Orange Walk Town Tourist Attractions
Orange Walk Town is the agricultural and social center of northern Belize. One of the nation's first settlements, Orange Walk began as a logging center.
Today, the entire area is involved in seasonal harvesting of sugar cane and its byproducts of sugar, rum and molasses. Both the modern and traditional are represented in Orange Walk, as the mechanized sugar industry mixes with traditional Mexican customs as well as the Mennonite presence found in the town.While British mahogany farmers first settled Orange Walk, the town saw a major rise in population resulting from an influx of Mestizo refugees fleeing the Yucatán during the 1850s War of the Castes. In 1872, Orange Walk Town was attacked by a huge army of Icaiche Mayans led by Marcus Canul, who was killed by Orange Walk's British settlers. Little remains of the town's two British forts that were built in defense of the Caste War's raiding Mayan armies. This battle marks the armed resistance of the Maya in Belize.Today, most of Orange Walk's residents are Spanish-speaking Mestizos, and their culture is reflected in the tacos and tamales sold on the streets of Orange Walk. The town is not highly developed for tourism, but options for lodging, dining and shopping are available.
Lamanai Archaeological Site is an active dig site, where over 800 structures have been discovered to date.
Orange Walk - Las Banquitas House of Culture
Pan America Day Fiesta
Each year on October 12, Orange Walk Town celebrates Mestizo culture with Pan America Day (Columbus Day) festivities that include beauty contests and horse and cycle races.
Town Hall (Fort Cairns)
Fort Cairns was once found on the site of Orange Walk's present Town Hall. Today, all that remains of the fort is the original flagpole outside of the Town Hall building.
Sandy Hunter Library
A good collection of local magazines and books are found at the Sandy Hunter Library in Orange Walk Town.
Central park is a shady park marking the center of Orange Walk Town.
Interesting attractions such as Mayan archaeological sites are found in the areas surrounding Orange Walk Town.
One of Belize's Mennonite communities is found in the settlement of Blue Creek, 30mi/48km outside of Orange Walk Town. Mennonites began arriving in Belize in 1958 and became very productive farmers after settling on uninhabited lands. Belize's Mennonite farms produce much of the fruits, vegetables, milk and cheese in the country. Furniture making is also a Mennonite specialty.On approaching Blue Creek, visitors will notice the sugar cane fields often seen in other parts of Belize are replaced with sorghum and cornfields. Blue Creek's Mennonites have chosen to use modern equipment, unlike other Mennonite communities in Belize. Blue Creek's settlers have implicated damming projects, built a hydroelectric plant, and several furniture-making operations.The Mennonites are easily detected by their way of dress; the men wear denim overalls and straw hats while women often dress in print dresses and wide brimmed bonnets. The Mennonites are known as the "unobtrusive ones" and speak Plattdeutsch, a low German dialect. The Mennonites refuse to become involved in government and military; refuse to take oaths and stress adult baptism.
Orange Walk Town Surroundings - Nohmul Archaeological Site
Nohmul (Mayan for "Great Mound") is a vast archaeological site covering 7sq.mi/18sq.km, although most of it is overgrown by grass and sugarcane. The important ceremonial site was first occupied in the Pre-Classic period from c350 BC to 250 AD, and then declined in the Early Classic period when Nohmul became nothing more than a ghost town. Around the Late Classic period Nohmul's population rose, and at the height of its powers was the seat of government for the surrounding 8mi/13km.Nohmul's tallest building is Structure 2, a large acropolis offering excellent vistas of the Orange Walk District over endless fields of cane. Thomas Gann first discovered Nohmul in 1897 and returned to excavate several times between 1908 and 1936. Many of the artifacts discovered were given to the British Museum. Norman Hammond led other excavations were led by between 1973 and 1982.
Orange Walk Town Surroundings - Cuello Archaeological Site
The Cuello archaeological site has a 3,000-year history and is the earliest known settled community in the Maya world. Structure 350, a nine-tiered stepped pyramid, is the site's point of interest. While several artifacts have been uncovered at Cuello, little remains apart from the pyramid. The Maya of Cuello (pronounced kway-yo) were productive farmers and excellent pottery makers. The occupation of Cuello began around 2500 BC and continued until 500 AD when it was deserted for unknown reasons.
Orange Walk Town Surroundings - Honey Camp Lagoon
Orange Walk Town Surroundings - Godoy's Orchid Garden
Godoy's Orchid Garden features over 75 species of orchids as well as bromeliads and mini-orchids.