So you’re heading to Belize and wondering what needs to be on your Belize Packing List. This post has 10 things you might be forgetting that will make a huge difference on your trip. You will also find a general travel packing list with the usual suspects like a bathing suit and your passport including what NOT to pack for Belize. Last but not least is travel information regarding safety, health concerns, and entry requirements. This UnBelizable list is your one stop shop to prepare for your awesome trip to Belize.
If you are planning a trip to Belize, we have a few other posts you will find helpful. First, our list of the 15 Essential Things to do in Belize includes the best of the best and how to get around. On that note, hands down, the best thing we did in Belize was a scenic flight to the Belize Great Blue Hole. You can read all about it and how to book the excursion.
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, they have a rainy season (June – December) and a dry season (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. This is an easy place to travel with just a carry on spinner suitcase. You don’t huge tons of luggage. If you are an overpacker by nature, use our “must have” travel item, compression packing cubes, that allow you to get more in a smaller bag. You’ll wonder how you ever successfully packed before using them.
10 Things You Might Be Forgetting to Pack for Belize
1. When Packing for Belize 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. This insect repellant is travel-sized, effective for mosquitos and a lot of smaller bugs, DEET free and safe for the whole family. On Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, there’s often a nice breeze which helps keep mosquitos at bay.
Related Post: The 15 “Must Do” Activities in Belize
2. Underwater Camera
An underwater camera is ideal for your trip to Belize. The waterproof GoPro Hero 9 takes 5k ultra video and 20 MP photos. Add a GoPro accessory kit that includes a waterproof housing, diving filters, anti fog inserts and a variety of mounts that will help you capture lifetime memories of your trip..
3. Make Sure to Pack Water Resistant Hiking Shoes for Belize
Shoes that are slip resistant with good traction are necessary if you’ll be doing any hiking or cave tours. You also want a pair of shoes that are waterproof or at least water resistant. There are multiple options that will work for you depending on preference.
- If you plan to do both hiking and cave tours – Women’s Waterproof Hiking shoe or Men’s waterproof hiking shoe.
- For people that are mostly doing cave tours, you might prefer a Women’s Hiking Sandal or a Men’s Hiking Sandal.
- If it’s basically all water activities for you like tubing and snorkeling, Quick Drying Aqua Socks are easy to pack and perfect.
- For those that love their current hiking shoes that aren’t waterproof, you can use this heavy duty water repellant spray to make them water resistant.
4. A Waterproof Phone Pouch Should Be on Your Belize Packing List
Protect your phone during cave tours and water activities with a waterproof phone pouch. It also is a great thing to protect your phone by the pool. A lanyard waterproof pouch works with most cell phone models. It will also hold money or ID and can be worn around your neck to keep everything safe and secure.
5. Use a Dry Bag as Your Day Pack or Belize Backpack
A Waterproof Dry Bag will protect all your belongings and can double as a minimalist backpack or daypack for Belize. 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.
When packing for Belize, you can either lay this flat in your bag or fill it if you need to use it as a carry on.
Related Post: Epic Flight over The Great Blue Hole Belize
6. 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.
7. A Travel Towel is a Great Idea for Your Belize Packing List
A travel towel is fast drying, packs into a small pouch and will definitely get some use if you are doing any water activities in Belize. Hotels won’t always want you heading out with their towels so having your own lightweight, fast drying towel is helpful. Tip: get the body or beach sized towel. Having a small hand towel to dry off with is not very comfortable or effective.
The latest in travel towels is a sand resistant beach towel. We bought them for our sprinter van because they are quick drying, cute and perfect for the beach. They also pack easily for any trip.
8. Lightweight Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket or Rain Poncho
There are plenty of activities in Belize that involve water and having a lightweight rain jacket or poncho is key. You may also be traveling to Belize during the shoulder season of May or November, which are great months for hotel deals but will have a few rainy days. It’s important to pack a rain jacket that is not too hot because the weather will be warm. If you also do activities like visiting the ATM Cave, a light weight rain jacket or rain poncho will come in handy.
This lightweight jacket for women comes in 13 colors but I’m always a fan of yellow or red because it looks better in photos. This rain jacket for men also comes in multiple colors and packs easily. 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 October when the highest rainfall occurs.
9. Binoculars for Belize Bird Watching Should be on Your Packing List
Belize is a birdwatcher’s paradise. There are almost 600 species and you’ll find them from the beaches to the jungles. Our guides that took us to Tikal suddenly came to a screeching stop because they got so excited about a rare bird sighting. Using our cell phones to zoom in and get a bad photo was kind of lame. Be a prepared birdwatcher with some compact lightweight binoculars that have good low light vision. You might get lucky and see a Keel Billed Toucan. You can also use your binoculars for a flight over The Great Blue Hole.
10. Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite
Belize is a great place to catch up on some reading while you’re laying on the beach or by the pool. I feel like Goldilocks when it comes to reading on vacation. It’s so impractical to carry books with limited luggage space. Reading on an iPad in the sun is too difficult but the Kindle Paperwhite is just right and now it’s even waterproof for any mishaps. The best part is that an unlimited book subscription is so affordable now.
Kindle Unlimited has a free trial for 3 months. It is seriously the best deal ever. The membership includes unlimited access from any device to to more than 1 million books, the month’s most popular magazines, and unlimited audio books.
Related Post: Must Have Travel Accessories For Your Next Trip
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, 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 – It’s illegal to wear camo print in Belize. It’s reserved for the military.
- 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 World Nomads.
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 area that is an issue 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 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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