Dangriga, Belize, is a jumping-off point for the cayes and nearby inland reserves. There is no real beach to speak of, but a thin strip of sand can be found in places and is sometimes cleaned along the frontage of the few small hotels. The quiet town comes to life 17-19 November for the Garifuna Settlement Day celebration. Parades, dancing and wild drumming celebrate the Garinagu's arrival in Belize in 1823 and their eventual inclusion in governmental affairs.
Located 50 mi/80 km south of Belize City, Dangriga has the country's largest population of Garifuna, the people descended from the unions of Arawak Indians and escaped African slaves in the 1600s on the eastern Caribbean island of San Vicente. The mixed-race people were subsequently forcibly relocated by the British to Roatan in Honduras, from where they spread throughout the Central American coast.
There are a variety of food specialties unique to Dangriga, including cashew wine, coconut fish dishes and cassava bread, all of which are worth sampling. It is also the birthplace of punta rock music, a fusion of acoustic Garifuna music with electric instruments.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the region's last surviving jaguars, is just southwest of Dangriga.