Belize is a country in Central America, bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Belize is unique as it has the mainland which is Central America and the islands which are Caribbean. There are several ways to get to Belize, including:
Air Travel to Belize
Many major airlines offer direct flights to Belize City from several cities in the United States, Canada, and Central America. The Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City is the main airport in Belize, with several airlines offering daily flights.
It is estimated that around 81% of all international tourists travel come through the Belize International Airport. In 2023 it is even easier to travel to Belize with more international direct flights flying to Belize and the Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) than ever before.
The only international airport in Belize is in Belize City, which is BZE (PhilipGoldsonInternational Airport). The airport handles all the international air travel to and from Belize.
Below you can see all of the direct flights to Belize as of the start of 2023 and the corresponding airline;
Most of the direct flights are from major US travel hubs including; Houston (IAH), Denver, Los Angeles (LAX), Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami (MIA). Belize also has direct flights from Canada (Toronto & Calgary). Belize also has international flights to popular Central American Destinations like Panama City, Cancun, Honduras, and Guatemala City.
Learn more about the direct flights to Belize below;
Belize is accessible by land from Mexico and Guatemala. There are several bus services that operate between Belize and these neighboring countries. It is important to check Belize visa requirements and border crossing regulations before attempting to cross the border by land.
Belize has 2 border crossings;
The Western Border (Benque Viejo Del Carmen)
The Northern Border (Santa Elena)
The Western Border (Guatemala & Belize)
Belize borders Guatemala to the West. Near San Ignacio, in the Cayo District there is the Western Border. There is one main highway crossing of the border, at Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo District, Belize, and Melchor de Mencos, Peten, Guatemala.
The Northern Border (Mexico & Belize)
The Northern border is an international border between the countries of Belize and Mexico. Currently, there are two official crossings at the border, which are international bridges. The main bridge is located between Subteniente Lopez, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and Santa Elena, Corozal District, Belize.
Sea & Water Travel to Belize
Belize is a popular destination for cruise ships, with several major cruise lines offering stops in Belize City and other ports throughout the country.
Fort Street Tourism Village is the original Belize cruise ship port. The Fort Street Village port has several courtyards, snack bars, and local stores with duty-free shopping. Several restaurants offer authentic Caribbean, Belizean, and international cuisine, and there is often live local entertainment. The Fort Street Village Cruise Port is located in Belize City and is the most popular cruise ship terminal in Belize.
Harvest Caye Cruise Port
Harvest Caye is a newly opened docking port in the southern Stann Creek District (near Placenecia) that currently caters to Norwegian Cruise Line passengers.
Port Coral Cruise Ship Port
The Government of Belize has started a new “Cruise Ship Docking Facility” (passenger terminal) in Belize City. The new cruise ship port will be called “Port Coral”. The development project also includes building a resort and theme park on Stake Bank Caye – an island located approx 5 miles southeast of Belize City.
Named Port Coral or Stake Bank Cruise Ship Docking Facility. The new “Stake Bank Cruise Ship Docking Facility” or Port Coral will be 25 acres and have a docking capacity of 4 liners. Along with the 4 liner docking stations, the new terminal complex also includes a 60-slip yacht marina.
Construction at Port Coral, a new cruise ship docking facility is well underway and expected to open in 2022.
There is also a water taxi and ferry service which goes between Chethumal, Mexico, and San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye.
Residents of San Pedro Town and Ambergris Caye (along with all those who invest and travel to the island) are excited about the latest development announcement. Residents of Ambergris Caye are finally getting a state-of-the-art hospital and medical facility. Earlier this year, there was a memorandum of understanding between the governments of Belize and Taiwan for the construction of the San Pedro General Hospital. The $33 million needed to construct the hospital will be a grant and not a loan from the Government of Taiwan.
The unveiling of the design of the new healthcare facility for Ambergris Caye took place on Monday, April 3rd, 2023. The state-of-art medical facility in San Pedro will be possible through the people of Taiwan and the site preparation is underway.
This facility fulfills the need for accessible, comprehensive medical services both for residents and visitors to Belize’s most popular tourist destination (Ambergris Caye).
The Belizean Government has been working with a number of specialists on this ambitious project with the help of a team of experts; analyzing data, meeting with health teams/professionals on the ground, planning the execution, and collaborating with partners in order to ensure the construction of a first-rate hospital and medical facility.
David Kuan-Chou Chien, Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize stated “Taiwan has rich experience of building and management of medical facilities and is willing to share it with Belize to better the Belizean people. Therefore we are delighted to work with the Government of Belize to implement the construction project of the San Pedro Hospital. We hope that the hospital can make a big difference for the residents and tourists of San Pedro Town.”
Presently, the San Pedro Poly Clinic is the primary medical facility on Ambergris Caye. The newly announced San Pedro General Hospital will be located across from Victoria House Resort, on the south side of the island, about 1.5 miles south of San Pedro Town; no start of construction date has been announced yet. That said, the land for the hospital is already being prepped for construction.
This new hospital location is very convenient for residents and investors in Mahogany Bay Village. The new medical facility and hospital are located just a few minutes from the community front gate.
Air travel and flights are essential for international tourism as it provides vital links for the global tourism industry. It is estimated that over half (58%) of all international tourists travel by air, this number is even more so in Belize where in 2022 over 81% of tourism came through international flights/travel. The tourism industry in Belize depends on sustainable growth and an increase in air travel.
This is shown by the number of new airlines with routes to Belize and the increased number of direct international routes. Tourism is essential to sustainable economic development in Caribbean destinations like Belize. The steady increase and inflow of tourists have a direct correlation to economic growth and appreciation of Belize real estate.
In 2023 it is even easier to travel to Belize with more international direct flights flying to Belize and the Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) than ever before. This is a sign of the growth in Belize tourism and the continued upward trajectory. Below you can see all of the direct flights to Belize as of the start of 2023 and the corresponding airline;
Most of the direct flights are from major US travel hubs including; Houston (IAH), Denver, Los Angeles (LAX), Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami (MIA). Belize also has international flights to popular Central American Destinations like Panama City, Cancun, Honduras, and Guatemala City. You can see more information on the travel days below;
United States Direct Flights to Belize
Direct non-stop flights to Belize are available with United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. Direct non-stop seasonal (Nov to Apr) flights to Belize are available with Sun Country Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Frontier Airlines.
Alaska Airlines direct flights were announced in November 2021 and started in 2022 with direct flights from Los Angeles (LAX) & Seattle (SEA).
