This Belize packing list is based on my experience traveling around Belize for a few weeks and enjoying lots of different activities while I was there.
Belize is a country that I didn’t really have on my radar or know much about before moving to Mexico.
For instance, did you know the main language in Belize is English?
It was actually a British colony until as recently as the 1980s. The Queen of England is still on their currency (which is called the Belize dollar).There are a few other languages that are spoken pretty commonly, depending on what part of the country you are visiting. On the mainland, especially near the borders of Guatemala and Mexico, there are a ton of people that speak Spanish.
There is also a huge population of Mayas in Belize, so you’ll often hear people speaking their dialect of Maya.
The other language you’ll likely hear if you visit San Pedro or Caye Caulker, is Kriol (which is Belizan Creole). There is a large population of Jamaicans and people from other parts of the Caribbean and locals on these Belize islands tend to speak to each other in Kriol.
Weather in Belize
The weather in Belize depends a little bit on what part of the country you are in andwhat time of year it is. However, it’s a relatively small country and the temperatures tend to stay in the hot-to very-hot range.
If you are planning a Belize and Guatemala itinerary, you’ll want to consider the weather for both locations when packing, but that will really just mean packing enough bug spray to get you through both countries.
Most days of the year, you’ll enjoy temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (23-29 degrees Celcius). It’s hottest in June and July and coolest in December and January. During the cooler months, it rarely dips below 60 degrees (15 degrees Celcius).
Like much of this region of the world, it’s less about hot and cold and more about wet and dry.
The dry season falls between late-December and early-May. During these months it’s hot, humid, sunny, and dry. It very rarely rains and even if it does, it is usually only in short bursts. Then the sun is back out and shining.
The wet season which, depending on the year, arrives in mid-late May and stays until nearly the end of the calendar year. During the wet season you can expect huge thunderstorms that tend to come in the afternoons and last for several hours. These storms are full of heavy downpours and you definitely don’t want to get caught in them.
It’s not the best time to visit the islands or the coastal areas of Belize, since there can sometimes be hurricanes or very large tropical storms that don’t just last for a few hours.
A Belize Packing List
When thinking about your Belize packing list, you’ll want to consider exactly where you’re going to be going.
Obviously, if you’re just headed to the beaches, then you won’t need to worry too much about hiking or camping gear. If you’re only headed to the jungle, then you won’t need to worry too much about lightweight dresses for nice evening restaurants.
What to Wear in Belize as a Woman
I found that traveling around Belize as a woman could sometimes be a little bit annoying. Even when I was with my boyfriend, I often got wolf-whistled.
There were even a few occasions while we were on Caye Caulker when I felt a little bit agitated by all of the negative sexual attention.
That being said, it often had very little to do with what I was wearing. I think it was mostly due to the fact that I was a foreign-looking woman. However, the cat-calls were definitely stronger when I was in beach-wear or in shorts and tank-tops on very hot days.
1. Lightweight Dresses & Skirts
Like I mentioned above, the weather in Belize for the majority of the year is hot.
While I usually prefer wearing shorts and a t-shirt, sometimes it’s just cooler to wear dresses and skirts.
They are not only breezier, but they tend to dry quicker than most shorts which are usually made of thicker fabrics like denim or thick cotton.
I love linen dresses from Anthropologie or ones that I’ve picked up on my travels in the past. Belize has some great markets, especially in the larger cities, where you can find some cute dresses to keep you cool on your trip around the country.
But if you want to make sure you’ve got the best things to wear in Belize already in your suitcase, then you’ll want to pick some up from your favorite stores.
A few things to consider when getting dresses for your Belize trip are color and fabric. Linen is your best friend in this climate and light colors like white, cream, and beige will keep you cool. If you opt for pastels like light pinks and blues, or the worst culprit, grey, just know that sweat will show a ton in those colors.
In addition to Anthropologie, I usually find great ones in Nordstrom, J.Crew, and Asos. These are a few that are currently in stock that you can buy that are similar to the styles that I think are perfect for your Belize packing list.
2. Quick-Drying Shorts
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to be doing a ton of sweating while you’re in Belize.
You know what doesn’t dry in 100% humidity? Jean shorts.
I love jean shorts, and if I’m totally honest, I usually pack them anyway. The trouble is they get so, well, gross. They get heavy and they don’t dry well and they always feel a little bit damp.
Do not wear them to the beach unless you plan to do laundry while you’re in Belize.
I usually only bring a pair of Nike running shorts and use those for when I’m not too concerned about looking dressed up. They’re great for going to and from the beach or if you plan to head out on the water for a scuba or snorkeling trip.
These are also the best option if you’re going to be out in the jungle or doing any hiking while you’re in Belize. Choose your favorite sport-short like the Nike shorts or the Lululemon bicycle shorts.
Layer with a lighweight t-shirt and you’ve got a comfortable and relatively stylish sport-leisure outfit.
That being said, I still usually opt for bathing suit cover-ups over that style of short just because you know, it’s nice to feel cute even when you just need to get up early and grab a coffee and a fry-jack.
3. Thin t-shirts
Lightweight t-shirts and tank-tops are a must.
