When in conversation, the first word that usually follows the name Orange Walk is tacos. This tiny town in the north of Belize may shine brightly for its delectable breakfast cuisine, but it’s more than just a rest stop when traveling further up north. Whether you’re interested in exploring the outdoors, learning about ancient Maya history, or indulging in mouthwatering food, Orange Walk has something for everyone – often in an all-in-one package! Spending a lovely two days is the sweet spot when visiting in this charismatic town. Here’s a guide to spending an adventurous weekend in Orange Walk.
Day One: Meandering the Streets and Learning the Culture
Of course, in order to ‘staat yuh mawnin right’ you’ll have to try a taste of the famed Orange Walk tacos! When walking the streets downtown and weaving in and out energetic morning crowds, you’ll come across a taco stand at practically every corner. Whether it be a small stand on the side of the street or a well-worn wooden shack at the same spot it’s been in for years, the amount of people waiting in line stays the same. Consisting of just two to four ingredients, this meal boasts an amazing amalgamation of flavors. With meat seasoned to perfection and cocooned by the warm hug of corn tortillas, there isn’t any other way Belizeans love starting a trip.
Following breakfast, venture to the Banquitas House of Culture. Unable to miss, it sits atop a hill and on the bank of the New River. This cultural museum holds an abundance of historical artifacts inside. Gain an understanding of how the rise and fall of the northern Maya civilization came to be. Or, learn how the town transformed from a tiny settlement of logwood and chicle workers, to the thriving melting pot of cultures it is today. After reading up on history, take a break, and spend some time admiring one of Orange Walk’s prettiest bodies of water.
Sidled up to a tranquil lagoon on the outskirts of Orange Walk Town is The Deck Tapas Bar & Bistro. From enticing seafood and well-known dishes to addictive cocktails made with fresh fruits, you’ll be wishing you had more stomach space by the end of your lunch.
As for the afternoon, it’s free for you to explore. Take a self-guided tour of Orange Walk Town’s bustling market. We’re sure you’ll find unique fruits and vegetables you’ve never had a chance of seeing. Make sure to sample refreshing drinks and snacks along the way, like crushed ice with syrup, thinly sliced fried plantain chips, and kinep.
Be sure to take it easy, since the next day will be filled with more adventure.
Day Two: Diving Into Local History
Go off the beaten path and start the next morning bright and early with a trip to the Cuello Maya Site. While the day before you heard all about the history of its past inhabitants, here you’ll get to see that history first-hand. These ruins may not be the most popular in Orange Walk, but they hold just as much significance. Believed to be one of the oldest Maya sites in Belize, you can climb the ruins yourself and look out at gorgeous scenery. Admire ancient pottery that hasn’t been found anywhere else in Belize: the Swasey pottery. This venture will take up your whole morning, and maybe even lunch, so be sure to pack snacks and a meal!
Traipsing centuries-old Maya sites can take a lot of sweat and energy, so we suggest cooling off with a rejuvenating mangonada. These blended frozen mangos drizzled with chamoy and tajin have northern Belize– and the entire country, for that matter– completely obsessed. Orange Walk has the beloved Cherry Pop to cater to all the mangonada cravings. The perfect refresher for a hot day awaits, alongside many more cooling drinks.
Orange Walk is more than just its nickname – ‘Sugar City’ – or a breakfast taco-central. Offering different shades of adventure for every kind of traveler, this northern town is much more than what the eye can see – each corner of town is filled with hidden gems to unearth.
Next time you’re looking for a weekend getaway, Orange Walk will be awaiting your visit!