Lobsterfest In Belize

lobster kebab
Lobster kebabs with tropical fruit and veggies on the grill. Image Credit: JAMES

Most tourists travel to Belize during the high season that runs from November through March, when the weather is generally dry and cool, but summer can be a good time to visit Belize. Accommodations are cheaper, by as much as 40%, airfares are lower, tourism operators very eager to please, and yes, it is generally less crowded. Summer in Belize is a time when you can find more local events and cultural festivals, and local families are out and about enjoying the time when school is out. After a hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Belize Lobster Fest is back in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker. Both organizing committees have announced the 2022 dates, with Caye Caulker festivities scheduled 1 July through the 3rd. In San Pedro, festivities start with the lionfish hunt and lobster crawl beginning on 30 June culminating with the usual block party at Central Park on 9 July. Placencia Peninsula’s Lobsterfest is between July 16th and July 17th, 2022

One of the most popular gastronomic events of summer in Belize kicks off when the official lobster season opens in June – Lobsterfest time. Lobster season in Belize opens on June 15 and closes February 15. There is so much lobster available during the summer that prices for this treat are at their lowest.

The various Lobsterfest events are Belize’s savvy way of celebrating the opening of the lobster season. It’s held every year starting mid-June, in four parts of the country, Belize City, the northern cayes to the southern coast: Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Placencia. The fun consists of three-day long weekends, (San Pedro’s fest runs a week which is really milking the poor lobster for all it is worth) with plenty of outdoor food booths with everyone´s favorite seafood prepared fresh every which way, from lobster on the grill, to lobster thermidor, to lobster ceviche (which is ideal as the conch season is closed in June),  lobster kebabs and even lobster chowder.

There are wacky beauty pageants (yes some contestants dress as lobsters) , drinks enough to drown a fish, reggae and Belizean music concerts, and of course, all day and night beach parties (some would say gastronomic debauchery)  and street fests.

Belize lobsterfest party
Revellers at Belize Lobsterfest image credit Tropic Air.

San Pedro´s Lobsterfest is one of the biggest and more ostentatious with many establishments offering free live music and discounted prices on drinks and lobster.

Caye Caulker the birthplace of Belizean Lobsterfest, puts on the best all around weekend entertainment. Prices are always better than San Pedro, and even the boat rides out to and from the island are heavily discounted. Caye Caulker just tries harder to please and it shows. Caye Caulker takes its Miss Lobsterfest pageant tradition very seriously. Teens showcase beauty and charm to win the coveted title.

Belize City’s Lobsterfest is held in July, usually the second week, at the famous Bird’s Isle in the southern part of the city. Birds Isle is an iconic but little-known island tucked away at the end of Albert Street. Not really a touristy place, it caters mainly to residents of Belize City who do not want to go out of town to get a bellyful of lobster.

Placencia holds its own Lobsterfest, which often is held the same weekend as Caye Caulker’s, and this event is judged by some to be better than either the San Pedro or Caye Caulker Lobster Fest. Let’s face it, Placencia has the best beaches in Belize and you can drive or catch the bus if you do not like the puddle jumper aircraft or tend to get seasick.

A recent visitor to Lobsterfest describes his experience:

“Lobsterfest isn’t only about devouring tasty morsels of the beloved shellfish (there’s plenty of that to go around), but also for the community to come together, celebrate and share their culture. With a large raffle full of great prizes, fun contests (beer drinking, tug-o-war anyone?), and popular local musicians-DJs playing live music there was a great atmosphere of fun and entertainment all around.”

No matter which of these destinations you select for your summer in Belize vacation, Lobsterfest time is an ideal reason to head to Belize. You can tell your friends back home you had so much freshly prepared lobster in Belize you won’t go near a Red Lobster joint in a while!