Tag: Ambergris Caye

El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1333

Ambergris Caye, the largest Caye in Belize, loves nothing more than to celebrate. Whether its beach parties at Easter, Lobsterfest in June or parades for Independence Day in September, there is always something fun going on. El Gran Carnaval which takes place every year the week before Lent is one of the local favorites.

The history of Carnaval goes way back to 12th Century Europe when people took to the streets to celebrate with masks and eat and drink as much as they could before Lent. The tradition was brought by The European settlers to the Yucatan peninsula and eventually over time, to Northern Belize and the small village of San Pedro. Today, San Pedro is the only town in Belize, that continues to celebrate Carnaval. Over the years the celebration has changed somewhat, but many of the original traditions remain.

This year for the first time, Carnaval will open on the Saturday evening with a Parade through town, Mardi Gras style, theme of “Mejorando la tradicion. The parade will be followed by a block party with live music and booths selling food and drinks. La Reina del Carnaval will also be taking place. This is the 6th year of this popular event showcasing 5 lovely ladies in a sport, swimwear, evening wear and a talent competition.

On Sunday afternoon the painting starts! The tradition of painting has evolved from the European wearing of masks, and anyone not wearing one in the street, would get painted. Today, Painting is a major part of Carnevale enjoyed by children and adults alike and in the last few years a foam party in the evening adds to the fun.

Whilst revelers paint in the streets, the Comparsas make their way from house to house along the downtown streets.  Following the tradition, they dress up in brightly colored costumes, sing and dance and act out satirical skits on current events, sometimes global, sometimes national or sometimes related to events in San Pedro.  Our very own Mrs Flora Ancona, who has worked for Tropic from the very first day, heads up one of the most famous of the Comparsas .  She has been singing and dancing her way through Carnevale for over 25 years.

Painting and Comparsas alike continue through Monday and Tuesday. Tourists are welcome to get involved and be painted. Don’t worry a quick shower will have you cleaned up in no time.

Carnevale comes to an end on Wednesday, where an effigy of Don Juan Carnaval is burnt in order to dispel any negativity or bad luck from the island.

San Pedro’s El Gran Carnaval 2019 runs from Saturday March 2nd to Wednesday March 6th.

Lobserfest in Belize

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1389 0

Belize is famous for its spiny lobster (called crayfish locally), whose harvest season begins annually on June 15th.  This date also marks the celebration of all things lobster including three festivals held in three Belizean communities.

The beach towns of Caye Caulker and Placencia have traditionally had lobsterfests and in recent years, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye has added one to its calendar as well. If you are lucky visit Belize in June, you will be able to experience at least one of these delicious events.

San Pedro Lobsterfest is a week-long event usually starting with a kick-off party and culminating in a grand fiesta in Central Park. During the week, there are events planned all over town including a lobster crawl that involves partaking in lobster delicacies and libations in a series of establishments on a given night.  One can obtain a “lobster passport”, where each day a different island establishment is represented and acquisition of a lobster “stamp” in this passport renders the holder eligible for the grand prize, drawn on the final night’s event in Central Park. The prize is usually vacation for the following year that includes tickets from Tropic Air. The final block party is a lobster lovers delight. Front Street is closed to traffic and most of the local restaurants have booths serving their rendition of the tasty crustacian. There is a competition for the best dish so culinary imagination knows no bounds. There is some serious deliciousness to be found here, all accompanied by local musicians to give the real party atmosphere.

Caye Caulker lobsterfest is a weekend event. This is a local Belizean favorite, and people flock here from all over the country.  Stalls and restaurants everywhere offer anything from lobster tacos to barbecued lobster.

Placencia’s festival is also a weekend event and, in their own words, promises  “a mega beach party like no other in Belize “ with live music, family games, a legendary raffle and of course more lobster than it is possible to eat.

If you want to enjoy lobster, then come during the open season because between February 15th and June 14th, the crustacean is off the menu. This means that fishermen are not allowed to catch it, restaurants are not allowed to sell it and it is illegal to have in your possession.  Whilst this is harsh for the many tourists and locals, it is necessary to preserve this valuable resource for the future.

If you are planning a trip to Belize and you love lobster then June is definitely the month to come visit. Book your travel with Tropic Air.