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Dangriga, the capital of Stann Creek, is one of the destinations in Belize where tourism is fast becoming the number one priority.
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|lars, © Author: Lars Hemel
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Most visitors to Belize don't even know the town Dangriga seventy miles south of Belize City, while it is a starting point to some of the best diving Belize has to offer. Dangriga is a small coastal town of mainly Garifuna people of African and American-Indian ancestry. It is famous for their unique arts, gift items and Punta-rock live bands playing in local bars. November 19th or Garifuna Settlement Day, is a great day to be here as hundreds of Garifuna people settled here back in 1823 coming from the Bay of Islands, Honduras. It is a national holiday filled with punta dancing, reenactments, carnival costumes and outside open-air parties. Another sight you might want to see is the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary which was established in 1984 for the protection of jaguars. It includes Victoria Peak making it a park of several climate levels attracting several other wild cats as well. Other attractions are its ancient Maya ruins Mayflower Archaeological Reserve, huge waterfalls and Five Blues Lake National Park. Accommodations in Dangriga start at less than twenty dollars but for those who want a bit more luxury you can also stay at the Jaguar Reef Lodge which has it all around 250 dollars a night.
In front of Dangriga (Sweet Water), Hopkins and Sittee River you will find Man of War Caye, Tobacco Caye, South Water Caye and Glover's Reef. Tobacco Caye is a backpacker's paradise with several nice inns and cheap guesthouses named after the first tobacco crops that were planted here in the 17th century. A bit more money is required to visit South Water Caye which is a fifteen acre large tropical sand islet named by local fishermen because of the fresh water found in its shallow wells. Offshore Glovers Reef is an oval shaped coral ring providing access to more than 700 patch reefs with walls plunging into waters of two thousand feet deep. The atoll's reef is largely undiscovered offering some of the best discovery diving among huge predators and steep walls. This is one of the top diving destinations of Belize.
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