Corozal District

The Corozal District of Belize is the country's northernmost district, and it borders Mexico along it western and northern borders. The capital of the district is Corozal Town, which sits on the Corozal Bay. Corozal Town is just 9 miles from the border of Mexico, and visitors here can head into the Mexican city of Chetumal to do a little shopping and such should they desire. Between these parts of Belize and Mexico, tourism is on the rise, and there are many delights to be discovered should you choose to include the Corozal District in your Belize vacation plans. This area of Central America has quite a rich Mayan heritage, and visiting ruins is among the top pursuits associated with Belize Corozal tours. Also, since shopping in Chetumal was mentioned, it should also be mentioned that you can do plenty of Belize shopping in Corozal. There are more than 200 stores and outlets in its Duty-Free Zone.

Entering Corozal Belize from Mexico, you can more or less feel the change in countries, though Corozal has a pretty overbearing Latin vibe. Belize, overall, is decidedly more Caribbean, and the frame houses on stilts hint at this distinction. Corozal Town was founded in the mid-1800"s by refugees from Mexico. They were fleeing their homeland because of the Mexican Caste War that was taking place during the time. Before that, the Corozal District was integral to the Maya, who used it in their coastal shipping routes. Though English is the official language of Belize, you'll hear plenty of Spanish in Corozal, so you'll be glad if you paid attention in high school Spanish class, if not just to practice a little bit. For decades, the sugar industry was a staple in Corozal Belize, as was livestock, and while they are still very important, tourism is quickly gaining in influence. The Duty Free Zone here has also caused Corozal Town to become an important point for imports as well. So, now tourism and importing are becoming economic mainstays. When hanging out in Corozal Town, you'll want to head to the Town Hall during the week, where a mural by artist Manuel Villamor Reyes gives insight into not only Corozal history, but very much into the history of Belize as well. It largely depicts the exploitation of immigrant workers that took place during the early years, namely the 1850"s and 60"s. The Corozal History Museum is worth checking out as well, and you can view some neat Maya artifacts here.

Speaking of the Maya, the two main Mayan ruins that people visit when in the Corazal District are Cerros, where a surviving 70-foot temple affords astonishing views of the bay, and Santa Rita, which is less impressive and found just on the outskirts of town. Belize Corozal tours to these Mayan ruins are easy to organize, and they can include a guide or can be done on your own if you please. Other Belize Corozal tours that are popular are those offered at the area nature reserves. The Shipstern Nature Reserve is surely a major attraction in Corozal Belize, and you'll find some 22,000 acres of lagoons, mangroves, and wetlands here. Bird watching is superb at Shipstern, and your admission fee here includes a short guided hike, which is nice. The Bacalar Chico National Park & Marine Reserve is reachable by a one-hour boat ride, and it's definitely worth the trip. Not only can you observe native wildlife here above the surface of the water, but below it as well. Snorkeling here is pretty darn good. More fun snorkeling can be had during your Corozal Belize getaway should you hop on one of the daily flights from the Corozal airstrip that head to the nearby island of Ambergris Caye. Fishing and scuba diving are both world-class at Ambergris Caye, and you'll also find some alluring Belize resorts here.

Flights to Corozal Town can be found leaving from both the international and municipal airports in Belize City, and you can also easily find your way here from Belize City by car or bus. There are a decent amount of Corozal hotels to choose from in town, many of which are of the budget variety. The Hok"ol K"in Guesthouse is one of the better budget picks among the Corozal Hotels, and those looking for a bit more in the way of amenities and such might prefer an area lodge or resort instead. The newer Fantasy Point Resort is sure worth checking out, and it offers four neat cabins that are set along the edge of the Progresso Lagoon. The rates are pretty good, and the experience exceptionally laid-back and relaxing. In fact, all of the Corozal District is pretty laid-back. Perhaps that's why it's becoming quite an expatriate destination and tourism spot.

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