Corozal – An Undiscovered Gem on the Mexican Border
housing developments, hotels, restaurants, history, logistics, the bay, the new highway, Chetumal, Expats, safety, weather, real estate, weather, Transportation
In many ways, Corozal is a last frontier. Yes, it’s the northernmost town in Belize – just 8 miles from the Mexican border. But it’s something more than geography.
Corozal is “Old Belize”. It feels like a British Honduras town – just going about its business. Gritty and beautiful, resting along on a soothing, blue bay.
It’s largely undiscovered by developers and expats. But there’s a sense that’s going to change. It’s just too sweet of a location.
Corozal Town is the capital of Corozal District, which is the northmost area of Belize.
It’s about 80 miles from the Belize City and is bordered on the south and west by the Orange Walk District – the sugar cane region. And just a few miles farther north is the Mexican border.
It wraps around some gentle curves of the calm, shallow Corozal Bay – a portion of the larger Bay of Chetumal. It’s highly sheltered and its level and color are affected the winds rather than the tide.
It varies from being slate blue and calm to a pastel blue and pleasingly choppy.
Corozal Bay is too shallow to provide any great fishing. But it’s pretty and ideal for boating. In fact having a small boat is a great way to get around to the other little peninsulas that jut out into the bay.
One HUGE advantage that Corozal Bay has is total lack of sargassum or seagrass. If you have been to any Caribbean shore along Belize or the Yucatan, you may very well have encountered massive piles of this foul seaweed. It is a real plague.
Fortunately for Corozal – The landmass to the east – that includes Ambergris Caye – collects it all. Thanks, guys.
Weather in Corozal
Like the rest of Central America – Corozal is always hot with a dry season and a wet season. Dry season is from December to May when humidity is less.
The wet season is May to November with high humidity – especially in the summer months.
In general, Corozal is gets less rain than the southern part of Belize. Consequently there are less ravenous insects
The average highs are in the mid eighties – lows in the upper sixties.
The Town of Corozal
Corozal is a pretty typical Central American small town. It’s dusty and ramshackle but charming. It’s certainly not touristy, but it’s got plenty of services, restaurants and bayside bars. There are excellent bakeries and butcher shops.
There’s a colorful town square and parks, playgrounds and the historic House of Culture along the water.
It’s bustling during the day but pretty quiet at night – like everywhere in Belize.
There are – of course – several Chinese-owned grocery stores, but also an awesome supermarket/liquor store/hardware store called One Mall. It has just about anything you might want.
Real Estate and Housing in Corozal
There are no major tourist attractions in Corozal. Consequently not that many foreigners visit, and it remains relatively undiscovered.
Yet there is a small but growing expat community here and there are some very attractive options for owning a house on the bay or just steps away.
For example, bayfront lots can still be had for less than $100,000. If you don’t mind living 100 yards or so from the water, there are buildable lots going for as low as $20,000 – $30,000.
If you don’t want the bother of owning a house, one-bedroom, oceanview condos are available for less than $100,000.
The largest, most well established is Consejo Shores. It’s about 6 miles north of town by way of a good (but unpaved) road.
It’s a nice, quiet community with about 150 homes. It is very much an American style development. If you didn’t know better, you would think you were in Florida.
Whatever you’re looking for, get a reputable realtor to help. Belize is infamous for real estate scams, and there are many rather dubious “developments” around that have plenty lots for sale but the houses never seem to get built.
So go slow and do your research. Because Corozal is not a tourist destination, there are plenty of options for long-term rentals to grab while you are searching – many for under $500/month.
One of the best advantages of living in Corozal is its proximity to Chetumal, Mexico. It’s about 15 miles from Corozal Town.
Chetumal is a city a city of about 150,000 people. And within the city limits there are shopping malls, American chain restaurants, big box stores, movie theatres – all things that are lacking in Belize.
Many Belizeans fly or drive to Corozal just to go on to Chetumal and load up on merchandise that’s just not available in Belize. And it is a nice change of pace from sleepy Belizean towns.
In addition to Chetumal, the border area between Belize and Mexico is a designated free zone. There is a shopping area with lots of cheap goods from China and 3 casinos. It’s kind of fun.
The drive to Corozal from the airport is about an hour and 40 minutes on good roads.
Inexpensive express buses also run several times daily from Belize City.
Tropic air has daily flights from Belize City and San Pedro.
There is also a daily ferry from San Pedro called the Thunderbolt. It takes about 2 hours.
Pros and Cons of Living in Corozal
I’ve pretty much been everywhere in Belize, and in my opinion Corozal has the best potential for a place to settle down. The combination of being right on the water, the low housing costs and excellent weather are hard to find elsewhere in Belize.
And you can find whatever is lacking – nightlife, retail merchandise, upscale restaurants, hospitals – just across the border.
- Right on the tranquil Bay of Corozal – No Sea Grass!
- Low cost of housing – Real Estate and Long Term Rental
- Great weather – less rain than the south
- Quiet – Not Touristy
- Low cost of living
- One of the Safest Areas of Belize
- Close to Chetumal, Mexico
- Lack of really good healthcare facilities
- Little Nightlife
- The town is not beautiful
Where to Stay in Corozal
My wife and I stayed at the Tilt-Ta-Dock Resort just a bit north of town.
An upscale option it the Almond Tree Resort
A good budget option is The Mirador