While most tourists visit Belize in the high season, from December through March, heading there during the summer months gives you more bang and more culture for your buck. From discounted hotel deals to local fiestas, below are five things not to miss from June through September.
The lobster season opens in late June with three large festivals across the country– in San Pedro, Caye Caulker (the original Lobsterfest creators), and Placencia. Take your pick. Wherever you end up, it’s a guaranteed three-days of fresh lobster stands – served up any which way you like – live music, beach parties, and locals strutting their sexy bods. This year, Lobsterfest is taking place June 15-23 in San Pedro, followed by June 28-30 in Caye Caulker (my favorite) and Placencia.
Local Summer Fiestas
Every major town celebrates its patron saint with a weekend-long outdoor festival and giant fair for families to enjoy. You’ll find local foods, amusement rides, games and live concerts. It’s a great time and a glimpse into Belizean life in the respective towns. Favorites include the Benque Fiesta, in historic, western Benque Viejo del Carmen, just a few minutes from San Ignacio, and Fiestarama, in the northern town of Orange Walk.
A full blown Caribbean Carnival, live music shows, steel pan concerts and weekend-long festivals countrywide–September is Belize’s “golden” month, with three weeks of pre-September 21 independence celebrations. It really doesn’t get more local and festive than this month.
Most properties offer lower rates in the off season (May through mid November). Walk-ins offer even better deals. Reach out to the hotels directly, or check their sites and Facebook pages for the latest specials. Ask and you will receive. Keep in mind that some hotels close doors around mid September to mid October for end of season renovations. But you will still have many options.
Don’t buy into the hurricane season fear mongering. Rainfalls are brief and mean a more lush interior — and isn’t it more fun hiking in a wet and muddy rainforest anyway? Low season also means tourists are fewer, and you will meet and interact with locals easily, all of which translates into unique experiences.