Officially, Belize is classified as having a subtropical climate very similar to that found in central and southern Florida. Unlike more temperate zones, Belize does not experience the traditional four seasons. Instead, Belize has two seasons, one known as the “dry” or “high” season and the other known as the “green” or “low” season.
The high season, so-called because it is when many tourists visit the country, runs from approximately late November until the end of May. The high season corresponds with winter weather in more northerly climes but temperatures in Belize remain steady between the mid-80s (Fahrenheit) to low 90s in the daytime and mid to high 70s at night. Both seasons experience a consistent level of humidity all year around of about 85%.
The green season runs from approximately the beginning of June through the end of November, although there is a period running from mid-July to early August known as the “little dry” that provides a respite from the higher precipitation levels that characterise the green season. Despite corresponding to what would be summer in more northern regions, temperatures during the low season are only slightly higher with highs in the upper 80s to mid-90s during the daytime and mid to high 70s at night. Rainfall during the green season is most prominent in the early overnight hours and during brief but often intense rain showers during the hottest part of the afternoon.
Despite the names of the two seasons, Belize’s lush jungles, pristine rainforests, and exotic wildlife thrive due to consistently generous precipitation amounts all year round. The months with the highest amount of rainfall are usually May before the “little dry” period and late September into October. Occasionally, strong storms develop in the Caribbean that can affect the country, but the country has a modern advanced warning system to handle such events.
Due to its location, the Caribbean Sea maintains year-round warm water temperatures suitable for swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, and other marine activities. Temperatures along the coast tend to be a few degrees cooler than the interior thanks to consistent sea breezes. Some higher elevations in the western part of the country, especially the Maya Mountains and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, enjoy temperatures several degrees cooler than the surrounding area. Some parts of northern Corozal District in enjoy cooler weather due to air masses that push south from over the border in Mexico.
The sunniest time of the year with little to no rain, especially in the north and middle part of the country. An excellent time to explore the dozens of Maya ruins, hike through the jungle, or relax on one of the country’s hundreds of miles of pristine beaches.
The weather remains mostly dry out on the reef and in the west with the rest of the country seeing relatively warm temperatures. Easter is one of the biggest holidays in the country, so book early if you plan on celebrating Easter in Belize or neighboring Guatemala.
The jungles spring to life during the green season with regular showers overnight and during the heat of the afternoon. June marks the beginning of several lobster festivals in places like Ambergris Caye and Placencia as fishing the tasty crustacean is strictly regulated to prevent depleting local stocks.
Expect plenty of rain overnight and the occasional afternoon T-storm. Most resorts, tours, and hotels offer deep discounts, making it an excellent time for budget travelers to visit the country.
Delightfully sunny skies and deliciously balmy weather mark the end of the year. The Christmas holidays stretching into the New Year are the peak of the tourist season, so be sure to book ahead if you plan on enjoying a Christmas/New Years’ vacation in Belize.