Updated February 2016
Although Belize does not have the great crafts tradition of indigenous cultures in neighboring Guatemala and Mexico, it offers art, art prints and photography by native Belizean artists or by modern artists living in Belize. It also has some authentic Maya textile, slate and ceramic crafts as well as sculptures carved from Belizean hardwoods. In addition to these galleries, many individual artists and craftspeople in Belize sell their work at stands or from their homes. Some are listed on the website www.crafts.bz. Some artists and galleries have only Facebook pages, which we generally do not include. Here are some of the best places to find quality art and crafts in Belize:
Barrier Reef Drive at Fido’s, San Pedro
Hours: Open daily “until late”
Reportedly this was the first art gallery in Belize, established more than 20 years ago by Londoner Lyndsey Hackston, Belizean Arts today has a large selection of art by Belizeans and Belize residents, with paintings by Walter Castillo, Pen Cayetano, Nelson Young, Leo Vasquez, Piva, Eduardo García, Curvin Mitchell, Jorge Landero and others. The gallery also carries art by Cuban and other Caribbean artists, along with ceramics, jewelry and other crafts.
Belizean Melody Art Gallery
Barrier Reef Drive near The Phoenix Resort
Various hours Mon.-Sat.
Art gallery and paint studio, with paintings, prints and jewelry. It’s also a “paint-your-own” studio.
The Gallery of San Pedro
Pescador Drive (Middle Street), across from post office, San Pedro
Hours: 9-6 Mon.-Sat., 9-3 Sun.
Large selection of Belizean art and crafts from all over the country. The gallery says it has 1,800 paintings and 800 carvings, plus hammocks and other gift items.
91 North Front Street
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9-5
Established in 1995, the Image Factory under Director Yasser Musa became the center of Belize’s art and cultural scene. The Image Factory has shows featuring Belize’s top artists and writers and regularly exhibits around 15 artists. It also has a good selection of books on Belize for sale.
Mile 46, George Price Highway
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8-6
Large gift shop with wood carvings, jewelry and some paintings by Carolyn Carr, Manuel Gonzalez Daza and others. The Art Box will ship to the U.S. and elsewhere. As of this writing, the Art Box was for sale but still operating.
Caribbean Colors Art Gallery
Avenue Hicacao, Caye Caulker
501-226-0206 or 877-809-1659
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8-5
Lee Vanderwalker’s gallery, café and gift shop has wearable art by Vanderwalker, along with Christmas ornaments, jewelry, jewelry boxes and tiles.
Debbie Cooper’s Art Gallery
4 Mangle Avenue near airstrip, Caye Caulker
Hours: Vary – call to ask
Co-owner Debbie Cooper, who spent years living in Hawaii, sells her own paintings and prints here, together with work by Walter Castillo, Nelson Young and other artists.
Besides art, Dangriga along with Hopkins and Punta Gorda offer Garifuna drumming schools, and authentic Garifuna drums may be available for sale.
Garinagu Crafts and Art Gallery
46 Oak Street at Tubroose Street
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30-6
Owner Francis Swaso, a Garifuna art and culture expert, offers handmade Garifuna drums, dolls, wood carvings and masks.
Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery
3 Aranda Crescent at Gallery Street
Hours: 9-5 Mon.-Fri., weekends by appointment
Dangriga native Cayetano’s well-known impressionist paintings depict Garifuna culture. Also sold here are CDs from Cayetano’s band and needlework and other art by other members of the Cayetano family.
Maya Center Women’s Cooperative Crafts Store
Southern Highway at entrance to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Hours: Daily 7:30-4:30
Baskets, slate carvings, masks, bowls, wood carvings and knick-knacks made by local Mopan women are sold at fair prices in this co-op.
Art ‘n Soul
South end of the Sidewalk, Placencia village
Hours: 9-6 Mon.-Sat.
Greta Leslie displays and sells her own work, together with that of Nelson Young, Lola Delgado, Omar Sierra and others.
Art Affair Gallery -- Mermaid Charms
Main Road, Placencia village
Hours: Daily 7-6
Belize City native Lola Delgado displays and sells her own bold, strongly colored paintings of Garifuna women and Belizean seascapes, primitive in some ways but strangely appealing.
Placencia Road, Maya Beach, opposite Green Parrot
Hours: Thu.-Tue. 10-6
This gallery with café and B&B displays the top end of Belizean furniture, crafts, sculpture, textiles and art.
Main Road, Placencia village
This shop near the soccer field has interesting jewelry, some made from the lionfish that is devastating local fish species, along with art and other items.
Fajina Craft Center
Front Street, Punta Gorda
This co-op has Maya crafts, chocolates and other items.
Airport Road near Tropic Air office at PG airstrip; main office in Manhattan, New York
Maya Bags contracts with nearly 100 Maya women in Toledo to make fabric and leather handbags, shoulder bags, clutches, weekend bags, home decor items and other crafts, then sells them on-line and in stores in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Bamboo Crafts & Furniture
Benque Road/George Price Highway, between San Ignacio and Benque Viejo del Carmen
Rustic bamboo crafts and furniture made in small factory in Belize.
Sak Tunich/Maya First
Cristo Rey Road, San Antonio, Cayo
Hours: 9-6 Daily
Two brothers and their Maya family offer their slate carvings, limestone statues, wood carvings and ceramics. Across the road they also have a project to save the “Royal Rat” (the paca or gibnut).
Tanah Mayan Art Museum
Cristo Rey Road, San Antonio, Cayo
501-820—4023 or 501-669-4023
Hours: Daily 8-6
The Garcia sisters brought back to Belize the Maya art of slate carvings, and many beautiful examples are on display and for sale here (most of the slate comes from the Mountain Pine Ridge) along with limestone statues. The Garcia sisters did the bar top in the bar at Blancaneaux Lodge.
The Orange Gallery (formerly Caesar’s Place)
Mile 60, George Price Highway
This roadside gift shop near San Ignacio has a large selection of Belizean and Guatemalan crafts, including wood bowls, wood carvings from rosewood, mahogany, cabbagebark, poisonwood, zericote, purpleheart, jobillo and other Belizean hardwoods, masks and others. The gallery will ship to the U.S. and elsewhere.
Art and Crafts at Hotel Gift Shops
In addition to these galleries, gift shops at some Belize hotels and lodges sell Belize crafts and a limited amount of art. Among notable hotel gift shops with art and crafts are these:
Banana Bank Lodge, near Belmopan City
Blancaneaux Lodge, Mountain Pine Ridge
Ka’ana Resort, George Price Highway, San Ignacio
The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Chial Road near San Ignacio
Turtle Inn, Placencia
ćCopyright Lan Sluder 2016