Are you planning a trip and wondering what needs to be on your packing list for Belize?
Belize is different than a typical beach vacation. What to pack for Belize depends on activities that require special gear and the season you travel.
After making our own mistakes, we wanted to share the things you might be forgetting on your Belize packing list that will make a difference on your trip.
You will also find a general packing list, what NOT to pack for Belize, and travel information regarding safety, health concerns, and entry requirements.
This UnBelizable list is your one-stop shop to prepare for your trip to Belize.
If you are planning a trip to Belize, we have a few other posts you will find helpful.
- 15 Essential Things to do in Belize includes the best of the best and how to get around.
- The best way to book a scenic flight to the Belize Great Blue Hole.
- 10 Best Water Shoes to pack for Belize
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Weather and Best Time to go to Belize
The weather in Belize will definitely influence your packing list. Central America is close to the equator which means that instead of having 4 seasons, Belize rainy season is from June – December, and the dry season is from January – May.
The rainiest month is September and the driest month is April. The temperatures are always warm to hot and the humidity level stays pretty consistent year round. Light fabrics that dry quickly work really well in this climate.
What Do You Need to Pack for Belize?
Belize is a beach and jungle destination which means that most of your packing will be activity oriented, lightweight clothes and swimsuits. You will also need good footwear and things for active day trips.
You don’t need tons of luggage. This carry on spinner suitcase with matching tote is perfect for the trip.
If you overpack by nature, use compression packing cubes to pack more in a smaller bag.
We highly recommend putting an Apple AirTag in each bag. If your bag doesn’t show up in baggage claim or you misplace your backpack, just use your phone to track it. The AirTag 4 pack makes the price per AirTag lower.
Belize is an amazing country that gets unfair crime reports that are related to a small portion of Belize City. That said, when you travel, you need to protect your belongings.
10 Things You Might Be Forgetting to Pack for Belize
1. Water Shoes or Water Resistant Hiking Shoes Are a Must on Your Belize Packing List
Packing for Belize is really easy when it comes to shoes. You need water shoes, hiking shoes, and flip flops or sandals.
WATER SHOES FOR BELIZE
These Barefoot Quick Dry Water Shoes are inexpensive, very comfortable and will work perfectly for cave tours and beach outings. If you only need water shoes for one trip, these are fine.
We use higher quality Men’s water shoes for hiking and these Women’s water shoes for hiking. They have better traction and the soles are more protective for walking over rocks and slippery wet surfaces.
These will see you through many trips and summer activities. We’ve had ours for years and they’re still going strong. If you want more options, check out our post 10 Best Water Shoes.
HIKING SHOES, WATERPROOF HIKING SHOES OR TRAIL RUNNERS?
I used trail runners for all our hiking activities because we visited during the dry season..
FLIP FLOPS or SANDALS
Flip flops were our go to shoes for everything other than excursions. My favorite women’s flip flops go with me everywhere. Guy swears these are the world’s most comfortable men’s flip flops. Who knows flip flops better than a surfer!
2. A Rash Guard is Essential for Water Excursions
If you plan any tubing, snorkeling or diving activities, a long sleeved rash guard is highly recommended to protect you from the intense sun in Belize.
I actually think you are better off with this 2 piece UV UPF 50+ rash guard set that includes a boy short to keep your tush from getting burned. It’s actually happens when you’re snorkeling.
I just brought bikinis to Belize and constantly applied sun screen but when you are out on a day trip or in the water snorkeling, it’s easy to forget.
This Men’s Long Sleeved rash guard is also UPF 50+.
RELATED POST: The 15 “Must Do” Activities in Belize
3. Belize Sunscreen Needs to be Reef Safe
Everyone knows to pack sunscreen for a sun-filled vacation but is your favorite brand reef safe?
The Belize Barrier Reef is the largest reef system in the Northern Hemisphere. You are going to be chomping at the bit to take advantage of the incredible diving or snorkeling.
It’s important to have a sunscreen with reef friendly ingredients. Our favorite sunscreen for active pursuits is Sun Bum because it’s not greasy, water resistant for 80 minutes and safe for the environment.
For your face, we recommend this travel sized SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen Lotion that is oil free and water resistant.
4. Lightweight Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket or Rain Poncho for Belize Rainy Season
There are plenty of activities in Belize that involve water and having a Men’s waterproof, breathable jacket or Women’s lightweight rain jacket that packs into a pouch is really important!
For people carrying gear like a camera, a hooded waterproof poncho might be more practical because it will protect you and your gear from the water. The Belize rainy season is from June to November when the highest rainfall occurs.
Since the weather will be warm, the rain jackets we recommended above are lightweight.. If you also do activities like visiting the ATM Cave, a light weight rain jacket or rain poncho will come in handy.
RELATED POST: Epic Flight over The Great Blue Hole Belize
5. A Packable Sun Hat Should Top Your Belize Packing List
Packable sun hats are the best because you can shove them right in your suitcase and don’t have to worry about them getting bent.
We recommend bringing a few hats – one for activities and one that looks better with your outfits. This Packable Straw Hat is such a deal and comes in multiple shades. It’s just as great with a bathing suit as a dress.
If you plan to do a lot of activities like hiking, tubing, and cave tours, this Waterproof Sun Hat for Men/Women is lightweight and provides a lot of sun protection. It packs completely flat and takes no room in your luggage.
6. What to Wear in Belize
Looking back at my photos, I wore the same almost every day and didn’t wear a lot of the things I packed. My typical Belize outfit consisted of shorts and tank tops, a bathing suit, or exercise clothes.
Pack at least 4-5 tank tops. Loose fitting tops like this flowy tank or cap sleeve t-shirt or a crewneck sleeveless tank top works really well. A slim fit tank top or relaxed fit racerback also comfortable.
