Corozal Town in Northern Belize lies on the Caribbean Sea, 9 miles from the Mexican border. It has a population of approximately 8,100, and is the capital of the district of Corozal.
The peaceful Caribbean coast
The people tend to be very friendly. Corozal is a small and sleepy town with great views of the bay. If you want to rest, this is a great stop. If you arrive on Sunday, you'll find most businesses closed, although a few of the small restaurants and general stores will be open. There are very few tourists, so it is a good place to see Belize off the beaten track, and consequently accommodation, food and drink, and other items are cheaper than in better known places. Corozal is an amazing place, if you want to enjoy yourself come here.
There are two main options for taking a bus to Corozal from Chetumal. 1) Ado bus from the ADO bus station. The bus trip to Belize city costs 372 peso, but the stop at Corozal is less, somewhere around 200 peso. The benefit is that the ADO bus will wait for you while you cross through Mexico/Belize immigration check points. 2) Local bus from the Nuevo Mercado station. These are old school buses, that run across the border to Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize City. They cost 50 peso ($5 Belize) to Corozal but will not wait at the immigration checks if you have any delays (like paying your 585 peso exit tax). You just need to wait for the next one to come through and jump back on. These buses run every 30 min or less. One note, the bus departs around 12:45pm from the Nuevo Mercado Market. Fairly regular and inexpensive buses are also available to and from Belize City and Belmopan, as well as other destinations in the country.
Be aware that Belize immigration is aware that tourists are using Corozal to do a visa run from Mexico. They have recently started to crack down on this practice and will now require you stay a minimum of 3 nights in Belize. You may also be forced to show evidence that you have a booking for a minimum of 3 nights accommodation in Belize.
Tropic Air and Maya Island Air offer flights on smaller prop-driven aircraft between Corozal and Belize City, San Pedro, and Caye Caulker, as well as many other less-traveled Belize towns.
The Thunderbolt Ferry runs between San Pedro and Corozal (also stopping in Sarteneja if requested), twice daily in each direction. The trip takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Corozal is small enough to go around on foot. There are also taxis at the bus station.
- Visit a nearby butterfly farm
- Visit the small Maya Ruins of Santa Rita, minutes away.
- Boat trips to nearby islands (Some leave from the Thunderbolt Dock.)
- Rest and Relaxation
Cerros Mayan Ruins located in the Corozal Bay
* Visit the Cerros Ruins
across Corozal Bay. The easiest way to reach the ruins is by boat, usually hireable at the main dock east of downtown, but the site can also be reached by road. Follow the Cerros Ruins signs on the road to Copper Bank and Sarteneja, but be careful, it is a ~10-mile dirt road which can be very washed out following bad weather, especially hurricanes. The direction to Cerros may also not be terribly well marked, but if you take the left path at major forks in the road, you should find it fairly easily. Again, hiring a boat in Corozal will definitely be quicker and easier, but taking the road will give you a chance to ride one of the hand-cranked ferries seen throughout Belize (no charge for the ferry, but feel free to tip or buy juice or snacks the ferry pilots have for sale).
- Manatee watching is a popular tourist attraction in Belize, and the gentle and sometimes curious creatures can be observed at Corozal Bay and is a protected area for the Manatees.
The town has a fairly wide selection of shops, it is possible to buy clothing, food, kitchen and garden equipment, electronic goods, bicycles and more. During the day there is a market close to the bus station selling a variety of local products, such as fruit.
There are three banks in Corozal, two of them foreign with ATMs, but these will only accept Visa or Mastercard. The local 'Belize Bank' also has an ATM and will accept other cards such as Maestro, but it's reliability is questionable; you may end up having to wait inside the bank for an hour before they give you back your card and tell you its not working today. Within the banks you are likely to find very long queues.
It is possible to change Mexican and Belizean money on the street here, and this is legal and certainly safe if you do it next to the border checkpoint. You can also change money inside the customs office, but the rates are often less good, cash advances on credit cards are available here but a large "handling" fee is charged. If you are leaving the country and need to pay the exit tax it is a good idea to take money out in Corozal instead. Without a credit card you will have to withdraw money at the Belize Bank in Corozal or take out Mexican Pesos on the other side of the border, and change this into Belize dollars.
- Ruby's, located at the roundabout on Beach Road, serves incredible yummi Shrimp Ceviche (5 BZD), the best Burgers in town (4 BZD) and homemade Juices (1 BZD). Meet super friendly Ruby and Forest (owners) who love to chat about your travels.
- June's Kitchen, located on College Road, Home made Belizean Breakfast and Lunch daily. Served on June's veranda dining room. Just ask the locals for directions if you can not find it.
- Patty's Bistro, Belizean and Mexican food #13, 4th Avenue, Tel:4020174.
