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Orange Walk Town


Getting Here | Money Matters & Services Provided
Area Attractions | Local Flavor | Find a Tour Guide

With a population approaching 20,000, Orange Walk is easily the most populated town in the north, yet visitors to Belize rarely visit the district or town. Although the town has received little attention, some of the best archaeological sites in the country lie in the surrounding areas and the balmy tropical climate and fertile soils make the area a naturalist's paradise.

Scenically set on the west bank of the New River, the town was first home to the Icaiche Maya. By the eighteenth century, an invasion of British logging camps marked the beginning of a long struggle for this prime riverside locality. For more than a century, loggers floated timber down the New River into Corozal Bay (also known as Chetumal Bay).

Then, in 1849 and continuing for next thirty years, Mestizos and Mayans fleeing the Caste Wars of Mexico began arriving to the area en masse. As the immigrants arrived from the north, farmers quickly shifted from maize growing and chicle tapping to sugar cane harvesting and production. Today, Orange Walk Town's economy revolves largely around the sugar and citrus industries. The cane is converted to rum (distilled at the Cuello processing plant under the "Caribbean" label), molasses, and processed sugar.

The town also exhibits the area's historical bond with Mexico both culturally and physically. Most residents are Spanish-speaking mestizos. However, a growing Mennonite community in the outlying areas of Blue Creek and Shipyard and a large East Indian merchant population have added to the diversity of the region and contributed to its economy by bringing in unique expertise in a variety of trades.

The Orange Walk Town food court and market square sits next to the town hall. Built on the remnants of the historical Fort Hearns, the market square houses fruit and vegetable stalls, livestock vendors, restroom facilities, a stage, and a popular food court where visitors can sample local dishes, deserts, and snacks.

Orange Walk Town has recently made strides to improve the services offered to tourists and now boasts of quite a few hotels that run along Queen Victoria Avenue. The many restaurants around town offer a wide selection of ethnic cuisine. Due to its location on the New River, Orange Walk Town is an excellent gateway to the mighty ruins of Lamanai, the picturesque New River Lagoon, and the Rio Bravo Conservation Area.


Getting Here

Orange Walk is one of the easiest towns to access in Belize. Major highways entering the town in four directions link it to over twenty villages in the district as well as points beyond the district borders.


Money Matters & Services Provided

Banks: Click here for a listing of banks in Orange Walk Town.

Internet: There are a few internet cafes along the main street. The largest is on the north side of town. Rates are from US$ 3/hour and up.

Stores & Shops: Orange Walk has a large business district with stores and businesses. Many goods are lower priced than in other areas of Belize.


Area Attractions

Check out the interactive map for a complete list of area attractions

Las Banquitas House of Culture: Overlooking the New River, Las Banquitas comprises a museum, restaurant, amphitheater, and the offices of the district's House of Culture. The museum showcases a new exhibit every month.


Lamanai Maya Site: The remains of crumbling ancient Mayan structures speckle the Belizean countryside and remind visitors of powerful regimes of the distant past. The unique history and beauty of Lamanai distinguishes it from its neighbors and mystifies guests with an aura of supremacy still felt throughout the surrounding forest.


Accommodations

Click here to find Belize Explorer accommodations in Orange Walk Town.

Local Flavor

The people of Orange Walk District are extremely friendly and helpful. Check out some of the local talent and interesting people in the area and if you meet more along the way, drop us a line so that we can include them in this section.

Musicians & Artists | Interesting People


Orange Walk District:  Orange Walk Town | Blue Creek Village





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