Update from Belize: Where I am and Where I’ve Been


So the last time I posted this map, I was in the Cayo District. Jungling and caving away my first two weeks in Belize.

Then came the unexpected – an assignment to photograph the First Lady of Belize, Mrs. Kim Barrow, and her family – so I returned to Belize City for a couple of days. After that, off to Maruba Spa, still in the Belize District and close to the Altun Ha Maya site and several villages such as Maskall Village.

After Maskall, I headed up north: “sugar country” as some call it because this is where most of the country’s sugar cane is produced. First to the town and District of Orange Walk, followed by Corozal.

Orange Walk is where I experienced my first Belizean fiesta or annual local fair. I missed the Benque Viejo Fiesta in the Cayo District a couple of weeks ago, remember? Well I wasn’t going to miss this one. Orange Walk calls theirs “Fiestarama.” Overall, the town isn’t very tourist-geared. It’s also more “Mestizo” on this side and most people speak Spanish first, English second and sometimes…not at all (I think they just sometimes prefer not to). But the Orange Walk District has one of the biggest Maya sites in the country – Lamanai – and in my opinion, one of the prettiest rivers, called the New River. You don’t have to stay in Orange Walk to visit Lamanai but it sure makes it a much shorter day trip.

The town and District of Corozal is even farther north. It’s super close to the Mexican border, and is a beautiful, clean, small and quiet seaside town with more guest homes and small resorts than Orange Walk. There are also a few Americans and other expats who come here to build their waterfront homes and retire.

My next destination after Corozal will be to one of Belize’s numerous islands or “Cayes”: Ambergris Caye (shown in purple on the map).

So all you island lovers, get ready to read about the water adventures as I head from jungle to beach life in a few days!


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Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning, Ethiopian-American travel writer, photographer and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize, Moon Belize Cayes, and Moon Dominican Republic (October 2016). Her work focuses on Caribbean culture and adventure, and has been published in AFAR, CNN Travel, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, and Every Day With Rachael Ray, among many others. Lily is also the 2016 recipient of the Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism for her Caribbean coverage, from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–she speaks four languages fluently and has lived in Cote d’Ivoire, England, Jamaica, Belize, the Dominican Republic and traveled to some 30+ countries around the world. Last but not least, she is a former corporate attorney who ditched her Washington DC office for the road in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming a storyteller. Lily holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish (summa cum laude) from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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