If you’re spending the holidays in Belize, your friends and family back home might have some major FOMO seeing your Instagram posts and reels. While we wish they could be sharing our bucket-list holiday, they’ll have to settle for a souvenir or gift item until they are able to experience Belize for themselves. And we’re not talking about the generic keychain or refrigerator magnet, instead, give them something they’ll treasure tenfold and for years to come.
If you’re shopping for a loved one or looking for unique Belize memorabilia, use this guide to maximize your shopping experience during the holidays. Bonus: You’ll be supporting local entrepreneurs, businesses and artisans.
- Wines and Spirits: Locals stock up on traditional wines during the holiday season. Unlike the classic reds and whites, these are tropical concoctions made from seasonal fruits. Cashew, Blackberry, Craboo and Sorrel wines are savored for their sweet, tangy flavors and potency. Rum is perhaps the signature drink of the Caribbean, tied to the history of the region’s colonial sugar plantations. In Belize, there are several distilleries that produce white, gold, dark, tourist favorite – coconut rum! Grab a bottle of white and coconut rum and recreate this pleasing and refreshing Belizean cocktail at home.
- Art & Traditional Crafts: Painting, wood carvings, baskets, embroidered textiles, and more can be found galore in local gift shops and artisan stalls. These exquisite pieces are created from the laborious efforts, creativity, and the self-taught skills of artists and artisans. Belizean arts and crafts incorporate elements of culture and nature making for vibrant and unique displays for home or office.
- Clothing, Handmade Jewelry & Accessories: Add lionfish earrings, leather bags, or intricate hand-embroidered Maya tops to your wardrobe. Markets and beachsides are often sprinkled with artisans selling skillfully crafted items made from natural materials such as conch, coconut, seeds and the jippy-jappy plant. Support Belize’s Barrier Reef by purchasing lionfish jewelry made from the fins of this invasive fish species.
- Recipes/Cookbook: A taste of Belize is one of the best gifts you can give to a foodie! Belize’s rich blend of cultures is seen in numerous delectable dishes and treats. Local cookbooks typically offer a wide selection of recipes with popular Garifuna, Creole, Mestizo, and Maya dishes. Get a copy and recreate your favorite dishes for friends and family or whenever you’re missing Belize.
- Self-care Products: Belize’s rainforests and marine ecosystems have long been hailed as naturally rich. From seaweed-based concoctions to the harvested power of turmeric, local entrepreneurs are bottling generations of traditional natural knowledge into a full line of body scrubs, facial masks, hair conditioning treatments and much more. Give the gift of an at home spa treatment to your besties. Plus, one can never have too many self-pampering products.
- Locally-authored Books: For those who prefer the written arts, there is a small but varied collection of Belizean books found at stationery houses and book stores across the country. Choose from short stories, poetry, folklore, photography and others. Visit a nearby book store and ask for recommendations for your favorite bibliophile.
- Chocolate and Coffee: Cacao has long been a part of Belize’s ancient Maya heritage. There are several chocolatiers offering tours where you can see the entire chocolate-making process from bean to bar. Choose from milk, white or a range of dark chocolate options. Some chocolatiers even add infusions of orange, mint, and hot sauce! For the coffee lover, there is 100% organic Arabica cotura shade grown coffee from the makers at the Gallon Jug Estate. Sip on a cup of full bodied medium or dark roast brew. You really can’t go wrong gifting either of these items.
- Hot Sauce and Jellies: You’ll find Belizean hot sauce at every restaurant in town. Locals are as boastful about their hot sauce as they are about the Great Blue Hole. There are various brands available, but the go-to remains Marie Sharp’s. Trust us when we say you’ve never had anything quite as flavorful as Belizean hot sauce. If you prefer sweet to spicy there are also sweet pepper sauces that pair well with grilled dishes. Get a variety of jams and jellies made from tropical fruits such as pineapples, mango, and papaya to add to your breakfast spreads.
Add this souvenir and gift guide to your itinerary and gift an authentically Belizean item this holiday.