Belize Cultural Tours
These Belize Cultural Tours are a great way to get off the tourist path and see a genuine side of the real Belize.
Living Mayan Experience Tour
The tour begins with a visit to a living Maya village, home to the descendants of the people who built the massive city states of Altun Ha, Lamanai, and Xunantunich. The tour gives participants a chance to see a traditional Kek’Chi Maya village where the inhabitants get everything that they need from the jungle, including medicinal plants, musical instruments, building materials, and food. The inhabitants of the village of Big Falls live a life almost unchanged since the time before the first Europeans arrived in Belize.
Participants will get a chance to grind their own corn, make a traditional Maya chocolate drink made with locally-grown cacao, and make tortillas in a traditional oven. The visit to the Maya village wraps up with a brief tour of the jungle to learn about the numerous spices, plants, and herbs that are used in Maya medicine and cooking.
Garifuna Cultural Immersion Tour
This cultural tour takes you to the village of Hopkins, home to Belize’s unique Garifuna culture. Descended from African slaves who intermarried with native Caribbean islanders, the Garifuna have retained their own unique language, musical and cultural traditions. At the Palmento Grove in Hopkins, participants will get a chance to try on traditional Garifuna clothing and prepare Hudut, a beloved Garifuna fish stew cooked in coconut.
The sea and the land are important to the Garifuna, and participants will learn to make Hudut from scratch, starting with husking fresh coconuts harvested right off the tree and cooking fresh-caught fish. After eating a lunch prepared in the traditional way, participants will get a chance to watch and listen to Garifuna drumming, the basis of Belize’s own Punta music.
“I signed up the whole family for the Belize Cultural Tour, not quite sure what to expect. We learned all about how the Maya live in harmony with nature, depending on the jungle for everything. It was really amazing to see how they’ve maintained their cultural identity and traditions. From there, we went to a Garifuna village near the coast. The kids loved dressing up in the traditional clothes, and we all had a blast preparing a Garifuna meal ourselves. My kids usually hate anything that’s not chicken fingers, but they ate every bite of their fish stew! And the drumming was really impressive. I’d definitely recommend this tour over spending another day on the beach or doing the normal boring tourist stuff.”
-Ronnie Martino, Memphis, Tennessee
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