Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations on Caye Caulker
It’s a holiday weekend in Belize, and on Caye Caulker this year, celebrations kick off on Friday (November 18) evening with Karaoke from 6pm-10pm at Central Park, followed by Garifuna drummers at 10pm then a dance until 2am! Saturday there will be a variety of activities throughout the day, including evening parties at Rose’s Grill, Sports Bar, and West Bay Beach Club.
Additionally, there are still great options like snorkel tours, renting a paddle board, and every other tour and rental that Tsunami Adventures has available!
Despite being declared endangered by the United Nations in 2001, the Garifuna people (Garinagu) — one of the smallest cultural groups in Belize — has managed to sustain its traditions through music, dance, food and worship.
The Garinagu are descendants of Carib Indians (South American natives who settled on the Caribbean island of St Vincent) and West Africans who were said to have escaped from Spanish slave ships in 1635 and made the island their home. Resistant to the arrival of the British to St Vincent in 1763, the Garinagu fought attempts to use their land for sugar cane plantations. Many were killed or imprisoned. Those remaining were exiled to Honduras and eventually migrated by dugout canoe along the Central American coast, reaching Belize in 1802. Today, Garinagu communities make up only 4% of Belize’s more than 325,000 people. Most can be found along the country’s southern coast in the towns of Dangriga and Punta Gorda and the villages of Hopkins, Barranco and Seine Bight.
The most important day in the Garifuna calendar is November 19. On this day, Garifuna Settlement Day, the arrival of the first Garinagu to Belize by dory (dug-out canoe) is celebrated in all Garifuna communities in the country.
Garifuna Settlement Day is a public holiday in Belize. The holiday was created by Belizean civil rights activist, Thomas Vincent Ramos, in 1941. It was recognized as a public holiday in the southern districts of Belize in 1943, and declared a national holiday in 1977. The holiday celebrates the settlement of the Garifuna people in Belize after being exiled from the Grenadines by the British army. The major festivities for the holiday occur in the town of Dangriga, including parades, street music, and traditional dancing.
The Garifuna Flag
The Garifuna flag is seen here proudly displayed at the Ocean Ferry dock on Caye Caulker. Many say that at one level the colours of the flag represent the three principal races, with the black and yellow representing the African and the Carib/Arawak elements that fused to become the Garifuna. At a deeper level, the black symbolizes the hardships and injustices that the Garifuna people managed to survive in the course of their history, the yellow symbolizes hope and the prosperity for which they continue to struggle, and the white symbolizes peace.
Tsunami Adventures, Caye Caulker has moved! Our new location is at Ocean Ferry Caye Caulker main front dock. If you are not familiar with OF they used to be the Caye Caulker Water Taxi. Located in front of Seaside Cabanas and Fantasy Dining (Sandbox)
We are open from 8am until 6pm daily. See us on Google Maps.
All snorkeling tours will depart from here. All our mainland trips will depart and return from our new location. We are excited to be here and look forward to taking you out on your next adventure.
Notice something different about Tsunami Adventure’s website? We do! We’ve redesigned our website and are proud to announce that not only does it have a new, sleek design, cool features (like online booking and chat functionality), but it’s also mobile friendly! Now no matter what device you’re viewing us on, you’ll have a great user experience and be able to find our tours easily and quickly. We also love the great images and the ability to feature testimonials from you, our valued customers! So take a look around and let us know what you think!
Tsunami Adventures now accepts payment ahead of time for all your tours. We accept Visa and Mastercard. Email us and tell us that you would like to pre-pay.
Ask us any questions.
We make you a booking form detailing your trips and provide you with a Reference number.
Go to our Book NOW and follow the online instructions.
Our bank in Caye Caulker is www.atlabank.com
It is easy and secure. There are many advantages to pre-paying for your upcoming tour.
Your trip is confirmed and guaranteed
You don’t have to bring extra money
You can budget better for your trip
We are the only tour shop in Caye Caulker that offers secure pre-payment for your tours.
