6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Southern Belize in Summer

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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Southern Belize in Summer

Southern Belize is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible places we’ve ever traveled. I’m not sure if it’s the turquoise waters or the sweet natured people – or a combination of the two – that make it such an amazing place to experience. But, one thing is certain, you’ll be planning your trip back before you’ve even left.

To better prepare and plan for your trip, don’t miss these six tips on southern Belize:

The Heat 

Be prepared for sweltering, hot days. During our stay, the temperature hit nearly 100 degrees each day with little to no breeze. Unrelenting sunshine, there could be worse things to complain about… 🙂

Note that Southern Belize can be very dry and dusty so a good hat and sunglasses are a must! Luckily our stay with Cotton Tree Lodge was right on the river so we ended each humid day with a refreshing dip in the water. Keep this in mind when booking a place for your stay!

The Fires 

With several farmers still practicing the traditional farming technique of slash and burn, in addition to the already dry heat conditions of the country during summer, field fires are extremely common.  While these fires are controlled and do not pose any danger to your stay, they do create a rather thick blanket of smoke in the sky.

In other words, it might not be the best time to take any arial views of the country, but it is the perfect time to post up with a glass of wine and watch the hazy sun turn the sky a soothing hue of pink.

The Bugs

Belize is notorious for their Bot Flies *cringes* and while we (luckily) didn’t encounter any of these we did experience our fair share of bugs. Relaxing for extended periods of time outdoors can be difficult as you will most likely have pesky mosquitos or flies buzzing about. Keep a close eye out for the Doctor Fly (yellowish in color) as they do bite, and are particularly drawn to women in hammocks.

Cooling off in the water can, again, be a great way to combat bothersome bugs!

The Howler Monkeys

If you’ve never heard one, howler monkeys make an echoing, screeching, demonic howl. Our first night, unaware of their presence, both Cole and I woke in the middle of the night – half delusional – convinced the jungle was haunted! Comical as it is now, the ruckus they are capable of is no joke and definitely warrants earplugs if you plan on sleeping 🙂

The Tropical Rains

We visited Punta Gorda during the dry season so rainy days were never really on our radar. As you can imagine, we were surprised when it rained a least once, every day!  Take note of this when planning excursions and don’t save your most anticipated outing for the last day. The staff are our resort laughed when asked about this and remarked, “It wouldn’t be the rainforest without rain, would it?” As I mentioned, with the heat the quick downpours are a welcomed relief. Also, beware that if visiting during rainy season, it will rain a lot. 

Moral of the lesson? Belize has two seasons: rainy and less rainy.

The Peace & Quiet

Howler monkeys aside, Southern Belize is overflowing with serenity. Unlike its northern sister, Belize City, you don’t come south to party but rather relax, explore and maybe even open that book you’ve been “reading” for months. Vacation is a time to reset and refocus on what matters, to put aside your phone and calendars. If that’s what you’re looking for, southern Belize is waiting for you.


Our time spent in Belize was marked by relaxation, adventure and friendship. Many of the people we met during our stay at Cotton Tree Lodge were visiting the country for the 4th or 5th time.

Belize, as you can see, is a place that keeps calling you back.


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