Party in Belize: Garifuna Settlement Day Celebration

On November 19th the celebrations commence to mark the arrival of the first Garifuna to Belize in 1832. The day, called Garifuna Settlement Day, is celebrated throughout the country, but especially in Dangriga, the cultural capital of Belize. There is traditional Garifuna and Belizean food, live punta music, games and Jonkunu dancers. In addition they reenact ‘The Landing.’

The Garifuna are a people produced from the merging of two cultures. The history goes that two slave ships were shipwrecked in the Carribbean near the island of St. Vincent. The slaves escaped the sinking boat and reached the shores of the island, where they were welcomed by the Caribs, who offered their protection. Their intermarriage formed the Garifuna people. The Garifuna adopted the Carib language but kept their African musical and religious traditions.

In 1795 the Garifuna people rebelled against the British. The British punished them for their insolence by deporting them to the island of Roatán, off Honduras. According to legend, the Garífuna hid cassava, a mainstay of their diet, inside their clothes, where it stayed alive watered by the sweat of the tightly packed captives. They planted the cassava on Roatán, where it grew abundantly. In 1832, many Garifuna left Honduras after a civil war there and settled in Dangriga, Belize on November 19th. Garifuna Settlement Day began to be celebrated in Dangriga in 1941.

Each year in Belize, locals reenact ‘The Landing’ by slipping out to sea in boats, then riding the surf onto shore, waving palm fronds and banana leaves to symbolize the cassava that sustained their ancestors. This ritual is rich in music and dance.

Dining opportunities in Dangriga include Garifuna dishes with fish, chicken, pork, corn and manioc or cassava, and wonderfully prepared coconuts. In the town, one can find original works of art, palm crafts, Garifuna handmade dolls, calabash maracas and drums, which their makers say last for a century.

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This post was written by JB on November 19, 2008

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Belize Tourism Promotes Its Ancient Ties

If you loved the Indiana Jones or the “Romancing the Stone” movies, you have probably imagined going on exotic expeditions of your own. When you’re ready to take the plunge, one great place for you to visit is Belize.

This Central American country has everything you could ask for in an adventure vacation. Most notable are karst. These are caves formed on limestone shelves. They were formed thousands of years ago and are believed to have been sacred places used by the ancient Maya in their religious practices.

Archeologists estimate the karst were first used in about 1000 B.C. The Maya thought the karst were doorways to the world of the dead. Although previously historians believed there was only one such portal, known as Xibalba, located in Guatamala, it now appears that Mayans believed all karst were Xibalba or sacred. There is still a feel of the sacred when you visit them today. The people of Belize realize the importance of the treasures they have in the karst and are working to preserve them. You can still see them up close but do remember to be careful so that future generations can enjoy them as well.

Many of these karst are featured in Belize travel guides. They have become quite popular stops for visitors. It is easy to see why: Where else can you find such ancient historic artifacts in their natural state. The trip may not be for the squeamish: There is evidence that these ancient rites involved human sacrifice of children and adults. These are apparent at the Actun Tunichil Muknal karst where the sacrifices were apparently made to appease the gods.

Other karst that are interesting include the Caves Branch system which has a river with water that remains at about 75 degrees F year round. There is also the Che Chem Ha cave. It is believed the Mayans lived in this cave around the year 800 A.D. There are signs everywhere of the civilizations of Maya.

If you like caves but are not particularly interested in ancient civilizations, you can still enjoy them for their sporting potential. You can enjoy swimming, hiking, canoeing and tubing the beautiful wilderness. The Belize tourism office can tell you where to find the best spots for these treks.

Of course, Belize has all the other things that make a destination special. The people are wonderful. The food is tasty and the culture is fascinating. Belize offers the full range of tourist amenities. The nation may not be that well-known in the U.S. but it stills offer the full slate of amenities that travelers want.

So, if you are looking for a vacation destination that has a bit of derring-do to it, you might do worse than going to Belize.

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This post was written by JB on September 19, 2008

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Honeymoon In Belize At An Ambergris Caye Resort

A Honeymoon in Belize is becoming a popular option, and the hard part then is putting together a honeymoon package, after deciding where to stay. A good choice would be the Xanadu Island resort on Ambergris Caye.

A Honeymoon resort benefits from being small, and Xanadu Island resort has only eighteen rooms, right on the beachfront within ten minutes walk of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye

The kind of accommodation you might decide to take on your honeymoon package could well be Suite number two which is an oceanfront loft with views to die for. Get up early, about half past six, make a cup of coffee in the kitchen, go outside onto the deck, and watch the sunrise, and if you do this once, you’ll do it everyday.

Ambergris Caye is a real island getaway, and Xanadu Island resort even more so. It is hidden on a beach lined with palm trees, and what you see from your dawn and daily outlook is the turquoise Caribbean, and the white line of the reef.

The breakdown of the accommodations is a Studio, Loft, or 1,2,or3 bedrooms. Each suite is airconditioned, plus ceiling fans, cable Television, unlimited internet access, as if you’d want that on your Belize honeymoon!!

Added to that hairdryers, safe, beach towels, and not forgetting your own private deck which is shaded from the sun.

There is a long pier with a thatched shade at the end and a swimming platform, so you can snorkel over the hotel’s own man made reef. There is a lovely pool, and loads of hammocks and sunbeds around the pool and on the beach.

The complimentary bikes and kayaks allow you to explore Ambergris Caye, and the bicycles are especially useful to take you into San Pedro to the great restaurants there. If your honeymoon in Belize isn’t to be just relaxing at the Xanadu, but you wish to be more energetic, then why not try Scuba Diving, sailing, fishing or take a guided eco tour to the rainforest.. In addition tours to Mayan ruins can easily be arranged.

