If you've never experienced a September in Belize, you probably have also never been a part of Belize City's Carnival. What makes this experience so unique to the country, is the various groups that participate in the annual road march. From costumed revellers and human floats, to musical bands and dance groups; Belize City's Carnival promises to be a spectacular four-hour performance through the streets of the City.
The day typically starts with J'ouvert, a pre-dawn event (open to any and every one) where individuals cover themselves in paint and/or coloured mud and dance to various genres of music including Soca, Punta, Calypso, Reggae, Pop, Edm and House, to name a few. This event ends on Barrack Road near the MCC Grounds, where participants usually clean themselves by jumping into the Caribbean Sea. After J'ouvert, most participants will choose to rest up for the main event at 1:00 pm – the Carnival Road March.
As locals and visitors line the streets, the Carnival participants begin preparing themselves for the march ahead and making final alterations to their costumes and floats. Vibrantly decorated trucks equipped with generators and large speaker boxes playing popular dance music, are usually stationed in front of the costumed performers and marchers as they move to their choreographed dance routines. Private companies and NGO's, commonly prepare their floats to feature a service or message that they wish to highlight and often reward spectators with pamphlets, stationery, beads, sweets, t-shirts, and beverages.
Starting from Caesar Ridge Road, the Road March will make its way on to Central American Boulevard. It then continues down the boulevard, crosses over the Bel-Can Bridge and progresses on to Princess Margaret Drive. The road march eventually concludes at the BTL Park, where a post-carnival celebration follows.
- If you're in need of rooms in the City, we recommend booking your overnight stay at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza or Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel.
- Temperatures are usually in the nineties around September so we recommend wearing sunscreen, a cap/hat, shorts, t-shirt/ tank-top, sandals and/or flip-flops (carrying an umbrella and portable chair is a plus).
- There's no need to worry about snacks or refreshments, as pop-up stalls can ordinarily be found along the Carnival route, with vendors selling a variety of items ranging from nachos, hot-dogs, barbeque, water, fruit juices and sodas.
- Be sure to bring along your camera of choice, as you will want to remember and share your memories with your family and friends back home.
- Getting to Belize City is easy; aside from flying in on major international airlines such as American Airlines, Avianca, Copa, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines, you can simply visit mayaislandair.com to book your domestic flights from destinations such as San Pedro, Dangriga and Placencia.
Below is a Belize City map with pins on the "Best Spots" to watch carnival:
Click Here for September Calendar of Events