Ask us any questions. We answer all emails within 24 hours.
Coming for the day to Belize and want to go snorkeling to the beautiful Belize Barrier Reef, we can take you there! The Caye Caulker Marine Reserve is where we go. Shark and Ray Alley and the Coral Gardens and the South Channel. Visit the island of Caye Caulker. Enjoy a local lunch and walk the sandy streets.
OR, if you have always had a dream to see The Great Blue Hole, we can take you there. Please click here for more details about flying over the Blue Hole.
Here is the information about Caye Caulker Snorkeling. This is our most popular tour. It is a half day tour starting at 10:30am and ending at 1:30pm.
Local Reef Caye Caulker
3 hour tour with 3 snorkeling sites including Shark and Ray Alley.
The reef is very close to Caye Caulker and only takes 5 minutes to reach. 2 1/2 hours of snorkeling time. Shark Ray Alley, Coral Canyon and The Channel. Lots to sea. We include your quality snorkeling gear, marine reserve fees, purified water and tropical fruits.
This trip is only
$35USD per person. Kids under 12 years old receive $5USD off. $30USD. We have life jackets for all sizes and provide wetsuits and water proof bags complimentary if you would like to have one.
HOW TO GET TO CAYE CAULKER FROM BELIZE CITY.
Since we are in Caye Caulker you have to reach us by taking the public water taxi.
It is easy, just exit the Tourism Village to the street, turn left and walk towards the swing bridge and you will come to Ocean Ferry Belize. There is a boat departing at 8am. You can purchase your round trip water taxi directly with them. Right now the price is about the $14.50USD per person round trip.
We are located as you arrive in Caye Caulker at Ocean Ferry. You will see us.
At Tsunami Adventures we offer a few ways to experience the Great Blue Hole. We dedicated this page to tell you all about the Blue Hole. There is two Blue Holes in Belize. One on the Sea and one in the Jungle. The one on the Sea, draws the most visitors.
You can snorkel or dive it and you can also fly over it on our Scenic Flight over the Blue Hole and surrounding Atolls. Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef Atoll. The price per person is $200USD. We need a min. of 3 people to guarantee this price as it is a 3 seater plane. We also have 5 seater plane available. The flight takes one hour return to Caye Caulker airstrip. Everyone has their own view window. Get your batteries charged and come and see the amazing barrier reef and atolls by flight. Another trip that is booked exclusively with Tsunami Adventures. We include transportation by golf cart to the airstrip.
Here is a video of the flight.
Here is some interesting facts about the Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef Atoll
The Blue Hole is a geographical phenomena – 71 miles from Caye Caulker about a 2 hour boat ride. Almost perfectly circular, the Blue Hole has a radius of more than 1,000 feet (305 m). It is considered one of the most astounding dive sites to be found anywhere on earth. Located in the center of the Lighthouse Reef the Blue Hole is a large hole of water 480 feet (145 m) deep, which gives the deep blue color.
The coral around the Blue Hole breaks the surface in many sections at low tide. Except for two narrow channels, the reef surrounds the hole. The hole itself is the opening to a system of caves and passageway that penetrate this undersea mountain. In various places, massive limestone stalactites hang down from what was once the ceiling of air-filled caves before the end of the last Ice Age. The hole is the opening to what was a dry cave system during the Ice Age. When the ice melted and the sea level rose, the caves were flooded. The Blue Hole is famed for its sky beauty and ever since Jacques Cousteau came here in 1970 it has drawn divers from all over the world.
The Great Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef Atoll
Half Moon Caye
Made famous by it’s beauty and Jack Cousteau. Half Moon Caye and Blue Hole is now protected as a Natural monument and is technically a “karst-eroded sinkhole”. The Blue Hole is 1000 feet in diameter and 408 feet deep which opens out into a complex network of caves and crevices, complete with stalactites and stalagmites. It was formed over a million years ago when Lighthouse Reef was a sizable island – or even part of the mainland. The rim of the Blue Hole is blanketed with various species of brightly colored corals and sponges which is ideal for snorkeling.
