Corozal is the name for both a district (equivalent to a state or province) in Belize as well as the district's capital and largest city, Corozal Town.
As the northernmost of Belize's six districts, Corozal borders the Mexican state of Quintana Roo to the north and the Bay of Chetumal and the Caribbean Sea to the northeast and east. With an estimated population of 45,000 people, Corozal is rapidly becoming one of the most popular areas in the country for expats.
Largely agricultural, the only significant municipality in Corozal District is Corozal Town, located just nine miles from the Mexican border. Originally settled by Mestizo people who left Mexico following a civil war in the 1840s, Corozal Town was built on the site of an ancient Maya city now called Santa Rita.
Corozal Town is lovely seaside small town with approximately 20,000 residents, three churches, a public library, and a downtown park complete with sidewalk cafes, restaurants, and shops. Across the bay from Corozal Town lies several large mounds called Cerros (Spanish for "hills"), an important ancient Maya site where temples, ball courts, canals, and plazas have been excavated.
Much of Corozal Town was destroyed by a hurricane in 1955. Today, Corozal Town is one of just two towns in the country that has a planned urban center with streets and avenues laid out at right angles and good drainage.
As most of the population lives in Corozal Town, the majority of Corozal District is still largely agricultural. Once the heartland of Belize's sugar industry, Corozal District farmers have since expanded to growing crops such as papayas, citrus fruits, avocados, pineapples, and onions. Sugar, however, continues to remain an important crop.
English is widely spoken throughout Corozal District, although approximately 60% of residents also speak Spanish. The district is home to several dozen villages inhabited by Mestizos, Creoles, and indigenous Maya that speak the Yucatec dialect. There is also a small community of German-speaking Mennonites in the village of Little Belize.
The lush landscape makes Corozal District home to some of the best fishing and bird watching in the entire country. And with the upper part of the Belize Barrier Reef located just across the bay, Corozal is a popular staging point for snorkelers and scuba divers.
The popular tourist destination of Ambergris Caye lies just across the water from Corozal Town although it is technically part of the Belize District.