Local Culture and Activities in San Pedro, Belize
Whether you’re coming down for a long weekend or to work remotely from Belize, you can mix these items into your to-do list. Step out of the typical tourist activities and have authentic interactions with local Belizean culture with these “things to do in San Pedro Belize”. If you’re curious what to do in San Pedro, follow suit and do what locals do.
Here is a list of activities you can partake in to get the real local feel:
Practice / Speak Kriol
Belizean Kriol (or Creole) is the typical language spoken among Belizeans. You’ll often hear a mixture of English, Kriol, and Spanish when listening to locals when wandering the sandy streets of San Pedro. Throw out a “Where ya d’gwaan?” and ask how to say different phrases to the guys on the boat, at the bar, or wherever you end up. If you get someone’s number and are trying to find them, message “Weh ye deh? Pull up da [your location.” To learn more about the language check out this page.
Join a local sports game
If you like sports and aren’t afraid to introduce yourself, you’d be welcomed by locals to join in games. While exploring the island you’re likely to see people playing soccer, basketball, and softball. Areas to check include the Boca Del Rio beach or at the basketball court on the lagoon side. There is also the field across from the Artisanal Market on backstreet. Then, on the drive out to Secret Beach you can often see locals playing soccer (football). Belizeans are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet, so enjoy this cultural experience and make some local friends!
Get a Haircut and Shave in Belize
Belizean males typically hit up a barber shop each week to get a fresh shave. This costs less than $10USD. If you identify as male and want to get a real Belizean experience – visit Ballers or another barber in San Pedro town. I know you may be nervous to just let someone cut your hair – but the experience, I’m told, is top-notch! So might as well give it a go! If you take up our remote worker deal to work from Belize, you’ll definitely need a haircut at some point.
Pick up Hitch Hikers
Locals often jump on carts and hitch rides from the around-about near Drift Inn. If you’re driving north or south, don’t be afraid to let someone ride with you. Let them know your destination and they’ll decide if it’s worth getting on. I’ve picked up kids and taken them to school, helped people get out to Secret Beach, or closer to where they live down south.
If you’re a solo traveler or group of two, use hitchhiking to get around! You don’t have to rent a golf cart to get to north to Crocs or Truck Stop in San Pedro or out to Secret Beach.
You’ll meet great people and help someone get to their destination quicker.
Eat Street food
Visit back street to get your meals. Eat rice and beans, garnaches and empanadas, and cheap local favorites. You can find delicious shrimp tacos at the park with Albertina. Or look out for daily lunch specials where you can try oxtail or pigtail dishes.
Brent, who runs @snackchatlive Food Vlog has several posts about Belize so use him as inspiration for your trip!
Find Volunteer Opportunities
Holy Cross and Hope Haven are often happy to have a helping hand. We’ve had past guests work on the reading program one-on-one with children at Holy Cross, help cook and serve meals in Hope Haven, and Hailey (owner of Drift Inn) has taught ballet to aspiring youth at Hope Haven since 2018. Another option is to grab a trash bag from our front desk and collect waste you find on the beach.
Feed Tarpon in San Pedro
If you go to Neri’s Tacos, you can taste some of the best tacos in San Pedro and sample some great fresh juices. This is a locals favorite spot. Many Belizeans you will find are snobs about where they grab tacos from – and most locals are loyal to Neri’s on the island.
Then venture down to the dock off the lagoon with a bag of sardines to feed some tarpon. Slip a little sardine between your fingers and hover your hand above the water (you can leave your hand higher than you think!). You and buddies will wait and watch as tarpon after tarpon swims around and see the fish dangling between your fingers until suddenly you have a huge fish flipping out of water to grab what is in your hand with its huge mouth. It is a thrilling experience and you’ll see as everyone around also jumps after the suspenseful wait.
Disclaimer: There is a correct way to hold a sardine. Place it between your index and middle finger by the tail so that tarpon can grab the rest and not get your whole hand in its mouth too!
Try Something New
I hope this list of things to do in San Pedro Belize helps. Be open to meeting locals in San Pedro and going with the flow. Then, by taking some time out of your vacation to indulge in the local culture and partake in one of these activities, you can get a deeper understanding and experience of life in Belize.