For almost half of the year, from June to November, Belize is in its rainy season. I went to Belize in July for a one-week trip and here, I share practical tips on how to prepare, what to expect and what to pack when traveling to Belize during its wet season.
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Belize’s Rainy Season at a Glance
💦 When is the rainy season: Belize’s rainy season runs from June to November and each month’s rain is characterized by different patterns:
- In June, Belize’s rain gets more frequent throughout the month and is abrupt, but brief.
- In July, when I visited, storms start coming in to Belize, but the rain is predictable because they primarily happen in the morning and at night.
- In August, Belize gets a short reprieve from the wetness as this month sees less rain.
- September and October are the months with heavy rainfalls in Belize.
- In November, the rain in Belize starts to let up and it rains mostly at night.
Despite the rain, Belize’s tropical climate remains warm throughout the season. From June to September, temperatures are in the mid-70s°F to the high-80s°F. In July, I could still happily swim in the ocean (and I run cold). In October and November, temperatures are still in the 70s°F.
🌧 How much rain: In general, you can expect anywhere from 1 to 9 inches of rain during Belize’s rainy season. Typically, the rain in Belize doesn’t last long and it doesn’t rain all day. See below on what it’s like to travel during the rainy season.
🗓️ When is the low season: Although Belize’s low season starts as early as June, tourism slows down a bit during the rainiest months, September and October. During these two months, for example, some caves may close and some catamaran boats are taken in for maintenance.
🌀 When is hurricane season: Hurricane season in Belize is at the same time as the rainy season, from June to October. On average, Belize is hit by hurricanes about twice a year. The last hurricane happened in November 2022 when Hurricane Lisa forced Belize City residents to take shelter due to heavy winds and flooding.
This Belize travel guide has more general travel tips on the country.
Should You Travel to Belize During the Rainy Season?
If you’re considering traveling to Belize for a vacation during the rainy season, three things to keep in mind are:
- Prices are cheaper. Belize’s rainy season completely overlaps with its low season, so you’ll find that accommodation and tour prices are slightly more affordable (more on this below).
- Some tours may be limited or closed. Due to the lower demand, some tour operators may not run tours as frequently and some may not run at all. A lot of Belize’s attractions are also outdoors in jungles, on ruins, in the ocean or in caves, so the rain may cancel them.
- It does not usually rain all day in Belize. Again, Belize’s rain can be abrupt and intense, but it tends to be brief. My snorkeling, ATM cave and horseback riding tours all occurred as scheduled and only my horseback riding tour got a bit of rain, but it didn’t significantly impact my experience.
Overall, you can do the same activities and go to the same attractions in Belize’s rainy season as you would in its dry season. There’s just a higher chance that tours will be cancelled and need to be rebooked.
What Is Belize Like During the Rainy Season?
Belize’s rain during the rainy season is known to be intense and abrupt, but short-lived. I traveled in July and it rained every day, but it was usually:
- In 5 to 10 minute intervals
- About 2 to 3 times a day
- Mostly in the early morning or night time, so it was a bit predictable
Other things I noticed when I traveled to Belize during the rainy season:
- I was able to negotiate for lower tour costs. For example, during the high season, Belize’s famous ATM cave tour is often booked out weeks in advance. In July, I was able to book the tour a day before and negotiate a 10% discount.
- Some tour companies were not in operation. I tried to go on a snorkeling tour in Ambergris Caye with a very well-rated operator, but after trying to contact them in three different ways, I was told they’re closed for the season.
- I had to sometimes wait out the rain. Since the rain is abrupt, I ran into an instance where I was walking around the town of San Pedro and had to suddenly duck into a store when it started raining. In another instance, I was ready to leave a dessert shop, but had to wait an extra 10 minutes before leaving due to the rain.
What to Pack for Belize’s Rainy Season
Below is my recommended packing list for Belize during the rainy season. This packing list assumes that you will be traveling to Belize’s mainland (e.g., San Ignacio) and to an island (e.g., Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker).
The most challenging thing to pack for Belize is the popular ATM cave tour because it involves hiking, climbing, swimming and spending a few hours inside a cave. This ATM cave guide outlines what to pack and expect.
- Swimsuits (2+). Belize is known for snorkeling and swimming docks, so you’ll likely be in the ocean every other day if not every day. You’ll also need swimsuits for the ATM Cave tour.
