Corozal

By Lebawit Lily Girma 

Strategically placed between Mexicothe northern Cayes, and Orange Walk, this northernmost corner of Belize offers a lesser-crowdedoff-the-beaten track escape that first-time visitors might otherwise missFishing villages with iridescent turquoise shoreskey archeological sites, and a diverse population of Mestizo, Mennonites, and East Indians—who settled here in the 19th century to work on sugar cane fieldsare just a few of Corozal’s surprisesIn town, examine the gun turrets at Fort Barlee, used during the 19th century Caste War, and the colorful Corozal Town Hall mural depicting the district’s history. The district’s diversity is celebrated in town at Art in the Park every month, with local arts and crafts, music, and food 

Mayan princess Tzazil-Ha and Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Guerrero were the first to marry at a Maya siteCorozal’s Santa Rita Archeological Site—and gave birth to the Mestizo cultureCerros Archeological Site, tucked amid jungle across the Corozal Bay, was the first Maya coastal trading center and had commercial exchanges with Tulum, Mexico 

Nature tours are plentiful from this northern tip of BelizeHop on a ferry ride from town to the eastern fishing village of Sarteneja for days of fishing, kayaking, and sunsets. Originally called Tza-ten-a-ha by the Mayans, before the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, it’s also where Belize’s traditional wooden sailboats are built. Time your visit for Easter, and you’ll experience Sarteneja’s lively annual sailing regatta.  

On the village’s outskirtsexcursions await into the Shipstern Nature Reserveone of the most ecologically diverse areas of Belizecounting approximately 300 bird species, 270 butterfly species, manatees, and crocodiles—boasting mangrove shorelines, rainforests and botanical trails.  

 

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