Orange Walk Town
Orange Walk Town is many things to many people: agricultural town, economic hub, Mennonite meeting place, street-food paradise…but it is not generally considered a tourist town. And the chances are pretty good that this won't change any time soon. This town of 14,000 souls – just 57 miles from Belize City – doesn't have much to keep travelers around for more than a day or two.
If you came to Belize in search of sparkling blue waters, delicious fresh seafood, fauna-rich forests and affordable prices, look no further than Sarteneja (sar-ten-eh-ha). The tiny fishing and shipbuilding village, located near the northeastern tip of the Belizean mainland, is a charming base from which to explore both the nautical and jungle treasures of the region.
One of the biggest and best excavated Maya sites in northern Belize, Lamanai lies 24 miles south of Orange Walk Town up the New River (or 36 miles by unpaved road). The ruins are known both for their impressive architecture and marvelous setting, surrounded by dense rainforest overlooking the New River Lagoon.
Río Bravo Conservation & Management Area
If you're looking for true, wild tropical rainforest, this is it. Encompassing 406 sq miles in northwest Belize, the Río Bravo Conservation & Management Area (RBCMA) takes up 4% of Belize's total land area and is managed by the Belizean nonprofit organization Programme for Belize.
Cerro Maya & Copper Bank
The small fishing (and lobstering) village of Copper Bank (called San Fernando on some maps) is set on the shores of a brackish lagoon known as Laguna Seca (which is anything but dry). The village is a tiny place – consisting of just 500 souls – with a lazy, hazy, crazy tropical charm.
About 7 miles north of Corozal, Consejo is a sweet small fishing village set on Chetumal Bay, offering little more than a pristine stretch of beach and lovely sunrise views. Bring a book and your binoculars and you might be content to stay here for quite a while. There aren't many amenities for tourists in Consejo.
Located on the eastern shore of Progresso Lagoon, Little Belize is an Old Order Mennonite community of approximately 2000 residents. Among the more traditional Mennonite groups, these folks look as thought they've come straight from the prairie, driving around in horse-drawn carriages, with men wearing broad-brimmed hats and overalls and women in long dresses and bonnets.