You should visit Belize in October if you need a little boost of warm weather, sunshine, delicious food, adventure, and/or relaxation and a solar eclipse before the winter sets in.
But there are a few things you should know before booking your trip. The first question that everyone asks is:
What is the weather like in Belize during October?
September, October, and November are typically the slow season in Belize. People are getting back to school and summer vacation is over.
In the Atlantic, these months are the second half of the hurricane season (hurricane season is officially June 1st to November 31st) and generally the more active part in the Western Caribbean. The Western Caribbean is a huge area and Belize doesn’t get these types of storms every year, but they are still the rainiest months of the year. The north part of the country is drier than the south, but all parts of Belize will get rain in October, mostly at night and the early morning. And while many days promise to be warm and sunny, you do have a good chance for rain.
But I still think there are lots of reasons to visit Belize, and particularly Placencia in October. If you bring a few extra things and know that the weather could be rainy during your trip, here are 8 positives that might make it all worth it.
1. Halloween in Placencia
Halloween might be a primarily North American holiday, but that doesn’t matter. As you might have guessed by now, Belizeans love any excuse to get dressed up and party and Halloween is no exception. Costumed party-goers take over the beaches, bars and streets all over with Halloween celebrations that max out the day and often the one following. That’s because Belize also celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 1.
The most famous of our ghostly revelries is the annual Barefoot Bar Halloween bash. Look for costumed locals competing for prizes and ushering in the witching hour as a DJ spins up some dance tracks. If things get too busy, head next door to Tipsy Tuna for more costumed fun with a different soundtrack.
There’s something for the children too. A parade featuring dressed-up youngsters and impressive floats travels from the pier and through town. There are trophies for the best-dressed and candy is handed out to all.
When the costume competition is over, the kids go trick or treating. Expect to come away with enough candy to keep you going for a few months.
Once you’re over your sugar coma, you can participate in Dia de los Muertos festivities. A Mexican holiday tradition that came over to Belize via the Mestizo population, it celebrates the passing of loved ones. Belizeans use this day to honor their loved ones with bright memorials, family gatherings and hand-made floral wreathes. It’s a much quieter, personal affair, but just as much of a celebration as the preceding Halloween festivities.
2. Conch Season
Conch (pronounced konk) season reopens on October 1st. If you love seafood, I’m pretty sure that you’re going to love Conch. It’s full of flavour and, when prepared properly, is delicious, tender and sweet.
My favorite is the Conch Fritters. REALLY good.
They can also be eaten raw (think ceviche), fried, steamed, stewed and even as a salad.
3. Pumpkin Spice Isn’t Really a Thing in Belize
In North America, pumpkin spice signifies Autumn. Here in Placencia it’s still 30 deg. C (86 F) with a humidity level of 70%. Yes, Halloween is big in Placencia, but the huge commercialization of Halloween and Thanksgiving just doesn’t exist here. Belize is much more low-key. We don’t have a Walmart or a Target, much less a pop-up Halloween costume store in the local strip mall – which doesn’t exist either.
However, if you have a craving, there are a few places that will accommodate – Barefoot Bar serve pumpkin spice cheese cake, and you can get a pumpkin spice latte at Beaches & Cream, Brewed Awakenings and Above Grounds to name a few.
4. Beautiful Birds
The herons, storks, egrets, ibis’s and other water birds are particularly beautiful as they arrive in Belize (or pass through) in search of warmer climes.
My favourite is the Roseate Spoonbill (Belizean Flamingo).
There’s also a Belize Birding Festival in October, too. See this link for more information.
5. Airfares are at their Cheapest and Hotels offer their best rates
For hotels, prices are at their cheapest this time of the year. Forget the big websites, email your favorite hotel directly and ask for the “low season” rates.
A few restaurants and hotels may be closed for renovations and staff vacations during this time of year, but don’t let that put you off. There are still many restaurants and bars and hangouts to enjoy.
6. A Great Time for Diving and Your Excursions Won’t be Packed
In “high” season snorkeling or diving or cave tubing may find you surrounded by people. Or on a catamaran tour where you find yourself fighting for a little space at the front of the boat.
October is the perfect month to get a great deal and feel like each excursion was sent out just for you.
If you are an avid scuba diver or snorkeler, October is known for very still and very clear seas.
7. You Can Watch Your Football
Not to worry, you will still be able to find your football game at the local sports bar and fans there rooting for your team. All your games will be on at bars like Yoli’s, Strange Brew, Pickled Parrot and The Flying Pig or many others.
8. The Solar Eclipse
On October 14th, Mexico and Central America, (passing over Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama) are in the path for an annular solar eclipse. An annular solar eclipse will create a ring of fire effect as the moon almost covers the sun.
It would be quite an experience to view the eclipse from one of the Maya sites like Lamanai, or from the beach in your shorts and flip flops.
See you in October!!