Updated February 6, 2021 for Super Bowl LV:
Where are best places to watch the Super Bowl in Central America this weekend? It’s a crazy year and not many people are advertising. Also, we have curfews to contend with, and a lot of places have closed because of the pandemic. That said, we’ve dug down, and found some places to watch the game if you need to get out.
I’ll start this with a confession. I don’t understand American football. Or, I guess I should say, football.
I grew up in a country where we played real football. You know, that sport where people who call American football football call football soccer. Still with me?
But even though I don’t understand the sport, I don’t dislike it… I’ve even warmed to it a little in my own way over the years. Plus I’ve lived in Costa Rica long enough to know most of my fellow native English-speakers are Americans, and most of them love their game. Fair play to them.
I know enough about football, though, to know this weekend, for example, is the culmination of the 2020/21 season know as Super Bowl LV. That’s Super Bowl 55, non-Roman numeral readers.
I also know we have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing the Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa.
Will it make any difference in this time of COVID that the Buccaneers are playing in their home stadium? It’ll be the first time in history this happens. Who knows?
All I do know that this year, in these times of pandemic and curfew, watching this game won’t be as easy as other years.
So where are the best places to watch the Super Bowl in Central America in 2021?
The easiest answer to that question is at home. Even if you find a bar that’s open, curfew regulations might mean it’s closed before the game ends. But if you insist on going out, let’s see what’s out there for you.
Be aware that most countries have strict limits on how many people can sit in a bar right now, so if you do find something open, it’ll be first come first serve.
I’ll start off by being the bearer of bad news for Super Bowl fans in Panama. Most of the country is under a full lockdown at weekends, meaning bars are closed. I guess you know that anyway if you’re in Panama, so I’m not really the bearer of bad news.
Even gringo sports bars are closed. COVID is no respecter of sporting history, and neither is the Panamanian government.
So if you’re in Panama City and its surrounds (which is where most people are), forget it. Watch the game at home.
If, however, you’re in Bocas del Toro, you’re in luck. This part of Panama is not under the same draconian lockdown you’ll find elsewhere. You can watch the game in these Caribbean islands.
According to Nicolas Corea from The Bocas Breeze, you have three main choices for your Super Bowl-viewing pleasure.
“Toro Loco is a sports bar and typically the number 1 spot to watch it. The other two are US-expat-owned hangouts, and they should be broadcasting the game.”
Bear in mind that Panama’s curfew laws kick in at at 9:00 PM. The game starts at 6:30 PM Panama time, so it’ll be tight. You might only be able to watch the first half.
In Costa Rica, the game starts at 5:30 PM local time. The new February guidelines allow places to close at 10:00 PM instead of the previous 9:00 PM, so watching the whole game should be okay. Just remember they’re operating at a strict 50% capacity, so book your table or get there early.
To stress the point again, you’ll need to make a reservation at all these places because of the capacity restrictions. You might be too late already, but it’s worth a try.
I used to know the bars of San Juan del Sur and Granada like the back of my hand.
I remember past Super Bowls on the Calle Calzada in Granada, where every bar had a big screen. Everyone was outside in some big street party where all the bars merged. Good times.
But I haven’t been in Nicaragua for a while now, so I reached out to Glenn Graham in San Juan del Sur, who says the best places there will be Bar Republika, Isabella’s, El Social, and Iguanas. Isabella’s is running a beer and wings special on the day. Oh – and also the Nicaragua Craft Beer Company.
As for Granada, the best bet is to check out the bars and restaurants on the Calle Calzada and see what’s still open. That’s easy enough to do.
No curfew in Nicaragua at all.
Social media more than came through for us in Honduras. We asked the Facebook groups Roatan Travel / Support Roatan Discussion Group and Honduras Expats where to watch the game tomorrow. Here are the main recommendations from football fans in Honduras:
The place to be in Tegucigalpa is McAllister’s Irish Pub. They have ten big screens and promotions with craft beer and artisanal pizza.
Honduras has a 9:00 PM curfew.
El Salvador has no curfew, so no worries about missing any of the game.
Belize has an 8:00 PM curfew which makes watching the whole game tight.
I still don’t know where – or even if – I will watch the Super Bowl.
As mentioned already, I’m not exactly a fan and Sunday nights are never a good time to tie one on, especially during times of curfew and all that stress. Staying in is probably my fate this Super Bowl Sunday. But if you don’t want to share my fate, I hope this min-guide helps you wherever you are in Central America.
Where do you think you’ll be watching the game?
James Dyde is the editor of CentralAmerica.com. He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.