Half Moon Caye is the second site of the day. We snorkel the gently sloping sandy bottom dotted with patches of sea grass. Here commonly seen are stingrays, barracudas, hog snappers, jacks and yellow tail snappers. At 40 feet deep the sandy slopes joins a wall of pinnacles covered with a rich variety of coral life. We zigzag through the endless pinnacles until the end of the snorkeling trip. The marine life and the coral formations in this area are simply amazing. We visit Half Moon Caye National Monument where we have lunch and you can visit the only nesting area of the red footed booby birds in Belize and next to Galapagos Islands (Blue footed Booby Birds).
Long Caye is the third site of the day called the Aquarium. Large coral sponges and plentiful marine life. A great way to end a spectacular day at Lighthouse Reef.
Tour is fully guided by local experienced snorkeling guide, entrance fees, breakfast and lunch. Trip departs really early 6:30am and returns by 4pm It takes almost 2 hours to reach Blue Hole. 70 kilometers.
Snorkeling gear is included.
Price $175USD per person.
The Blue Hole National Park Cayo District
The park is over 800 acres in size with hiking trails and features swimming and nature trails. The Blue Hole is actually a sinkhole formed by the collapse of an underground river channel. The exposed section of the underground Cave Branch Creek tributary can be viewed for about 150 feet before it disappears again beneath the surface. Located just off the Humming Bird Highway, Blue Hole steps lead to a 25-foot deep pool, for which the park is named. Its cool, turquoise waters, surrounded by dense forest, overhung with mosses, vines and ferns are the perfect spot for a cool and relaxing dip. St .Herman’s Cave is located about 500 meters from the Hummingbird Highway. The information center and parking are located just off the highway. The largest of the three known entrances to St. Herman’s Cave sits in a sinkhole 180 feet wide narrowing to a 60-foot wide entrance. Concrete steps cover stone steps once cut by the Maya. A trail with markers has been placed within the cave. It’s about a half mile through to the exit. Once inside, visitors can clamber over rocks and splash through the water, while admiring stunning cave formations. After exploring the cave, there is the option to hike a 2 mile interpretive trail. There are a number of other trails to hike within the park. Some of the unusual birds known to frequent this area include White Hawk, Spotted-Wood Quail, Crested Guans, Lovely Cotinga, Keel-Billed Toucans, Red-Legged Honey Creepers, and Slaty-Tailed Trogons.
Blue Hole National Park is located about 12 miles southeast of Belmopan on the Hummingbird Highway heading to the coast and Dangriga.
$125USD PER PERSON.
Trip includes round trip transportation from Belize City and return, experienced guide, entrance fee and lunch. Trip departs at 7am and returns at 5:30pm.
ALL PRICES are inclusive of the 12.5% GST tax.
Christmas in Caye Caulker is a fun place to be. So many things to do on Christmas Day and totally different than what you normally might be doing. Almost all of the private homes and local businesses have christmas lights and decorations. Restaurants will be serving Turkey Dinners. The Roman Catholic Church will be having midnight mass and on Christmas Day there is also mass at 9am.
Almost all business’s will be open. At Tsunami Adventures we will be open as usual. 7 days a week, 365 days a year from 8am until 6pm. So if on Christmas Day, you want to go kayaking, fishing, canoeing, snorkelling, diving, explore a mayan ruin, go paddle boarding or rent snorkelling gear and swim at the split. Then make sure you stop by and reserve your spot. If you are wondering what to get your friends or family that you are travelling with then consider pre-purchasing a trip. The local reef tour has been our most popular tour on Christmas Day to do! It is close to the island, only a 7 minute boat ride away. It is only 3 hours total, departing at 10:30am and returning at 1:30pm. Just stop by our office and arrange. We provide a gift voucher. We have a variety of trips available, so come check us out. We are by the split. North end of island and located at www.costamayabelize.com
See you here!.
At Tsunami Adventures, we now have two paddleboards for rent. The rental fee is $10USD an hour and includes your life jacket and paddle. We show you the best spots to see for your time. One hour complimentary on a half day rental of four hours. The paddleboards are from Ocean Kayak. The Nalu 12.5 cruises across the water smoothly. Lots of fun and a great full body workout and is perfect for the beginner or someone with experience. The back westside of the island is ideal for paddleboarding. Cruise along the mangroves and look for seahorses. Paddle to Tarpon Hole and look for the cave entrances below. Watch the sunset. Each paddle board is designed for one person, so if there is a few of you, we also have 2 single frenzy kayaks and two double person sit on top malibu kayaks.
October is our slow season in Caye Caulker and Belize. The sandy streets are quiet with the exception of a few backpackers enjoying the island and all the discounts available. It is the time, when most business’s close and prepare for the upcoming busy season. It is also the peak time of Hurricane Season which officially ends November 30th. October 1st is the first day of Conch Season. All the fishermen have been busy and the local kitchens have been busy cooking up some of the favorite dishes that have been missed. The conch is a beautiful pink shell that you see all throughout the Caribbean. Food that is made with the conch meat is Conch Fritters, Conch Ceviche, Conch Burger, Conch Steak, Conch Soup are available to try. The season closes June 30th, so there is plenty of time to try out any of these dishes on the island.
Here is a recipe for Conch Fritters, you can try these at home and exchange conch for Shrimp, Lobster or Crab.
3/4 cup flour
1 egg (whisked) mix with 1/2 cup milk
salt / pepper to season
mix all ingredients in a bowl (add wet to dry)
Add finely chopped 1/2 small to medium size onion and green pepper
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
and one cup of chopped conch.
Mix all ingredients, should be a semi thick batter, that you will drop by big tablespoons into hot vegetable oil, that has been heated to 356F or 185C fry to golden brown and serve with this easy to make dip.
2 tablespoons of ketchup combine with 1 tablespoon of mayo, 2 teaspoons of lime juice and hot sauce to spice up.
Conch pearls are one of the most rare and valuable of all natural pearls. It has been estimated that approximately 1 in 10,000 conch produce a pearl and of these only a few possess the color, shape and flame pattern necessary to be considered a gem. The color of conch pearls varies greatly. Pearls are most often found white, brown, beige, yellow, orange, pink, or red. The latter two being the most sought after.
Like all pearls the “Conch Pearl” is produced by a living organism and is sensitive to acids, solvents and long exposure to sun light. Therefore, as with all pearls, care should be taken. I am lucky enough to have a ring that was locally made with a conch pearl. It is over 10 years old now and it still has a pretty pink colour. There is lots of souvenir items that locals make out of the shell. Lots get piled under docks and lots are used as fill for concrete pouring.
September is the month of celebration in Belize. Our official Independence Day is September 21st, but the days and nights leading to that date are filled with activity here in Caye Caulker and all over Belize. Under the theme “Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize”, 2014’s celebrations are set to bring in Belize’s 33rd Independence anniversary. The first holiday of the month is September 10th and it is the 216th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye. You will hear this song on the radio. “It was the 10th day of September In ninety-eight Anno Domini when our fore-fathers won the glorious fight at Old St. George’s Caye. Then hail them – cheer them.Let our grateful loyal hearts not fail them,as we march and sing and shout in merry glee The Battle of St. George’s Caye. Hip! Hip! Hurrah. Hip! Hip! Hurrah. This is the day, that the Spaniards assembled a huge invasion and try to take over the settlement of Belize.
September is a month of proud Belizeans. Homes and business are decorated in the colours of red, white and blue. So come to the island and enjoy this weekends celebrations island style and wave your flag.