San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival

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Country and Region BelizeAmbergris Caye
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival San Pedro, Belize
Festival Contact Information

San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival
Email: marty@ambergriscaye.com

Festival Description

San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival began as the Sea and Air Festival and includes participants from five Central American countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. These countries comprise “El Mundo Maya” (the Mayan World) and have come together each summer to celebrate their heritage with live music and other festivities.

Festival Dates August 5 - 8, 2010
Festival Links http://www.ambergriscaye.com/festival/

Festival Story:

This Costa Maya festival is a celebration of the Mundo Maya countries throughout Central America. The first festival was held in 1991 and was called the Sea and Air Festival—all five Mundo Maya countries (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) participated. San Pedro hosts dancers, cultural performers and musical entertainers from these countries for six days of celebrations. Typcially the festival is held either during the month of July or August, and commences on the Tuesday of the designated week and ends on Sunday. Each country is assigned a night on which their culture and talent is displayed with Sunday being the grand finale.

Entertainers offer festival goers a wide array of music including Punta, Reggae, Soca, Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, and traditional Maya music. Cultural presentations are usually presented in the form of theatrical dances. These dances tell of the Mayan culture, traditions and rich heritage. The events are organized to promote goodwill among Central American countries and to encourage visitors to Belize, the festival grounds also have booths displaying arts and craft, games, clothing, food as well as rides and carnival games for the young and young at heart.

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Practical Info:

Venue:
  • Ambergris Caye - the largest and the most northern island of Belize’s islands
How to get there:
  • By Plane
    Tropic Air, Island Air, and Maya Airlines make hourly scheduled trips to San Pedro from either the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City or from the Phillip Goldson International Airport. Flights usually run between 6:00am and about 5:30pm. The average cost of a round-trip ticket is around US$93 and the trip takes about 20 minutes.
  • By Car
    In order for visitors to drive into Belize from Guatemala or Mexico, a temporary importation permit must be secured at the point of entry. Permits are valid for one month but can be extended by applying to the Customs Department. To get a permit, present the following at the point of entry:
    • Travel documents and identification
    • Proof of ownership (vehicle registration)
    • Proof of insurance—available from any of the companies at the borders
    • Rental documents (for vehicles rented in Mexico or Guatemala)
  • By bus
    Bus travel to Belize from the US border cities via Cancun, Mexico City and Chetumal is comfortable, relatively fast, and inexpensive. All-weather highways connect Mexican cities with the border city of Chetumal. From there, regularly-scheduled Belize buses make runs to Belize City with stops in the Northern towns of Corozal and Orange Walk. Safe and regular bus connections from Guatemala City are another reasonable and exciting way to get to Belize. This option holds special appeal for travelers who want to tour the Peten Region before entering Belize via the Western border, near Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. From there, buses run to San Ignacio, the capital city of Belmopan, and Belize City. From these points, travelers can connect to buses traveling to almost any destination in the country.
  • By Boat or Cruise ship
    Small, regularly scheduled water taxis travel between Punta Gorda, in the southern district of Toledo, and Puerto Barrios in Eastern Guatemala. There are several boats which make daily trips to and from Ambergris Caye. Boats usually leave from the historic Swing Bridge in Belize City or from the pier in front of the Bliss Auditorium. The trip takes between 1 - 1 1/2 hours depending on the boat and usually cost about US$50 roundtrip. Be sure to look for Triple J, Thunderbolt or Rainbow Runner.
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