Again, I love a good linen t-shirt, especially in white or beige. However, a tissue-T like the ones you can get at J.Crew are also a great option.
If you are bringing a few skirts or shorts, think about what t-shirts can go with them. There’s nothing worse than packing t-shirts that are too long for your high-waisted shorts or that don’t fit properly with your maxi-skirt.
I usually try to make sure that I pack actual outfits so I know exactly what shirts go with which bottoms. It also helps to ensure you don’t over or under pack.
4. Bathing suits
If you’re going to Belize, even if you’re not going to the islands, it’s likely you’re going to want at least one bathing suit for your trip.
There are so many opportunities to get out in the water in Belize and it’s one of the biggest draws to this small country.
If you are going to be spending any length of time by the beach I recommend bringing at least two bathing suits with you.
One will always take a little while to dry and if you aren’t staying somewhere with airconditioning (suicide to be honest, it’s so humid), then it will definitely take a while to dry in the humidity.
It also helps to avoid terrible tan lines. If you’re changing up the style of bathing suit you’re wearing, you’ll avoid any over-the-top tan lines forming.
This is the Amazon one-piece that I’m loving at the moment and that you see in the above photo.
If you’re shopping at the right time, you can get great deals on suits from L Space at Nordstrom.
5. A Hat
If you have dark hair (or roots) like I do, you’ll want to make sure you bring a hat. That sun is strong and you’ll likely be spending a lot of time outside on your trip to Belize.
I brought two hats to Belize – a floppy beach hat that covered my whole head and made a nice bit of shade for my face and neck, and a baseball cap. I wore the cap during the day when I wasn’t at the beach, when I was hiking, and when I was out on any boats.
6. Flip Flops or Travel Sandals
Long time readers will know my love for Rainbow Sandals.
I’ve traveled for over 10 years with these sandals (replacing them roughly once every two years). I’ve hiked in these flip flops. I’ve explored cities with these flip flops. I’ve walked no doubt hundreds of miles in each pair of my rainbow sandals.
I’m writing a pair right now as I type this.
Maybe I have a problem.
In any case, they are my ideal travel sandal and I never go anywhere without a pair.
However, if you’re going to be doing any caving or exploring where you need shoes that will stay firmly on your feet, you may want to consider some amphibious shoes like these Chacos.
7. Cute Sandals
If you’re going to be traveling through cities, to nicer parts of the islands, or you just want a pair of sandals that are going to make your beach dress feel a little bit cuter for dinner, then you’ll want to pack a pair of sandals.
I usually like to pick up cute sandals at markets when I travel. There are tons of amazing leather sandals around Mexico, but you can also find them online so that you can pack them for your trip.
Belize Packing List – Other Essentials
In addition to knowing what to wear in Belize, you’ll probably also want to add a few other essentials to your Belize packing list.
1. Quick-dry travel towels
If you’re going to be staying in a hostel or cheap Airbnb, then you’ll definitely need to bring your own towel. These quick-dry travel towels are without a doubt the best investment I’ve ever made.
Regular towels aren’t just insanely bulky, they also take forever to dry.
Travel towels dry quickly, they are small and take up almost no space in your luggage, and they are great for when you’ve accidentally booked a crazy-cheap hostel and your dorm bed doesn’t include a blanket (true story, happened to me in Thailand).
While I love a cheap and tacky pair of sunglasses from the local market as much as the next gal, I’ve also learned the importance of investing in a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.
The UV is so strong in this part of the world and if you’re going to be traveling for a length of time and exposing yourself to the sun every single day, you need to be careful of your eyeballs.
I’m a huge fan of Ray-Ban sunglasses with polarization. They aren’t insanely expensive and you can usually pick them up in a sale at Sunglass Hut or a similar sunglass chain.
They come in so many great styles now, so you don’t have to stick with the classic aviator style unless you really want to.
You can, of course, find sunscreen in Belize, but it is so much more expensive than the ones you can pick up on Amazon or at Walgreens.
I made the mistake of running out of sunscreen while I was in Caye Caulker and a regular-sized bottle of sunscreen cost me nearly $10 USD.
The reef network is incredible around Belize. It’s actually the second-largest reef network in the world after the Great Barrier Reef and snorkeling it is one of the best things to do in Caye Caulker.
I say this because you cannot wear sunscreen when you head off on any boat trips and go into the water. It’s terrible for the reefs and for the animals that call the reef home.
Instead, consider wearing a rash-guard or similar shirt to avoid getting sunburn.
4. Bug Spray
Heat and humidity are mosquito’s best friends.
I usually buy a natural bug spray from my local store here in Mexico, but this one on Amazon is a good alternative.
Make sure you bring more than enough.
I never travel without my Kindle. It gets me through plane trips, bus rides, long waits in airport terminals, and of course, a sunny day at the beach.
I am a book lover. I love the smell. I love to hold a book, to turn its pages.
But when you’re traveling, you don’t want to be lugging around loads of books.
I also love that as soon as you finish one book, you can already have an artillery of others waiting on your Kindle.
Kindle Unlimited, while it doesn’t have a ton of books, is a good budget option for those that fly through books when they’re traveling.
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