With an abundance of sunshine, delicious food, and lots of old-fashioned holiday cheer, it’s no wonder that Belize is one of the hottest destinations for an excellent Christmas vacation.
Here are 6 exciting events that happen over the Christmas holiday period in Belize:
1. ) Boat Parades
Sure, there’s plenty of dancing, frolicking, and colorful parades on land, but only in Belize can you enjoy an exciting boat parade. The popular travel destinations of San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) and Placencia both host their own boat parades. Grab a spot on the beach and watch as a procession of gaily-decked boats sail past. Better yet, befriend one of the locals and join the party on one of the boats.
2.) Christmas Parades
Few countries have retained that youthful, old-time Christmas spirit like Belize which is why the street parades are thronged by children of all ages. The Love FM Christmas Parade in Belize City is especially popular, featuring Santa and his elves on a decorated golf cart, tossing out good wishes and treats to the crowds.
3.) Horse Races
Nothing gets the blood pumping quite as much as an thrilling horse race. The village of Burrell Boom, just a short distance from Belize City, hosts a horse race on New Years Day (January 1) and Boxing Day (December 26). Whether you’re dressed in shorts and flip-flops or gussied up in your finest gear, you’ll enjoy watching the horses compete to be the first to cross the finish line. Definitely don’t miss out on all the special food, including iguana eggs and gibnut (the infamous “royal rat”) meat.
4.) Junkanoo Dancing
Belizeans love to dance, and Christmas is no exception. Believed to have originated by people of color during the colonial period as a way to mock the clumsy antics of their white oversees, Junkanoo Dancing features dancers dressed in white with a mask adorned with large yellow feathers. Garifuna drummers and dancers will keep the exciting going all night as the crowd moves through the streets going from house to house. Junkanoo Dancing takes place both on Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26).
Celebrated throughout the country in all the major towns, Posadas is a local term meaning “housing” that follows Catholic traditions honoring the nine-day journey taken by Joseph and Mary before Jesus was born. Special pilgrims called “peregrinos” wander the streets to beg for food and lodging. On the ninth and final night, processions carrying statues of Mary and Joseph make their way to the church to gain their place of honor in a nativity scene.
6.) New Years Parties
With their love of fun, music, and lots of dancing, the parties on New Years last until dawn and then some. Be on the lookout for parades, street dancing, and a huge bash at the Holiday Hotel in San Pedro.
No matter what your cup of Christmas tea is, there’s definitely something to see and enjoy during this special time of year.
Located on the island of Ambergris Caye, the award-winning resort of Banyan Bay is an excellent base to spend a Belize Christmas vacation. It offers visitors beachside luxury in the form of well-appointed villas complete with two rooms and a living room. Banyan Bay is a perennial TripAdvisor award winner thanks to its dedicated and professional staff who make the customer experience their number one priority. Banyan Bay also features one of the best restaurants in Belize, serving up three courses of mouthwatering local and international favorites.
Banyan Bay is located just a few minutes’ walk from San Pedro, the colorful and historic capital of the island that was made famous by the 1986 Madonna song “La Isla Bonita”.