Get to Know The Best Places to Live in Belize
There are many reasons why people from around the world are drawn to Belize. Living in this tropical paradise is desirable because of the incredible scenery and weather, the vibrant local culture, and the affordability of everyday life.
It’s a popular place for offshore banking and investing, so much so that many decide to retire or move to Belize. There are so many beautiful locations in Belize that it can be difficult to decide where in this fascinating country you should call home.
Here is a peek into six of the most desirable places to live in Belize to help find your perfect place to call home.
Ambergris Caye is an island located off the mainland of Belize, and it boasts incredible natural beauty. San Pedro is the largest town here and is easily accessible from the mainland by ferry or inland flight.
Ambergris Caye is a mecca for those who love the great outdoors. The coral sand beaches, proximity to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (also known as the Great Mayan Reef) are opportunities to dive and snorkel which make it a popular place for visitors as well as residents.
Ambergris Caye is also such a popular place with expats because it offers many of the amenities that new residents love the most. In addition to great local cuisine, you’ll easily be able to shop at western-style grocery stores, grab a beer at an international pub, and dine on your favorite foods at beachfront restaurants. There is a true sense of community and a diverse, international population that adds variety to everyday life.
Cayo is the largest district in Belize, and it is completely inland. While that means there are far fewer tourists, it also means that prices are much lower in Cayo than in many beachfront destinations in Belize. Cayo is also a recommended spot for those who want to truly experience the local culture, language, and cuisine.
This is an agricultural area that is ideal for those eager to get back to their roots and start a small farm or even just maintain a small garden. Rolling hills, lush greenery, and fresh local produce make it a picture-perfect place to live. Technically, the cities of San Ignacio and Belmopan are within the Cayo District and tend to be a hub for shopping and transport.
At the northernmost tip of Belize is Corozal. It is almost at the border with Mexico, and technically the waterfront property in Corozal isn’t touching the Caribbean. Instead, beachfront homes look out onto the Bay of Chetumal. For practical purposes, there’s not much of a distinction. Residents will still have plenty of opportunities to relax on the beach and swim in the refreshing water throughout the year.
Corozal town is home to only 8,000 people, so it’s a great escape for anyone looking to leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind. Nonetheless, you’ll find modern amenities as well as, great restaurants, and a bustling market. You can spend your days getting active in the warm climate, exploring nearby Mayan ruins, or even taking a day trip over the border to Mexico.
Orange Walk is one of the top five largest towns in Belize. It still provides a very community-oriented lifestyle for residents as Orange Walk is situated on the banks of the New River. Many think of the town as a gateway to the beauty of rural Belize.
Orange Walk is sometimes called Sugar City, which is explained both by the sweet, friendly nature of the locals and the fact that it is home to a sugar mill. In addition to being an agricultural area, Orange Walk is a growing hub for eco-tourism and adventure travel. Just outside of the town, you can cycle for miles along clearly marked paths, follow the New River to the ancient ruins of Lamanai, or go birding to try and spot some of the more than 400 species of birds that reside in and around Orange Walk.
The district along Central Belize’s Caribbean coast is called Stann Creek, and much of the region is undeveloped and lush. The exception is the area of the district closest to the water. You’ll find a number of towns and resorts that attract visitors as well as investors who want to purchase property in an up-and-coming area.
Hopkins, for example, is a Garifuna fishing village that boasts a beautiful, pristine white-sand beach. Until 30 years ago, this was a village without telephones. Now it is a popular spot for expats in search of beauty and a relaxed atmosphere. There are countless opportunities for outdoor activities. Garifuna drumming and dancing are amazing. Direct shuttles to the airport, and a variety of bars and restaurants serving up local cuisine as well as international favorites.
If you’re truly looking to get off the beaten track, then the Toledo District could be the right choice. It is the southernmost district in Belize, and it is also the least developed. What you lack in infrastructure, you make up in pristine natural beauty, lush greenery, and a very low cost of living.
The biggest town within Toledo is Punta Gorda, which is home to a mix of Garifuna residents and people from nearby Guatemala. If you’re willing to purchase land and build your own home, this region is incredibly inexpensive place to do so.
However, rentals in Western-style homes are limited, so it is worth exploring your options before moving. Once you’re there, you can look forward to plenty of space, peace and quiet and endless opportunities to experience local culture and recreation.
Living in Belize is a great choice for many expats seeking a better, more enjoyable, and more affordable way of life. Whether you are drawn to an international community with plenty of modern amenities or a remote, secluded spot with plenty of space to call your own, Belize is home to an incredible array of amazing places to live.
About the Author:
Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President of Belize-based Caye International Bank, a FinTech School Instructor, and published author of The Digital Banking Revolution. You can follow his posts on trends shaping the banking and financial services industry on Twitter: @luigiwewege