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One of the most spread out and thinly populated districts in Belize, Orange Walk depends on the Northern Highway for most of its comings and goings (most of the communities and attractions west of this are connected by a network of unpaved roads).
Further west and to the south, roads disappear entirely and you’re in what locals refer to as the “deep bush” – the backwoods jungle country that makes up the Orange Walk District.
The area economy primarily revolves around the seasonal harvesting and processing of sugar cane, though it’s no longer as dominate as it once was. Orange Walk is also important for its production of dairy products, citrus fruits, papaya, beef and rum.
One of the country’s most impressive and popular Maya ruins resides in Orange Walk. The Lamanai Ruins, commonly accessed by a riverboat excursion on the New River, depicts centuries of Maya culture and heritage. Lamanai’s visitor center is filled with beautiful artifacts of the Maya gods and animals.
Perhaps the more surprising elements of the Orange Walk District is its relatively large population of Mennonites. In the 1950s some 3,000 Mennonites emigrated to Belize, where they established communities in the Orange Walk and Cayo districts.