Dangriga

Dangriga

Dangriga, the capital of Stann Creek, is a bustling, rustic, agricultural, and commercial town where the orange, banana, and shrimp industries thrive. Every other day, Dangriga pulls in photographers with its bridges and rivers, or culture lovers with its majority Garinagu population. Daily scenes range from fishermen hawking their catch to pelicans gliding over the beach and thatch hut bars lightning up with punta music after dusk.

If you are an independent traveler, you don’t want to miss a journey to the southern Stann Creek District. The Southern Highway stretches past colorful fields of citrus and bananas.  This region, which includes Dangriga, Placencia, Hopkins, and the offshore Southern Cayes, is the pulse of Belize’s Afro-Caribbean culture. Garifuna villages face this beach-endowed coastline. In 2001, the Garinagu-an Afro-Caribbean people – were declared an endangered group by the United Nations. In Belize, they continue to thrive on their ancestral lands. They came from St.Vincent in dug-out canoes to our shores in search of freedom. Here they found peace and were able to practice their rituals, culture, and language.  

In time, however, other populations have steadily moved here. Today, it is a melting pot of Maya, Garifuna, Creole, and Mestizo culture! Not only the beaches, but also Stann Creek’s great outdoors are impressive. Here, there are fewer crowds exploring the pristine environments: the world’s only jaguar preserve at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the secluded emerald falls at the Bocawina National Park, accessible via adventure-filled hikes and rappels, and the verdant pools of the Billy Barquadier National Park. 

Then there’s the challenging Victoria Peak, the second-highest point in the region. From Dangriga to Hopkins, and the outstretched Placencia Peninsula, agricultural life merges with Afro-Caribbean drum beats, fishing canoes contrast against catamarans, roadside tamale shacks nest to upscale dining, and accommodations ranging from hostels to lavish beachfront resorts. Just offshore, the Belize Barrier Reef offers protected cayes and rich marine reserves for an unparalleled underwater experience. Here, sighting giant turtles spotted rays or whale sharks in season is a sure thing. If you never tire of discovery, Stann Creek offers an astounding range of experiences.

The People

Garifuna villages face this beach-endowed coastline. In 2001, the Garinagu-an Afro-Caribbean people – were declared an endangered group by the United Nations. In Belize, they continue to thrive on their ancestral lands. They came from St. Vincent in dug-out canoes to our shores in search of freedom.  Here they found peace and were able to practice their rituals, culture, and language.  

Those curious about Belize’s Afro-Amerindian heritage will find opportunities to immerse.

In time, however, other populations have steadily moved here. Today it is a melting pot of Maya, Garifuna, Creole, and Mestizo culture! 

What to see

Not only the beaches but also Stann Creek’s great outdoors are, impressive. Here there are fewer crowds exploring the pristine environments: the world’s only jaguar preserve at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the secluded emerald falls at the Bocawina National Park, accessible via adventure-filled hikes and rappels, and the verdant pools of the Billy Barquadier National Park. 

Then there’s the challenging Victoria Peak, the second-highest point in the region. Agricultural life merges with Afro-Caribbean drum beats, fishing canoes contrast against catamarans, roadside tamale shacks nest to upscale dining, and accommodations ranging from hostels to lavish beachfront resorts. Just offshore, the Belize Barrier Reef offers protected cayes and rich marine reserves for an unparalleled underwater experience. Here, sighting giant turtles spotted rays or whale sharks in season is a sure thing. If you never tire of discovery, Stann Creek offers an astounding range of experiences. 

Read more: Dangriga and Hopkins, Why you should visit Southern Belize, About Garinagu.