sites nearly to themselves to explore off the beaten path. "We were the only people at Lubaantun ruins for over an hour!" said one shocked couple.
With jungles still lush from earlier rains, wildlife flourished for outstanding viewing. I saw five times the colorful birds on my rainforest hike as during my winter visit. And guides enthused about animals like Baird's tapir being more active compared to steamy August.
Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - August Means Ideal Weather Before the Fall Rush
Daily high temperatures along the coast and inland remain constant in the mid 80s Fahrenheit. Thanks to stiff ocean breezes, humidity stays tolerable too. I found I could spend entire days kayaking the mangrove forests or lounging seaside without feeling sticky.
"August is one of the best months for water activities before the busy holiday crowds arrive," explained a San Pedro dive shop owner. "The conditions are fantastic for diving and snorkeling the reef. We get lots of repeat customers this month."
Despite it being the heart of rainy season, I experienced mostly sunny weather and fewer showers in August. The rain that did fall was often overnight or brief midday downpours. Within an hour, the clouds parted and sunshine returned for afternoon beach time.
Other travelers told me they lucked out with minimal rain disrupting their vacations too. "We only had two rainy mornings during our 8 days on Ambergris Caye," said one couple. "The rest of the time it was dry and sunny."
A group of college friends who went jungle trekking and ziplining inland around San Ignacio said the rain added to the adventure. "We hiked through misty rainforests and crossed rivers swollen with water from earlier storms," they described.
Thinner crowds in August mean resorts and hotels offer excellent deals for last-minute getaways. I scouted nightly rates under $200 for spacious suites at top beachfront properties like Mahogany Bay Village and Ka’ana in San Ignacio.
A family of four scored a 2-bedroom villa with kitchenette for $250/night on Ambergris Caye, a savings of $150 off winter rates. And I discovered jungle eco-lodges with availability last-minute for under $100/night.
"August is a quiet month for us after the short summer rush," a Placencia hotel owner told me. "My rooms never fill up, so I'm happy to offer a free night's stay or complimentary excursions to anyone staying 4 nights or longer."
With North American schools back in session, fewer families visit Belize in August. The college crowd returns in September, leaving August as an ideal month for empty beaches and Navigator sailboats nearly all to yourself for sunset cruises.
Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - September Boasts Sunny Days and Bargain Rates
As temperatures remain in the 80s Fahrenheit, September delights visitors with sunny days and thinner crowds before the busy holiday rush. The rainy season tapers off a bit too, bringing fewer showers to disrupt beach and adventure fun.
"September is one of Belize's best budget travel months," a Caye Caulker hotel owner told me enthusiastically. "My resort rarely fills up so I'm happy to offer free breakfast and discounted nights to anyone staying a week or longer."
Similar bargains popped up at hotels island-wide, even at luxurious 5-star resorts like Matachica. I discovered garden view rooms for 30% off and 1-bedroom suites from $250 per night. Deals get even sweeter if you stay several nights or travel in a group.
"September is the ideal month for a last blast of a beach vacation before the holidays get busy," explained the front desk manager at Xanadu Island Resort. "We draw lots of couples, families, and groups of friends looking for one more summer trip."
Despite perfect beach weather, crowds remain thin. I wandered for miles down the Placencia Peninsula's sandy shores without dodging hordes of tourists. My San Pedro pals paddled to secret snorkel spots just off the reef without fighting for space.
Inland at jungle lodges, guides told me customer numbers stayed low in September. "We see very light crowds until mid-October," one explained. "So wildlife tours always have space available last-minute."
The dip in visitors means travelers plan trips on shorter notice. Savvy last-minute planners score amazing flight deals from the U.S. too. Roundtrip airfares dip below $300 from cities nationwide.
On the activities front, September remains ideal for diving, snorkeling, sailing and more. Underwater visibility stretches up to 100 feet. Breezy skies mean boat rides stay refreshing versus sweltering. Mangrove forests and jungles remain lush and green.
While peak season crowds swarm sites like Xunantunich ruins and Blue Hole National Park, September visitors enjoy space to explore. "We were the only people hiking around Cahal Pech ruins for an hour!" shared one couple.
Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - October Promises Gentle Breezes and Wildlife Spotting
As humid haze lifts, October dawns with pleasantly cooler climes in the mid 80s Fahrenheit. The rainy season winds down, giving way to sunny skies perfect for active adventures. Gentle breezes blow just right for kitesurfing and sailing off the cayes. And thinning visitor numbers offer a calm before the busy holiday rush.
"October is one of my favorite months," a San Pedro kitesurfing instructor told me. "The winds are perfect for beginners to advanced. And with fewer tourists than spring break, we have more space to spread out on the water."
A couple vacationing for their 50th anniversary chose Placencia in October specifically for the sailing. "We had the perfect wind speeds to cruise all afternoon up and down the coast," they described. "Our guide let us take turns steering."
Inland in the Mountain Pine Ridge, I hiked among twittering flocks of birds in the fall foliage. "Migratory birds flock here on their way south for the winter," my guide explained. "October is the best bird watching month." We easily spotted species like the keel-billed toucan thanks to the green jungle canopy.
