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When is the Best Time to Visit Belize? Weather, Crowds, and Budget Considerations.

By 9/5/2020 5 minutes

On Average, most people visit Belize in December and March. This usually coincides with Winter break and Spring break in the United States. In our biased opinion, anytime is the best time to visit Belize. There is no time better than now.

Belize reopens for travel on October 1st, 2020. Learn about the new travel restrictions and procedures. Download Episode 23 of The Belize Travelcast for more information about the new Belize Gold Standards for Health and Safety.
However, several factors come into play including budget, weather, crowds, and activities you may want to do in Belize. Let’s consider this question from these perspectives to find out when is the best time for YOU to visit Belize.

Crowds: High Season vs Low Season

By most measures, Belize hardly gets any large crowds of tourists even during our peak months of December and March which sees just under 50,000 visitors each.

In 2019, we had a total of 503,177 overnight visitors for the year. In comparison, Cancun, which is just a few hours north of Belize, gets over 6 million visitors per year. 

2019 was a record year for tourist arrivals in Belize, and the first time we ever surpassed 500,000 overnight visitors. Since Covid-19 has devastated the travel industry, we don’t expect to see those numbers again for a while.

The busiest month on average is December with 47,957 total visitors over the past 5 years. Next is March which has averaged 47,742 visitors over the past 5 years. This is our notion of a huge crowd of tourists, and it’s spread out over about 30 days. This is the kind of crowd you see at a small football stadium in the US on a weekend, maybe on a slow game day. 

The point is that even during the peak high tourism season months in Belize, it’s still very easy to practice social distancing.

The high “tourist season” in Belize is generally said to be from about November to May. This is when we supposedly get the most overnight visitors in the country.

However, the numbers don’t totally support this. June and July actually get more visitors than May, for example.

In the past 5 years, the total average monthly overnight visitors has been 35,769. 

Belize Overnight Visitor Statistics

Months with above average visitors: January, February, March, April, June, July, December.

Months with below average visitors: May, August, September, October, November

The peak of the tourism season lasts 4 months from December to March, averaging just under 45,000 visitors each month. 

September and October are truly the only two months that stand out as “slow” months, averaging about 20,600 visitors.

So if your decision is based solely on “crowd” size, then visit between December and March if you don’t mind higher than usual crowd, or visit between August and October if you would rather skip the crowds. 

Again, we should stress that Belize doesn't get the huge crowds of tourists that you'll find in other destinations. The most crowd you will see is at the airport because we only have one very small international airport which becomes a bottleneck for all arriving visitors. Otherwise, it's very spread out and even during the peak season it's not hart to find yourself alone on the beach or hiking in the jungle.

But you should also consider the other factors to decide when is the best time to visit, and the weather is an important one.

Weather in Belize

Weather is a huge factor in considering the best time to visit Belize. We have excellent tropical weather all year round, but it could take you some time to get acclimated to our heat and humidity.

The weather is much nicer between December and March, which is the peak tourism months in Belize.  

The "coldest" month is in January with average low temperature of 70°F (21°C)

The hottest month of the year is in May with average high temperature of 89.4°F (31.9°C)

These are averages, and so the actual daily temperatures will vary. From May to August, you could expect some days exceeding 100F. 

Then, in June the rainy season and hurricane season starts. 

August to October has less crowds, but it is also in the rainy season and usually the peak of the hurricane season. Most of the tropical storms and hurricanes in the region occur in September, historically.

If you live in North America, then the change of the season from Fall to Winter is what will probably drive you to seek warmer climate.

The tourism season typically kicks off in late November, and peaks in December and through the winter months in North America.


Average Temperatures

The average high temperature in Belize is 86.2°F (30.1°C) along the coast and islands, 88.3°F (31.3°C) inland, and 77.5°F (25.3°C) in the hills. 

The average low temperature in Belize is 72.6°F (22.6°C) along the coast and islands, 68.9°F (20.5°C) inland, and 63.8°F (17.7°C) in the hills.

Here is a breakdown of the average monthly temperatures as recorded at the international airport over the past ten years:

Average Monthly Temperatures in Belize - Fahrenheit
Average Monthly Temperatures in Belize - Celsius
The takeaway here is that on average, the temperature will almost always be above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) so you should pack accordingly.


Relative Humidity

Belize has high relative humidity above 80% most of the time. This means that you will feel much hotter than the actual temperature and you may sweat a lot more than usual.

Here is a breakdown of the average monthly relative humidity as measured at the international airport over the past 10 years.

Belize Average Relative Humidity


Rainy Season

The rainy season kicks off in June and ends in October, which coincides with the Atlantic hurricane season.  In the south of Belize, the rainy season actually starts much earlier in May. 

There is usually a dip in the rain activity in August, and then it picks back up in September. Total rainfall peaks at different times in different regions of the country during the rainy season.

Here is a graph showing the total rainfall in inches as measured at the international airport over the past 10 years.

Belize Average Rainfall Totals


Dry Season

The dry season is from November to May with April as the month with the least rainfall. This coincides with the tourism high season in Belize. Less rain but more "crowds". 


So the best time to visit depends on your weather back home. When it’s winter up north, fly south with the birds and enjoy our tropical weather. Average temps in Belize hover around 80F(27C) from December to March.