Seattle, Washington (SEA): Direct Flights Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday.
Los Angeles, California (LAX): Direct Flights Friday & Saturday.
One of the best indicators for what will happen to tourism in a specific market is airline stats. The primary reason is that airlines provide some of the most accurate data for how many new visitors will be coming into a market. Airlines also plan their new or additional routes around patterns and searches, this indicates more people are inquiring about Belize.
Increase in Flights = Increase in Incoming Passangers = Increase in Demand for Rentals
Increase in Flights = Increase in Tourism = Appreciation of Real Estate Values
There is a direct correlation between real estate appreciation and tourism growth within tourism markets. The greater the demand, with a limited supply, equates to an increase in value. This, in turn, leads to higher Belize real estate value!
Direct Flights & Belize Economy
The Caribbean region (including Ambergris Caye, Belize) is heavily reliant on tourism for its economic health and the growth of the country. In many Caribbean markets such as Cuba, Guyana, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic, more than 90 percent of tourists arrive by air. Luckily, Belize has both the mainland and the islands, with roughly 81% of our 2022 inbound tourism arriving by air travel.
Traveling to Ambergris Caye
The only international airport in Belize is in Belize City, which is BZE (PhilipGoldsonInternational Airport). The airport handles all the international air travel to and from Belize. If you are planning a trip to Belize and looking to visit San Pedro Town & Ambergris Caye (the #1 destination in Belize) it is very easy. There are domestic puddle jumper flights from Tropic Air & Maya Island Air. The flights run every 30 minutes from Belize City to the island and are a short 10 to 15-minute flight over the reef and beautiful Caye’s.
Visitors can also take the Water Taxi/Ferry which departs from Belize City Ferry Terminal. The Ferry is a longer trip but also very easy.
The Belize Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) was created to facilitate eligible people who meet the needed requirements, to obtain residency while allowing them an easy way to permanently live and retire and relax in Belize.
Belize is recognized as a top tourist destination and is also considered to be a top destination for people looking for retirement in the Caribbean. To incentivize people to move and retire in Belize, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) put in place the Qualified Retired Person Incentive Program (QRP). The QRP was developed in the 1990s to open doors for anyone over the age of 45 who is looking to retire in the Central American-Caribbean paradise of Belize.
Belize offers retirees a lot of upsides; English-Speaking, British Common Law, Low-Tax Jurisdiction, close proximity to home, and warm Caribbean Climate. With the influx of retirees and Baby Boomers, Belize has developed a “Permanent Tourist” sector. The QRP was put in place for retirees whose income allows for self-sustainability. The benefits of Belize’s QRP Program for the individual and the country are significant. As stated by International Living “Belize has one of the world’s best retiree programs”.
Who Qualifies for QRP?
The QRP is a great program and allows people who meet the criteria to move and reside in Belize (while easily obtaining residency). Though the QRP is a great program, it is not for everyone. There is a list of qualifications that a person meet to apply and get approval. To be granted approval for QRP the qualifications include;
A person must be 45 years or older to apply.
When applying dependents include spouses and children under 18 years.
A person must meet the financial requirement and be the beneficial recipient of a retirement income of $2,000 USD monthly or $24,000 USD annually generated from a source outside of Belize in an approved foreign currency.
Retirement Income includes:
Social Security Benefits
Retirement Contribution Plans
And other means of retirement income
A person applying for QRP must be able to provide a written undertaking to deposit the required amount in a bank, credit union, or licensed financial institution in Belize.
Must pass a security clearance check carried out by the Ministry of National Security in Belize.
Must be able to remain in Belize for a minimum of 30 consecutive days annually (every year).
Qualifying Countries for the QRP include people with citizenship or status in:
All Commonwealth countries excluding Belize
United States of America
Member States of the European Union [EU]
Asian-Pacific countries of Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
All South American Countries
QRP Incentives & Benefits
The QRP offers applicants and QRP members an array of benefits. Any person who has been accepted into the QRP Program is entitled to the following under the Belize Retired Persons Incentives Act
Belize Residency Status – QRP holders and their dependents shall receive a QRP Resident Card to reside in Belize allowing multiple entries into the country without a Visa. *Resident card to be renewed annually *
Duty Exemptions – QRP holders shall be entitled to import duty and tax exemption on the following, for personal use only, within the first year of acceptance into the program:
Household & Personal Effects multiple entries allowed with no limit on the dollar value of effects
Motor Vehicle [Model must be within the last 5 years] – QRP’s are allowed to purchase a new vehicle every four  years with proper disposal of the previous vehicle
Light Aircraft [Model must be less than 17,000 kg]
Tax Exemptions – QRP holders shall be exempted from all taxes and duties on income received from a source outside of Belize, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax (estate tax).
Ease of Purchasing Land – QRP holders are entitled to purchase land for the construction of a home or purchase a home for residential use only.
Dependants under QRP can engage in any employment in Belize
Carry on any business, trade, or profession within Belize if such business relates to activities carried on mainly outside of Belize and conducted exclusively with persons not resident in Belize.
Practice philanthropy and volunteer work in Belize.
QRP Member Benefits:
Qualified Retired Persons can import personal effects free of import duties;
Qualified Retired persons are strongly encouraged to purchase a vehicle in Belize. The vehicle must not be more than three years old. Though they can import a vehicle without import duties.
This requirement is the same for imported vehicles.
Qualified Retired Persons can import a boat free of import duties to be used for personal use;
Qualified Retired Persons are exempted from payment of all taxes on income received from outside the jurisdiction of Belize.
QRP Dependent Benefits:
Belize Residency Status – Dependent will receive a QRP resident card allowing multiple entries into Belize without a Visa.
Engage in any employment in Belize.
Carry on any business, trade or profession within Belize if such business relates to activities carried on mainly outside of Belize and conducted exclusively with persons not resident in Belize.
Make any investment in Belize.
Practice philanthropy in Belize.
Retire and Invest Program
The BTB (Belize Tourism Board) has introduced a new program that allows QRP holders the ability to more freely invest in Belize and conduct business in Belize. QRP Members will be entitled to carry on business in Belize with approval if the Member meets the following qualifications:
A Business Plan
Proof of Investment of at least 1 Million Belize dollars (US$500,000.00)
If the person has resided in Belize for at least 180 non-consecutive days.
The Business must employ at least five Belizean citizens.
