What Visiting Belize In January Is Really Like

by Carolee Chanona
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As North America prepares for another blistery winter, travelers are reconsidering their perceived risk for warmer temperatures in the Caribbean instead. For those thinking of ringing in the new year abroad, know that January in Belize generally promises the best weather and now, none of the typical crowds of a traditional high season. Plus, there’s lots of perks for foodies and nature lovers alike, including the open season of Belize’s Queen Conch and Spiny Lobster. Get planning!

Cool Caribbean Breezes

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Seafront comforts at The Landings at Tres Cocos Resort, Ambergris Caye.

The air in January is almost always crisp, and touted as one of the best months to visit Belize; warm sunny skies and a refreshing trade wind get even better if you luck out with a cold front. Considered as the mid-marker to Belize’s dry season, temperatures during the day can go as high as the low 80s Fahrenheit, with nights dropping to a comfortable point in the low 70s.

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Cool Caribbean breezes blow on the coast while the mountain ranges inland, such as Mountain Pine Ridge, tend to dip well into the low-50s during a cold front. Not to worry though, a lightweight sweater is all that may be needed alongside the traditional flip-flops and swimsuits.

Greater accessibility than ever before

The prospect of three effective vaccines has provided a glimmer of hope for travel next year. Airlines are adding new flights, and in some cases COVID-19 testing programs, for travel to the Caribbean, a region central to carriers’ strategies to tap into pockets of holiday demand before a vaccine makes its way around the world. And in January 2021, there’ll be greater accessibility to Belize despite the onset of COVID-19.

Belize-International-Flight Map December 2020 January February 2021

This winter, arrive to Belize from 10 U.S. cities, and five Latin American cities. Learn more about flying to Belize here.

An Untraditional High Season

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This could be your morning view at Ray Caye Island Resort.

Typically, January is one of Belize’s peak months for tourist arrivals and bookings. However, the global pandemic has decimated the travel industry, and Belize has not been unscathed. Resorts shuttered in its wake to prepare for Gold Standard certification, and reopened with new health and safety measures. They now welcome guests with a renewed sense of gratitude, which especially allows them to keep their doors open and staff paid, while offering the same warm hospitality Belize is known for.

Although, high season in Belize never necessarily equaled crowds; at least, not the frenzy one may think of, like a high season in Cancun. Instead, high season simply meant that with visitation up, there was also lots of activities and events to keep everyone busy. Besides the low volume tourism right now (in typically Belize’s busiest months), there’s plenty of travel deals and discounts to lure travelers. Muse through current travel deals here.

January is for the Foodies & Bird Nerds

Besides incredible weather, January also overlaps with some of the best birding in Belize, but also the open season of Queen Conch and Spiny Lobster. Snowbirds and birders alike can flock to Belize for the chance to spot nearly 600 recorded bird species; supporting avian tourism not only supports Belize’s bird-friendly lodges and resorts, but also the conservation of their habitats and the bird guides employed.

January overlaps with both Conch and Lobster season in Belize, which is music to the ears of many foodies. For those of you wondering, Conch is a tropical marine mollusk, and it is delicious. As one of the most significant sources of revenue in the fishing industry, conch is a staple across Belize—absolutely irresistible in dishes like ceviche, fritters, curry, and soups. As for Lobster, locals especially love it grilled or poached. Although, it’s not too bad in fritters either. How about deciding for yourself?

Being COVID-Safe

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Although January isn’t here yet, it is important to remember that COVID still will be. And so, be responsible in Belize by adhering to our national mask mandate, practicing 6 feet of social distancing, and proper hygiene. It is also strongly recommended to bring along a negative PCR test, taken within the 96 hours of traveling to Belize. There is also a national curfew, outdoor dining capacity restrictions, and a recommended Tourism Safe Corridor. Learn more about Belize’s current restrictions amid COVID-19 here.

Header photo of the approach to Moho Caye in Southern Belize by Duarte Dellarole Photography. This article was originally published on December 11, 2020, then updated on December 20, 2020.

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