The summer months can be brutal with temperatures sometimes exceeding 100F and very high humidity. However, it makes a swim in the clear blue waters of the caribbean much more refreshing. A lot of people do visit in June and July, so it can’t be that bad.


Escape the Cold

Weather might be a determining factor for the best time to visit Belize, but it may be the weather at your current location rather than the weather in Belize.

Suffice to say that Belize has warm and humid weather all year round. November to March happen to have the “nicest” weather with average high temperatures around 80F(27). 

Sometimes us locals will pull out our jackets in December when it gets down into the 70’s. This is the perfect tropical weather when you’re trying escape the blizzards up north. 

Prepare to sweat, because the relative humidity is above 80% most of the time so it will feel much hotter than it really is. Pack some sunscreen with high SPF.

May is the overall hottest month throughout the country. If you visit from June to October, then you should expect some rains…sometimes a lot of rain. Pack an umbrella or maybe a light rain jacket.

Sometimes you’ll get rained out for a full week, but sometimes you won’t see a drop of rain. It can be really unpredictable during those months.

Check out the National Metereological website climate summary for more details on the weather in Belize.

In this episode we discuss the Belize Gold Standards for Health and Safety which will be implemented at all hotels in Belize. [sponsored by Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas]
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Budget

At the end of the day, the best time to visit is probably when you can afford it. If you want to cut costs, then crowds and weather can affect costs of certain things. 

Almost everything is cheaper during low season (except tours). Keep in mind that this also happens to be during the rainy season.

Some hotels and restaurants close down during this time for renovations, etc, but it’s not like Belize becomes a ghost town. This may have been true a long time ago, but these days almost all hotels remain open throughout the year. After COVID-19, if they didn’t close down for good then they’ll probably be happy to host you any time of the year, even during the low season.

Search the full list of Belize hotels including the Gold Standard hotels. Find the best hotel for your budget.

During the months of November to April (sometimes up to May), prices for hotels may be much higher because there’s high demand and limited rooms. Many hotels have a high season rate and a low season rate. There's not a specific high/low season so everyone sets their own timeframe for this purpose.

Prices are higher during the high season, and many hotels and other service providers may be less willing to offer discounts on prices. Don’t count on discounts during high season. 

Flights to Belize are also typically more expensive during the high season months because there’s high demand. 

If you want to maximize our budget, then the low season gives you the best bang for your buck. Hotels prices are lower, flights may be cheaper, rentals may be cheaper, and maybe some tour companies will be more willing to negotiate discounts on certain tours. Then, there’s also less crowds so you can really practice social distancing and have the whole beach to yourself.

*Don’t count on getting tour discounts during low season, however. Tours mostly depend on the number of people going on the tour rather than the time of year. With the new Gold Standard requirements, online bookings is the way to go and we recommend booking way ahead of time.

Things to Do

The best time to visit Belize may depend on what you want to do in Belize. Certainly, weather, budget, and even crowds will affect the availability of certain activities in Belize. 

You may be coming to Belize for a specific activity that is only available during certain times of the year.

For example, many people come to Hopkins Belize specifically for the bioluminescence lagoon experience which is only available from December to May during the dry season. This activity is highly dependent on the weather and the moon cycle, so the best time to visit when it’s dry and just after a full moon.

You may want to see the whale sharks in Placencia, so then the best time to come would be in April and May. The Whale Shark Season in Belize is from March to June, and there's also some consideration of the moon cycle. 

You may be coming for some of the best SCUBA diving on the planet, and therefore the best time is during the summer months when the waters are generally calm.

You may be coming for some lifers on your eBird list, and so your best time to visit will coincide with the migratory pattern of your target species. 

You may be coming to experience Belizean festivals, and so the best time is during the summer months. We highly recommend the annual Mango festival in Hopkins Village.

There's an array of things to do in Belize, and if you're coming for a specific activity then the weather, and crowd sizes, and budget are not primary factors in your decision. You can find the largest list of things to do in Belize right here on Belizing.com and you can book direct with local experts.

September in Belize

Ok, so it turns out that there's not a clear cut answer on when is the best time to visit Belize.

However, September is by far the best time to visit Belize, in our opinion.

Why? Because you can experience the best of Belize, and save a few dollars while doing it. Who doesn’t like saving money?

It is the slowest month for tourism, so you’ll breeze through the airport when you arrive. New health protocols are in place at the airport, so wait times could probably exceed a few hours during the peak months of December to March. In September, not so much.

September is an entire month of celebration in Belize. The country is in a festive mood in September. We literally have a September Celebrations committee and a full month of activities planned out in all major communities centered around the 10th of September (Battle of St. George's Caye) holiday and Independence day celebrations on September 21st. 

There’s parades and carnival in every major town on both of these major national holidays. 

When  you visit in September, you’ll see red white and blue colors of the Belize flag everywhere you turn. 

*Travel tip: If you come in September, plan not to travel on the 10th or 21st.

Barring the risk of rain, September is an ideal time to visit Belize and experience Belize like no other time during the year.


When is the Best time to Visit Belize?
Most people visit Belize from December to March. The best time to visit depends on what you want to do, the weather, and your budget.
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