Ambergris Caye, Belize in December & Christmas 2023 Events!
My Favorite Things About December and Holidays in Belize
Winter, in general, is a fantastic time to visit Belize. The weather is warm and sunny during the day (think mid-80Fs) and a tad cooler at night. (Maybe a long-sleeved shirt will be needed in the evening…just in case)
But put the weather to the side, I think Christmas and the holidays can be the best time of all in Belize.
I’ll pepper this post with photos from my years living on Ambergris Caye to help convince you.
But even pretty pictures of the Belize beach can not convince some of you. I see you shaking your heads!
Most, 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, the hotels can book up a bit early and it can be hard to tear yourself away during that time.
Here’s why December and the holidays could be a great time for you to visit San Pedro.
The Weather: Festivities in Flip-Flops
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 your town’s Christmas lights in your parka, scarf, and mittens (the worst for wiping a runny nose!) or in sandals and a sundress?
Another huge bonus can be sargussum – or lack of sargassum. Fall and early winter tend to be lower months for the seaweed that’s been plaguing the Caribbean for the last 8 to 10 years.
Fun Festive Events – Celebrate with Visitors and Locals
Perhaps my favorite part of visiting San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and most spots in Belize is the mix of visitors and locals at bars and restaurants and out and about at local events. Ambergris Caye is not an all-inclusive resort experience.
Here are some great holiday events that are coming up this year for the Christmas season:
TREE LIGHTING AT THE Truck Stop, December 1st
Music starts at 5pm, lighting at 7 pm SHARP
Cookies, cocktails, live music – such a festive night at one of San Pedro’s most popular spots. There is a happening at Truck Stop this night. For all the deets, see their EVENTS page.
DECEMBER 2nd: San Pedro Boat Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting
THE SAN PEDRO LIGHTED BOAT PARADE IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!
Last sight in 2019 (see the 2019 Boat Parade here) – this event is SO fun, SO Christmas-y, so simple and beautiful…I am SO grateful that the San Pedro Town Council is reviving this incredible event. AND following it with the Lighting of the Town Christmas Tree.
The Annual Lighting of the San Pedro town Christmas tree (Date To Be Announced) – the first week of December, evening. A family event with music, dancing and the tree lighting the center of San Pedro town. A fun night to go out to dinner and then enjoy the party in the park.
It’s 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.
LOVEFm Lighted Parade, Evening, Sunday, DECEMBER 17th, Sunset
Starting at Boca Del Rio Park and parading through town
Just as the sunsets. 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. Here are all my pictures from the 2022 parade.
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 smaller churches 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.
This is the 2022 schedule at the SPRC Church – 2023 should be the same/very similar. You can check their Facebook page for updates as time gets closer.
Instead of slaving by the stove…Eat Out at Some Fantastic Restaurants
Ambergris Caye has such great restaurants. 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.
Christmas dinner traditionally includes turkey and ham, rice and beans and potato salad. Dessert, traditionally, is Black Cake. A spiced fruit cake that often involves lots and lots of rum and often weighs more than an anchor.
Rompopo is a favorite drink – a type of eggnog with a KICK.
How does this sound: the family heads out for snorkeling in the morning, perhaps a bit of sun and pool in the afternoon – or, if you are not ambitious, take a nap in a hammock…then jump in the golf cart to head to dinner.
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.
Last year we got stuck in an unexpected parade a few days before Christmas. Music and the Lions Den handing out candy to the kids. It was so fun!
If you are headed down during December, it’s fun to bring some decorations for your golf cart.
What Else To Expect
The Christmas holidays in Belize are often celebrated with home fireworks and firecrackers…so some neighborhoods can get a bit loud!
You can expect everything to be open. December is the start of the busy season in Belize and tours, trips, bars and restaurants are open and very ready to welcome guests.
You can also expect to return home a bit more rested with a sun-kissed glow – ready to start the new year off right.
Or…if you just can’t do it – I totally understand! There’s always 2024 to visit Belize. THAT is a great Xmas gift to your loved ones!
Here’s THE CUTEST ornament to put on your tree – or to gift to a San Pedro lover – that I’ve already ordered mine 🙂