Corozal District: An Overview
Corozal is located towards the northern most region in Belize. On the map, the district is just 8 miles N of Belize City and 31 miles N of the famous Orange Walk Town. Those coming from Mexico will be happy to know that Corozal is only 8 miles south of the Mexican border. This quaint seaside town is located south of the Rio Hondo. The scenic river of Rio Hondo forms a border between Belize and Mexico.
In recent years, Corozal has emerged as a touristy town and a popular place for retirement. In fact, the town’s affordable seaside properties have drawn the attentions of many property investors and buyers in America. This coastal district is set on a crystal-clear bay. However, tourists often don’t find this coastal destination as appealing as other Belize beach destinations.
Corozal is also known for its ancient Mayan ruins. It seems this seaside district once was an important center for trading on the early Mayan time. A number of history buffs come here to explore both the Mayan ruins of Cerros and Santa Rita. Even the old English Fort Barley is a popular historic attraction in Corozal.
After the Mexico’s Caste War, a number of refugees and immigrants settled in this coastal town during the mid-1800s. Today, this town is a popular sugar producing district with a sprawling sugar growing and processing industry. At present, Corozal is the only free zone at the border with Mexico. Due to the town’s growing industrial scene and low cost of living, Corozal is considered as a popular residential hub in Belize. The recent housing development and real-estate growth also made Corozal quite popular among retirees and property investors.
The local culture of Corozal is dominated by a growing expatriate community. Corozal town is also a great spot for fishing. Therefore, many tourists come here for fishing excursions in the calm bay. Other touristy activities to enjoy in this city include bird watching and wildlife viewing tours. Most of these tours are conducted at the Shipstern Nature Reserve. Shoppers also flock into this district as the neighboring town of Chetumal is just a few miles from this town. In fact, many tourists come to Corozal to take a shopping trip to Chetumal and day trips to the Yucatan Peninsula. The vibrant culture and the lifestyle of Chetumal is quite interesting too. The city is also known for its various entertainment options available for visitors of all ages. Of course, the historic and exploration tours of the Mayan ruins are the most popular tourist activity enjoyed in Corozal.
Scuba divers and snorkelers often take trips to the San Pedro Ambergris Caye, which is just 15 minutes from Corozal by air. As the town of Corozal is bordered by two picturesque rivers, tourists get to enjoy an array of water activities such as swimming, boating, canoe tours, and fishing. The laid-back setting of the Corozal Town is perfect for a relaxing holiday. Considering the number of activities available to enjoy at this seaside town, tourists can plan a vacation in this sedentary, yet scenic town in Belize.
The local economy is dominated by the sugar industry till date. After the recent housing and real-estate developments, the town is growing popular among outsiders. The Commercial Free Zone on the Mexico border with 200 outlets has had a positive impact on the town’s economy. Due to that, the town has become very popular among tourists in the recent years. It has also become a main source of employment for many residents in this small district.
The town of Corozal includes many small villages. The district is served by two primary schools, a library, three banks, a make shift museum, and two churches. There are also a few grocery stores, produce supermarket and gas stations. Visitors can also visit the marketplace near the bay area to buy fresh produce, exotic fruits and handmade items. There is also a renovated 19th century Customs House, near the bay. Guests will find a wide array of displays, pictorial exhibits, Mayan artifacts, and a number of exhibits of the sugarcane industry in the makeshift museum.
History buffs shouldn’t miss visiting the Town Hall, featuring a beautiful mural depicting the history of Corozal and the culture of Mayan people. This beautifully sketched mural is on the wall of the Corozal’s Town Hall. The artist Manuel Villamor Reyes created this beautiful mural. Today, this original piece is restored and in display at the Town Hall. Those interested in exploring the Mayan sites in Corozal should check out both Santa Rita and Cerros. Due to the increasingly high tourist demands, a number of resorts and hotels are now open near to these sites. Visitors now can stay near the resorts overlooking the scenic coastline and go on an ancient ruin tour to both of these Mayan sites.