The Lonely Planet, one of the world's most popular publishers of travel guides, recently released a report extolling the incredible cultural diversity found in Belize.
Despite the fact that the country has fewer than 400,000 residents, Belize is home to an astonishingly diverse number of cultures, faiths, languages, and histories. Ranging from the living descendants of the ancient Maya who built the pyramids and palaces that dot the landscape to devout Mennonite farmers who speak an archaic dialect of German, Belize truly has it all.
One of the most interesting cultures in Belize is the Garifuna people. After enslaved Africans were imported to British-controlled islands in the Caribbean to harvest sugarcane, they intermarried with indigenous islanders. After a failed uprising, the Garifuna were forced to flee westward, arriving in Belize some 200 years ago. In 2001, the United Nations honored the Garifuna for their contributions to the heritage of humanity, including their language, music, dance, and food.
Other popular cultural tours include visits to traditional Maya communities. Often located deep in the jungle, many of Belize's Maya have successfully preserved their traditions, including sourcing all of their food, clothing, construction materials and medicine from native plants found in Belize's rich ecosystem.
There are also a wide variety of other cultural experiences available in Belize, including learning to fish, visiting organic farms that grow crops like vanilla and cacao (the main ingredient in chocolate), and learning how to make traditional foods from scratch.
Indeed, one of the best ways to explore Belize's rich cultural tapestry is through food. Depending on where you go in the country, you can sample cuisine with Caribbean, Mexican, British, Chinese, East Indian, Garifuna, and Maya influences. And with so much fresh-caught seafood and organic produce, it's easy to see why foodies fall in love with Belize.
Adventures in Belize (AIB) specializes in cultural vacation packages. Whether you want to tour the country, learning about each culture as you go, or you have a specific culture that you'd like to learn more about, book your vacation with Adventures in Belize.
Adventures in Belize is entirely staffed by local Belizeans with years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industries. AIB has a deep network of tour operators and homestay providers to give you the exact experience that you're looking for. AIB can also help you book your accommodations and transportation to create a fully immersive vacation experience in Belize.