Meet the Locals for an Authentic Belize Vacation
These days, traveling abroad is about so much more than visiting famous landmarks and relaxing poolside at the hotel. Belize, a small country located in Central America with just 400,000 inhabitants, is home to many diverse cultures.
On your next trip to Belize, you can enjoy authentic cultural experiences such as:
The Creoles are the descendants of enslaved Africans and are the largest population group in Belize. The biggest urban area in the country, Belize City, is also the epicenter of Creole culture. Belize City is home to authentic Creole restaurants serving up a tasty medley of Caribbean cuisine. And while you’re in town, why not visit the historic downtown area with its stately colonial-era homes and buildings, including St. John’s Cathedral, the oldest Anglican church in the Americas.
Where to start: Deep Sea Marlin’s Restaurant is right on the waterfront and serves up heaping helpings of stewed chicken, rice, and beans for less than $5. And you can polish it off with a glass of fresh watermelon juice.
Four hundred years ago, a ship transporting Africans sank just off the coast of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. Miraculously, many of the Africans survived, intermarrying with the local islanders to form the only group of people of African origin in the Western Hemisphere who never suffered the yoke of slavery. Today, they form a vibrant part of Belize’s culture with their unique traditions of food, drumming, and music.
Where to start: Hopkins Village on the coast is a Garifuna village and one of the most beautiful places in the country. Be sure to try the hudut (a stew made with coconuts and fish) and some cassava bread with a side of mashed plantains.
The ancient Maya civilization is long gone, but the Maya people of Belize have preserved many of their ancient traditions, including a deep knowledge of the medicinal properties of jungle plants.
Where to start: Toledo District is the heartland of the Maya people in Belize. The Toledo Ecotourism Association (TEA) offers home stays in Maya villages. You can even learn to make chocolate and other traditional Maya foods like corn tortillas and roasted pork.
If you’d like to explore Belize and learn more about the different cultures in this amazing country, you can rent your vehicle from Barefoot Services and Rentals. Barefoot has a full fleet of modern vehicles ideal for navigating the highways and byways of Belize. Barefoot also offers a wide variety of organized tours and activities to the top destinations in the country.