San Pedro boasts the best nightlife in the country, whether your idea of fun is dancing up a storm, drowning in alcohol, listening to live music, or watching chickens poop—it’s all here.
Wednesdays and Saturdays are the biggest nights out, and water taxis actually change their schedules to accommodate revelers. The chicken drop is now on Thursdays.
In general, the hot spots don’t get going until 11 p.m. or midnight, with lots of warming up in various bars before the bumpin’ and grindin’ begins.
Diving by day and drinking by night is the standard Ambergris scene—although a number of proud underachievers substitute a full day of cocktails for diving. Cholo’s Sport Bar, on the beach in the center of town, is a mellow local hangout and heart of San Pedro’s social scene.
A few stumbles down the beach, Fido’s Courtyard (open 10 a.m.–midnight, till 2 a.m. on weekends) the largest bar-restaurant complex in town, with live music every night in the high season and one of the only sushi bars in the country. They also have a great app menu and friendly barkeeps.
The bar at BC’s (on the beach, just east of the airstrip, tel. 501/226-3289) is popular, open from 9 a.m. daily with live music on Sundays, and serving great nachos and burritos all day (US$7.50). The Rehab Bar, a small patio bar on Front Street next to the Jaguar’s Temple disco, is open daily and great for people-watching.
Place your bets at the weekly Chicken Drop, Thursdays at 6 p.m. in front of Wahoo’s Bar (beachside in the Spindrift Hotel, tel. 501/226-2002) and Caliente Restaurant (tel. 501/226-2170, 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Tues.–Sun.): A chicken is let loose on a numbered grid and revelers place bets on which numbered square the chicken will choose to soil. Warm up at Wahoo’s Bar and Caliente Restaurant’s two-for-one happy hour, 4–6 p.m.
South of San Pedro, Crazy Canuck’s Beach Bar (S. Coconut Dr.) has live music and dancing on Mondays and Thursdays, and a jam session Sunday afternoons. You’ll find happy customers playing cards, horseshoes, dominoes, and other games. Across Coconut Drive from Canuck’s, look for the Roadkill Bar (S. Coconut Dr.), another popular hangout. Continuing south, you’ll find the Sandbar Restaurant & Grill (1 Seagrape Dr., US$10–20) on the beach a few hundred yards past Victoria House.
North of San Pedro, the legendary Palapa Bar (tel. 501/226-3111, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.-ish) is a must-stop, whether for lunch, sunset, or a lazy evening of appetizers (US$4–6), barbecue, beer, and cocktails (try the Banango with rum). For the full Palapa experience, bring a bathing suit so you can float in an anchored inner tube and have the bartender lower you down a bucket of beer. It’s a short golf cart ride north of the bridge, or US$3.50 by water taxi.
Wednesday is ladies’ night at Wet Willy’s, and Saturdays get going when Fido’s closes at midnight and everyone wanders across the street to Jaguar’s Temple (open at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) and Big Daddy’s Disco, located across from Jaguar’s Temple, next to the park. Music and dancing get started around 11 p.m.–midnight and can go until 3 a.m. or later.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition