There’s not much to see in ’Griga, as the town Dangriga is affectionately known, except a typically multiethnic array of Belizeans going about their daily lives. Still, many travelers are glad they chose to spend a night here on their way to or from Tobacco Caye , South Water Caye , Thatch Caye, or Glover’s Reef .
Want to plant yourself in the sand and have drinks brought to you for a week? Pick a resort, any resort—there are plenty of respected properties throughout the region, covering all budgets. Camp primitively in the jungle or recline in the lap of luxury. There is enough in this one district of Belize to entertain a curious traveler for weeks.
Start in either Dangriga , Hopkins , or Sittee River ; take a drumming lesson and sample some home-brewed bitters . Then turn to the hills, trekking to a waterfall in Mayflower Bocawina National Park  and spending a night in Maya Centre , a village where you can shop for crafts, converse with herbal healers, and arrange an expedition within the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary  with a local guide whose last gig was leading a National Geographic team in the same area.
Then pop over to the shoreline and charter a sailboat or attempt to photograph a whale shark . Finally, run your boat aground on the Placencia Peninsula  and rent a cheap cabana in which to recuperate.
The indigenous population of southern Belize dates back 3,600 years, and the Mopan Maya are still well represented, especially in towns like Maya Centre and other villages in these hills. The earliest white settlers were Puritans from the island of New Providence in the Bahamas. These simple-living people began a trading post (also known as a “stand,” which over time deteriorated to “Stann”) and spread south into the Placencia area. The town’s destiny was drastically altered when the first boats of Garifuna people reached the shore from Roatán.
Over the millennia, rivers and streams gushing from the Maya Mountains have deposited a rich layer of soil, making the coastal and valley regions ideal farming areas. A disease called “Panama Rot” wiped out the once-thriving banana industry here, but with new technology, a strain of bananas has been developed that appears to be surviving. Otherwise, it’s all about the oranges. Stann Creek’s citrus industry produces Valencia oranges and grapefruits, which are then processed (on site) into juice—one of Belize’s most important exports.