When is the Best Time to Visit Belize?
Published on: July 25th, 2017
Last modified: October 10th, 2023
The best time to visit Belize to see the Great Blue Hole is during the dry season, between January and May which brings perfect conditions for scenic flights, snorkelling, and diving in the region. June to November marks the rainy season in Belize with August to October potentially bringing hurricanes.
The shoulder season months of November, May, and June are also a good time to visit Belize. The rainfall isn’t too heavy, allowing for exclusive activities with fewer people around. Placencia is a great place to visit at this time of the year, as the diving spots will not be overcrowded.
The rainy season in Belize runs from June to November. Each month experiences rainfall differently, so the rainy season can still be a good time to visit Belize; June and July’s sporadic showers create verdant landscapes, great for spotting abundant wildlife in Mountain Pine Ridge and August typically sees a lull in rainfall.
Month by Month Climate Guide
Overall Belize has a tropical climate, however, it does experience distinct seasons with different weather conditions. The changes in rainfall and temperature alter the landscapes and the opportunities for adventure. Below we’ve outlined the climate, giving you the average high and average low temperatures along with the rainfall, month by month, so that you know what to expect throughout the year.
In January, there’s a small chance of a light shower and the northern winds blow through the country, keeping temperatures at around 25°C (80°F) on the coast. For inland areas, such as the Cayo District, temperatures don’t tend to climb higher than about 26°C (80°F).
February is the best time to visit Belize for underwater activities like snorkelling and diving. Temperatures peak around 26°C (79°F) with a low of 22°C (73°F) at the coast. The ocean averages an enjoyable 26°C (80°F), meaning it is always a great time for a swim. Inland in places like Mountain Pine Ridge it can get quite hot, with temperatures rising to 28°C (84°F).
Temperatures start to soar in March due to Belize’s lack of rainfall. The coast remains pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 23°C (77°F) to 26°C (79°F). Humidity and heat make the temperatures rise to highs of 31°C (88°F).
Temperatures continue to rise in April, making it one of the hottest months in Belize. That being said, it is possible to be cooled down by a light shower here and there. The coast is warm at this time of the year, with temperatures averaging a high of 27°C (82°F). However, the coastal winds pick up around now.
Like April, May is also one of the hottest months in Belize. On the mainland, temperatures peak around 32°C (91°F), and the rain begins to fall. However at this stage in the season, the rains are typically light morning showers or exhilarating thunderstorms at night. The coast is cooler, with temperatures reaching no higher than 27°C (82°F).
June marks the beginning of the wet season in Belize. The average high temperature inland hovers at around (31°C) 88°F, while on the coast they stay cooler at around 28°C (84°F). There are constant winds and brief showers at this time of year. Due to the rain, fauna and food sources grow, making June a great month to spot wildlife.
July ramps up the wet season, with mornings featuring heavy showers and thunderstorms lighting up the sky at night. However there is still great visibility in the water, which is a welcome reprieve from high temperatures of 88°F (31°C) of inland places like Orange Walk.
August welcomes a brief comeback for the dry season, with the coast averaging a high of 28°C (84°F). Inland it's somewhat hotter, with an average peak of around 32°C (90°F). Although the rainfall is lower now, there can still be a risk of hurricanes and tropical storms in August.
Seated firmly in the hurricane season, September experiences more rain than August. Temperatures have cooled down slightly now, with it reaching around 28°C (84°F) on the coast and 31°C (88°F) inland.
October is the rainiest month in Belize, with an average of 254 millimetres falling throughout the month. Temperatures on the coast reach highs of 27°C (82°F), with inland being mildly hotter with highs of 28°C (84°F). Storms hit Belize frequently, lasting up to a few days at a time.
Belize receives less rain in November, averaging a fall of 203 millimetres. Temperatures at the coast peak at around 26°C (80°F), whilst inland they are slightly higher at 27°C (82°F). The storms become less frequent, allowing the sun to shine throughout most of the day.
Although the start of December starts out wet, by the end of the month it’s typically pleasant and dry, with temperatures reaching 27°C (81°F) inland. December marks the end of the hurricane season in Belize, allowing the coastal regions, such as Placencia, to keep cool at 26°C (79°F).
When is hurricane season in Belize?
Hurricane season in Belize lasts from August to October. Many hotels close for maintenance during September and October when the most intense storms can hit, limiting travel options and marking the low season. If you want to experience underwater activities we recommend avoiding these months due to poor visibility and choppy waters.
The Best Things to Do in Belize by Season
While Belize is known for its breathtaking white beaches and crystal-clear blue waters, it offers a myriad of alternative activities too. Deciding what to do in Belize depends on your personal interests, but it’s also crucial to consider seasonality, as different weather conditions are better for different activities.
To help you decide we’ve outlined a month by month climate guide, focused on the best regions each month and what you can do there.
Best time to go snorkelling in Belize
December - May
The best time to go snorkelling in Belize is between December and May when visibility is at its best. At Ambergris Caye you can snorkel on the beautiful reef and in Shark Alley. You’re also within easy reach of Hoi Chan Marine Reserve where you can find stingrays, angel fish, and turtles.
January in particular is a great time to snorkel, especially in the clear waters of Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. It will be quieter than Hoi Chan Marine Reserve and the water temperature will be pleasantly warm. No matter what time of year you snorkel in Belize you’ll be sure to pass schools of colourful fish and unique coral formations, or you can venture out on a boat for day trips to caves and lagoons.
The best time to visit Belize for whale sharks
March - June
The best time to visit Belize for whale shark watching is between March and June, off the southern coast, close to Placencia. It’s important to remember that you can’t snorkel straight from the beach here due to the seagrass, however there are lots of different boat trip options to help you explore.
