Belize’s culture capital, Dangriga—an agricultural and commercial town where the orange, banana and shrimp industries thrive—is the primary hub of the Garinagu people, who settled on these shores in the 19th century. Time your visit for November 19, Garifuna Settlement Day or Yurumein, and you’ll witness the inspiring sunrise reenactment of their arrival to Belize in canoes, while drumming and dancing fill the town’s streets. Any other day, ‘Griga, as locals affectionately call their home, takes you deeper into an oral culture that is moving into a written one, and invites you to explore the great Belizean outdoors inland and offshore.
Take a walking tour of Dangriga Town—visit the Drums of Our Father Monument, tour the Gulisi Garifuna Museum, and enjoy paranda and punda music while locals play dominoes. Afro-Amerindian cuisine is served around town; you can also venture to the Sabal Cassava Factory and tour the headquarters of Belize’s famous Marie Sharp hot sauce.
Boat captains stand ready to whisk you from Dangriga’s shores to Tobacco Caye and South Water Caye, where you can overnight and snorkel the Belize Barrier Reef right off the beach. Inland, the waterfalls and wildlife of Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, Billy Barquedier National Park, and Davis Falls are among the most unique in Belize. Even if you’re just passing through for a day, you’ll be intrigued with Dangriga’s rhythms and landscape of “sweet still waters,” as its name promises.