- Venky's Kabab Corner, 5th Avenue, tel: 4020 536. Provides vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian food in large quantites. $15 Belizean ($7.50 US) for more than one person could eat. Opposite the immigration office, within a couple of blocks of 4th Street, not far from the Hok'ol K'in Guest house.
- Marcelo's Pizza, #25 4th Avenue, tel:4223275. Delivery & Eat In.
- Al's Cafe. Belizean and Mexican Budget Restaurant.
- Marisol, beside UNO Gas station has re-opened. Mexican.
- RD's Diner, ☎ (501) 422-3796 ([email protected]), . 7AM to 10PM, Closed on Sundays. All foods prepared with EVO and high grade vegetable Oil. All foods are prepared fresh as you order. Dine in an air conditioned, elegant and non-smoking atmosphere. Situated on #7-4th Avenue Corozal town. Accepts all major Credit cards. edit
- Habanero Grill, Santa Rita Road (East of Santa Rita ruins), ☎ 501+6634074, . 4PM-9PM, Closed on Sundays. Delicious American style casual fare with a Belizean touch. Flavorful high quality burgers using fresh produce and ingredients. Hamburgers, fries, chicken sandwiches, cold soft drinks. $. edit
- Copper Bank Inn, Cooper Bank Village, ☎ 662-5281, . edit
There are several bars around the town, beers cost up to $2.50 USD for a half English pint bottle (284ml).
- D Spot. . 10PM until up to 2AM Friday and Saturday Nights. edit
- Euphoria 21, Corner of 7th Avenue and 2nd Street North, 1 block behind the Fire Station, a few houses after Rainbow FM, . 12 PM TO 2 AM. Lounge open from Thursday to Sunday with different specials every day, on Saturday nights 10 PM to 2 AM it is a Night Club for Men 21+ and Women 18+. edit
As Corozal is easily reached from Mexico, many travellers from Mexico will cross the border to here to do a visa-run, in order to re-enter Mexico and obtain a new tourist visa for additional time there. Be aware that Belize immigration is aware of this practice and has recently cracked down on tourists doing visa runs. They will no longer permit a one day visa-run turn around. Most likely you will be forced to show evidence that you have a booking for a minimum of 3 nights accommodation in Belize. If you come to the Belize border without evidence of a booking, they may not issue a visa and entry. You can in this situation ask the guy at the tourist information desk to do a booking for you using your credit card.
Corozal therefore has a very large amount of accommodation relative to its size and attractions. Since the town is not very big, one is sure to find several places after wandering around the center for a few minutes.
- Corozal Guest House: One of the cheapest accommodation in the town, and located opposite the bus station. A double room costs around Bz$45 (US$23), but if it's quiet you can haggle this down. The rooms are fairly clean, if basic and somewhat run down. You may get bitten by mosquitoes during the night, so if you find a lizard in the room, leave it there to eat them.
- Mirador Hotel, Tel: 4220189, email: [email protected], . A new hotel in front of the bay offers clean and spacious rooms at very reasonable prices. A room for a couple with a fan cost US$35.00 and air condition US$50.00 all rooms have a private bath (hot/cold), television, and free wireless internet access. 24 rooms. Facilities: restaurant, tours arranged, internet cafe, terrace, free wake up service, Parking, and a phone booth.
- The Hok'ol K'in Guest House costs Bz$90 (US$45) for a double with air conditioning and a view of the bay. Clean, quiet, and friendly, right on the street that runs along the waterfront. 89 4th Avenue, 422-3329 (as of July 2007).
- Serenity Sands Bed and Breakfast, 50 Serenity Lane,North of Corozal Town (After the 3 mile marker on Consejo Road, follow the signs to the water), ☎ +501-669-2394 ([email protected]), . checkout: ""lat="". Rates start at $90 US, breakfast included. Enjoy the tranquil, ecofriendly B&B with it's secluded beach. edit
- Mirador Hotel offer internet service for the public $2.00 u.s a hour and free wifi access in room for guest accommodating in the hotel .
- Hok'ol K'in also has wireless internet available.
- Corozal Bay Resort Free High Speed Wifi Available for Guests.
- Sea Breeze Hotel also has free Wifi for guests.
- Atlantic Bank, (Corner 5th Avenue & 1st Street North), ☎ (501) 422-3473 ([email protected]), . edit
- Belize Bank, ☎ (501) 422-2087 ([email protected], fax: (501) 422-2738), . With ATM Machine and pesos, provide passports or permits edit
- Scotia Bank, (4th Avenue), ☎ (501) 422-2046 (fax: (501) 422-2998). edit
The area next the Mexican border, 9 miles from the town features a large casino and hotel, as it is free of some taxes.
Take the Thunderbolt boat to Sarteneja and then San Pedro.