Whilst there is no restaurant at the resort, this won’t detract from your honeymoon vacation at all, after all who needs boring hotel restaurant food anyway. There are two local markets close by, so snack meals can easily be organised in the kitchen which is very well equipped.

Some suggestions for feeding yourself are George’s for breakfast, Casa Picasso for dinner, Crazy Canuck’s Bar on the beach, and Monkey Bites for breakfast or lunch

The management team at the Xanadu Island Resort go out of their way from even before you arrive for your honeymoon in Belize to ensure you have an enjoyable and stress free time. From the immaculately maintained property, well looked after rooms, nothing is left to chance, even ensuring flights and taxis are all there when you need them.

Xanadu Island Resort on Ambergris Caye could give you the perfect honeymoon in Belize, and research shows that most people who have gone there for their Belize Honeymoon would return.

For more information on a Honeymoon in Belize go to

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This post was written by JB on September 18, 2008

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Belize Travel – Want a Crack at Something Different?

A Belize vacation is unlike vacations in many other parts of the world. Belize attractions and activities can captivate your imagination and make your Belize travel a delight.

Fortunately Belize, for the most part, has not paved over its natural wonders. A Belize vacation is ecotourism in action.

Ocean activities

Belize is blessed with clear waters, vibrant coral and an abundant marine life. That’s what attracts scuba divers and snorkelers from around the world.

Want to swim with nurse sharks and southern sting rays? Then head to Shark Ray Allen on your Belize holidays and you can find them all around you on your underwater adventure.

On the way you’ll probably catch site of turtles, iguanas and lizards.

Bird watching and other exotic delights

Take a hike through Belize’s twisted jungle paths overhung with vines,exotic orchids and bromeliads. You might feel as if you’re strolling through the Garden of Eden.

You’ll want to check out this wetland environment because it’s an ideal habitat for all sorts of exotic birds and animals.

Bird watching is a natural. You’ll probably hear the call of parrots and toucans interspersed with the roar of the howler monkey.

Sport fishing’s also quite popular. And you might even catch sight of the elusive jaguar.

Belize holidays should include a trip to the Half Moon Caye Natural Monument. This protected area helps conserve the frigatebird and red-footed booby bird. If you’re there in the winter you will probably see osprey and white-crowned pigeons as well.

Belize attractions

If you’re into sports you’ll see plenty on your Belize travel.

Although soccer and basketball are the most popular sports, there’s also boxing, softball and volleyball to capture your attention.

Like to cycle? Look into the Annual International Cross-Country Cycle Race held every Easter and maybe you can make history.

Belize weather and geography

Belize is the site of the second largest barrier reef in the world.

It’s a small country in the Caribbean that’s on the eastern coast of Central America and is bordered by Guatemala and Mexico.

If you’re planning a Belize vacation, there’s a good chance it will be hot and humid.

And any Belize travel should be done during the dry season, December to April.

A friend of mine was traveling in Belize during the rainy season. The downpours were so huge that the streets of the towns got flooded making it almost impossible to get anywhere on foot. It can rain from 60 inches per year in the north up to 160 inches per year in the south. That’s a lot of water.

So it’s best to avoid taking a Belize vacation between early May and November.

A little bit of history

The history of the country is rather interesting and influences the lives of the people down to this day.

Belize travel will bring you into contact with a wonderful mixture of ethnic groups including African, Arab, Asian, Caribbean, Creole, Hispanic, Mestizo cultures and more. The earliest recorded settlement is the Maya civilization. Explore the ancient Mayan ruins – its temples and ballcourts – and you can almost hear history whispering in your ear.

Belize is the last British colony in the Americas. Queen Elizabeth II is it’s sovereign. Matter of fact, together with its parliamentary democracy it’s the only country in Central America with English as the official language.

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An Introduction To Belize

Belize is found in Central America, bordered by the Caribbean Sea northwest of Mexico and southwest of Guatemala.


Between 1500 BC and 900 AD, the Maya civilization occupied Belize. The first European settlers arrived only during the 16th century. British settlements started pouring in by 1638.

The name Belize is believed to be a derivation of the Spanish pronunciation of Wallace, who was the first pirate that established the first settlement in the land. Another possibility for the origin of the name may come from the Mayan word “belix” which means muddy water, pertaining to the Belize River.

In January of 1964, what was then still known as British Honduras became the first self-governing colony of the United Kingdom. It was in June of 1973 that the land was renamed to Belize. At this time, it was the only colony of the United Kingdom on American soil. In September of 1981, George Price led Belize to full independence, but this was delayed until 1992, because of a territorial dispute with Guatemala.

Up to this day, the territorial dispute between the two lands has not been resolved. Help for mediation has been sought from the United Kingdom. Record books have always stated that Guatemala tried to stake claims to the territory of Belize. Although the dispute has not been settled, both Guatemala and Belize have entered cooperative measures to help both countries progress.

Holidays for Vacation

National holidays for Belize include Baron Bliss Day celebrated on the ninth of March; Commonwealth Day set on every second Monday of March; Labor Day celebrated on the first of May; the commemoration of The Battle of St. George’s Caye on the 10th of September; Belize National Independence Day every 21st of September; Pan American Day on the 13th of October; Garifuna Settlement Day on the 19th of November; and Christmas Day, celebrated in Belize and throughout the world on December 25. Belize provides detailed information on Belize, Belize Real Estate, Belize Vacations, Belize Weather and more. Belize is affiliated with Barbados Weather.

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This post was written by JB on September 15, 2008

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