A QRP Member granted approval to carry on business in Belize will be eligible for the following:
Permanent residency after designation as a QRP for five (5) years;
For the grant of any other license or permit necessary for carrying on business in Belize;
Practice philanthropy in Belize.
Documents Required for QRP
A QRP Application Form.
Notarized Birth Certificate for each family member (QRP applicant and dependants)
Notarized Marriage Certificate (if the spouse is under QRP)
Original Police Record from last place of residence (issued one month prior to application).
Color Copy of the entire Passport (including all blank pages). This is required for each family member and/or dependant. Each page must be certified and stamped by a notary.
Proof of Income. An official statement from a Bank or any other Financial Institution from the country of residence will be required certifying that the applicant is receiving the required financials for QRP. Proof of a monthly income of a minimum of US $2,000.00 or $24,000.00 US annually. This can be through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize. Once approved, all retirees are requested to open a local bank account and deposit their monthly pension funds or annual income in the Belizean institution. The Belize Tourism Board will request bank statements on a yearly basis to show proof of income and compliance with the retirement program.
Medical Examination and blood work.
Four front (profile) and four side passport photographs of the QRP applicant and each member of the family applying as dependants.
Things to Know About QRP
Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed to seek employment in Belize, however, voluntary work and business investments are encouraged.
Qualified Retired Persons need to submit a yearly bank statement showing compliance with the financial requirements of the program.
Qualified Retired Persons are required to renew their retiree status every year.
Qualified Retired Persons need a customs broker to process your importation of personal effects, vehicles, or boats.
Qualified Retired Persons are not allowed duty-free on items used to repair or build, nor tools of their trade.
The benefits of the QRP Program include a permanent exemption from all taxes in Belize (estate taxes, income taxes, capital gains taxes, and most import taxes). And while the Belize QRP visa offers full-time residency, new residents can enjoy all the QRP benefits even by spending as little as one month in Belize.
The requirements to successfully enter the Belize QRP Program are remarkably simple when compared to residency programs in other popular retirement destinations. It is a program put in place to incentivize foreign investment and retirement in Belize.
Every year, more-and-more people are looking at investing and relocating off-shore. Whether it is for lifestyle or retirement, Americans & Canadians are rethinking their lives and where in the world would provide the best future. This is shown by the recent migration stats.
Americans & Canadians are leaving their home countries and seeking foreign visas in record numbers, according to immigration lawyers and expatriate organizations. Belize saw an unprecedented number of Americans not only inquiring about Belize real estate but also following through on their pledge and taking the steps to leave over the last 3-years (2020, 2021 & 2022). This is seen by the growth in the expat population on Ambergris Caye over recent years.
The number of Americans who were recorded as having given up their citizenship or U.S. residency soared to 5,816 in the first six months of 2020, compared with 2,072 in all of 2019, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service.
Dan Prescher, the senior editor of Internationalliving.com, said traffic related to “how to move out of the U.S.” surged 1,676 percent in 2020 and has been a continued trend since.
“Quieter, more stable countries start to look appealing,” he said.
The exodus has been led by not only baby boomer expats, but also young professionals looking for an opportunity and parents looking for countries with open and safe schools that provide futures for their children. No matter the age, the group largely consists of Americans with financial means and the ability to work virtually, or are in a position to relocate.
Why are people leaving?
The U.S. State Department reported in April that there are a record 8.7 million Americans live abroad. This number alone speaks for itself – never before has such a large group of U.S.-born citizens lived abroad. They’ve decided that it’s time for a change, to move to a new location where they are able to not just survive but thrive.
People’s motives for leaving or seeking relocation differ. But overall, the objective is a better life and a more promising future. The IMMI Group analyzed the top 10 motives for leaving the US, the list includes;
Cost of healthcare
Why People Are Looking at Belize & Ambergris Caye
Belize Real Estate & most of all Ambergris Caye Real Estate have seen a boom over recent years. Most of the buyers are people looking at living and/or investing overseas. This is seen by the growth in Belize real estate transactions over recent years;
While there is no nationwide MLS for Belize to track the total sales data and the number of real estate transactions, RE/MAX Belize is the largest real estate company in Belize with over 100 agents in 13 offices and shows a good indication of where the market is at and how it has grown.
Total sales volume increased 8.7% from 2019 to 2020, followed by a staggering 167.7% from 2020 to 2021. Based on current year-end projections, sales volume and real estate transactions in Belize are expected to grow by 301.5% year-over-year from 2021 through 2022.
From the beginning of 2020, at the start of the COVID pandemic, through to 2021, total Belize real estate sales volume has increased by 190.94%.
For RE/MAX Belize, the market has seen the number of sales exceed 2019 total sales volumes by 300% (299.6%).
Potential buyers are increasingly younger with more-and-more buyers being in their 40’s and 50’s (compared to retirees of earlier years). Most of the people purchasing Belize real estate are from the US and Canada. Among the top reasons for considering Belize for second homeownership:
Allows diversification outside the USA or Canada
Provides a safe secure alternative during societal unrest
The only English-speaking country in Central America
Close geographic proximity to the USA
No capital gains tax, very low property taxes
Tropical Caribbean climate
World-class fishing, diving, snorkeling, and watersports
Second home ownership in Belize is like “going abroad with training wheels”. It’s a very safe and easy experience, and the number one comment from those who have done it is that they wish they had done so sooner.
Many countries have restricted accessibility to residency, which makes travel and relocation more difficult. Not Belize. Right now Belize is open and accepting tourists, expats seeking offshore residency, and citizens. Belize is a small country that is very pro-foreign investment with a small population. The country’s agricultural independence and desirable climate make it one of the top destinations for Americans & Canadians seeking relocation.
There are many other thriving places to make a life. This has led to many people seeking a brighter tomorrow, a life that provides freedom, safety, security, and support.
Belize is an amazing place to live and there are tons of opportunities for people not only looking to retire but also invest and/or start a business. Moving to Belize is much easier than in other countries with a lot of incentive programs in place. But there are a few things everyone should know before moving to Belize (to avoid any surprises). The lifestyle in Belize & Ambergris Caye is amazing and it is easy to see why so many people are making the move every year.
