In many places, mentioning November stirs up thoughts of pumpkin spice and nutmeg, cozy blankets, hearty soups, and maybe even a beloved Mariah Carey Christmas song. In Belize though, November translates to ofrendas and pan de muerto as well as Battle of the Drums and Yurumein. Wondering what to expect from Belize in November? Keep reading to find out what’s in store this month.
November in Belize: Balmy Weather and Good Eats
The final month of Belize’s Hurricane Season, November brings occasional showers and perhaps a cold front or two. But don’t be too quick to grab your coats and boots: the average daily temperatures still range between the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to high 20s in Celsius). Enjoy the Goldilocks weather that makes for perfect outdoor exploration.
Do keep in mind, though, that while it is the final month, November is still a part of the Caribbean Hurricane Season, and above-average water temperatures have been making storms a bit more likely. So, be sure to keep an eye on the weather when planning your travels.
November is also the end of the shoulder season in Belize, so look forward to the reopening of businesses in popular tourist areas – you’ll still have a few weeks to enjoy them without the holiday rush crowds. Head over to popular beachside eateries, like Lily’s Treasure Chest in San Pedro, where you can enjoy some conch or lobster. (Both are in season in November!)
Early November: Los Finados and Film Festivals
Belize welcomes the month of November with the traditional Dia de los Muertos celebration, also known as Los Finados. Celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, this Mestizo-Maya holiday is a time-honored tradition that pays respects to the dead. Every year, the Mexican Embassy in Belize City hosts Day of the Dead celebrations, complete with pan de muerto and an altar de muerto. Additionally, communities and families all around the country, especially in the north and west, celebrate by hosting gatherings, offering prayers to the dead, and visiting the graves of their loved ones.
The first weeks of November in Belize are also for the film buffs, with the Belize International Film Festival being held, in 2023, from November 3rd to the 12th. Enjoy an intensive week of short films, feature films, documentaries, music videos, and more. This year’s festival takes place in Belmopan and San Ignacio.
Mid-November: A Love Letter to Garifuna Culture
One of the main highlights for Belize in November is undoubtedly the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations. Observed on November 19th, Garifuna Settlement Day pays tribute to the arrival of the Garinagu to Belize’s shores. Descendants of shipwrecked African slaves and the indigenous Kalinago and Arawak people, the Garifuna people of Belize have a rich and vibrant culture. See that culture on full display in the month of November, especially in the villages and towns of Southern Belize.
One can’t-miss event is the Yurumein, held at dawn on November 19th. Head to the beaches of coastal communities like Dangriga and Placencia to watch the reenactment of the Garifuna people’s arrival. It’s both preceded and followed by tons of festivities. Additionally, head down to Punta Gorda on November 11th for the Battle of the Drums. This annual competition is a celebration of all things Garifuna music.
Late November: A Belizean Thanksgiving
Don’t think you can’t get your Thanksgiving fix when in Belize in November. Though not an official holiday in the country, Thanksgiving in Belize is often marked with plenty of turkey dinners and delectable desserts. Enjoy a quiet evening at a local restaurant, many of which will be offering special Thanksgiving meals – that includes restaurants like the Biltmore Bistro in Belize City and Running W Restaurant at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Additionally, you can also join in on Black Friday savings fun with special deals and promos by resorts in Belize.
Featured Photo by the Belize Tourism Board