The Corozal Free Zone – Everything You Need To Know
If just reading the word “free” excites you and you are the person for whom the phrase “shop ‘til you drop” was coined, even the natural and cultural wonders for which Belize is known – Mayan ruins, offshore sports, and the friendliest people on earth – won’t hold a candle to time spent in the Corozal Free Zone.
This commercial paradise, established in 1994 to attract foreign investment, has morphed into a unique destination beloved by avid shoppers who can’t wait to unearth a wealth of affordable products produced at exotic locations around the world. The best part is that every item is duty-free and tax-exempt.
The Corozal Free Zone is a win-win situation for the two nations it straddles: Belize and Mexico. The zone is filled with wholesale and retail merchandise and everyone wins. Shops make a profit. There’s an endless number of job openings for Belizeans living in Corozal and Orange Walk. Visitors snap up treasures at affordable prices that range from fashion and electronics and from alcohol to cigarettes – all at low prices.
If you’re planning on a shopping expedition to the Corozal Free Zone, allow plenty of time since this market boasts 300+ shops at any given time. Further, shopping isn’t the only attraction: The establishment of gaming casinos has added to the zone’s allure, thus your desire to try your luck at gaming tables or slot machines could generate enough winnings to pay for everything on your shopping list.
Hotels? Of course. You can stay and play since lodgings associated with casinos are getting to be a big draw for tourists, but these hotels are pricey, which is why Belizeans and visitors favor day trips that pair transportation with shopping time before weary bargain hunters, laden with bags, return at day’s end.
The zone makes it easy for tourists to spend money. Shoppers can use Mexican pesos, Belize Dollars, or U.S. Dollars to pay for purchases, meals, and gambling escapades – but it’s the cheap merchandise with bargain-basement prices that will delight you most. Shops stock such a variety of goods, you may find yourself asking, “What don’t they sell here?”
Super-charged on yummy snacks available at food stands throughout the zone, you are wise to wear comfy shoes and bring a rolling cart or backpack if you are a world-class shopper. It’s also a good idea to keep your expectations low if it’s your first visit. The economy on both sides of the border took a hit during the pandemic, but you can’t keep a good idea down – especially when it comes to pleasing folks who travel the world in search of tax-free deals.
How to get to this shopping paradise? Ask the concierge at your hotel or resort for directions if you have a rental car or book an excursion that transports you to and from the zone by bus or shuttle. Either way, this district is nirvana for bargain seekers so bring a wish list. If you can’t find what you seek, it may not exist!