The best time to explore Mayan sites in Belize
April is one of the best months to visit Belize to explore Mayan archeological sites. This dry-season month means you can confidently adventure without the worry of rain and muddy conditions underfoot. Head to Orange Walk for sites such as La Milpa and Lamanai and Cayo District for Cahal Pech and Xunantunich.
The best time for deep sea fishing in Belize
May is one of the best months to visit Belize for deep sea fishing. At this time, bonefish, permit and tarpon are found in abundance. Cool breezes make temperatures bearable. Marking the end of the dry season, May is also the best time to take an exhilarating flight over the Great Blue Hole.
The best time to visit Belize for wildlife
June is one of the best times to visit Belize to spot wildlife. As the rainy season in Belize begins, fauna and flora erupt into life and bring out species such as Black howler monkeys and jaguars. These roam the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the only jaguar preserve in the world.
Mountain Pine Ridge is also rich in wildlife. Only a short drive from the Cayo district, this place is a protected area of Caribbean Pine forest at one of the highest elevations within Belize. Here you can expect to spot orange-breasted falcons, alongside the acorn woodpecker in its favourite haunt, D’Silva Forest.
The best time to travel to Belize to beat the crowds
August is one of the best months to visit Belize to beat the crowds. Travelling in August means you can avoid the peak-season crowds yet still enjoy some sunshine and experience a more peaceful atmosphere. During this month, prepare for a chance of rain although long sunny periods between showers are common.
As August is less busy, this makes it a great month to stay in a luxury resort and enjoy the incentivised stays. Indulge in a stay on the Cayo Espanto private island and explore the southern Ambergris town of San Pedro, or relax within a private nature reserve on the banks of the Macal River before adventuring through cave systems during a stay at Chaa Creek.
The best time for zip lining, caving and hiking in Belize
November - July
The best time to visit Belize for outdoor activities is between November to July when conditions are dry. Although caving, tubing, ziplining and hiking in Punta Gorda or Mountain Pine Ridge can be enjoyed all year, the rise in water-levels from August to October can mean tubing and caving are sometimes off-limits.
One place to visit within Mountain Pine Ridge is Big Rock Falls, which is perfect if you want a quiet picnic, or a dip in the waterfall’s cool water. The slightly cooler temperatures due to the elevation at Pine Ridge also make it an excellent place to take part in more active pursuits, such as trekking Mayan ruins and mountain-biking.
The best time to enjoy cultural celebrations in Belize
July, November and December
July, November, and December are great months for experiencing cultural celebrations in Belize. July and November observe national holidays, whilst December marks the festive season by decorating boats with festooned lighting. July also begins with a celebration of the lobster season San Pedro, Placencia, and Caye Caulker hosting a week-long fete.
In July the Benque Fiesta honours the town’s patron saint and consists of a collection of religious celebrations, along with carnival rides, parades, and firework shows. On the 19th of November, Garifuna Settlement Day is celebrated, with the whole week leading up to it bustling with parades, dancing, and live music. December is known to be very busy, as Belize holds extravagant celebrations to commemorate the festive season.
Best time for bird watching in Belize
December - April
The best time to visit Belize for birdwatching is between December and April when migratory birds visit the country. Belize is also home to an abundance of native birds with over 600 species in residence. Year round you can look for frigates, red-footed boobies, scarlet macaws, toucans, harpy eagles and much more.
In the north, over 100 species can be found in the Crooked Tree Sanctuary alone, and that figure doesn’t even include what you can find in the lagoons and reserves nearby. From February to May, large numbers of wading birds will flock here when food is scarce in other locations.
Where to Stay in Belize
BlancaneauxThis is a wonderful luxury mountain lodge set overlooking a small river and waterfall and close to the Caracol Mayan site. This is one of two properties in Belize owned by Francis Ford Coppola and was used as his private family retreat until it was opened to the public in the 90s. The decoration and construction of the lodge has a distinctly Balinese feel with ornately carved hardwood furnishings throughout. Accommodation is all in spacious private cabanas or larger two bedroom villas. The deluxe honeymoon cabanas come equipped with their own private infinity pool. The lodge has two restaurants (Italian and Guatemalan), a spa, swimming pool and stables. As one would expect service is excellent and the lodge is very well run.
Turtle InnFrancis Ford Coppola’s second property in Belize, this is a charming beach-front resort. Set right on the beach the property has a Balinese theme with ornately carved hardwoods and native pieces imported from Asia. All rooms are in private casitas or larger two bedroom villas all with indoor and outdoor showers. Service at the resort is relaxed and friendly and services include two pools, a dive shop and three restaurants.
El Secreto BelizeA hotel that has really upped the stakes in Ambergris Caye, El Secreto is a mix of high-tech design, natural decor and personalised privacy. Located 11 miles north of San Pedro (or 30 minutes drive) this intimate 13-villa resort borders a nicely secluded beach, and is accessible only by boat via the hotel’s pier for added exclusivity and that feeling of true escape. The tropical decor is a shrewd mix of contemporary and traditional in the form of its thatched, naturally-styled villas that blend into its Caribbean context yet possess some very high tech amenities and fittings on the inside such as state of the art LED lighting system, iPod dock, coffee maker and king size bed. It’s no wonder this hotel is a member of Design Hotels and awarded Best Newcomer 2014 by Conde Nast Johansens. With four categories of villa to choose from, friendly service, a full spa, delectable international cuisine with twists of the Belizean, plus a large menu of water sports activities, this is a wonderful hotel for couples looking for a tropical escape that’s bang up to date.