Every year without fail, San Pedro Town welcomes hundreds of visitors to the island – many from our mainland – to the International Costa Maya Festival®! What started in 1992 as the Sea and Air Festival, the celebration has evolved into a musical and cultural festival that also brings a touch of beauty to the three-night extravaganza. This year’s event will take place from Thursday, August 6th to Sunday, August 9th.Costa Maya International Festival-7
Local and international musicians, deejays, performers, artisans and even carnival fair-style rides fill the Sunset Boardwalk venue, where throngs of festival-goers enjoy different events each night. Costa Maya International Festival-2Organizers of the festival try and spread the entertainment to incorporate the entire family.Costa Maya International Festival-1
Always held on the first weekend of August, Costa Maya® begins on a Thursday night. This is now officially kicked off with the selection of a Costa Maya beauty ambassador. Costa Maya International Festival-9Representatives from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama grace the stage in hopes of capturing the crown.Costa Maya International Festival-5

Exotic costumes, elegant gowns and stunning swimwear are paraded to the delight of the audience. Intermissions are peppered with fabulous cultural entertainment by dance troupes. This year will see the performance of Mexico’s Dance Troupe Alma Caribeña, and they have promised to bring an air of Carnaval, with costumes to match!

Alma Caribena

Alma Caribena

The Belize Dance Company will also be lending their unique movements to the affair.Costa Maya International Festival-3 At the end of the night, a panel of judges will choose the representative of The Costa Maya®. The current title-holder is Miss Mexico’s Elisa Espinosa.Costa Maya International Festival-11
Once the winner has been chosen, there will be a celebratory after-party hosted by the winner, and everyone is invited to dance the night away to the sounds of an international DJ.Costa Maya International Festival-10
Friday night is the official opening night, and the traditional Flag Dance honors the participating countries of the festival to much pomp and circumstance. Costa Maya International Festival-4The night then takes on the title of FEST-ival seriously, providing fabulous entertainment onstage late into the night and right on to the wee hours of the morning.

Gilharry 7 Band

Gilharry 7 Band

Headlining this night is the mighty Gilharry 7 Band, bringing fabulous Belizean flavor to the stage. Also performing will be Honduran electro-punta singer/musician El Chevo.

El Chevo

El Chevo

His popular hit song “Metele, Sacala” truly combines his country’s native rhythm with his popular electronic fusions. Bring your dancing shoes (or lose those shoes and have even MORE fun!)Costa Maya International Festival-15
After resting up properly from the Friday night fun, plan on a romantic evening to the tunes of Grupo Ladron. The group was formed in 1991 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and is a top choice for ballads and the “grupera” genre.

Grupo Ladron

Grupo Ladron

Of course, there will be local artists and performances leading up the big event, which usually starts at the romantic witching hour of midnight!Costa Maya International Festival-13
To cap off the weekend, Sunday is a fun family day on the beach, for those festival attendees who need to recover before heading back home! Costa Maya International Festival-14We hope everyone who attends enjoys each aspect of the festival, and we look forward to welcoming you all to La Isla Bonita and the International Costa Maya Festival 2015®.

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About the Author: Mary Gonzalez

Mary Gonzalez writes under the pseudonym ‘Tia Chocolate’. Tia Chocolate enjoys writing short stories that focus on her life growing up in the small Maya village of San Antonio, Cayo District, Belize.

Tia loves (and we mean LOVE) eating and writing about her food experiences, often times trying out new recipes to try and recreate the foods of her memories. She also loves to travel, indulging in the culture wherever she is privy to visit.

She is slave to a giant cat named Kitty Boo Boo, and her cooking exploits are enjoyed by her significant other, Pookie.


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