Here are the 5 biggest misconceptions about moving to Belize! If you’re considering moving to Belize from the US or Canada be sure to give this video a watch before doing so. We break down some of the key things you should know before making a move to Belize and 5 misconceptions people have before making the transition
Misconception 1: Belize is All the Same
Belize has a very diverse landscape ranging from the Caribbean Islands of Ambergris Caye & Caye Caulker to the lush Rainforests in Cayo & San Ignacio. If you have visited Belize, you know how different each area of the country is. If you are looking to be near the beach and reef, you will likely want San Pedro or Ambergris Caye Real Estate. If you are looking to live near Guatemala and enjoy the rainforest, you may prefer Punta Gorda or Cayo. Belize has a lot to offer, and it is important to know that not all of Belize is the same.
Misconception 2: How Quickly Things Can Move
Things sometimes move a little slower in Belize and the different departments handle different areas of permitting. Belize does have a slower and less stressful pace, which is one of the reasons so many people love Belize. That said, the slower lifestyle sometimes requires a little more patience and a different process. You are able to get things done in Belize, but be prepared to go through the due process.
Misconception 3: Everything in Belize is Cheap
A lot of things in Belize are less expensive. Anything made locally is a fraction of the cost of what you are used to in the US or Canada. That said, there are things that are more expensive. If something is imported, you will notice that you are paying more. Also, if you are on an island, there are additional logistics that are needed.
Misconception 4: You Need Residency or Citizenship to Move to Belize
You do not need to be a resident or citizen to move to Belize or to buy property in Belize. There are also no restrictions or time constraints on how long you are able to stay in Belize as an American or Canadian. You can stay in Belize as long as you want, as long as you renew your Tourist Visa every month.
Misconception 5: Finding Property in Belize is Easy
Belize does not have an MLS or standard listing platform. There are a lot of opportunities in Belize and a diverse real estate market. We do not have a formal MLS in Belize, so a real estate agent’s job is a little different. This makes it important to work with a real estate professional who knows and understands the market. We also do not have the same licensing for realtors or a standard real estate association. Make sure you are working with a realtor who has licensing and/or is a member of the different Belize Real Estate associations like AREBB (Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize) or BNAR (Belize National Association of Realtors) or have a brand like RE/MAX which holds its brokers and agents to the highest standard.
Belize Real Estate is becoming more and more of a hot topic for Americans, Canadians & Europeans as more learn about the tremendous benefits of owning real estate in Belize. Whether it be for investment or lifestyle purposes, Belize stands out amongst other countries in the Caribbean & Central America region for several reasons. These are the cornerstones of relocation to the county and are as follows:
When you consider that 90% of the U.S. only speaks English, this is a huge benefit of Belize. People love the fact that when they go to their doctor in Belize they can communicate in their native tongue or when they go to fill out legal documents they can read them in English.
British Common Law
Belize is the only English-speaking country in the region, this is a direct result of British influence over the years. The British also left something else extremely beneficial behind, their legal system. Other countries in the region (Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, etc.) adopted the Spanish legal system, Napoleonic Civil Law. When it comes to Belize real estate there is a key difference between the two. That is, with British common law there is full foreign ownership. When Americans, Canadians, or any foreigners for that matter invest in property they receive a fee simple land title along with their property and truly own it.
When you invest in property somewhere with Napoleonic Civil Law there are two-tier ownership rights where residents can own, but foreigners must do so through a corporation with local directors or other grey area strategies. This is not the case in Belize, where foreigners have full ownership under British Common Law.
Proximity to the U.S.
Belize is 750 miles from the nearest point in the U.S. and has direct flights from L.A., Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Newark, Toronto, Chicago, & more locations being added. The flight from Miami is roughly an hour and a half making it very easy for Americans and Canadians to get down in a very short period.
Fun Fact: Belize is within five hours of 82% of the U.S.!
Below you can see the direct flights to Belize;
46% of Belize is National Park & Marine Reserve
One of the things about Belize that most don’t know is that the official name of the territory was changed from British Honduras to Belize in June 1973, and full independence was granted on 21st September 1981. Given that Belize as a nation is relatively young, it has had the opportunity to model policies and characteristics from other countries that it feels are beneficial to the country.
One of the biggest things Belize has done in this regard is dedicated 46% of its land to a national park and marine reserve, one of the largest portions of a country in the world to be a national park. Not only is this beneficial from an ecosystem perceptive, but it’s also highly valuable from a real estate investment perspective. When you put a 46% restraint on development, you increase scarcity, which as we all know leads to appreciation.
In Belize, there are no capital gains taxes and property taxes are extremely low compared to what many are used to in the U.S. and Canada. For example, property taxes on a 60’ by 75’ piece of land would be roughly $75 per year paid annually in April.
Tourism & Rental Market
Belize is going through a state of high nightly rental demand with increasing tourism (44% over the past 5 years) without an equitable increase in the supply of nightly and monthly rentals leading to increasing rental rates and higher returns for investors. 2019 was the all-time high in tourism that Belize had ever seen, and the trend is showing absolutely no sign of slowing as Belize’s tourism in 2022 rebounded strongly after the pandemic.
The Belize Real Estate Market and Tourism are also looking promising in 2023. In fact, with the airlines adding as many flights as they have in recent years, Belize is expecting the growth to not only continue, but increase. With 70-75% of all tourists who visit Belize going to Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) during their stay, Ambergris Caye is the standout location for relocation and investment.
Ambergris Caye Real Estate
Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize measuring 27 miles long. Ambergris Caye is located at the northern point of Belize’s coastline with the Belize barrier reef just off the east Coast. Ambergris Caye is the top tourist destination in Belize and sees hundreds of thousands of tourists visit every year. Here are some quick facts about Ambergris Caye;
The largest of all Cayes and Islands in Belize, Ambergris Caye is widely known as the “Jewel of Belize”.
Belize’s largest island is 24 miles long and 3 miles wide
70% of overnight tourism comes to Ambergris Caye
12 miles from the mainland
#1 tourism destination in Belize
One of the best-kept secrets in tourism-driven markets is the distinct correlation between the change in tourism numbers and real estate appreciation. As tourism increases, we tend to see a proportionate increase and appreciation in property values.
Baby Boomers & Belize Real Estate
As many of you may know (or maybe going through the process) more baby boomers are looking to relocate from the U.S. every day. About four million people will retire every year, as of 2014. From 2014 to 2034, about 80 million people are expected to retire. This equated to roughly 10,000 people retiring per day for 20 years. Obviously not all these people will choose to relocate however, according to an AARP life survey, roughly 28,121,000 people will be relocating outside of the U.S., and the area with the largest expected growth is the Central America & Caribbean Region.
When you factor in our list of retirement benefits (English speaking, Proximity, Legal System, Etc.) it is more than safe to say that Belize will receive its fair share of baby boomers. This is only leading to more scarcity in the rental market, as when baby boomers move down, they generally take inventory out of the rental pool as they will live in it year-round as opposed to previous owners who would rent the majority of the year. When you factor these aforementioned thoughts together, you have the “perfect storm” for rental rates to increase and investor returns to increase.
There are many other benefits when it comes to Belize real estate. For the most part, Belize is still underdeveloped and sparsely populated so there is still plenty of room for growth, and property values haven’t come near adjusting to where they should be given the growth in tourism we discussed in the previous section of this post.
Another benefit of Belize is its economic and political stability. The economy here in Belize isn’t a one-legged stool, there are many facets to the GDP including agriculture, energy, transport & tourism. The government has shown it is a pro-foreign investment country by facilitating the process for foreigners and even bringing in the QRP program to reduce the costs and expenses of relocation to Belize.
If you have any further questions on Belize and looking to buy Belize Real Estate we are happy to chat via email or phone, feel free to reach out to RE/MAX Belize to chat and discuss your Belize real estate goals in further detail and get all your questions answered.
We are often asked about Ambergris Caye utilities and how much they cost. Electricity, telephone, internet, water, and sewer utilities are all available and relatively reliable in San Pedro Town and on Ambergris Caye. On Ambergris Caye, the municipality of San Pedro (and the surrounding areas including developments that are located in and near town) have full access to utilities. For developments situated north and south of town, septic tanks or contained wastewater systems along with cisterns are typically used.
Cisterns often are often used as a secondary source of water, and there is a reverse osmosis water treatment system in San Pedro Town that provides water to town residents and the developments/communities close to the municipality. The more remote resorts and developments generate their own electricity if they are not connected to the municipal electricity provided through BEL (Belize Electricity Limited) electrical lines.
Most people are surprised to learn that most of Ambergris Caye (especially in San Pedro Town) is on municipal utilities, including; electricity, water, sewer, and high-speed internet. That said, not all areas and communities have the same utilities available as others do. Areas like Secret Beach are “off-grid” with homes currently running on solar and generators for power. Most of the homes and developments north of the bridge have their own cisterns for water and septic systems (not on municipal sewer).
If you are on municipal utilities, your water likely comes from BWS (Belize Water Services) and your electricity comes from BEL (Belize Electricity Limited). Internet providers are Digi & Smart both providers are very reliable and provide high-speed internet to Ambergris Caye. You will be happy to know that almost every corner of Ambergris Caye has cell service and a reliable connection.
Mahogany Bay is one of the few developments that provide new build options that run entirely on municipal utilities. The lots are all individually metered and set up with sewer, water, and electrical. In Mahogany Bay, there is also high-speed internet available with some of the fastest internet speeds in Belize and the Caribbean region.
It is important to note that all projects north of the bridge and south of Mahogany Bay require off-grid water and sewer, in Mahogany Bay, you invest in a property knowing that you are fully on municipal utilities and have the services hooked up to your home with each home metered individually. You receive an electrical and water bill monthly, very similar to the US & Canada.
Ambergris Caye Utilities Availability
Areas of Ambergris Caye are fully on municipal utilities, these areas include water, sewer, electricity, and fiber optic internet. You can see a breakdown below;
Municipal Electricity: San Pedro Town, South Ambergris Caye, Mahogany Bay Village, East Coast, Costa Del Sol.
Municipal Water: San Pedro Town, areas south of the bridge (south of Mara Lagoona), Mahogany Bay Village.
Municipal Sewer: San Pedro Town, areas south of the bridge (south of Mara Lagoona), Mahogany Bay Village.
High-Speed Internet: San Pedro Town, Mahogany Bay Village, and Areas of the East Coast have Fibre Optic. Other areas have high-speed LTE service.
If a property on Ambergris Caye does not have municipal electricity, they often use solar panels and generators. If they do not have municipal water, they often use a cistern that is on-site. If a property is on the municipal water system (which uses desalinization and reverse osmosis) you can drink the tap water (unlike other destinations in the region). If a home, development, or area does not have sewer in place, they will likely use their own on-site septic system.
Ultimately, there are areas and communities on Ambergris Caye that has all the amenities of the first world. There are other areas that require upgrades and installations.
Ambergris Caye Electricity
If a home or business on Ambergris Caye is on municipal electricity it is likely provided through BEL (Belize Electricity Limited). Electricity on Ambergris Caye comes from undersea lines from Mexico. Unlike Caye Caulker which gets power from diesel generators.
Since all the power and electricity on Ambergris Caye comes from subterranean lines from Mexico, it is cheaper than other Caribbean Islands and other areas of Belize. Generally speaking power and electricity on Ambergris Caye is around half the cost per kWh than other Caribbean islands.
San Pedro Town & the East Coast has on-grid electricity. Secret Beach and the West Coast have off-grid electricity. The off-grid electricity at areas like Secret Beach commonly comes from Solar and Generators. The cost of off-grid utilities (solar/generator) will depend on how much power you want to generate.
Electricity and power prices right now are comparable to domestic markets.
Electricity on the island at this time is around $0.17 to $0.22 per kWh.
This is comparable to the US, Canada, or the UK. The electrical provider is BEL (Belize Electricity Limited). Billed monthly like US or Canada.
There are areas of Ambergris Caye that do not have access to municipal utilities and electricity. The homes and businesses near Secret Beach and the West Coast use solar as the primary source of electricity. When designing the solar system to fit your house you need to look at how much kWh you will be using on a daily average so you know how many panels and how many batteries are needed.
Things to consider:
The number of outlets you want in the home.
The number of lights and type of lighting.
The number of fans and ceiling fans.
Will you have air conditioning? If so, how many?
What size and fridge.
There are 3 things that use quite a bit of power when using solar panels; Air Conditioning, Microwaves, and Washers/Dryers. Almost everything on the island in regards to Air Conditioning is mini-splits.
Ambergris Caye Water & Sewer
Ambergris Caye has a desalination plant and the water is provided through reverse osmosis. Water provider through BWS (Belize Water Services). They bought the reverse osmosis plant from Consolidated Water and have since invested $35 million into the system and upgrades.
BWS recently doubled its production. The reverse osmosis system through BWS is now capable of holding 2.5 million gallons of water and daily production of 1.3 million gallons.
Every property in Mahogany Bay is individually metered and the water is provided through reverse osmosis from BWS. One of the other advantages to Mahogany Bay is the fact that just to the south of the community is the facility that produces the water through reverse osmosis, meaning that Mahogany Bay is one of the first communities with access to municipal water. This is important to factor in since the distance the water travels from purification to your home is much shorter than that of a property located further North in San Pedro Town.
The water treatment facility produces 1.3 million gallons of water per day and in 2018 stored 2.5 million gallons of water at any given time. The facility underwent upgrades to increase the water production capacity and storage, that project was back in October 2019. The sewage system put in place on the island cost $90 million and is state of the art.
Mahogany Bay is one of the only communities that can verify the cleanliness of the water, other projects like Grand Caribe, Salt Life, or La Sirene all have to produce their own water and have their own sewer system. In Mahogany Bay, being fully on municipal utilities, you have confidence in knowing that your water is clean and your waste is properly disposed of (without crossover or risk of contamination).
Regarding the quality of the water and being drinkable, yes you can drink the water in Mahogany Bay and the properties that are on the municipal reverse osmosis/desalinization system. As mentioned above, Ambergris Caye has a desalination plant and the city water is as safe to drink as any of the top places in the States or Canada.
Bottled water is available for sale for those still worried. People often purchase 5-gallon jugs and use that for drinking water. The tap water is drinkable and many people do drink it (tourists and locals). In Mahogany Bay, you are assured of safe and clean water. For any property that is not on municipal water, you should be skeptical as I could not verify the cleanliness of the water.
In regards to the water and septic bill, that can fluctuate depending on the home and occupancy. Like anywhere in the world, there are fluctuations depending on how much water is used. The price for water is done in consumption blocks which you can see below;
0 to 1,000 gallons: $12.80
1,001 to 2,000 gallons $15.11
2,001 to 3,000 gallons $16.27
3,001 to 4,000 gallons $17.44
4,001 to 5,000 gallons $18.60
5,001 to 6,000 gallons $22.08
6,001 to 7,000 gallons $26.15
7,001 to 8,000 gallons $29.05
8,001 + $31.96
*note that all prices are in USD
It is important to note that most of the island of Ambergris Caye does not run on municipal water or sewage. Most of the southern part (South of Mahogany Bay) and almost everything North of the bridge (past Mara Laguna) does not run on municipal water or sewage and have to have their own systems installed.
The water provided through reverse osmosis and on municipal utilities is drinkable. Though most people get drinking water from 5-gallon jugs.
Off-grid septic uses a combination of leach fields, septic tanks, multi-chamber systems, and compostable toilets. Off-grid water frequently uses rain catchment systems. Additional water can be delivered by BWS if required.
Sewer vs Septic
The words “sewer & septic” are often used interchangeably, but they are in fact very different. The difference between septic and sewer is quite simple, and often unknown to people not familiar with off-grid systems or home construction. Septic treats your wastewater on-site and is usually contained in an individual house that is not connected to municipal utilities. With a septic system, the owner is responsible for the cost to install and maintain the waste and water system.
A sewer or sewage system, on the other hand, is a system that runs on municipal waste management. A sewage system or home with sewer directs your wastewater to a centralized treatment plant operated by the local government and funded by fees and taxes.
A septic system is installed by a homeowner or a contractor and is an individual waste management system for a particular home or development. Septic needs to be maintained and cleaned at the owner’s expense (which can be messy). Sewer on the other hand is managed by a local government and all waste goes to a centralized place. It is less work and less hassle. With sewer, an owner does not have to worry about waste and water disposal.
Ambergris Caye, around San Pedro Town, has a full state-of-the-art sewer system. This sewage system does not extend the full island. As you pass Mara Lagoona (just north of the downtown San Pedro bridge) everything runs on its own septic system. This is also true in South Ambergris Caye. Mahogany Bay is one of the few communities that has municipal sewer.
Off-Grid Water Storage
If you are north of the bridge, at Secret Beach, or in an area that is not on BWS/municipal water you need to have a water storage system or cistern. When designing a water storage system you need to look at how many people will be staying at the house on average since the more people the more water you need.
You should make sure your water tank storage can hold enough water to last 2-3 weeks without rain. It is common for homes to integrate rain catchment systems. On average one person uses 90 gallons of water per day so if you have two people living in a house you need to have 180 gallons of water to last one day to have enough water storage for 2 weeks you will need 2,520 gallons of water storage for two people.
Septic is the most important part of the utilities since you need to make sure you have the right septic system installed to meet Department of the Environment regulations. For Secret Beach there are two systems that are approved to be installed the best system to install is a Hydro action tank the other option is to install a three-tank septic system.
Internet on Ambergris Caye
Internet and connectivity on the island are top of the line with some of the fastest internet speeds in the region. Back in 2017, San Pedro went through significant upgrades. Now the town of San Pedro has some of the fastest internet speeds in Belize. In 2017, Ambergris Caye had a fiber-optic submarine cable installed with connectivity to San Pedro, enabling super-fast broadband speeds to the island of Ambergris Caye. Since 2017, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye boasts the fastest internet in the country. Super fast Fiber-based Internet up to 130Mbps for home or business.
The Fiber Optic runs from Maskall to Bomba and from Bomba to the coastline from there there is underground via an SFOC to the island of San Pedro.
Most of Belize has WIFI with an LTE signal. However, there are places that boast stronger, more consistent internet like Ambergris Caye. With the high volume of tourism and the influx of expats that have moved to the country, and Ambergris Caye in particular, the service has improved to meet demand.
There are 2 primary providers of the internet in Ambergris Caye, Belize; SMART & Digi. Digi offers Fiber Optic internet with the fastest speeds. SMART offers reliable internet and is a popular alternative for areas that do not have fiber optic internet. You can see the rates and internet speeds below;
Prices are in Belize Dollars
Prices are in Belize Dollars
Ambergris Caye Utilities in Belize
For more information on utilities, including; cost, availability, and reliability, we at RE/MAX Belize are happy to help answer your questions. Ambergris Caye will exceed expectations when it comes to infrastructure and the infrastructure is always improving.
When investing overseas a person has a lot of options. They have even more options when considering a vacation home. You can look at domestic options (in your home country) or look at off-shore markets like Belize.
There are many benefits to building a home anywhere in the world. Every destination also has its advantages when it comes to a vacation home. Nevertheless, there are a lot of benefits to buying and owning a vacation home in Belize that other markets may not offer.
One of the big draws to Belize is the fact it is relatively undeveloped and an emerging destination, this provides owners and investors with a lot of opportunities when it comes to real estate and building in a top-tier vacation spot. The advantages of owning and investing in Belize are both long-term and short-term.
Now, Belize being a Caribbean dream spot, and tropical destination makes it an even more appealing place to own and invest. Just imagine, building your dream home whether it be big or small, but it is in the perfect location that you can come to whenever you like, and when not occupying the home, you can generate vacation rental income.
Belize is more than just a tropical paradise, you have world-class fishing and diving. Many consider Belize the perfect destination because it has taste for everyone. With a combination of nightlife and restaurants with the laidback beach atmosphere, Belize has a lot to offer when it comes to owning a vacation home abroad. Belize has a unique combination of Caribbean islands and the mainland, you have pristine beaches, a lively reef, and lush jungles. When it comes to owning a vacation property in Belize, you have a lot of options with such a diverse landscape. You can build your dream home in a waterfront gated community like Mahogany Bay Village, or a simple off-grid cottage near Secret Beach.
Many owners are drawn to the Secret Beach area with the privacy and beautiful beaches, where really have no limitations on what you build or when you build it.
Now, Mahogany Bay Village is a gated community and every property is a canal-front homesite. The Mahogany Bay community offers an array of amenities and a very first-world lifestyle with restaurants, coffee shops, and dozens of other businesses. Something like Mahogany Bay has the luxury of being able to park your water vessel right in your backyard, all streets have canal access with Caribbean Ocean access. You can just hop on your boat and quickly go fishing, snorkeling, diving, or just have a regular boat ride with friends or family. Accessing the array of secluded beaches Belize and Ambergris Caye has to offer.
Belize has a slow season, a high season, and a peak season. So when building, whether you want to come in any season you have your piece of paradise. In the winter months (November to April) Belize sees a lot of sunseekers escaping the frigid winter months. During the Spring and Summer months, the island of Ambergris Caye is full of avid divers and fishermen, coming to enjoy the world-class diving and fishing Belize has to offer. Lobster Fest in June & July is also a popular attraction, drawing in people from around the world. Regardless of the season, there is never a bad time to visit Belize and enjoy your vacation home. You can spend the morning on a jungle hike, and the afternoon enjoying the pristine beaches.
When buying or building a vacation home in Belize you can also create a second source of income. Since it is a vacation home, it is unlikely you will occupy the home full-time. This means you can generate rental income when the home is not in use. You can find a vacation rental home option with management in place, self-manage, or find a property manager. Belize allows you to have passive income when you are not using your vacation home. In Belize, there are no rental restrictions, we are also one of the only pro-landlord destinations in the region.
In Belize, we do not recognize squatting rights. Another draw to owning a vacation home in Belize is the fact you own the property outright with a fee-simple title (the strongest form of property ownership). Belize is the only English Speaking country in Central America with British Common Law, because of this, we have full foreign ownership and foreigners enjoy the same ownership rights as locals.
If you are buying or investing in a Belize vacation home, you can use the passive income to help pay off the house. Over time, the vacation property in Belize will have easily paid for itself with the passive rental income generated from tourists.
Belize is the perfect location to consider investing and owning a vacation property as you have the cash flow/yield from the rental income, while also owning an appreciating asset with low taxation and costs of ownership. Property taxes in Belize are very low, and because of this, the cost of ownership is also very low. Belize is also an emerging destination. Our property prices are much less than in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, etc. As Belize continues to grow and develop, so does the value of your property.
Belize is a beautiful place to be in and besides owning a house in one of the most picturesque destinations in the world, you also have a protected asset that is held in USD. Having full ownership and a fee-simple title is a major advantage of owning and investing in Belize. Belize is one of the best destinations to buy real estate from an asset protection standpoint.
Regardless of how frequently you occupy the home or visit Belize, the tropical destination is the perfect location to own and invest in a vacation property. If you are looking to buy and own a vacation home or property in Belize, contact us at RE/MAX Belize. We eagerly await to help you with your Belize real estate search.
More and more people are looking at options to retire or live off-shore. Whether you are looking for a change of lifestyle, can work remotely, have a relaxing place to retire, or planning to get away part-time and live in a tropical paradise, you’re not alone. Central America and the Caribbean have never been more popular and people looking to relocate to this region are ever-increasing. Every destination has something to offer, and for many, the perfect setting for relocation to the Caribbean is Ambergris Caye, Belize.
What makes Ambergris Caye such a popular place for ex-pats, retirees, investors, and sunseekers? Until recently, the country of Belize was off the world’s radar, now, it has become one of the go-to destinations for tourism and investment. Here are some reasons why so many people are investing and relocating to Ambergris Caye.
Weather & Climate
Being in the Caribbean and near the equator makes the island of Ambergris Caye a tropical paradise. You have the warm Caribbean sun with the nice ocean breeze 12 months of the year (with only a few days of heavy rain). Ambergris Caye really is a slice of heaven for anyone that has experienced and has had to endure the frigid winter months, filled with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. When winter rolls around in Belize, you’re still in shorts and a t-shirt, still swimming in Caribbean waters. Ambergris Caye, Belize has one of the most consistent climates in the region, even the rainy season (August, September & October) is full of sun.
The desirable climate and great weather are probably the biggest draws to Belize. Ambergris Caye has the Caribbean weather an annual consistency.
Cost of Living & Affordability
Belize in general is less expensive than other destinations in the Caribbean. Though imported items can be more expensive (ie. a box of cereal), overall day-to-day life is much cheaper. Having both the mainland and the islands, Belize is the only net agricultural exporter in CARICOM. This makes the cost of living on Ambergris Caye much easier and less costly than other Caribbean destinations. For a retirement option, lifestyle and real estate is a fraction of the cost of other popular destinations like Florida or Arizona. The affordability of the cost of living makes it an excellent choice for those seeking a comfortable life without overextending. At the same time, those with more means will find plenty of options for larger homes and condominiums to buy or rent.
Now, you may ask, how much does it currently take to live comfortably on Ambergris Caye? The average cost per month varies person-to-person and really comes down to your personal lifestyle (like anywhere it can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be), that said generally a person can live comfortably on $1,800 to $3,000 USD per month (again, depending on your living arrangements and lifestyle). That includes rent or mortgage, food, utilities, and other essentials. If you’re currently living in a country where it’s hard to find a home (to rent or buy), and the cost of living has become too expensive, a move to Ambergris Caye would make financial sense.
