If you’re planning on traveling to Ambergris Caye, you probably aren’t specifically doing it for any of its festivals – but you’re totally missing out if you are not, because the island has a ton of fantastic events! Throughout the year, Ambergris Caye, or should I say the town of San Pedro throws more parties than anywhere in Belize. Visiting during festivals allows visitors to see the town at it’s merriest state and experience a little of the culture. And let’s say you’re mostly looking for some quiet time, retreating to the island’s Northern or Southern tip will allow anyone to stay away from all the fun.
Check out: Top places to eat in Ambergris Caye
The Best Festivals and Events in San Pedro:
1. San Pedro Carnival, February
Three days before Lent (Ash Wednesday), residents of San Pedro take over the streets wearing masks and throwing paint at each other – it’s all about having fun and overturning life’s normalcy. This celebration is popular in Catholic countries and can be witnessed throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
2. San Pedro Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge, April
Any adventure kayaker’s dream, this eco challenge is a 42-mile race that lasts two days. It starts on the lagoon side of Ambergris Caye, goes through the many lagoons of Northern Ambergris Caye, to Bacalar Chico and Robles Point and ends in downtown San Pedro.
3. San Pedro Lobsterfest, June
One of the best times to be in Belize, at the start of lobster season, San Pedro throws a huge festival to celebrate the new season. During this event you will witness an entire week of activities with the most popular being the lobster cook-off by the island’s most popular restaurants.
4. Dia de San Pedro, June
San Pedro day is a big local event. The community comes out on that day to celebrate the island’s patron saint and honour the fishermen and founding fathers who have lead San Pedro to grow from a small fishing village to what it currently is. Celebrations include a fair, cultural dance, fishing tournaments and parties.
5. The International Costa Maya Festival, August
THE most popular event of them all, the Costa Maya festival brings people from all over Belize and the world. Activities include a pageant that includes some of the most beautiful women of Central American, renowned international celebrities and bands, and major food events.
6. Belize Fashion Week, August (varies)
New to the festival circuit, this event brings Belizean clothing and jewelry designers from across Belize to compete and showcase their amazing talent. But this isn’t only about fashion, when the night sets, nightclubs come alive with some of the best DJs in the region.
7. Tres Pescados Slam Tournament, August
Every summer, the largest fly-fishing event in Belize takes place in August. Over twenty teams participate in this tournament looking for the coveted Grand Slam of bonefish, permit, and tarpon.
8. Belize Independence Day, September
This is Belize’s birthday and is celebrated throughout the country. If you’re in downtown San Pedro, on the night of the 20th there will be a ceremony leading to fireworks at midnight. On the 21st there is a parade and block parties. This is a public and bank holiday.
9. Garifuna Settlement Day, November
November 19th marks the arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize. This event originated in Southern Belize but Garifunas have relocated to various parts of the country and with them have come their celebrations. Early in the morning you can witness the reenactment of their arrival followed by religious and cultural activities.
10. Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, December
To celebrate the Christmas season, boats are decorated with lights and ornaments and sail from Boca Del Rio to Coconuts Hotel. The lighted boats are a beautiful sight to see as you sit on the beach and the nice cool breeze hits your face.
Are you excited about any of these events? Comment below and let me know which is your favourite…