Events in San Pedro You Should Experience
If you are looking for events in San Pedro to plan your travel around, here is our list of festivals and exciting holidays. There are several top events and festivals that Ambergris Caye hosts. You will enjoy a fun, festive atmosphere on the island during any of these events. From Easter Holiday in April to Lobsterfest in June, San Pedro is an exciting place to be for locals and tourists alike.
Carnaval Painting - Late February
The first big holiday after new years is Carnaval. Belize, like many countries, celebrates Carnival with elaborately decorated outfits, parades, and dancing. However, in Belize it is called Carnaval (not Carnival). Take your group to the city center, our central park, to experience the free entertainment. The novelty of visiting San Pedro during Belizean Carnaval is the nights of painting. For example, just see the photo above to understand what may happen.
Walk by buildings covered with plastic for the week of Carnaval – preventing themselves from needing a paint job after the holiday. If you leave the hotel in the evening, you consent to be painted – it is unpreventable. To prepare, wear clothes you are okay to paint on. Then, go by a store to buy some paint for yourself to participate in the action. Children and adults alike will put a handprint on you, pour, or spray paint on you and your friends.
Easter - April
Next, we have Easter. Take what you think Easter is and throw it out the window. Belizean Easter is a wild party. Easter in San Pedro is one of the busiest times of the year and one of the island’s biggest celebrations. The island fills with tourists, whether it’s to celebrate religious events, beach parties, or sports activities. Belizeans from all over the country visit San Pedro on Eastern weekend. There are massive beach parties the week around Easter, where several beachfront bars bring out the best Soca DJs to perform. After a weekend of partying all day and all night, Monday is quiet. Once Monday comes around, many of our local tourists are suffering from goma (hangover) or are enroute home.
Lobster Fest - Mid June
Then, the lobster season begins in Mid-June. The front street is littered with vendors selling handicrafts, lobster specials, and the park has live music for the entire day. During Lobster fest in San Pedro, find top restaurants gathered in the central park with booths. They serve delicious lobster specials and a competition is held among them for the best lobster dish and best plate. There is always a beach party at Holiday Hotel (which is about a 10 mins walk from Drift Inn).
The Lobster Fest season kicks off in San Pedro. Then, visit our neighboring island Caye Caulker for their Lobsterfest. Finally, head over to Placencia (on the southern peninsula of Belize) to attend their Lobsterfest too. You can attend them all if you plan it right!
Dia de San Pedro - June 28th
Now, on to La Dia de San Pedro on June 28th. This day, San Pedro honors the patron of this island, Saint Peter. This holiday takes place in the Central Park where the Catholic church is. If you want, join in for a local Mass at the church. Then, observe presentations and special guests in the park into the evening.
La Costa Maya - Late July
Next, Costa Maya is San Pedro’s three day festival in July. This festival, like Easter, is a party-centered celebration. There are three main events in San Pedro for Costa Maya. On the first day, the council of San Pedro offers a big concert from an international musician. The second day, we have events by international performers, dancers, and Belizean artists. Then, on final day, The Central American pageant takes place. For several years, each country sends their most beautiful delegate to represent them in this pageant. The girls are paraded around town and celebrated everywhere they stop during the event. Then, one delegate is crowned to be the next Miss Costa Maya after the pageant.
This festival takes place at the field, on the lagoon side of the island. After each days events, people will crowd into bars, night clubs, and party all night.
Independence Day- September 21st
In September, Belize celebrates two holidays – St. George’s Caye Day and Independence Day. The most important date is the 21st of September. If you are around for Independence Day – be ready to see Belizeans in celebration mode. First, enjoy watching children groups, businesses, and dance groups parade from the middle street in San Pedro to the beachfront, finishing at the central park. The central park and the football field is the epicenter of the celebrations. Next, listen as DJs blast reggaeton and politicians praise their progress. Then, buy beer on the streets and enjoy drummers parading down side streets. Finally, the locals bars always have something special after the parade.
Garifuna Day - November 19
Then, the last big holiday before Christmas is Garifuna Day. This day is celebrated to honor the Garifuna people’s arrival to Belize. it is a fantastic time to witness the Belizean culture.
In celebration of Garifuna Day, you may hear the local drumming and groups dancing around the beach on the days leading up to the holiday. Stroll up and ask for them to teach you how to Puta dance. The beat of Garifuna drumming is undeniably contagious. Traditional Puta music makes your hips twitch and shake without you controlling it. Enjoy some Garifuna cuisine and embrace the Garifuna culture.
On the morning of Garifuna Day, November 19th, you can witness the re-enactment. Across the country Garifuna people re-enact the arrival of their people by boat to the country of Belize. In San Pedro, the arrival is at the Central Park. While there, you can peruse booths and vendors selling colorful cultural clothing, traditional snacks, and cultural artifacts. Consider buying a drum as a souvenir? Then, watch the afternoon festivities, where they have a coronation for Miss Garifuna and performances.
Celebrate Cultural Events in San Pedro
The rich culture of Belize is found in the languages spoken, the food consumed, and the way Belizeans celebrate holidays and events. By visiting Belize during one of these holidays or events in San Pedro, you are sure to enjoy a culturally-rich experience. Taste the best lobster of your life, get painted on by locals in the town center, listen to the drumming of traditional Garifuna music, or celebrate Belize’s independence with us. You are in for a treat.