Orange Walk Town
Located 66 miles north of Belize City and 30 miles south of Corozal, Orange Walk is one of the larger communities in Belize. Its 16,700 inhabitants work in local industry and agriculture. If passing through, stop and look around. The town has three banks, a few hotels, and a choice of small, casual eateries.
Roads stemming from Orange Walk access 20 villages and a handful of small, lesser known archaeological sites. Outside of town, you’ll find historic sites including Indian Church village; a 16th-century Spanish mission; and the ruins of Belize’s original sugar mill, a 19th-century structure built by British colonialists.
Heading west and then southwest, you’ll find Blue Creek, a Mennonite development where Belize’s first hydroelectric plant was built. This is also your gateway to New River Lagoon and the Lamanai ruins.
Getting to Orange Walk Town
By Bus: There is no main station, but the buses traveling between Corozal and Belize City all stop to idle next to For Cairns (the site is supposedly temporary, but nobody knew where the bus station was moving) for a few minutes before lumbering on—they pass about every hour until 6 p.m. Buses passing through town after 6 p.m. usually stop by Town Hall briefly.
The last bus to Belize City will pass around 6:45 p.m. and service to Corozal continues hourly until about 9 p.m. Some of the buses are express, but it’s hard to tell which ones, unless they are the comfy, air-conditioned charter buses. Sunday service is about every two hours.
Buses to Indian Church village (near Lamanai) leave only on Friday, returning Monday. There are hourly buses to San Felipe to the west and Sarteneja to the east. Buses to Sarteneja can be found across the street from Banquitas House of Culture by the Zeta Ice Factory.
By Boat: Going by boat is a pleasant way to get anywhere, especially up the New River to Lamanai. Enjoy nature’s best along the shore of the river and the labyrinthine passageways through the wetlands. You never know what you’ll see next—long-legged birds, orchids in tall trees, hummingbirds, crocs—it’s like a treasure hunt. Bring your binocs. Ask anywhere for directions to the boat dock. Some boat operators depart from the New Hill Toll Bridge south of town.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition