Corozal Town’s 9,000 or so inhabitants casually get by while the bay washes against the seawall running the length of town. While English is the official language, Spanish is just as common, since many residents are descendants of early-day Maya and mestizo refugees from neighboring Mexico. Historically, Corozal was the scene of attacks by the Mayans during the Caste War. What remains of Fort Barlee can be found in the center of town (west of Central Park).
The town was almost entirely wiped out during Hurricane Janet in 1955 and has since been rebuilt. As you stroll through the quiet streets, you’ll find a library, a museum, town hall, government administrative offices, a Catholic church, two secondary schools, five elementary schools, one gas station, a government hospital, a clinic, a few small hotels, a couple of bars, and several restaurants.
There’s not a whole lot of activity here, unless you happen to be in town during the Mexican-style “Spanish” fiestas of Christmas, Carnival, and Columbus Day; there are also a few local events in mid-September.
Getting to Corozal Town
By Air: There are five inexpensive daily flights on each airline between Corozal and San Pedro only. Call Tropic Air (tel. 501/226-2012, U.S. tel. 800/422-3435, www.tropicair.com) or Maya Island Air (tel. 501/223-1140, U.S. tel. 800/225-6732, mayair [at] btl [dot] net, www.mayaislandair.com) for schedules.
By Bus: Buses are in disarray, so check the schedule at Corozal’s Northern Transport Bus Station before departure. Northbound buses from Belize City alternate final destinations between Corozal and Chetumal, taking three hours to Corozal and leaving Belize City frequently 5:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. (US$6). Southbound buses from Corozal leave regularly between 3:45 a.m. and 7 p.m., all of them originating 15 minutes or so earlier in Santa Elena. If you have connections to make in Chetumal, be aware that, unlike Belize, Mexico practices daylight saving time.
By Boat: The Thunderbolt (tel. 501/422-0026 or 501/610-4475) departs daily for San Pedro at 7 a.m. for US$23 per person. Special promotions are often run during peak holiday times, so call ahead. The boat leaves San Pedro’s Westside dock at 3 p.m. The trip takes about two hours, and stops in
Sarteneja are possible on request.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition