A Trip to Dangriga – the Heart and Soul of Belize

If you’re on a tourist visa in Belize and want to stay longer than 30 days, you have to make a trip to an Immigration office to get an extension. The 29th of every month is when I make that trip, usually on the Hokey Pokey (you can read about that here), to Independence. Coincidentally, it’s also the day that my friend and neighbour has to get her extension. And so we decided, along with our other friend and neighbour, to take a road trip to Dangriga to do some shopping, making a quick (ish) stop in Independence to get our visas extended. Dangriga has shops that we don’t have in Placencia – bigger supermarkets with a wider range of products, pet supply stores, furniture stores and so on.

dangriga

Dangriga is not only the district capital of Stann Creek but more importantly, it is the “culture capital” of Belize. No matter where your interests lie, this charming and vibrant coastal town offers something for everybody, and its convenient location makes it the perfect jumping-off point for a variety of adventures on both land and sea.

Dangriga has a population of about 10,000 friendly residents, most of whom are the descendants of shipwrecked slaves who intermarried with the locals – known as the Garifuna. Garifuna culture is a successful fusion of African and Caribbean traditions.

We set out early to make the most of the day, into the beautiful lush countryside

dangriga road trip

After a quick stop for coffee and a muffin and then a longer stop in Independence to get our visas stamped, we arrived in Dangriga a little before 10 am. Our first stop was a discount-type store where you could buy items in bulk or separately, but more importantly, they had small appliances and I bought myself a long-awaited blender – think smoothies and margaritas!

After that, we stopped at the pet supply store where we encountered bunnies and chicks at the entrance.

dangriga rabbits and chicks

After stocking up on treats and the like for our dogs and cats, we continued on to the furniture store, deftly avoiding picking up a bunny and a couple of chicks.

We passed all kinds of little stores along the way selling everything from clothing to scooters

and parked by the river.

dangriga river

The furniture store was just to have a look for future patio furniture.

After looking around and making a note of things of buy in the future, we started getting a little hungry and decided to head to the Pelican Beach Resort for lunch.

We crossed the bridge

dangriga bridge

passed some not-so-nice houses and some nice houses

horses grazing in the children’s playground

dangriga horse

and the Garden of Gethsemane

dangriga cemetary

before getting to the end of the road and there in front of us was the Pelican Beach Resort.

dangriga pelican beach resort front

It’s a very welcoming place right from the start.

dangriga pelical resort

Beautifully decorated with big, airy wide open spaces and lovely wood carvings.

The dining area was located outdoors right on the beach.

Around the corner, another sitting area to enjoy a few drinks

dangriga pelican resort 6

after a day of relaxing on the beach.

dangriga pelican resort 8

which is a very short walk from your room.

dangriga pelican resort8

At the pier, you can catch a boat to one of the islands in the area.

dangriga pelican resort 7

We made a note to come back for a cheeky girls’ weekend.

After a delicious lunch, we stopped at a huge supermarket for a little more shopping before heading out to one of the nurseries in the area for some plant therapy. This nursery was a gardener’s dream. Rows upon rows of all kinds of flowers, shrubs and trees

I wanted to buy them all, but for that I could need a larger property, so I decided on a ground orchid

dangriga ground orchid

Alas, we didn’t have time to see or do anything else in Dangriga, but I learned that exploring Dangriga gives visitors an opportunity to experience the history, culture, cuisine, and traditions of life in Belize, and so I made a note to come back and see some of the things listed in this article.

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