The area boasts a rich Mayan heritage with ruins and artifacts still being discovered. Savannah covers the landscape, and sugar cane and livestock production are the economic mainstays. However, an emerging economy in Corozal is increasingly based on services and importing goods to the more than 200 outlets within the Duty-Free-Zone, located at the Mexican border. Additionally, the area is increasingly earning more income from real estate and tourism.
Because of it's close proximity to the Mexican border, Corozal Town has a distinctly Latin feel, and Spanish is the native tongue for many, although most everyone speaks English or the indigenous English-Creole dialect. Corozal District is Belize's fourth largest populated area, with
35,000 residents and home to a growing community of North American
One of the hallmarks of Corozal Town is the Clock Tower, located in Central Park. Government buildings, banks, a library, a small police station, and two churches surround this well-landscaped park. The park is also a favorite meeting and gathering place for the towns people. There are shady spots and benches for resting, and there are food stands where you can get your tacos and even fresh squeezed orange juice.
Nearby look for a wall-size Mural, painted by Manuel Villamor Reyes, highlighting important moments in Corozal´s history . It is a collage of images, including the massacre at Bacalar, Mexico, exploitation during the colonial era, and the plight of the struggling Maya. The mural is best viewed during the week when the Town Hall is open, although it can be seen from the outside on week-ends and holidays.
Corozal everything is close to the sea, including several
seaside parks, the market and Corozal's history museum. One particular museum exhibit displays Maya
artifacts in a traditional 1800's market setting.
A long and well maintained stretch of beach, linked to Central Park, provides picnic tables, rain shelters, and a playground.
Like everywhere else in
Belize, the multi-national blend is evident everywhere: Mestizo, Maya,
Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Asian and American Expats all call this
tranquil, seaside-community home.
Corozal is a convenient base for day trips to Chetumal and the beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico as well as numerous Maya ruins and Wildlife Sanctuaries in Belize. Ambergris Caye, Belize's most popular destination for scuba divers and snorkeler's, is 15 minutes by air from the Corozal airstrip.
Maya Archeological Sites
Santa Rita - Much of the present day Corozal is built over this ancient Maya trading city. What remains can be seen by walking a few minutes from the town's center. Its also the highest spot in Corozal. Of the many original buildings of Santa Rita, only one still remains. Two of the 4 rooms, which were once used as living quarters, remain intact and are open for exploration.
Cerros - Also easily accessible, Cerros was an important Mayan trading center during its heyday from 400 B.C. to 100 A.D. Cerros, is a short boat ride of approximately fifteen minutes from Corozal Town. Recent developments provide a place to picnic while trails wind through the site.
Lamanai - The Maya Site of Lamanai, one of Belize's largest ceremonial centers, is located on the banks of the New River. Getting to Lamanai is half the fun. A scenic boat ride 26
miles up-river is the
easiest way to get to there. Along the way see
crocodiles floating near the river's edge, turtles, camouflaged bats and the "Jesus
Christ Bird" walk on water.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Saturday -
Literally thousands of birds congregate within Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary during
the dry season, taking advantage of shallow water and
easy food resources. Black Howler Monkeys, Morelet’s Crocodiles, and freshwater turtles can also be found within the sanctuary. Though Bird watching is by far the most popular activity, the creole village is also famous for its cashews. Cashew trees grow in abundance here, yielding cashew nuts, cashew wine, and stewed cashew fruit.
Community Baboon Sanctuary -
The Community Baboon Sanctuary is a unique conservation effort bringing together eight villages to protect the population and the habitat of Black Howler Monkey. It’s always a thrill to watch the Black Howler monkey as it sits within five feet of you on a wild-lime tree branch, contently munching on its leaves. Special
trails are cut through the forest so that visitors can see
it all at it's best. And there are enough trails, rivers, and guided tours to keep you busy here for a couple of days.
Sarteneja & Shipstern Nature Reserve -
Forty minutes by boat gets you to the picturesque
fishing village of Sarteneja with its impressive display
of hand-crafted wooden sailing boats. Shipstern
Nature Reserve is about three miles before the village and
covers 22,000 acres of unspoiled, savannah water-logged jungle,and mangrove swamp.
Shipstern is also home to a Butterfly Breeding Center located at the reserve's headquarters.
Tarpon, bone fishing or deep-sea fishing -
Corozal Town, as well as Sarteneja offer excellent sport fishing to anglers looking to avoid crowded shores. The waters of Corozal bay provide endless opportunities for enjoyment. For the fisherman, barracuda, crevalle, tarpon, permit are just a few of the fish waiting for you to throw in your line.The largest tarpon in the country swim through the northern lagoons, rivers, and estuaries. Trips can be arranged
with local fishing guides.
Four Mile Lagoon is located between Corozal
and the Mexican border and the lagoon empties into the Rio Hondo just before this river empties into Corozal Bay. Here is where you will find a number of inexpensive
beach spots for swimming, RV's and camping including Kishpanha, a great place for swimming and relaxation. This place resembles a theme park with the lagoon as the main attraction. This popular place is ideal for groups.
The Lagoon Campground is perhaps the best RV park in Belize. The grounds are spacious and clean, with tall trees providing cool shade for your vehicle, tent, or picnic table. The lagoon is great for canoeing.
or pass through quickly while heading somewhere else. However a lot has changed and the Corozal Town area and nearby Consejo offer a lot for those looking to stay awhile – with low prices, friendly people and the beautiful blue water of Corozal bay. An extra plus is having Chetumal right next door for inexpensive shopping.
No one knows exactly how may foreign retirees and US expats live in the Corozal area, but the best estimates are that the total is around 300 - 400. Some live in Corozal Town proper, and others live a few miles north in the Consejo area or in other nearby communities.
Consejo Village - Along the Corozal Bay, 7 miles north east of Corozal Town, at the end of a bumpy road, is the peaceful and quiet community of Consejo Village. Belizean's, and retirees enjoy its serenity. There are several small expatriate communities near Consejo Village, including Consejo Shores, Wagner's Landing and Mayan Seaside.
Activities in the immediate area include snorkeling, canoeing and fishing; boat trips to Bacalar Chico National Park, Cerros, Sarteneja or Ambergris Caye; and day trips to neighboring Chetumal in Mexico.
Whether you are spending a night or planning a longer stay, make Corozal your hub to explore the north; Corozal Town has a variety of accommodations to choose from and at affordable prices. May we suggest Mirador Hotel.
New 24 room facility in front of the bay offers clean and spacious rooms at very reasonable prices. Rooms have private bath (hot/cold), television, free wireless internet access, restaurant, wake up service and parking.
to Corozal ....
The scenic flight from Belize City stops first in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye en route to Corozal Town. The short trip takes approximately 20 minutes from San Pedro
Water Taxi service leaves San Pedro, Ambergris Caye every day at 7am for Corozal with return at 3 p.m. The cost is $23 each way. The boat has comfortable airline-style seating and can carry approximately 40 passengers. The trip takes approximately an hour and a half.
Northern Highway runs from Belize
City to the Mexican border and is paved with good gas
availability. The 85 mile drive from Belize City, takes an hour and a half to 2 hours.
Public buses have frequent
scheduled services along the Northern Highway from Belize
City to Corozal and on to the Mexican border town of Chetumal and beyond.