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Corozal Belize

Unveiling the Charms of Corozal, Belize

Discover why Corozal, Belize, is a great destination for anyone seeking a quiet, low-cost, and relaxed lifestyle. From archaeological sites and nature reserves to duty-free shopping and proximity to Mexico, Corozal offers a variety of attractions and conveniences. This article contains a link (or links) to Amazon, from which, as an Amazon Associate, this website will earn a small commission if you make any purchases. Some other links are also affiliate links, where we will also make a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking, at no extra cost to you.

Corozal, Belize has long been a magnet for expats from North America and elsewhere. Despite not having miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a vibrant nightlife, many people are still drawn to Corozal.

If you ask anyone why they chose Corozal, most will tell you it’s because it’s on the Mexican border. Chetumal, Mexico, is just a hop and a skip away. Corozal is a sleepy community where most tourists are passing through, either to or from Mexico. That said, travelers looking to spend a few days in Corozal will find things to do.

Here are five popular tourist attractions in Corozal:

  • Santa Rita Archaeological Site. A Mayan site just outside town, Santa Rita features ruins from the Pre-Classic and Classic periods.
  • Corozal House of Culture. This museum is housed in a restored colonial-era building and features exhibits on the history and culture of the Corozal district.
  • Cerros Archaeological Site. Another Mayan site, Cerros is located on a peninsula overlooking Corozal Bay.
  • Shipstern Nature Reserve. A protected area that’s home to a wide variety of birds and mammals, including toucans, parrots, howler monkeys and more.
  • Corozal Town Hall. This historic building in the center of town was built in 1939. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about its history and architecture.

Expats and potential expats in Belize will also find Corozal worth a second look

The cost of living is low, compared to other places in Belize. That’s what draws many people. The duty-free zone at the border certainly helps with costs (more on this below). It’s also easy to cross into Mexico to do your shopping at Sam’s Club over the border in Chetumal. Mexico, after all, is cheaper than Belize.

Being the main border crossing with Mexico, logistics are easy in Corozal. From here, it’s simple to reach the rest of Belize. Belize City, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and the Placencia Peninsula are all within short reach by air with Maya Island Air and Tropic Air. Buses to Belize City are frequent and cheap.

Corozal, Belize is the poster child for slow and relaxed

Almost everything in town is within walking distance. Like most communities in Belize, there are banks, stores, churches, schools, and a gas station. It’s worth noting, however, that the gas station gets little use. Gas is much cheaper in Mexico, so why not fill up over there?

Spanish is the predominant language in Corozal, but most locals speak English. As far as the multinational mix, you will find the usual Maya, Garifuna, East Indians, Mestizos, Asians, and Mennonites.

The Corozal Free Zone (Zona Libre in Mexico) sits right on the border between Mexico and Belize. It’s a sprawling complex of businesses owned and run by residents of Quintana Roo, Mexico. There are no Belizean businesses operating in the zone, but everyone can buy goods and services here at a discount.

Shopping here is an expat’s dream

You’ll find a good share of wholesale stores, shops, and even a mall, with everything at bargain prices. People coming from the Belizean side of the border can also find things here that they can’t get at home. Plenty of local Belizeans and Mexicans also shop in the Free Zone every day because of the savings.

And then there are the casinos! In my worldwide travels, one thing I’ve learned is the bond between retirees and casinos. While I may be mistaken, in my observations, expat retirees in Corozal keep these establishments afloat.

There is an excellent expat community in Consejo, approximately 15 minutes outside of Corozal, where one can find beautiful houses with landscaped lawns, and even retirement homes.

Healthcare in Corozal

The Corozal Community Hospital offers a range of medical services, including emergency care, surgeries, and outpatient care. The hospital’s resources and equipment, however, is not as advanced as those in more developed countries.

Expats living in Corozal typically opt for the better medical care and shorter wait times of private healthcare. The nearest private hospital is across the border in Chetumal, Mexico. Many expats also have medical insurance that covers the cost of healthcare services in Mexico.

It’s important to note that medical care in Corozal and Belize, in general, can be expensive for those without insurance. Expats are encouraged to obtain medical insurance that covers them in Belize and Mexico.

Aside from the Free Zone and border, Corozal is a quiet community, relatively off the tourist map compared to other destinations. Local expats can enjoy the tranquility of this small town without the hustle and bustle of bothersome tourists. They can engage in a bit of coastal fishing, shopping, bingo, and even a butterfly tour.

If this type of lifestyle is your dream, then it could be waiting for you in Corozal, Belize.

Gary Peterson lives on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize, where he writes books about Central America and the Caribbean. Read more of Gary’s work on his blog.

Gary Peterson

Gary Peterson

Gary Peterson has traveled and written about many destinations worldwide. He’s written travel guides for Europe including Italy, France, and the Greek Islands. For the past few years, he’s traveled extensively throughout Central America, publishing two books on Belize. Gary lives on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize, where he continues writing about Central America and the Caribbean.