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The Carnival is the biggest and most important festival in San Pedro and is comprised of singing, dancing, live music, parades, flour fights, painting, and food.

Located on scenic Ambergris Caye, San Pedro has a well-deserved reputation as Belize’s party town. During Carnival, you can guarantee the people here will be living up to that reputation. San Pedro is also a popular tourist destination where you’ll find plenty of great restaurants, nightlife, and luxury beach resorts and hotels.

This year, it begins on February 23.

Like Carnival in Rio and other countries, El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro takes place just before Lent and Easter. The tradition of parties and celebrations before Lent originated in Italy, where the Venice Carnival stands out for its extravagance. The tradition traveled to Spain and then to the colonized countries of Latin America.

In Belize, our Carnival is not scandalous or extravagant like Carnivals in some countries. The San Pedro Carnival is a fun, friendly event that’s appropriate even for families.

Everything in Belize is colorful and festive, and we pull out all the stops for the biggest party of the year. As part of the celebration, dance teams called comparsas dress in costumes and dance through the streets. Prizes go to the best dance teams.

At the end of the Carnival, everyone competes in the “paint or be painted” contest. As they walk and dance through the streets, the comparsas carry pots of water-based paint. They compete to see how many people they can paint. You can expect to be painted unless you stay in the clearly marked “no painting” zone.

Are you looking for an unforgettable vacation? If you’re ready to experience nonstop fun on a gorgeous tropical island, you’re ready for the San Pedro Carnival.

For stories on last years carnival, click here!