Corozal is the name of both a district (equivalent to a “county”) of Belize as well as the district capital, often distinguished by being called Corozal Town. Corozal District is the northernmost district of Belize and borders the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The district capital, Corozal Town, lies about nine miles south of the Mexican border and 80 miles north of Belize City.
One of the last areas of Belize to be inhabited in colonial times, the first immigrants were Mestizos who fled the fighting in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula in the 1840s. Corozal Town is located on the former site of an ancient Maya city, commonly referred to today as Santa Rita, of which a small, intact fragment survives. Across the bay from Corozal is the ancient Maya site of Cerros (Spanish for “hills”), now mostly mounds, but archeologists have excavated several temples, ball courts, canals, and plazas along with five jade pendants. Jade was a sacred stone for the ancient Maya who believed it had mystical powers.
Today, Corozal has an estimated population of 13,500 people, including a significant population of expats and retirees. The town has three churches, a library, a hospital, and a town square replete with sidewalk cafes, shops, and restaurants. Corozal lies directly on the coast and has several beaches. Many residents of Corozal Town are native Spanish speakers, but the city is famous for the harmonious blend of different cultures.
Nearby attractions include the Maya ruins at Cerros, the enormous Shipstern Nature Reserve, the popular tourist island of Ambergris Caye, and offshore activities in and around the Belize Barrier Reef, including fishing, sailing, snorkeling, and diving.
The weather in Corozal is generally similar to the rest of Belize, although the town is favorably positioned to receive both refreshing offshore breezes as well as air currents that come in from more northern latitudes that help keep humidity and excessive heat at bay during the warmest periods of the year.
Roughly half of all the residents of Corozal District reside in Corozal Town. The rest of the district is predominantly agricultural, originally principally focused on sugar farming and sugar production, but now more diversified with other crops like papaya. Despite being relatively far off the normal tourist path, tourism is increasingly becoming important to the Corozal economy, especially the Commercial Free Zone that lies on the Belize-Mexico border.
Cerros Sands is a master-planned, gated community popular with expats and retirees located in Corozal, Belize on the beautiful Chetumal Bay.