Northern Belize is a sleeper, a hidden beauty. Like a mineral geode, seemingly plain and unassuming on the outside, once cracked, its beauty and charm will dazzle your eyes and sense of adventure.
The north is not usually a priority destination for tourists because the transportation routes travel through primarily flat, young coastal plain. But venture off the main roads and your travels become an adventure. Northern Belize actually provides more variety of nature, history, and culture than any other districts of Belize.
The jungle in the west provide habitat for some of the highest concentration of jaguar in the country, and probably the best chance to see one of Belize’s five wildcats. The coastal lagoons to the east are vast feeding grounds for colonies of storks, herons and egrets as well as the endangered manatee. And in between flows beautiful river country, full of crocodile, turtle and tarpon.
The natural wealth of northern Belize was not lost on the ancient Maya. Remains of an estimated 600 Mayan settlements lie scattered throughout the two northern districts of Belize, most unexcavated nor mapped.But the few that have been uncovered are spectacular. Lamanai, arguably Belize’s finestarchaeological reserve,picturesquely rises from the jungle along the
New River lagoon. Fortress Cerros, perched atop a prominence jutting into Corozal Bay, guards the mouth of the New River. And Santa Rita, around which Corozal Town is built, was probably the ancient city of Chetumal.
Today, northern Belize is still populated by Mayans, by Spanish, and by Mennonite farmers. This mix of peoples provides a unique opportunity to experience the mysticism of Mayan wood lore, the celebration of life in Spanish dances, and the simplicity of life and worship of imported old world beliefs of the Mennonites.