Located along the Caribbean Coast of Central America, Belize is a warm, tropical destination all year long with an average temperature of 84 degrees F (29 degrees C). The temperature rarely dips below 60 degrees F (16 degrees C) even overnight, and humidity levels are typically around 83 percent. This consistency in the weather is quite helpful when considering your travel plans for when you should go and what you should bring with you.
That said, Belize does have two distinct seasons that can have a direct impact on any travel plans. The dry season brings less rainfall and slightly cooler temperatures, while the rainy season increases the chances for storms, with higher temperatures and humidity to go along with it. Both seasons occur at distinct times of the year, making them very easy to predict.
Hurricane Season in Belize
As with any country that borders the Caribbean, Belize has the potential to fall in the path of a hurricane. Generally speaking, hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June until mid-November, with the potential for dangerous, destructive, and potentially life-threatening storms to arise during that time. In Belize, the highest probability for these storms comes between August and October, with the occasional outlier occurring from time to time.
If you're making long-term plans to visit Belize, it is difficult to tell if the country will get hit by a tropical storm or full-fledged hurricane while you're there. If you will be visiting during hurricane season, however, it is a good idea to check the forecasts before your departure. If significant storms are in the area and could potentially make landfall, it could disrupt travel, close resorts, and attractions, and even cause you to cancel altogether.
While destructive hurricanes have hit Belize in the past, chances are, you'll be completely safe throughout your journey. This is particularly true if you're planning to stay further inland, as the coastal regions, along with Belize's reefs and cays, usually taking the brunt of the storm. Still, it never hurts to be as prepared as possible when visiting a destination where a hurricane remains a possibility.
Dry Season in Belize
The dry season in Belize runs December through May, which also coincides with the high season in terms of travelers. During these months, temperatures tend to be a bit cooler, and conditions are generally drier, with less rainfall and lower humidity. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is always sunny; however, as northerly winds can sometimes result in cloud cover as well.
The coolest months of the year are typically December, January, and February. During this period, the average daily temperature is about 73 degrees F (23 degrees C), with slightly warmer conditions in the southern regions of the country. These are also the months when the overnight lows are at their coldest as well, hovering around 60 degrees F. Bringing a light jacket will help to keep you comfortable during those times.
March, April, and May tend to be a bit warmer and drier, with daytime highs climbing to as much as 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) at times. The least amount of rainfall occurs from February to April, with May seeing slightly more precipitation as the start of the wet season draws near. Those storms tend to be brief and gentle, with the weather soon clearing up.
Because the climate and weather conditions in Belize are relatively stable during the dry season, the conditions shouldn't have much impact on most travelers' plans. Even during the colder periods of the year, the waters off the country's east coast are warm and inviting, while the rainforest is less oppressive and intimidating. Take advantage of those conditions to make the most of your visit.
What to pack: Belize is a tropical environment, so be sure to bring light, comfortable, and breathable clothes. Shorts and t-shirts will be perfectly fine for most outings, although a light jacket may be for early mornings and after dark. This being the Caribbean, flip-flops and a swimsuit are an excellent choice for the beach, while hiking shoes or sneakers will work well in the jungle.
Wet Season in Belize
Belize's Wet Season runs from June through November, bringing warmer temperatures, higher humidity, and generally steamier conditions along with it. The storms usually tend to form in the afternoon, with heavy rainfall occurring for an hour or two before ending again by evening. This means that even on rainy days during the wettest time of the year, the sun still manages to poke out for awhile.
Generally speaking, September and October are the rainiest months of the year, with Belize City receiving, on average, 9.6 inches (24.5 cm) and 12 inches (30.5 cm), respectively. Southern Belize is the rainiest region of the country, with precipitation amounts dropping off slightly the further north you travel.
Average high temperatures during the wet season will hover around 88 to 90 degrees F (31 to 32 degrees C), which, when mixed with the higher humidity rates can cause things to get a bit steamy at times. This is especially true in the dense jungles that are further inland, while on the coast, the ocean breezes help mitigate the hotter conditions.
Unsurprisingly, the Wet Season concedes with the low travel season in Belize, which means fewer people at most of the attractions. That can also result in better prices on airfare, hotels, and amenities, although keep in mind that some popular tourist destinations could be closed. For example, the heavy rains can make visiting Barton Creek Cave or Actun Tunichil Muknal dangerous, so those places could be completely shut down to visitors. Be sure to plan and check with tour operators to see what options are available to avoid getting turned away from an activity or destination that you wanted to explore.
What to pack: In addition to packing much of the same clothing and footwear as you would for the dry season, you'll naturally want to bring a rain jacket as well. If your goal is to go hiking in the jungle, rain pants might be in order too. Apparel that uses lightweight, fast-drying fabrics will likely prove useful as well, as there is a good chance that you'll find yourself caught in a rainstorm at some point during your visit.
Overall, the weather in Belize is fairly predictable at all times of the year. If you're looking for less rain and more stability, go during the dry season, but expect the country to be busier and more expensive. If you want to save some cash and avoid the crowds, choose the rainy season instead. Just be prepared to deal with the potential for weather delays and cancellations.