Locally known as “Shuga City” – the Orange Walk District is a true Belizean gem, filled with rich history and a melting pot of cultures. Whether you are a foodie looking for local dishes, an adventurer waiting to get a little adrenaline rush or a traveler just wanting to experience more of the Belizean cultures, luckily you can find them all here.
About Orange Walk
Located about an hour’s drive north of Belize City, you can identify this sweet town by an old tollbooth at the entrance of Orange Walk and a large town clock in the center of the town. One might wonder, why is it referred to as “Shuga city”? Orange Walk used to be the primary district that made sugar; as you will be able to see smoke coming up the stacks of the sugar mill on your visit there. If you’ve been researching Belize then you would know the Mayas were the first inhabitants of this country; and here in Orange Walk, you can find archaeological sites and many locals who are descendants of the Mayas (Mestizos). As well as their yummy, juicy, and mouth-watering Orange Walk tacos; the absolute best in the country.
Here’s what you can do on your visit:
- Visit and climb the Mayan archaeological site of Lamanai just through the New River.
- Go birding on a tour down the New River.
- Visit the quiet village of Blue Creek to get a look at the Mennonite culture.
- In downtown Orange Walk you can visit Banquitas House of Culture.
- Relax at Honey Camp Lagoon – this once used to be an area for Mayan ceremonies and rituals.
- Visit the Rio Bravo Conservation Area.
- Visit La Milpa Archaeological Reserve, which is the third-largest Maya site in the country; located inside the Rio Bravo Conservation Area.
- Eat delicious rolled corn tortilla tacos from one of the local shops, or if you want something different try their refreshing ceviche and “salpicon”/ a type of salsa.
- If you’re visiting in November, be sure to stop by their annual taco festival and try beef, chicken, and pibil tacos from the locals. (pork cooked in a pit.)
- Take a walk through Orange Walk town, explore the different cultures, and meet the friendly locals.
Written by Reyann Garcia