Visiting Belize in the High Season: A Survival Guide

by Gisselle Hernandez

December is slowly creeping upon us and with it, Belize’s peak travel season. Snowbirds fly their way to the tropical destination for the warm climate and paradisiacal beaches. Seasonal stores, restaurants, and tour operators on the islands open their shutters to welcome eager travelers. Still, traveling in Belize’s high season is often viewed as high maintenance, with visitors having to manage traveling alongside many other people. Here are a few tips to make the most of visiting Belize without all the hassles of traveling in peak season.

Book in advance.

Villa Veranda Hammock Chabil Mar Resort Belize

Relax on your private villa, beachfront, at Chabil Mar.

Perhaps one of the most important tips on the list is making reservations well ahead of time. That includes booking your flights, rooms, and tours a good three months or so in advance. This secures your reservations and helps you avoid sky-high prices once the high season gets nearer. In Belize, there are many hotels that offer reduced rates for booking before December, which is a perk to consider as well. 

Arrive early.

A good rule of thumb when you’re sharing a country with a multitude of other travelers is to arrive early. This applies to beautiful sites and attractions where it’s not as easy to ‘reserve a spot.’ Planning to go to Secret Beach in San Pedro? Make the drive before lunchtime so you have the rest of the afternoon to lounge in the perfect shady spot with great views. The same goes for popular sites and attractions such as Xunantunich or Shark Ray Alley, where getting there early means you have most of the site all to yourself before other visitors arrive. 

Take the off-the-beaten-path.

Touring the Belize Spice Farm in Toledo. Image courtesy Roeming Belize

Certainly, there are some items on the ultimate Belize bucket list you don’t want to pass on even during high season, but there are so many more activities scattered throughout the country. Instead of heading straight to San Pedro or Placencia where tourists have laid claim to most of the sandy beaches, make your way to San Ignacio or Orange Walk. These regions offer thrilling excursions with none of the crowds. Hiking, waterfall-chasing, and authentic cooking classes are great experiences to keep in mind, especially from December to February.

Blue Marlin Beach Resort gives all the exclusivity of a private island, without actually being one.

It also goes without saying cities and large towns will be teeming with travelers, so don’t be afraid to spend a few days on a great private island. Here, the open sea and nature will not only offer seclusion but will leave you feeling rejuvenated and energized. There are also many marine activities you can do when staying on one of these islands, so you’ll never be bored. 

Private transfers.


Snorkel the Belize Barrier Reef. Image via Grand Caribe Belize

When it comes to getting around the country, many travelers opt to take the buses and other public transportation as a way to feel connected to the authentic Belize experience. But visiting Belize during high season may prove to be a tad uncomfortable, so private transfers are a great option. Many resorts and hotels offer private pick-ups and drop-offs between destinations. A large selection of tour packages is also available via many tour providers, complete with transportation. 

Know important dates.

One of the greatest perks of visiting Belize during the high season is experiencing the many holiday activities the country hosts. This includes the San Pedro Boat Lighting Parade, the stellar cultural performances by the Garifuna Culture, Christmas Tree Lighting, and many more. Keep a close list of these dates so you know not to miss them when the time comes. It’s also a good idea for planning reasons since some transportation services do not run during nationwide holidays. 

Be flexible in Belize’s high season.

flights to belize airport getting around

An aerial flight of Belize’s Great Blue Hole. Photo by Duarte Dellarole

While following all these tips and booking in advance can give you a major leg up over others, it evidently comes down to being flexible. The point of your vacation is to enjoy it and make lifelong memories; don’t get bogged down if a tour is sold out or your dream stay is all booked. There are plenty more options when visiting, even during high season, to create a stellar Belize vacation.

Header image courtesy Sunset Caribe Belize.

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