5 Garifuna Cultural Experiences to add to your Belize Itinerary

Belize’s cultural tapestry is reflected in the diversity of experiences that can be enjoyed in almost every corner of the country. The Garinagu is one of several major ethnic groups that are encountered, particularly in Belize’s Southeast Coast. If you find yourself heading to Hopkins, Dangriga or any other predominantly Garifuna community be sure to add these activities to your Belize trip. 

  1. Sample the local cuisine. No trip to Belize would be complete without tasting the traditional flavours. If there is only time to enjoy one activity on this list, we highly recommend a foodie experience! Get ready to have all your taste buds activated with a variety of soups, desserts and drinks. Local dishes include fish, cassava, plantains, bananas, coconut milk and oil. Looking for recommendations? Try our 5 Garifuna Must-Eats
  2. Take a tour/lesson. So you’ve tasted that hudut or cassava pudding and just need to learn how to make it? Why not take a cooking lesson or a cultural tour! These are led by locals who live their culture as part of daily life. There are a variety of options such as learning how to make a Garifuna drum, making a traditional meal, or learning how to dance Punta (a rite of passage).
  3. See local art.  The local art scene ranges from murals and paintings to pottery and crafts. Belizean art is easily distinguished by the kaleidoscope of colours and inspirations drawn from nature, culture and history. Garifuna art shares stories of tradition, festivities, and elements of everyday life. Check out the Cayetano Gallery to see the works of master artist, Pen Cayetano. 
  4. Visit a local museum. You might be surprise to know that they are several small Garifuna museums across Belize. The most well-known is the Gulisi Garifuna Museum located in Dangriga Town. On display are clothing, utensils, crafts and a wealth of information on the Garinagu’s migration to Belize and their settlement history. If you’re in Belize City stop by at the Luba Garifuna Museum. Feeling up to a road trip? Check out the Darina Museum in Libertad Village located in Belize’s northern Corozal District. 
  5. Experience Yurumein. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Hopkins Village or Dangriga Town on November 19th don’t sleep in and miss the chance to see a major celebration. Each year on this day, Garifuna Settlement Day is celebrated nationally commemorating the arrival of the Garinagu to Belize in 1802. Activities kick off early in the morning with the re-enactment or Yurumein. See Garifuna descendants arrive by sea via canoes and boats singing and drumming. This is followed by a celebratory procession through the principal streets. The magnetic rhythmic beats are guaranteed to help you shake off those yawns. 

Adding these activities to your itinerary will help you better understand Belize’s people and heritage. You’ll also be spamming your friends at home with all your social media-worthy moments.