Tired of the chill holiday weather? It turns out that a solution could be just a few hours away. Belize is the second smallest country in the Caribbean, but its relatively small square mileage is counterbalanced by the dense jungle, ruins, and caves that constitute the interior and the coastal access to the Caribbean Sea. Belize's equatorial proximity may keep things warm throughout the Yuletide ceremonies, but that doesn't mean that you'll be missing out on any holiday cheer. As a former English colony, Belize has plenty of Christmas and New Year's ceremonies that will be familiar to Americans. But Belize is also richly multicultural, and that means there are plenty of new traditions you can adopt while you're here.
Christmas in San Ignacio Town
If you want your Christmas to be truly out of the ordinary while still familiarly Christmas, the best place to visit is San Ignacio Town and its neighboring town of Santa Elena. Some of these traditions are immediate and obvious — like the Christmas tree that's put up in the town square which signifies a whole season of events downtown. Others are less apparent but you can't miss — such as the fireworks that are fired off on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. San Ignacio Town is home to a large Christian population, so it's understandable that Midnight Mass is a big part of the holidays. Christmas Day is often spent alone with the family so that often leaves visitors with the freedom to practice their own traditions — or to set another tradition entirely and spend all day at the beach. Many resorts will offer Christmas dinners that combine English Christmas traditions with local foods like pineapple ham and rice and beans.
New Year's Eve in San Ignacio Town
Part of the reason Christmas Day might be so quiet is that it launches off a season of festivities that run through the rest of the year. Boxing Day is home to the country's biggest annual horse race, and it's a time of fierce celebration in the streets. As the season continues to count down, you'll find all sorts of events throughout the town. And as one of the country's more diverse and cosmopolitan metropolises, you have the freedom to spend your New Year's Eve anywhere from the dance floor of a San Ignacio nightclub to the wilds of the Cayo District. But whatever you do, be sure to book your stay at Cahal Pech Village Resort. This Tahitian-styled village world offers the perfect blend of modern culture and untapped natural beauty.