One of the most exciting public parties in Belize is the famous International Costa Maya Festival. What began as a modest celebration of Maya culture in 1992 has since blossomed to become Belize's most popular three-day festival featuring a beauty pageant, live music, food, dancing, games and art.
Every year the town of San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye comes alive as hundreds of visitors throng the streets to cheer on their favorite beauty pageant contestants and dance until dawn to the throbbing sounds of Punta, salsa, merengue, reggae, soca and Maya music. The first night of the pageant begins with a beauty pageant featuring contestants from all over the region, North America, Europe and Australia competing to win the coveted crown of Miss Costa Maya International.
The rest of the week is an exciting mix of parades, musical performances, street vendors selling delicious food and drinks, face painting booths, dance workshops, artisans selling their crafts, water balloon fights, and plenty of good fun in the sun.
This year, the International Costa Maya Festival will be held between August 3 and August 6.
After the Festival
After attending the International Costa Maya Festival and experiencing the beauty of Ambergris Caye, why not take the opportunity to see many of the other wonderful locations in Belize?
Cayo District in the west of Belize is home to the capital of Belmopan and many of the most exciting attractions in the country. The top Maya ruins are in Cayo District, including lovely Xunantunich, enormous Caracol, the hilltop enclave of Cahal Pech, and the impressive El Pilar. Cayo is also home to some of the most beautiful rivers, jungles, waterfalls and natural scenery found anywhere in Belize.
The cultural and entertainment capital of Cayo District is San Ignacio Town, home to the famous San Ignacio market where farmers, artisans and traders from all over the region come to sell their goods. Just a short distance from San Ignacio Town is Cahal Pech Village Resort, an elegant oasis that offers a wide variety of accommodations and an excellent place to base a vacation in the west of Belize.