The Best Things about Christmas Time on Ambergris Caye, Belize
Favorite Things About the Holidays in Belize
Winter, in general, is a fantastic time to visit Belize. The weather is warm and sunny. But I think Christmas time can be the best time of all.
I know some of you are already shaking your heads…but bear with me for a moment…
Most people, I think, fall into two camps when it comes to the holiday season – and Christmas in particular. A real polarization in sentiment. 1. Those who think: I could NEVER leave home for the holidays – it’s not Christmas without snow, extended family, gift mania, and all the foods I ate growing up – exactly the way I remember them. And 2. Take me away from it all!
But here is why I think Belize is a very good idea for the Christmas season. And if you just can’t do Christmas week – I understand. Those flights can be a bit expensive and it can be hard to tear yourself away during the time.
Here’s why the holidays could be a great time for you to visit the San Pedro.
Rainy season generally tapers out in November, and the temperatures cool off, the humidity dips a bit, and the sun is out shining. I mean…would you rather enjoy the Christmas lights in your parka, scarf, and mittens (the worst for wiping a runny nose!) or from a lounge chair with a fruity cocktail?
Lobster trap tree
No need to worry about itchy Christmas sweaters or matchy velvet outfits and tights – throw your sundresses and sandals in a bag and get down here!
Fun Festive Events – Celebrate with Vistors and Locals
Perhaps my favorite part of visiting San Pedro is the mix of visitors and locals at bars and restaurants and out and about. It’s not an all-inclusive resort experience. Here are some great ones that are coming up this year for the Christmas season:
Tree lighting at the Truck Stop
Friday, December 2nd. Cookies, cocktails, live music – such a festive night at one of San Pedro’s most popular spots.
Tree lighting in Central Park, Dec 8, 7:30pm
A big event for the whole town – you’ll see families dressed up, the local dance club performing, live music…all in San Pedro’s Central Park.
Truck Stop Christmas Market, Christmas Movies and Cookie Decorating!
Not only does the Truck Stop look super festive for the holidays but they’ve got lots of fun festive events.
Here are the movies that they are showing at their movie nights this December.
And then the Christmas market…
AND…this great event.
LOVEFm Lighted Parade, Dec 18th, 5:30pm
December 18th, 2022: Just after sunset. Kids, adults, businesses, town officials and lots and lots of lights. A parade thru San Pedro town with lighted floats, bands, music, nativity scenes and the cutest kids in costume. It’s SUCH a great event. Check out lots of pics from the 2018 parade here.
And on other nights, enjoy the fun regular San Pedro events. Outside movies at the Truck Stop on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at Moon Bar on Friday nights, the Chicken Drop on Thursdays and Hermit Crab Races at NautiCrab on Tuesdays. Live music all over the place…fear not. You can keep as busy as you want!
Attend Christmas Eve Mass
Belize is a predominantly Catholic country – though there are other denominations in San Pedro as well. You can attend midnight mass at the Roman Catholic church – right on the beach just next door to Central Park where The Church sets up a beautiful nativity scene.
Here is the schedule for Christmas eve and Christmas day at the church in the center of town.
Instead of slaving by the stove…Eat Out at Some Fantastic Restaurants
San Pedro has FANTASTIC restaurants and you can enjoy your Aunt Gertrude’s mincemeat pie recipe or wonky cheeseball any time at home (or ask yourself do you REALLY like it or is it just a sentimental thing) – why not come to Belize and have your turkey with a side of lobster or conch fritters or maybe stone crab claws. Amazing food that YOU didn’t spend the entire week preparing.
Conch fritters from Ol’ Tacklebox Restarant
In fact, you can go snorkeling in the morning, get a bit of sun in the afternoon – or take a nap in a hammock – and go out to dinner…
How about a meal like the one I just had at Elvi’s Kitchen? Or try the new Purple Pelican Restaurant – opening today! There are so many amazing choices. You can get as simple or as fancy as you like.
And if eating Chinese food is part of your holiday tradition – we have lots of choices.
One of my favorite things to do is to ride around town in the early evening – and in shorts, flip flops and a golf cart and enjoy the Christmas lights and decorations.
What Else To Expect
The Christmas holidays in Belize are often celebrated with home fireworks and firecrackers…so it can get a bit loud! The most traditional food always includes rice and beans, a ham that is ordered ahead, often delicious tamales (a labor-intensive food), and potato salad.
Fun fact: Potato salad tastes delicious slathered on everything – and mixed with rice and beans. You’ll wonder why you didn’t serve it with YOUR Christmas ham.
(If you are not familiar with Belizean food – here is my run-down on some of the local cuisine)
And then, after an amazing week, you can return home a bit more rested with that sun-kissed glow and start the new year off right.
Or…if you just can’t do it – I totally understand! There’s always 2023 to visit Belize. THAT is a great Xmas gift to your loved ones!