Many North Americans only think about heading south to escape the dark, dreary days of winter but Belize should be on your vacation-radar all year round. Summer is a great time to explore The Jewel! Visiting between June and September offers travelers a different and often more authentic experience than visiting in the height of the tourism season (December through March). This is the season for “slow travel.” Beat the crowds and embrace the local pace of life. You can find seasonal discounts on tours and accommodation and there are typically many unique local events and annual festivals. The popular Placencia Peninsula sees its fair share of vacationers and snowbirds during the winter months, but summer is a special time to visit these coastal communities. Here’s what to expect of summer on the Placencia Peninsula.
With a predictably tropical climate, Belize sees fairly little seasonal variation in temperature; expect summer temps to be just a bit hotter and more humid than the rest of the year. This is technically the “rainy” season but don’t let that title scare you off. Rain typically comes in the form of intense but brief downpours, with hours of sunny skies on either side of the storms. Most of the prolonged precipitation falls overnight, providing a soothing symphony and feeding the lush foliage. Summer is hurricane season in the Caribbean, but the odds are slim that Belize is affected by hurricanes. On the Placencia Peninsula, tropical depressions or the formation of storms out to sea and elsewhere in the Caribbean mean absolute stunning beach conditions for us: no winds, incredible visibility, and water as flat as glass.
The Crowds (or lack thereof)
Summer is our low season for tourism, or as I prefer to call it, the “slow” season. The already lackadaisical rhythm of village life winds even further down during the lazy, hazy days of summer. Less visitors means there’s no rush to pre-book excursions or hotel rooms for fear of them selling out. You won’t have to vie for a car or golf cart rental. You’ll never have to wait for a table at your favorite restaurant. When you visit nearby temples or popular snorkeling spots you may find you have them all to yourselves. Belizeans are known for their warm hospitality, and you can expect even more personalized attention and genuine connect when you visit over the summer. The peninsula’s many boutique hotels and small resorts offer significant discounts during the slower season; take advantage of these savings and plan an extended stay.
The Local Happenings
With markedly fewer tourists on the peninsula, I always feel that summertime is when Placencia is its most authentic self. Slow down and sample the real “local flavor” of the place. Take your lead from the local children on how to enjoy your days of freedom around the village: rig a handline for fishing, collect handfuls of seagrapes to snack on straight from the tree, cannonball off the pier for a swim in the bathtub-warm-water of the sea.
Expect many of the same local happenings that any small town would have– sports tournaments, festivals, and fundraisers. Placencia’s premiere summer event is their annual Lobsterfest, a 3-day festival on the beach jam packed with music, food, and craft vendors. This summer’s Lobsterfest will occur on July 14th, 15th, and 16th and if you plan on attending, you’ll want to make your reservations now because it is the one weekend of slow season that every hotel room will be filled.
Give travel a try during “slow” season this summer in Placencia and discover a whole other level of laid-back, barefoot perfection. Soak up the sun and take in the sights and sounds of village life. Fall into the easy routines and rhythms of warm days spent pursuing new experiences and ultimate relaxation.
Featured Photo by Kevin Quischan Photography