Across the globe, the threat of climate change has reared its alarming head with temperatures skydiving in many destinations. Belize has not been exempted from the phenomenon, with a sweltering summer heat prompting folks to hit the beaches a little more frequently to keep cool. However, the tropical country has enough experience with warm weather that it has mastered the best heat-friendly activities for a summer vacation while staying cool.
- Snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef. Image courtesy Casa Al Mar, St. George’s Caye
It may be the obvious choice, but many locals’ go-to activity in the summer is exploring the far-flung islands of Belize. With over 400 cayes to choose from, there’s no shortage of beach bumming bases. The beach is Belize’s blueprint to vacation as is, but during the summer the pristine sands of Placencia or South Water Caye are highly coveted. Plan a flexible itinerary around exploring these beaches, and you’ll experience the cool, Caribbean Sea against your tanned skin, a much-needed respite from the 90-degree weather.
Beachfront cabanas may be many visitors’ first choice in accommodations, but if you’re trying to escape the heat, a rainforest treehouse is a way to go. Inland Belize is home to large, looming mountains, a region where the temperature dips considerably in comparison to other districts. Blanketed by broadleaf rainforests, Western Belize is the heart of eco-lodges tucked within the confines of the jungle. The advantage? The heat rarely pierces through jungle canopies. Resorts such as Sweet Songs Lodge provide the perfect sanctuary to complement nature by building treehouse rooms. Waking up to the crisp air cocooning you within the tall trees as you gaze out into the forest, you’ll forget it’s even supposed to be hot.
- Photo credit by Leonardo Melendez Photography
Perhaps one of the most fun activities in Belize, river tubing can be taken as a high-adrenaline activity or a laid-back relaxing experience. Either way, your body will thank you for remaining partially submerged in the chilly river as you float on a tube for a good hour or so. Head to Nohoch Che’en Caves, where not only will the water calm down your parched self, but the cave itself will be considerably chillier than the humid outdoors.
- Photo by Museum of Belize
For those days when you really feel like you’re on the surface of the sun, try out popular indoor activities. Tours such as chocolate making, Maya cooking classes, or wine tasting don’t have to be subjected to the outdoors. These provide as much unique value as other tours, without having to be at the mercy of the climate. Museums are also a great way to pass the time in air-conditioned establishments with the added benefit of learning history, the arts, or Belize’s people.
- Chase waterfalls in Belize. Photo courtesy Belize Tourism Board
A personal favorite to keep cool in summer, make the trek out to Belize’s western or southeast region and knock off all those waterfalls off your list. Since most of these cascades are within the jungles anyway, the heat will barely be noticeable. At the end of a long-winded hike at Cockscomb Basin, for instance, you can reward yourself with a dip in the Tiger Fern Waterfall. Or, if you want all the glory with none of the efforts, drive up to Maya King Waterfall near Hopkins Village and wade into the arctic waters. By the time you’re done, you’ll see it’s fairly easy to enjoy a summer in Belize when there’s nothing stopping you from creating experiences.