Many Rhythms, One Heartbeat

Belizean Culture

Our small country isn’t defined by one culture, but a unique blend of influences from all over the world. It’s this blend that gives the people of Belize the distinct ability to make anyone feel welcome. While you may be far from it when you visit, we’ll make you feel right at home. From cuisine to language to dancing, explore the cultures and traditions that make Belize so unique.

Creole man
Rice & Beans is a different dish than Beans & Rice
Creole woman

Popular Creole dishes are universally enjoyed throughout Belize and include Rice and Beans, Beans and Rice (yes, they are two different dishes), Stew Chicken and Salad, and “Boil Up.”

The Creole culture makes up 24% of the Belize population.
Creole man wearing hat

The Kriol language is best described as a broken English dialect that is understood (mostly) and spoken by all cultures in Belize.

mestizo women
The Mestizo make up 48% of the Belize population
mestizo woman red flower

As documentations indicate, a Spanish sailor named Gonzalo Guerrero had shipwrecked off the coast of Belize shortly after the New World discovery. It was this arrival that eventually sparked a new friendship between the Maya Ruler, Nachanhan, and Guerrero. Eventually, this Spanish ally married Nachanhan’s daughter and their children were seen as the first Mestizo of Belize.

The Mestizo are people of mixed Spanish and Maya descent
metizo women dancing

With the blending of these cultures came a fusion of traditions, practices and foods, unique to Belize. Take a trip to the North to immerse yourself in this foodie-haven and celebrate the many festivities held annually to celebrate Mestizo culture.

Garifuna drummers
The Garifuna created punta: a hypnotic drumbeat music.
Garifuna drummers

November 19 commemorates the arrival in 1823 of the Garifuna (descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people) and their contribution to the Belizean landscape. In 2001, UNESCO proclaimed the Garifuna language, music and dance to be among the masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Garifuna Settlement Day is celebrated on November 19.
Garifuna drum building

With festivals throughout the year, it’s impossible not to experience the warm and vibrant Garifuna culture during your visit to Belize.

Maya woman working
The Maya culture began as early as 1500 BC

Maya fire pit

Maya culture is still alive and well in Belize. Today, you can tour authentic sites left by this great culture and, in many cases, be guided through these sites by a direct descendant―a modern-day Maya. In many cities, you can also find Maya cuisine and festivals celebrating this ancient civilization.

Maya population in Belize reached 1 million in 250 AD
Maya woman at table

To explore Maya sites in Belize, check with your hotel or local tour operators throughout the country to see what ancient Maya temples are open for exploration. And if you get the chance, be sure to speak with contemporary Maya families. They will be happy to tell you about their culture and share stories that have been passed down through generations.

Activities

Don't just see the wonder of Belize, Experience it.

The mysteries of Maya without the traps of tourism.

With only a small percentage of our ancient Maya temples uncovered, it’s not uncommon to come across ancient pieces of pottery or hear that a distant hill is actually a temple.

Whether you want to...

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Get to know our feathered friends.

Over 500 species of feathered friends call Belize home from time to time. Some of the best places to see migrant and resident water birds are Crooked Tree and the seashores of Belize.

Like everything...

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Grab your oar and get out there.

Whether you’re a beginner at canoeing or really know your way around a boat, we have the waterways for any paddling traveler. Tour companies and jungle lodges also cater to canoe travelers, with some...

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Attractions

Put these sites on your list, you won't regret it.

Mountain Pine Ridge

Located in the highlands of the southern zone of western Belize, the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve offers cool temperatures and reveals splendid natural monuments. Within its 300,000 acres of...

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Glover's Reef

Glover’s Reef Atoll Marine Reserve is located in the southernmost region of Belize and is one of the most spectacular marine biodiversity not only for Belize but in the region. Encompassing 35...

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Community Baboon Sanctuary

The Community Baboon Sanctuary spans 20 miles and is home to over a thousand howler monkeys, birds and other mammals. The sanctuary was started by a group of local farmers in 1985 to protect the...

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Perspective

Your curated guide to Belize

Why Belize is perfect for bleisure travel

By now the established – albeit cringe-y – portmanteau “bleisure” has made its rounds in the travel industry for a couple of years now. “Bleisure,” a hybrid of business and leisure travel, has been on...

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What's Forest Bathing? | Embracing the Belize Rainforest

Early this year articles popped up everywhere about an intriguing Japanese concept known as forest bathing. But what exactly is it? Shinrin-yoku, shinrin meaning “forest” and yoku meaning “bath,” is...

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Belize Turns 37 – September Celebrations

Oh, Belize – the country that has made the word fête a verb. Known to be a vivacious people, we take our country’s birthday quite seriously. Independence Day is technically September 21, but the...

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Local

Events

International Costa Maya Festival 2018

By now Belize is known for its umpteen festivals – food, culture, you name it – and the International Costa Maya Festival is no doubt the highlight of the country’s “La Isla Bonita.” Otherwise known...

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Taste of Belize 2018 features best of Belizean Cuisine

Belize continues to thrive in the culinary scene and those dabbing in the art of gastronomy are now able to witness up front nouvelle Belizean cuisine. Taste of Belize, held every two years, is a...

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Placencia Lobster Fest reels in the masses

For 18 savory years, the not-so-lowly lobster has graced our palates in extravagant ways at every annual Lobster Fest held in Placencia. Spanning three days, this food festival has only grown over the...

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