Packing for Paradise: The Ultimate Packing Guide for Belize

by Tanya McNab

No matter where your vacation takes you, packing appropriately can make all the difference when it comes to your comfort, convenience and collected memories. If you’re already a seasoned Caribbean traveler, you likely know what essentials to pack, but this article outlines a list of things to consider packing when visiting Belize.

The Ultimate Packing Guide for Belize

In general, Belize and other parts of the Caribbean are hot and humid year-round, so we don’t recommend using up too much space in your suitcase for long jeans, thick jackets or sweaters – you’ll never wear them! Plan on causal, breezy shirts, shorts, swim suits and covers, rompers, and sundresses (for the ladies!).

Speaking of the ladies, if you’re wondering about how to handle your hair – leave the blow dryers and hot tools behind. Most resorts provide blow dryers, but in being totally frank … humidity and salt water will undo all your work in 5 minutes (or less), so we recommend you embrace the beach hair waves. You might want to bring a texturizing spray  or wave activator with you to finish your look off, but this isn’t a must.

Here’s what you’ll really need when packing for paradise!

Sunblock & Aftercare

No matter where you go in Belize, you’re going to need sunblock. It’s an absolute must! Here, we prefer if you use reef safe sunblock to protect our coral reefs. That way, visitors (like you) can continue to enjoy this gem for years to come. If you still end up getting a little too much sun rays, an after sun cool down will come in very handy. We suggest using sunblock with an SPF of 50 or higher. The Belizean sun can be pretty intense.

Another way to protect yourself from the sun is to buy a rash guard. You can get them in all sizes – from toddlers to adults – and various brands. Rash guards take the stress of having to apply and re-apply sunblock during the day.

Last but not least in the sun department: don’t forget your SPF chap stick!  Your lips CAN get burnt.

Bug Spray

No one wants to talk about bugs, but when you’re exploring nature at its finest, they’re inevitable in some locations, so packing your mosquito repellent  is always a plus. You may not need it at all, but its best to be prepared. If you do get any bug bites when in Belize, standard hydrocortisone will do the trick to reduce the itch. You can grab that almost anywhere in the country if you need it.


This is another one of those must-have items regardless of where you go in Belize. What kind you get largely depends on your own style. Wide rimmed hats are often the best choices, since they cover both your face and the back of your neck. Consider a cap if going on a boat since those are less likely to fly away.

The entrance of ATM Cave. Photo by Leonardo Melendez Photography


Water Bottle

Belize is in the process of phasing out single use plastics and fights hard to reduce water pollution. A reusable water bottle can help the country achieve those goals. While water is completely safe in Belize, if you are going to pick up a bottle before your trip, this Brita water bottle comes with its own mini filter system, which is never a bad idea!

Motion Sickness Meds

Boating, catamaran cruises and sunset sails are must-dos when in the Caribbean and Belize is no exception. They’re much less enjoyable if you’re susceptible to nausea. If you suffer from sea-sickness but still want to enjoy boating, bring some form of sea-sickness medication, you’ll thank me later.

Polarized Sunglasses

I always like to snag an inexpensive pair of sunglasses for my activity packed trips so that I don’t lose expensive or prescription glasses. Since you are going to visit the tropics, make sure to get a polarized one!

Relaxing on Sargeant’s Caye, Belize. Photo © CCL

Water Socks (Shoes)

If you’re going to be in and out of the water frequently, you should pack a pair of water shoes for Belize. This applies even if your stay is not on the beach. If you’re inland you might find yourself crossing ponds or enjoying rivers during your tours. This is not an essential item, but when you’re out on long adventurous day, it can make life a lot more comfortable.

Dry and/or Wet Bag

These are pretty high on the essentials list. Whether it’s the islands or an inland escape, you’re likely going to swim or at least get in water during your Belize vacation. We recommend one dry bag per family. Everyone will be able to put their phones, wallet, cash or any other items that need inside to stay dry.

The wet bag is super helpful  if you’re only swimming on part of your tour. You don’t want to stay in damp clothes all day nor do you want to have your wet swimsuit make everything else in your backpack wet too. It’s a small luxury that goes a long way. On that same note, a waterproof case for your phone is a must, its inexpensive and worth it to keep your phone with you at all times.

For the Fashionistas

If you want to spend your days and nights in style, here are a few fun and easy items to snag and pack before your holiday. They make for some great destination appropriate looks!


Natural and colorful earrings are always a great choice in the Caribbean. Rattan materials with accents of nature are perfect when packing accessories for your Belize vacation. These palm tree earrings are so cute too!

Bags & Hats

Be sure to pack your everyday tote or backpack for the trip. If you want to turn it up a notch in the evenings, following the natural and rattan-inspired wardrobe for your vacation, this straw woven top handle  bag is right in line with what’s commonplace for an evening out anywhere in Belize.


Last but not least – what shoes should you pack for Belize? First and foremost, for men and women – pack your most reliable, comfy pair of tennis shoes for your travel days. Especially if you’re staying inland, you will want to wear closed up shoes for most of your adventures. For the islands, flip flops or water shoes  are just fine, there are no formalities in Belize, we’re laid back casual.

Evenings can get a lil’ fancy if you want them to be! We do not recommend high heels for most places in Belize because your grounds will be either cobblestone, beaches or jungle paths and we don’t want any unnecessary twisted ankles. We do however, suggest wearing open toe espadrilles  or low wedges to dress up your outfit in the evenings.

Rest assured that you’d be able to find most of these things in Belize if you forget something, but depending on where you’re going, remote locations could make it difficult to access items quickly, so it’s always best to be prepared.

Happy Packing!

All photos © Caribbean Culture + Lifestyle unless captioned otherwise

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