Celebrating Christmas in Belize

Season’s Greetings from Belize …

The holiday season in Belize means warm weather with a few “cold fronts” – temperatures ranging between a cool 70 – 80 degrees, delicious Christmas dinner complete with black fruitcake and rum popo, and time well spent with family & friends. With its diverse cultures and ethnic groups, Belize has a wide variety of Christmas celebrations.


Christmas in the Culture Capital – Photo By: Phyllis Cayetano

In the Southern part of Belize, specifically in Dangriga Town, locals gather around the streets to witness the Jankunu or “John Canoe” dancing accompanied with Garifuna drumming. This colorful masquerade dance is actually a warrior dance where the dancers (all male) are outfitted in pink masks & head wraps, white clothing, and shells that are placed below the knee that shake with each movement. The Jankunu dance is a historical representation of the Garifuna resistance to British slavery.

Jankunu dancing in Belize

Photo By: Island Expeditions

Traditionally, the Jankunu dancers and drummers travel from house to house throughout Dangriga where the crowds gather around them forming a circle. Because all the dancers are masked and wearing costumes, their identity is unknown – leaving the onlookers to focus solely on the stylistic and upbeat dance itself. Unlike most dancing, where the dancers follow along to the music, Jankunu is unique in that the Garifuna drummers watch the dancers and anticipate their next move. The drummers must keep in rhythm with the dancers rather than the other way around.


Today, Dangriga is home to the annual Jankunu Festival hosted at the Ecumenical High School where senior Jankunu groups compete against each other. Each group practices the routine days before hand and always gives a memorable performance. All Belizeans look forward to the festive activities the Christmas season brings!

Where to Stay: 

Our Belize private island is located only eight miles off the coast of Dangriga, the “Culture Capital” of Belize! To ensure that you are able to spend an authentic Belize vacation with us, our all inclusive packages include everything from breathtaking oceanfront cabanas, amazing food & drinks, and jungle / marine adventure tours … And now, for a limited time only, you get even more!! Book with us today and take advantage of our extended Winter Season Special. Email or call for details! 

On behalf of the owners, management, and staff of Coco Plum Island Resort, we want to wish you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.


Warm Regards,

Coco Plum Bloggers

Call or Email our Reservations office today!


Share This:

Sunset over Dangriga Town, Belize

Top Five Things to do in Dangriga, the “culture capital” of Belize!

Dangriga is the largest town in Southern Belize, but only only has a population of around 10,000 people. Dangriga is most widely-known for being the heart and soul of Belize and has been dubbed with the title of “culture capital.” For visitors who want to get an untainted and authentic view of life in Belize, Dangriga is the place to go. Exploring Dangriga gives visitors an opportunity to experience the history, culture, cuisine, and traditions of life in Belize. Here are a few of our favorite stops:


  1. Studio Gallery Cayetano: Discover one of Belize’s most renowned punta-rock artist and musician, Pen Cayetano. Various paintings, textiles, and music can be found in his colonial-style home which also doubles as an art gallery and music studio. Works by his wife, Ingrid, and children books by his daughter, Mali can also be found here. It is truly a family affair in which Pen and Ingrid formed a punta-rock band with their three children called “The Cayetanos.” Inquire for details about art workshops, music performances, and tours at Studio Gallery Cayetano. The gallery is located in the heart of Dangriga on #3 Aranda Crescent. Contact the gallery: & (501)-628-6807.
    Cayetano Art Gallery located in Dangriga, Belize

    Pen & Ingrid welcoming visitors (photo courtesy of Studio Gallery Cayetano)

    2.  Fresh Market & Riverside Attractions: Nestled on the Caribbean coast and at the mouth of the Stann Creek River lies a popular spot for shopping, eating, socializing, and catching a sunset on the beach at the mouth of the river. Ignite your taste buds with an abundance of local fresh fruits & fresh fish brought in daily. Chat with local vendors who arrive as early as 4Am in the morning and pack up to leave around 6PM. Be sure to take a look at the hammocks, clothes, and shoes while you’re out there. Watch the waterway of boats and tours ferrying in and out of Dangriga Town – stop and chat with a local fisherman about his latest catch! If you’re looking for a restaurant, don’t forget to stop by “King Burger” which is a local favorite; serves breakfast, lunch, & dinner as well as fresh juices and the traditional Belizean “Sunday Dinner” (coconut rice and beans, chicken/beef/gibnut, potatoe salad, and friend plantains).

    The Stann Creek river mouth lies in the heart of Dangriga!

    The Stann Creek river mouth lies in the heart of Dangriga!

    Enjoy Fresh Fruits at the Dangriga Market

    Fresh fruits of the Caribbean (photo courtesy of Melaine)

    3.  Austin Rodriquez Drum Shop: Located within walking distance from the market, meet the master of traditional drum making, Mr. Rodriquez. A staple of the Garifuna culture in Dangriga, the drums symbolize unity where you might happen upon a street or beachside gathering to see the jovial faces of people dancing, eating, and drinking. There is no better way to get a cultural experience of carving a drum than with the Rodriquez family. Here, you can join in on any part of the drum making process whether it be to hollow the cedar/mahogany wood or to attach the deer skin to the top of the drum. Drums are also available for purchase in various sizes. Contact: Y-Not Island; walk-ins preferred.

    Austin Rodriquez drum shop in Dangriga, Belize

    Austin Rodriquez, expert drum maker

    4.  Gulisi Garifuna Museum: This museum documents the arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize along with a portrayal of their customs, food/drink, music, and dance. Bringing this history to life, visitors can listen to the beating of the drums, view a garden of traditional plants and herbs, and even witness dancing (on special occasions). The museum is also home to the Gulisi Primary School where children are encouraged to explore their Garifuna culture. Contact: George Price Blvd. (501)-669-0639.

    Gulisi Garifuna Museum and School located in Dangriga, Belize

    Gulisi Garifuna Museum & School

    5.  Marie Sharp’s Factory Tour: Labeled as a “Proud Product” of Belize, Marie Sharp’s pepper, jam/jellies, and seasonings symbolize the flavors of Belize. Made with habanero peppers from her farm, this exquisite hot sauce comes in varying levels of HOT! Stop by for a tour of the factory and meet members of the family who all help to run the business. Grab a bottle or case to take home with you as it makes for the perfect souvenir. Contact: #1 Melinda Road (501)-532-2087.

    Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce Factory located in Dangriga, Belize

    Beware of the HOTNESS! (photo courtesy of Marie Sharp’s)

    We hope many of you get a change to discover our little jewel of Dangriga. Coco Plum Island Resort is an all-inclusive private island located only eight miles off the coast of Dangriga!

Caribbean Regards,

Coco Plum Bloggers

Share This: