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Characteristic of the natural and manmade wonders here are the spectacular national parks and impressive Maya site of Lamanai, tucked deep within the rain forest on the banks of the New River. Taken together, these are a modern adventurer's playground, which will take the curious beneath Belize's surface.

The Río Bravo Conservation Area, a fiercely protected and amazingly bio-diverse reserve encompassing almost five percent of Belize's total land, is a wildlife bonanza believed to have the most jaguars, in addition to other jungle cats and exotic fauna, in Central America. La Milpa Field Station, near the western edge of the ...

Characteristic of the natural and manmade wonders here are the spectacular national parks and impressive Maya site of Lamanai, tucked deep within the rain forest on the banks of the New River. Taken together, these are a modern adventurer's playground, which will take the curious beneath Belize's surface.

The Río Bravo Conservation Area, a fiercely protected and amazingly bio-diverse reserve encompassing almost five percent of Belize's total land, is a wildlife bonanza believed to have the most jaguars, in addition to other jungle cats and exotic fauna, in Central America. La Milpa Field Station, near the western edge of the Conservation Area, is a model of ecological sustainability, utilizing solar power, composting toilets and rain catchments. The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and Shipstern Nature Reserve, near the fishing village of Sarteneja, are two other examples of Belize's conservation culture. Orange Walk, an agricultural city largely serving the sugar industry, is the area's largest, followed by Corozal in the north, another sugar boom town that serves as a base for exploring the area and a stop-over on overland bus journeys to Mexico.

The area around Orange Walk is home to a sizable Mennonite community who first came to Belize in 1958; combining strict religious beliefs with industriousness has led them to become leaders of Belizean agro-industry: nine out of ten chickens and their eggs come from Mennonite farms.

Conner Gorry
About the Expert

Conner Gorry is a contributor to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guidebooks and is the lead writer for Lonely Planet's Yucatan, Belize, and Guatemala guides.

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Conner Gorry for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The natural wealth of northern Belize and remains of 600 Mayan settlements scattered throughout the two districts of Corozal and Orange Walk beckon. Travelers will also find small fishing villages, wild jungles and even Mennonite enclaves.
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Currency: Belizean Dollar
  • Research: Northern Belize | Orange Walk District
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Whenever you need a break from the Belizean heat, head to the coast here.