Easter in Belize is pretty different from the Easter I knew in the States. I grew up with a holiday devoted to church, the Easter bunny, candy and fake green plastic grass that your dog ate and later threw up.
It was pretty much a one day event, Easter Sunday…but here in Belize, it’s a full blown 4 day PARTY weekend. The longest holiday of the year (even Christmas is only Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day) – Easter is Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday AND Easter Monday.
Even the Labour Department applies some heavy-duty overtime rules that give some businesses enough incentive to shut down for the whole weekend. Employees are paid double time on Easter Monday and Good Friday and 1.5x on both Saturday and Sunday.
Let me break down what you can expect if you are visiting San Pedro (or any beach locale in Belize) over the Easter holidays. Think more “girls gone wild” and a bit less Cadbury Cream eggs.
Banks and government offices close for a half day on Thursday and it seems like the entire country heads to the beach. Good Friday all the way through Easter Monday. The huge party all kicks off with a DRY DAY. Golf carts are ALL rented (and being driven around town like bumper cars), hotel rooms for 2 are packed with 15…let the good times begin!
But: Good Friday in Belize is celebrated without alcohol. Dry. The holy day is observed without alcohol sales. None at bars, restaurants, stores. But that doesn’t exactly mean no drinking. There are low key pool, beach and house parties galore. Low key.
And check on your boat trips – many tour companies and fishermen dock their boats for the day in observance.
The town center is a bit quiet since all bars and most restaurants are closed and there is a Roman Catholic procession through the streets of San Pedro. (More pictures from 3 years ago here.)
But fear not party animals…the beach prancing, the dirty dancing and the loud music starts at midnight. And runs right on through to Monday morning. Here are some of the options in San Pedro. From Holiday Hotel up to Boca del Rio park, the beach will be packed with people.
If you DO choose to go to the beach, don’t blame me if you feel out of place! It is time to flaunt the Easter body you’ve been working towards all year…
Ladies: Printed bikini top (prints are hot this year!), high waisted, high cut shorts and faux neon Ray-bans. HUGE brimmed floppy hats are appropriate – but you need the attitude to go with it.
Men – board shorts and shirtless or one of these “french tank tops”. The phrase “Sun’s Out, Gun’s Out” always applies.
At the Holiday Hotel.
At Senor Marlin’s just outside of Big Daddy’s Night Club.
The huge Gilharry 7 Band at Di V’u (formerly Wet Willy’s).
Daddy Rock’s (or Big Daddy’s) Night Club. The Mad Arab!?!
And at Sand Bar.
Monday, the water taxis will be packed taking hungover kids back to the mainland…