The Southern Coast: Places to Explore

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Dangriga

With a population of around 9,000, Dangriga is the largest town in the south and the home of the Garífuna or Black Caribs, as they're also known (though some view the latter term as a remnant of colonialism). Strictly speaking the plural is Garinagu, but Garifunas also is used. There's not much to keep you in Dangriga. Though the town is on the coast, there are no good beaches, no truly first-class hotels, few restaurants, and, except for a small museum on Garífuna culture in the outskirts of town, not much to see. Rickety clapboard houses on stilts and small shops line the downtown streets, and the town has a kind of end-of-the-road feel. Dangriga isn't really dangerous, and in fact it's friendlier than it first seems, though it has a rough vibe, a little like Belize City, that's off-putting for many visitors.

Each year, on November 19 and the days around it, the town cuts loose with a week of Carnival-style celebrations. Garífuna drumming, costumed Jonkunu dancers, punta music, and a good bit of drinking make up the festivities of Garífuna Settlement Day, when these proud people celebrate their arrival in Belize and remember their roots.

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