First held in 1991, the International Costa Maya Festival has since boomed to become one of the most popular entertainment events in Belize. Held every year in San Pedro, the capital of Ambergris Caye, the festival is a three-day celebration of beauty, music, and food.
In 2016, the 25th International Costa Maya Festival will be held August 4-6 and starts off with a beauty pageant to crown La Reina (The Queen) de la Costa Maya. Contestants come from all eight countries in the region (Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama) with an indigenous Maya population.
Throughout the festival, local and regional musical groups will represent their cultural heritage with concerts featuring Punta, Reggae, Soca, Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue and traditional Maya sounds. Dancers and cultural performers will also compete for prizes while demonstrating their crafts for the festival-goers.
The second night of the festival, a Saturday, is known as “Noche Internacional” (International Night) and always features an international musician of re-known. On the third day, Sunday, comedians, musicians, and cultural performers will keep the crowds entertained. The final night will feature a performance from a headlining musical star followed by dancing that will last until dawn, fueled by an ample selection of regional beers.
The three-day festival will also have booths with local handicrafts, arts, homemade furniture, games, clothing and a delicious assortment of regional and local foods. For the young and young at heart, there will be several carnival games and exciting fairground rides.
The International Costa Maya festival is organized and run by a non-profit organization for the purpose of fostering goodwill amongst Central American nations and to welcome international visitors to Belize and learn more about regional and local music, food, and culture.
For the ultimate in guest service experience and luxury on the island of Ambergris Caye, visitors prefer staying at the Villas at Banyan Bay. The award-winning resort is just minutes away from all of the action in San Pedro Town and features one of the most popular restaurants on the island. Every villas has two bedrooms and is equipped with all modern conveniences, including air conditioning and high-speed wireless internet.