- Tops/shorts that dry easily. The rain can be abrupt, so you will likely get wet unexpectedly. Clothes didn’t dry fully in my resort rooms and mid-ranged resorts didn’t provide hair dryers. I do not recommend packing jeans.
- Rain jacket or poncho. I brought my light rain jacket that I like and use for every rainy destination. If you want to save space and carry something lighter, these rain ponchos I’ve used in other rainy countries also work well.
- Sturdy sandals. Since it can rain suddenly, it’s convenient to be in sandals. Belize doesn’t have the best street or road infrastructure, and it can be hilly. You’ll want to be comfortable walking. I was happy in my Chacos and my friend raved about her Merrell’s many times.
In San Ignacio, most of the hostels/resorts are on a hill, about a 15-30 minute walk from the downtown area.
- Athletic shoes. I preferred walking around in my Chacos, but you’ll need athletic shoes for any tours involving hiking, horseback riding, etc. I wore my running shoes for those.
- Water shoes (optional). If you’re doing the popular ATM cave tour, you’ll want water shoes. I bought these water shoes and thought they were great.
- Sunglasses. I brought my sports sunglasses that work well when I was being active on tours.
- Waterproof phone case. You’ll want a waterproof phone case for the rain and any water activities such as a snorkeling/scuba boat ride. I bought this waterproof phone case, which doubled as a purse for me. For a sturdier phone case purse, I also usually bring a crossbody phone purse.
- Quick-dry towel. For Belize’s islands, you’ll likely go for a swim near a hotel you’re not staying at. For the mainland, you’ll need towels for the ATM cave tour. I brought these quick dry towels and have used them on multiple trips.
All beaches in Ambergris Caye are open to the public. I did not stay at any of the swimming docks or beaches I visited. This meant that I couldn’t use their towels and my hotel didn’t provide one, so bringing a towel is convenient.
- Dry sacks. Dry sacks came in clutch for separating my wet clothes from the dry ones. I bought these cheap dry sacks specifically for this trip and used them a lot.
- Bag appropriate for tours. Depending on your activities, you’ll need to consider what kind of bag to bring (e.g., a bag you can comfortably carry while on a horse or hiking, a beach bag, a bag you can hold onto while on a golf cart because that’s the primary mode of transportation in Ambergris Caye).
- Bug spray. You’ll especially need bug spray for jungle tours in Belize. I almost went through my entire travel-sized one since I also needed it whenever I ate outside (a lot of Belize restaurants are in the open air). I like this bug repellent lotion and think it works better than a spray.
- Reef-safe sunscreen. You can buy regular sunscreen if you don’t plan to go into the ocean, but otherwise, you need reef-safe sunscreen to protect the corals. This reef-safe sunscreen, also available in some REIs, is relatively easy to apply compared to other reef-safe sunscreens I’ve tried.
Bringing bug repellent and reef-safe sunscreen will be cheaper than buying it in Belize. This Belize cost breakdown has other budgeting tips.
- Anti-itch cream. Bring an anti-itch cream in case your bug spray doesn’t 100% work. I use this anti-itch stick for its portability.
- Motion sickness meds (optional). If you’re going to a Belize island, you’ll likely have to travel by water taxi, boat or small plane at some point, so if you get motion sick easily like I do, it’s best to bring some meds.
- Sleeping mask and ear plugs (optional). Some resorts, including the ones I stayed at, were still busy enough that I could hear children screaming from the pool. I used my sleeping mask and ear plugs every night.
The Belize trip planning template below has this packing list in a downloadable Notion.
What Not to Pack for Belize
- Jeans. Don’t bring jeans to Belize as they won’t dry quickly if you get caught in the rain.
- Charging adapter. If you’re from the US, you won’t need one for Belize as they use the same outlet types as the US (the two-pronged flat type).
- Umbrella (maybe). I brought an umbrella to Belize and never used it. My light rain jacket was adequate. If it rained hard enough, the wind usually made the umbrella useless and/or I would just wait it out since the rain doesn’t last long.
- Hiking shoes. I considered bringing a pair of hiking shoes for all the tours that involved hiking, but none of the terrain warranted a pair. All tours were doable in athletic shoes, including the ATM cave tour and horseback riding tour to Xunantunich.
Belize Trip Planning Template
To help make your travel planning easier, you can download the trip planning template below and use it as a starting point. The template has country-specific travel information as well as an itinerary, packing list and map with recommended places pinned.
The template is built on Notion, which is what I use for all my travel planning (I’m not paid to say this; I just like the tool). If you don’t have Notion, creating an account is free.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
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