7. Bring a Day Pack for Your Belize Backpack
Don’t forget to bring a daypack to Belize. You will be going on plenty of excursions and you need something that will hold all your stuff that’s light and easy to wear.
- This Lightweight Packable Travel Backpack is perfect for Belize. It weighs less than a pound. It’s durable enough to be your carry-on bag or easily foldable in your luggage. With multiple pockets, you can keep everything organized. There’s even an internal wet pocket to hold a bathing suit or towel.
- For a Men’s hiking daypack with more support, we recommend the Osprey Men’s Talon 22 hiking Backpack, the Osprey Sirrus 24 Women’s Hiking Backpack or this Hydration Daypack with a 2 liter bladder.
- We always bring camera gear on hikes and use this DSLR Camera Hiking Backpack.
8. A Dry Bag Should Be on Your Packing List For Belize
A Waterproof Dry Bag will protect all your belongings and can double as a daypack for a wet excursion. This one also comes with a waterproof phone case. When packing for Belize, you can just lay this flat in your suitcase.
I personally love this Roll Top Dry Compression Bag with traditional backpack straps or a single shoulder strap that allows you to wear it cross body. This bag will protect all your belongings and keep them completely dry even if they go overboard.
9. When Packing for Belize This Amazing Bug Spray Should be on Your List
We luckily had no problem with insects in our hotel rooms but you definitely want to bring insect repellant with you for jungle activities or being out at dusk.
People swear this insect repellant is a miracle for mosquitos and a lot of smaller bugs. On Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, there’s often a nice breeze which helps keep mosquitos at bay.
Don’t forget to bring maximum strength Hydrocortisone cream to stop the itching if you do get bug bites.
10. Camera Gear For Your Belize Packing List
All of the photos in this post were taken on an iPhone or a Go Pro. I just like to pack light so I use my iPhone or GoPro with a Joby tripod to get good quality photos.
The one subject I couldn’t capture was birds. So if you plan to do bird watching, I recommend bringing a DSLR with telephoto lenses.
An underwater camera is ideal for your trip to Belize. The waterproof GoPro Hero takes 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video and 23 MP photos.
We recommend getting a GoPro accessory kit that includes a waterproof housing, diving filters, anti fog inserts and a variety of mounts. You can also use a GoPro dome attachment to take photos like the one above.
Another fun things to bring is a 360 action camera that captures video of your activity with you as the star.
Since I mostly use my phone as my main camera, I also bring my small Jobi tripod
RELATED POST: 20 Must Have Minimalist Travel Accessories
The Main Things to Pack for Belize
- Passport with at least 6 months of validity
- Credit cards, ATM Card and some cash
- Driver’s License and insurance card if you plan to rent a car
- A hardcopy of your Travel Insurance policy
- Flip flops for the beach
- Sandals for outfits
- Hiking shoes, hiking sandals or trail runners discussed above
- Coverup or Sarong
- Beach attire
- T-shirts / tank tops
- A long sleeve lightweight shirt for sunburn protection
- Shorts (I packed denim shorts but you’ll be more comfortable in lighter fabrics)
- Workout clothes or summer hiking clothes for cave tours and hiking
- Hiking pants for the jungle or horseback riding
- Women: A maxi dress or lightweight dressed up casual outfit
- Men: A nice short sleeve button down for men and a lightweight pair of pants
- Toiletries – Shampoo, conditioner, brush/comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses/contact lenses, reef safe sunscreen, insect repellant, prescriptions, medicine just in case, first aid kit
- Cell Phone
- Charging cords
- Power bank
Things to Leave off Your Packing List for Belize
- Jeans – It’s too humid in Belize for denim. Choose lightweight fabrics that are breathable. I did bring my denim shorts, which were fine.
- Camo anything – I’ve read that camo is reserved for the military in Belize and that it’s not true. Just skip it to be safe.
- Valuables – Belize is so low key and there’s a good chance you’ll have an active vacation.. There’s no reason to have expensive jewelry and watches. Leave it at home so you don’t have to worry about it.
- Drone – They’re currently not allowed unless you have been hired to film in Belize. We had ours with us but didn’t use it because it was prohibited at so many places including the Mayan ruins.
Travel Insurance for Belize
It may not be on your packing list for Belize but it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance. It’s one of those things you don’t think is necessary until it’s necessary.
We’ve had our share of travel mishaps so we don’t travel out of the country without insurance anymore.
Since you might be diving, or doing more active things that usual in Belize, make sure you plan ahead. We do our travel insurance through SafetyWing.
Health in Belize
Like every other Central American country, Belize is a Zika risk area. No inoculations are needed to enter Belize but you should be up to date on all typical vaccinations.
For current information on vaccinations or overall health issues check the Centers for Disease Control Belize Travel Page.
Safety in Belize
We felt very safe in Belize. Prior to our trip, we read some sketchy things about Belize City. However, when we were actually there and speaking to locals, there is basically a small area of Belize City that is unsafe. We have that in Los Angeles too so the things we read felt unwarranted.
Just note that the unsafe area is near the ferry that goes to San Pedro. So don’t be walking around that area looking at your phone unaware of your surroundings, or wearing flashy jewelry. I’m sure you get the point. We took a taxi though the area and had absolutely no problem.
It’s also worth mentioning that we never stayed in Belize City. We landed at the airport and went right to San Ignacio. When we went from San Ignacio to Ambergris Caye, we went through Belize city only to catch the ferry.
No visa is required for US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries unless you plan to stay for longer than 30 days. You can check for the latest safety updates here: Belize Travel Advisory Page.
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