In 2001, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed the Garifuna language, music and dance a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. The recognition bolstered local efforts to preserve this vibrant culture.

The Garinagu are descendants of African slaves that fled exile in Saint Vincent. There are a number of Garifuna communities along the coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize…a settlement trail of their pilgrimage towards freedom. Today the Garinagu proudly share their culture with visitors to Belize. November 19th is a public and bank holiday to commemorate their arrival to Belize’s shores.

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The festivities include all night drumming and dancing and the sharing of traditional foods and drinks. At dawn, the Garinagu re-enact the arrival of their ancestors while singing joyful songs in gratitude of finding solid land. Their clothing is the colour of the Garifuna flag: yellow, black and white.

Hotels in Dangriga pay homage to the Garifuna culture in various ways, such as hosting cultural nights on the beach so visitors can learn to dance the “punta” to the tune of live drumming, and by including traditional foods on their menus. Beyond cultural immersion, Dangriga is the gateway to incredible marine and terrestrial attractions. Further inland, visitors can hike to a three hundred foot waterfall, explore a colonial sugar mill or take a picturesque drive along the Hummingbird Highway. Off shore, several pristine cayes are nestled on the Belize Barrier Reef, offering visitors incredible diving and snorkeling opportunities. Accommodations in Dangriga range from rooms on the beach to island cabanas to main street convenience.
After you’ve said hello to Dangriga, it will definitely be hard to say Ayo…goodbye.

Getting Here

How to get here: Local carriers Tropic Air and Maya Island Air have daily scheduled flights to this destination. You can also take a bus or rent a car in Belize City and enjoy the scenic drive to Dangriga.

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