Regulation Bowling in Belize? I Could Not Have Been More Surprised at Jaguar Lanes

The Placencia peninsula has what you want in a visit to Belize.   Diving, snorkelling, FANTASTIC food, amazing wildlife, mango trees, the country’s best coffee shops, both reasonably priced and super posh lodging, a long, sandy beach, I was digging my first time in this area of the country.  Really loving it.

Here is the map so you can get a sense of the area.

placencia_mapI was happily sitting in my cabana in Placencia (at Captain Jak’s but more about that later), blogging away and I got a message from Jaguar Lanes in Maya Beach, the small community at the north end of the peninsula.  Jaguar Lanes?  The logo on their facebook page was certainly intriguing…and hilarious to me.

A t-shirt I am now wishing I purchased…


This I need to see.  So as I moved up the peninsula and spent a night at Maya Beach, I was pleasantly surprised to find Jaguar Lanes only a few minutes walk from my place.


This is by no means an area crowded with businesses.  It’s actually mostly residential homes and just open space.

Look at where I was staying!


And out front where I waiting for my bus.


A bowling alley here?  This seems like a scoop.  And A/C?  What a treat!  A double scoop.


I walked in…and here’s what I found.

IMG_2461This is not someone’s rec room…or some homemade set of bowling pins.  This is REGULATION bowling!  Four proper lanes!  What the heck?!?!
IMG_2462I was seriously shocked.  For the whole evening I was shocked…

Look…bowling leagues.  In Belize!?!?!  I have no idea what they numbers mean but this looks like the real deal!

IMG_3763 IMG_3762 IMG_3766

Now I know there is another bowling alley in Belize City at the Princess Casino and Hotel but when I’ve visited, it’s never been open.

Here is the story I gathered behind Jaguar Lanes.  A man built this long building as a sort of wooden “strip mall” in Maya Beach about 5 years ago.  It wasn’t doing all that well so an expat bowling lover decided to buy it and convert it into a bowling alley.  A bit of an “If you build it, they will come” situation.


He had the Brunswick company come down to install the lanes and the refurbished equipment to make sure it was done just right.

The alley was instantly popular with the expat community and soon with the locals.  Just about 6 months ago, it was sold to an investor from Houston who hired a local manager and the place is expanding with more outside seating.

I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of the manager (I don’t even remember his name!), the bar or the outside seating.  I do not lie when I tell you that I was shocked.

Jaguar Lanes serves lots of desserts, burgers, other bar foods and “the best pizza in Belize”.  The manager said he will go up against anyone in the country.  I, unforunately, was on my way to STUFF myself at Maya Beach Bistro (also known as The Best Restaurant in Belize) and could not try the $20bzd 12 inch pie.

A bargain I say.  The manager invited me back later in the night for the Mens’ Bowling league.  I never pictured my future mate in a bowling league or wearing bowling shoes but one must keep an open mind at my advanced age.

This place is awesome, crazy, highly air conditioned in the hot summer weather and just so unexpected.  I met lots of great people there.  If you are on the peninsula, you MUST stop by.

What next?  A CrossFit workout center on Ambergris Caye?  What is this world coming to!


Posted in: