Bliss in Southern Belize

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One of the few Belizean towns I have yet to explore is Dangriga. It’s ironic because it’s known as the “culture capital” of Belize. But it’s also the forgotten town of Belize when it comes to tourism. Few people stay here more than a day or two – most are either here for business or on their way to the islands that are close to the southern coast.

It’s a real shame, because there’s a lot to Dangriga – especially for learning about the Garifuna culture. As an African it bothers me that I haven’t yet spent even a full day here seeing the town, talking to people or even taking part in some of the cultural activities. It’s just been one of those circumstances where I never get there on time or I head there at the last minute.

The last week of January, I had every intention of spending a full day there but I left Belize City pretty late. I had to renew my immigration entry stamp (here in Belize, you only get one month>> upon entry; after that you have to get an extension from the immigration office at the cost of US$25 for an additional month).

By the time I headed to the bus station in Belize City, it was already 3:45 p.m. With about 2.5 hours’ ride, I didn’t reach there until nightfall.

By the way, the bus stations in Belize amuse me. They make me feel like I’ve stepped back in time. Forget the snazzy motor coach buses… or electronic departure screens or even staffed ticket booths. You just wait on your bus outside by the gates and every time one arrives the attendant yells out the destination. You rush to get on and find the best seat possible (on an old Ladybird bus, which is what these are, everyone gets a stiff seat so no worries). You pay for your fare at some point during the ride when the attendant comes to find you, and find you they will.

A roundtrip from Belize City to Dangriga cost me BZ $10 one way (or US $5) on the James Bus Line (I’m told some of the other lines may charge more so this one is best).

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