Belize – Climate and the best time to travel
Belize lies in the area of the ever-humid tropics, the climate in Belize is tropical-humid, with winds that blow mainly from the Caribbean (northeast trade winds). The temperature differences between the coolest season (December to March) and the hottest (May to September) are relatively small. The average temperature is 25.9 ° C. The humidity is bearable due to the wind from the sea.
According to Bridgat, there are wet and dry seasons in Belize. The rainy season extends from mid-May to November in the south and from mid-June to November in the north of Belize. The highest rainfall is reached with over 4,000 mm on the east side of the mountains.
November to February is a transition period, with the lowest annual temperatures and limited rainfall.
The dry season is between February and April. Temperatures reach around 30 ° C.
Hurricanes and subsequent floods occur regularly in Belize. In 1970 the then capital Belize City was destroyed by a hurricane, after which Belmopan became the capital of Belize.
The best time to travel to Belize are the drier months (December to May), but this is also the tourist winter season with high prices and full hotels. The tourists come mainly during the weeks around Christmas and Easter. The rainy summer season (June to November) is cheaper and not so wet that there is nothing to be done (except at times in the south, where two to three times as much rain falls as in the rest of the country).
Belize – traveling in the country
Airplane: National air traffic in Belize is dominated by Maya Island Air and Tropic Air. They are relatively reliable and not too expensive. Three routes are flown in the country every day: Belize City – Dangriga – Placencia – Punta Gorda, San Pedro – Sarteneja – Corozal and Belize City – Caye Caulker – San Pedro.
Other airlines are Caribee Air Service and Javier’s Flying Service. It is possible to rent small planes. Charter airlines also fly to more remote areas of the country. There are 25 runways in Belize.
Many domestic flights land at Philip Goldson International Airport, while others use Municipal Airport, about 12 miles from the International Airport. Flights to the Municipal are a little cheaper than to the International Airport.
According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, the Belize Civil Aviation Administration does not meet international flight safety standards. Belize has been rated as a Category 2 country (which is also the reason why Belize airlines cannot fly to Category 1 countries such as Mexico or Guatemala).
Ship: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association water taxis operate several times a day between Belize City, Caye Caulker and San Pedro (Ambra Caye). It is an hour’s drive from Belize City and 90 minutes to Caye Caulker. The Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association also serves three smaller islands off the coast: St. George’s Caye, Caye Chapel and Long Caye.
Thunderbolt Service also operates the Belize City – Caye Caulker – San Pedro route, as well as daily between Corozal, Sarteneja and San Pedro.
Hokey Pokey Water Taxi runs between Placencia and Mango Creek.
There are also numerous providers of snorkeling and diving tours to the islands and reefs off the coast.
Car: Having your own vehicle in Belize enables flexible travel to remote destinations. Rental cars are relatively expensive in Belize (around 160 Belize dollars per day plus gasoline), but if several passengers share the costs, it makes perfect sense to rent a car in Belize.
The road network in Belize is less good than in other Central American countries, but it is being developed mainly in the north.
Belize has four good paved roads: the north highway between Belize City and the Mexican border north of Corozal; the western highway between Belize City and the Guatemalan border near Benque Viejo del Carmen, the Hummingbird Highway from Belmopan to Dangriga and the southern highway to Punta Gorda.
Most of the other roads are unpaved. They are mostly in fair condition, but driving conditions can quickly deteriorate after heavy rainfall.
The minimum age to rent vehicles is 25 years. You have to show a valid driver’s license and pay by credit card.
Most rental car companies have offices at Philip Goldson International Airport as well as in Belize City. Outside of Belize City, there are only a few options for renting cars (exceptions are Punta Gorda or San Ignacio).
Almost no rental company allows you to leave the country in your rental car, with the exception of Crystal Auto Rental.
Liability insurance must be taken out for vehicles in Belize. This sometimes has to be shown at police checkpoints. Car rental companies organize the necessary insurance documents. If you import your own vehicle, liability insurance must be taken out at the border.
Bus: After the country’s most important long-distance bus company, Novelo, went bankrupt in 2004, numerous smaller companies took over the bus service. The dissolution of the monopoly can lead to confusion, especially in cities where different companies are authorized to travel the same route but from different departure points. Generally speaking, however, different companies pay roughly the same price for the same route.
There are three main bus routes in the country :
Northern Highway : Belize City to Orange Walk and Corozal (and on to Chetumal, Mexico). There are between 25 and 30 buses operated by around 6 companies on this route every day.
Western Highway : Belize City to Belmopan, San Ignacio and Benque Viejo del Carmen. Every half hour there is a bus on this route.
Hummingbird and Southern Highway : From Belmopan to Dangriga
Most of the buses in Belize are old US school buses. Regular buses stop everywhere to let out or pick up passengers. Express buses have fixed stops and are therefore faster (but also a little more expensive). During busy travel times, it may be worth buying the ticket a day or two in advance.
A variety of smaller bus companies serve villages across the country.
Occasionally breakdowns or accidents occur. However, the situation is no worse than in other Central American countries. Every now and then, however, luggage theft occurs on the bus. Take your valuables with you on bus trips and only give your luggage to the driver or someone in charge, watch as the luggage is packed into the bus or taken out.
Bike: Most of Belize, including the main roads, is fairly flat. This makes comfortable cycling possible. However, keep in mind that the traffic on the main roads is very fast. Make sure that you are clearly visible as a cyclist.
Bicycles can be rented in many tourist regions. If you are staying in Belize for a longer period of time, it can make sense to buy a used bike from one of the rental companies.