What Clothes to Pack for a Vacation in Belize in January

With its tropical climate, lush rainforests, and off-the-beaten-track reputation, a trip to Belize is the trip of a lifetime for many people. Even though the country’s winter climate is mild, it can change in the blink of an eye. Having the right gear and comfortable clothing is crucial if you want to make the most of a trip to this spectacular destination. 

Whether you’re planning a more budget-conscious trip, or if you’re planning to spend most of your time at one of the country’s luxurious all-inclusive beach resorts, Belize has something for everyone. From spectacular barrier reefs, jungles, Mayan ruins, caves, and isolated Cays, a trip to Belize is going to be a trip spent hiking, climbing, swimming, and running.

January is widely regarded as the best time of year to visit Belize. January is the height of the country’s dry season, when the worst of the rain and heat and humidity has passed and average daily temperatures settle into the 80s, with nighttime temperatures rarely dropping out of the 70s. Read on for valuable tips on how to make the most of a trip to this spectacular destination.

A picture of a family on a beach.
Back view of a happy family on tropical beach

Winters In Belize Are Mild, But The Weather Can Change Quickly

If you’re trying to figure out what clothes to pack for Belize in January, participants in one Tripadvisor forum point out that since Belize has a tropical climate, most of the time you’ll want to wear casual clothes. There aren’t many situations where travelers will need formal wear.  

While there’s no official Belize dress code, most of the time your biggest concern with the clothes you’re wearing is going to be comfort.

Do they allow jeans in Belize? Yes, they do, and while that pair of Armani jeans might come in handy for a nightclub or going out to dinner, you’re not going to wear them to the beach.   

Belize Outfits For Her: What Women Should Wear In Belize

Pack with comfort in mind. You’re going to want loose-fitting clothing that’s going to allow you to move around comfortably. 

Also remember that even though January is the dry season in Belize, windy days are common. If you’re not acclimated to the southern hemisphere, the humidity can still be an issue for many people. Most of the time you’re going to want light, loose-fitting clothes, but you’re also going to want to pack enough that you’ll be able to dress in layers if you need to.  

Start with the basics. You’re going to want a large, sturdy pair of wrap-around sunglasses that will keep your face protected from the sun. A full-brim hat to protect your scalp, chest, and upper back is also a good idea.

For days when the wind picks up a little bit, a pair of linen or cotton pants will come in handy.  

Other Tips For What Clothes To Pack For Belize In January

You’ll also want to bring a couple of bathing suits and a sarong, and don’t forget to pack plenty of sunscreen. A maxi dress and a couple of loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts are also a good idea. Bring a few sundresses and pairs of shorts.  

A sturdy beach bag comes in handy. You’ll want something big enough to hold a blanket or a towel, a good book, and some snorkeling gear. A light windbreaker or hooded sweatshirt is not a bad idea either.

Wearing Shoes in Belize: Be Ready To Hike or Go To the Beach

If you’re trying to figure out what kind of footwear to bring on your trip, you should make the decision with comfort in mind. You’re going to want to bring a pair of flip-flops and maybe some handy swimming shoes for your day at the beach, but the rest of the time you’re going to want a light and comfortable pair of walking shoes.  

For your day-to-day footwear, choose something light and comfortable that can be worn casually but will also work as part of a more formal ensemble. 

If you’re planning on spending a lot of time hiking around Belize’s many nature reserves and caves, a sturdy pair of lady’s hiking shoes is also a good idea. Some travelers to Belize like to pack a pair of hiking boots, but these are usually heavy and will take up a lot of room in your suitcase.

A decent pair of hiking shoes from a retailer like REI will work just fine and will be much easier to pack.  

Belize Outfits For Him: What Men Should Wear In Belize 

The same rules apply for men trying to figure out what clothes to pack for Belize in January.  You’ll want to pack a couple of more formal ensembles for a night on the town or a nice dinner. But for the rest of your trip, you’re going to want clothes that allow you to move around freely and comfortably while shielding you from the occasional wind or humidity.  

You’ll want to bring a few t-shirts, both short and long-sleeved. Of course, you’ll want a few pairs of swimming trunks, as well as a few pairs of lightweight casual shorts that come to just above the knees.  

Also think about packing a couple of pairs of lightweight slacks. You’ll want a UV rated pair of sunglasses and a nice fedora, along with some sunscreen. A couple of short-sleeved collared shirts would also be a good idea.  

His Shoes For Belize: Pack Something Light Yet Multi-purpose

For men traveling to Belize, settle on a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Then you’ll need to plan for all of your beach time. Besides a sturdy beach bag for your gear, it’s a good idea to pack a pair of flip-flops or even a pair of swimming shoes if you plan to do any swimming.   

Finally, you may want to think about buying a sturdy pair of hiking shoes, you could bring a pair of real hiking boots if you wanted to, but these are heavy and will take up a lot of room in your suitcase.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Belize if you didn’t spend at least a little time hiking through the jungle. Getting a decent pair of hiking shoes is a good compromise here because they will get the job done, but they’re lighter and easier to pack. 

What To Wear: Snorkeling In Belize   

No trip to Belize would be complete without a day or two spent snorkeling in the country’s stunning blue waters. To make the most of this experience, you’ll definitely need the right gear. To get the most out of your snorkeling adventure, we recommend plenty of water-resistant sunscreen. 

You’ll also want to invest in a decent wetsuit. If you don’t want to buy one, many businesses and resorts in Belize rent them out. You’ll also find basic gear such as goggles, fins, and snorkels widely available for sale or for rent. 

If you’re looking for another layer of protection from the sun or from otherwise abrasive swim gear, some people like to bring a rash guard to wear with their swimming gear.  

A Trip To Belize Is The Trip Of A Lifetime

Whatever you decide to bring with you, a trip to Belize is the trip of a lifetime, and we hope that you have a chance to experience everything this country has to offer. The added bonus is that since you’re going in January, the weather is at its most consistent and comfortable.  

If you’re still unsure about what to pack or bring with you, remember to use your common sense. While you’re going to be spending a great deal of time relaxing on the beach, remember that any trip to Belize is going to be an active one with lots of walking and hiking. Keep this in mind as you make your final decisions about what to pack versus what to buy when you get there. 

Due to the nature of its climate and geography, the culture in Belize is informal and casual, and there won’t be very many situations where formal wear is required or appropriate. 

The general consensus is that travelers to Belize pack light and pack with versatility in mind. If you’re concerned with being dressed properly for dinner at the end of the day, try and pack clothing that will be appropriate in both formal and informal settings. 

When you’re packing for your trip to Belize, always make your decisions with comfort and versatility in mind. One final note, while Belize is considered a safe country to visit, it is still a developing country with its share of high-crime areas. Use your best judgment and be aware of your surroundings, and remember that it’s a good idea to leave any conspicuous jewelry or electronics in your hotel room.