Also referred to as Stann Creek Town, Dangriga is a settlement in Southern Belize, and the capital of the Stann Creek District. Although it’s not Belize’s largest city (that honor goes to Belize City), there is plenty to see and do there.
Fondly referred to as Belize’s “culture capital” by residents, Dangriga is a welcoming place for tourists and travelers who wish to experience a little-known corner of the world. Not a “tourist trap” by any means, you’ll find culture in Dangriga, not crowds.
The people of Dangriga
Originally founded by the Garinagu (or Black Caribs), who came from Honduras before 1832, Dangriga, Belize is home to about 10,000 people, most of which are Garinagu, Kriol, or Mestizo. Many residents identify as Garifuna, an ethnic group who descended from Africans and native Caribs.
Today, Garifuna culture is alive and well in Dangriga. You’ll find it on display in the city’s holidays and traditions, as well as in the homes of its people. For example, on November 19th the town celebrates Garifuna Settlement Day. In the week leading up to this holiday, festivities include a torchlit parade, street music, church services, a Miss Garifuna pageant, and dancing.
Activities in Dangriga
Besides attending the Garifuna Settlement Day festivities in November, there are plenty of other activities to experience in Dangriga year round.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
For example, a nature reserve called Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is replete with mountain trails and waterfalls. However, its claim to fame is its status as the very first protected area for jaguars in the world.
We suggest booking a nature tour that includes a 40 minute trek through the reserve, culminating in a relaxing float down a jungle river by inner tube, and a refreshing dip in a waterfall pool.
Mayflower Archeological Reserve
Also known as Bocawina National Park, this rainforest reserve is located south of Dangriga. While there, you can experience ziplining, waterfall rappelling, and take a dip in cold mountain water near the falls. It’s a great place to hike with family and friends, see exotic flora and fauna, and breathe in some fresh air. There are also some Mayan ruins accessible by trails within the rainforest.
Be sure to bring adequate clothing for hiking, and water shoes as the journey includes refreshing streams and somewhat muddy paths. You can book a guided tour in advance here.
Maya Center Mayan Museum
Visit the Maya Center to experience Mayan culture first-hand. While there, you can tour the cacao farm, view how chocolate is made (and then taste it!) You’ll even have the chance to make it yourself.
Other activities include tortilla making, cultural dance training and coffee making. Located next door to the visitor’s center of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the Maya Center is the perfect place for hands-on learning and family fun.
Ready to experience Dangriga, Belize for yourself? Book an oceanfront cabana for an unforgettable Caribbean vacation.
Main image source: roambelize.com