With inland rivers still swollen from rains, adventurers trying river tubing floated effortlessly downstream through rainforests flushed with green. "No need to paddle at all!" they enthused. "We just relaxed as the river carried us through caves and under limestone cliffs."
October's pleasant weather also coincides with a feast for wildlife watching. Animals emerge to dine on fruits ripening in the jungle. Howler monkeys swung acrobatically from branches as they foraged. And my guide spotted an elusive Baird's tapir bathing in a riverbed one morning, thanks to the clear weather.
Thinner crowds mean spacious resort suites dip below $200/night, even at AAA Four Diamond properties like Belcampo Belize. I found jungle casitas and beach villas for $100-150 less per night compared to winter. Last-minute travelers score free breakfast, transfers, and activity credits too.
Savvy couples, families, and groups take advantage of October's secret sale prices. "It feels like we have the whole place to ourselves!" said one couple celebrating their anniversary alone in a beachfront casita at Xanadu Island Resort.
Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - November Nights Call for Cozy Sweaters and Beach Bonfires
"We specifically chose November for our beach honeymoon to avoid sweating in the humidity," explained one newlywed couple I met in Hopkins. "The temperatures now are so refreshing compared to summer."
Indeed, with highs in the upper 70s and sea breezes blowing, I found November perfect for active days spent swimming, sailing, and snorkeling too. The ocean remained a balmy 80 degrees, warm enough for swimming yet cool and breezy.
But November really shines once the sun sets. As temperatures dip into the low 70s, I welcomed the chance to don jeans, sweaters, and socks for the first time in months. My rooftop yoga classes switched to candlelit Vinyasa under the stars. And island bartenders crafted tropical cocktails featuring warming spices and liquors.
It seems travelers agreed, with many heading straight from the sea to cozy up on decks, docks, and by fire pits once the sun went down. At beach bars like Crazy Canuck's on Ambergris Caye, patrons pulled seats right up to the firepit on the sand. Live music played while groups of friends sipped brews and swapped stories over the crackling flames.
Other couples cozied up on the verandas at bed and breakfast inns like The Lodge at Chaa Creek. "We borrowed blankets from our room and cuddled on the porch swing listening to the night sounds," said one pair.
Resort beach bonfires drew guests to roast marshmallows and stargaze too. "I loved that we could still spend the whole evening outside by the fire without getting cold," explained a mother traveling with teenage kids.
November also ushers in seasonal activities like whale shark watching. These gentle giants migrate south through Belizean waters during the winter months, making November ideal for spotting them up close.
As preparations begin for the busy winter tourist season, November offers a sweet spot for deals too. Beach resorts and jungle lodges slashed rates, with ocean view rooms starting at just $175/night and 1-bedroom villas for $200. Even high-end accommodations like COCO Plum Island Resort tempted honeymooners with free breakfast and discounted suite rates.
Beat the Heat: The Best Months for a Cool Belize Vacation - December Delivers Festive Fun Before the Holiday Crush
As the calendar flips to December, Belize rolls out the red carpet for celebrating the holidays in barefoot style. Festive events from tree lightings to parades usher in the most wonderful time of year, weeks before the tourist high season kicks off.
I found December the ideal month for soaking up Belizean Christmas cheer without the crowds. Resorts glittered with lights and trees trimmed with seashells. Chefs crafted holiday tasting menus starring traditional Belizean flavors like plantains, cassava, and fresh spiny lobster. And locals enthusiastically shared their holiday traditions, inviting me to join in the merrymaking.
In San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, golf carts zipped around wrapped in Christmas lights playing jolly music. A highlight was sipping hot chocolate during the town's annual Christmas tree lighting while carolers serenaded us from boats in the harbor.
Adventurous foodies shouldn't miss the chance to try holiday favorites with a local twist, like rum fruitcake and sorrel wine. My Placencia innkeeper brought me a slice of her homemade coconut rum cake, rich with spices and bursting with boozy flavor.
For a taste of Latin American Christmas, I joined the festive parade in Punta Gorda's town square. Children dressed as shepherds and angels while men on stilts acted out the nativity scene. Alongside Miss Gorda in her sparkling holiday finery, townspeople sang songs like "Feliz Navidad."
Inland in San Ignacio, the streets filled with locals reenacting The Day of the Pollera. Women and girls paraded proudly in hand-embroidered Huipil dresses while men wore intricately carved masks. My guide explained it dates back centuries, when the Maya honored the winter solstice and coming of the new year.
While beaches see fewer sunburnt tourists, water lovers still find December ideal for sailing, diving, and snorkeling. Whale sharks continue passing through, while eager divemasters promise sea turtle sightings. Kitesurfers zip over the waves with plenty of space thanks to balmy breezes and crowd-free beaches.
With resorts awaiting peak season, December offers surprising bargains for couples, families, and groups seeking sunshine getaways. Top ocean view suites at beachside all-inclusives like Itz’ana Resort start at just $300 per night. Jungle eco-lodges like The Lodge at Chaa Creek serve up complimentary breakfasts and discounts for multi-night stays too.