Orange Walk is both the name of one of Belize's six districts (equivalent to a state or province) as well as the town that serves as the district capital.
Although citrus farming and growing oranges remain an important part of the agricultural economy of Orange Walk, the district capital of Orange Walk Town is nicknamed "Sugar City" due to the region's long history of being the predominant producer of sugar cane in the country. Today, however, the primary crops grown in Orange Walk are soybeans, onions, and papayas.
Orange Walk Town lies along the banks of the New River and the downtown area includes a town clock with a mural depicting sugar cane workers as well as a large sugar mill.
Approximately 40,000 people live in Orange Walk District, making it the third most populated district in the country.
Popular destinations include:
- The Banquitas House of Culture - Orange Walk is inhabited by a mix of Mestizo, Creole, Maya, and Mennonite peoples, so the House of Culture is a great way to learn more about the history of the region.
- Honey Camp Lagoon - A popular picnic site replete with beaches, swimming spots, and lovely coconut trees.
- Maya ruins - The most famous Maya site is Lamanai, which was continuously inhabited for 3,000 years. Lamanai includes both the ruins of Spanish-era churches as well as ancient Maya pyramids and temples.
- Bird watching areas - The Belize Audubon Society has designated several locations in Orange Walk, including the New River and the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, as prime locations for spotting the more than 400 different bird species found in the country.
- Rio Bravo Conservation Area - The country's largest privately managed wilderness area, Rio Bravo contains nearly 250,000 acres of marshes, savannah, and forests.
Other options in Orange Walk include visiting Cuello's Distillery, manufacturers of some of the best rum in the country as well as vodka, gin, and brandy. There are also several Mennonite villages in Orange Walk District, including Shipyard, Indian Creek, and Blue Creek. These villages follow a traditional way of life, using horses and carts for transportation.
The most popular food to try in Orange Walk is tacos. Many people from across Belize travel to Orange Walk just to get an authentic taco from the region. Enjoyed all day long, tacos in Orange Walk come with a variety of delicious fillings.
Orange Walk can be reached by car from Belize City in around one hour or by plane from Belize City in approximately 20 minutes.