Overall, in 2022, the cost of living in Belize is 32% cheaper than in the US. (Numero data)
Political Stability of Belize
Belize practices British Common Law which is similar to domestic systems in the US or Canada. Foreigners own their property outright with a fee-simple title. When buying property in Belize foreigners have the same ownership rights as locals. Belize has sought to create a stable democracy since its independence in 1981. At the time, the country established a British parliamentary democracy. This has made it one of the most appealing aspects of being a destination for people looking to live, retire, and invest off-shore. Not all countries around Central America and the Caribbean can make the same claim or have the same political stability.
North Americans (From the USA & Canada) as well as Europeans will feel comfortable with familiar laws and political processes. The political stability of Belize makes the transition much easier and simpler to establish a new life abroad.
Most of Central America is Spanish Speaking or at least has Spanish as the primary language. One of the biggest challenges of moving abroad is learning a second language, or adapting to a new culture. It is one thing to speak another language, but it is another to receive medical information and legal documents in another language. That’s not something most North Americans have to worry about if they move to Ambergris Caye. English is the official language of Belize. Not only do you speak in your native tongue in your day-to-day life (without the loss in translation), all legal documents and Belize real estate agreements are in English.
You might need to become familiar with local slang, and there is a large Spanish and Kriol influence. The terms, phrases, and slangs of the local culture often delight newcomers once they learn what they mean. The multicultural aspect of Belize and native slang is one of the many charms of Ambergris Caye.
As mentioned, many Belizeans are multilingual, speaking Kriol, Spanish, and Mayan languages, but no matter where you go English is the primary language.
Beauty & Natural Landscape
The Belize Reef is one of the largest tourism draws. Thousands of tourists every year flock to Belize to fish, dive, and snorkel. Few places have the same turquoise blue waters and sandy beaches as Belize. Imagine relaxing on a beach, enjoying a cocktail with views of pristine turquoise waters and greenery everywhere you look. You look up and there are clear skies, although you may have some showers in the afternoon. There are palm trees blowing in the wind with boats passing by. San Pedro Town is a true Caribbean town, full of vibrant colors and local culture.
Residents and tourists enjoy the natural beauty and the Caribbean setting. Once you experience it, you will understand why the pace of living is a little slower on Ambergris Caye. People want to enjoy their surroundings, take in the ocean, and enjoy the day. If you are looking to escape the schedules, stress, and multitasking of day-to-day life back home, you’ll love the slow, relaxed pace on Ambergris Caye.
People & Culture
When people visit Belize, they come for the beaches but stay for the people and the culture. The friendliness of the people on Ambergris Caye is what keeps people coming back and the first thing they talk about when they get home. There is a reason why tourists visit Ambergris Caye, they go and experience the town and Secret Beach and venture outside of their resorts (unlike Mexico, Dominican Republic, and other destinations that have all-inclusive resorts). The safety and friendliness of the island make it even more of a paradise and almost a utopia. In many ways, life on Ambergris Caye is like living in a small town. You quickly get to know everyone. People stop on the street or in the shops to chat for a moment. Everyone waves as they pass you on the street. If you have a question about where to buy something, others are happy to provide you with information and are quick to assist you.
At the same time, people on Ambergris Caye are not as intrusive or gossip filled as in other small towns. People on Ambergris Caye happily recognize and honor your boundaries. Whether it is locals or expats, everyone is warm and welcoming to newcomers. This makes it all the easier to meet people, make friends, and find yourself forming strong relationships.
Healthy & Nearly Car-Free
The primary mode of transportation on Ambergris Caye and in San Pedro is a golf cart. It is one of the many charming attributes of the island. There’s something special about being able to step outside your door and easily walk to where you need to. It is even more pleasant with the warm weather, tropical breeze, and sun shining. Depending on where you live on Ambergris Caye, you can easily walk to where you need to go. Most of the locals and residents drive around on golf carts, or small vehicles, with only a few trucks and large cars. Bicycles and golf carts are the popular modes of transportation on Ambergris Caye. You likely won’t need (or want) a car on Ambergris Caye.
The food has no preservatives. The local restaurants, markets, and fruit stands provide local produce, seafood, and meat. It is also easy to avoid the indulgence of fast food as there are none on the island. The air and food are likely much healthier than what you are accustomed to at home. It is much easier to have a healthier lifestyle on Ambergris Caye.
Medical & Healthcare
No matter your age (young or old), you want to ensure you have healthcare available. The healthcare in Ambergris Caye is not equal to that in the US or Canada, but it does exceed expectations and is very affordable. When living abroad or considering making a move to an off-shore country it is important to consider your healthcare needs.
One of the nice things about Ambergris Caye is the access to clinics, doctors, and pharmacies on the island. Ambergris Caye is the $1 destination in Belize, and as the country’s major tourism hotspot, it makes sense that there are plenty of options when it comes to quality of care and healthcare. Healthcare is available and cheap, insurance coverage is affordable and out-of-pocket costs are reasonable.
If you need specialized medical care, it is easy to travel to Belize City, or even Houston or Miami in the US, or Mexico (Cancun or Merida). Traveling to and from Belize is not difficult if you need more intensive medical care, surgery, or specialized care.
As much as you may love living abroad, and enjoying everything Belize has to offer, there will likely still be times when you want/need to return home. Whether you travel back to visit family, handle affairs, or just need a break, Belize is very easy to access and easy to get back home. Ambergris Caye is a short hopper flight from Belize City (roughly 10 to 15 minutes). From there, it’s easy to get back to the United States and Canada with direct flights to almost every major hub.
This brings peace of mind to anyone needing to return home for an emergency or celebration. It also means less travel time when going away for a vacation or visiting home. Ambergris Caye is just south of Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula, which makes it close to home. The only international airport in Belize is in Belize City, BZE (PhilipGoldsonInternational Airport). The airport handles all the international air travel to and from Belize. Ambergris Caye is the #1 destination in Belize, which is very accessible when you land in Belize City. The domestic flight is 10 to 15 minutes, and you don’t even have to leave the airport. Flights from BZE to San Pedro are every 30 minutes to an hour and are provided by Maya Island Air & Tropic Air. You can also take the ferry from Belize City to the island, which takes around an hour to an hour and a half.
Another perk is that obtaining residency and/or becoming a Belize resident is much easier than in other off-shore countries in the region. There are many Belize residency programs and ways to obtain residency in Belize (including the Qualified Retirement Program). There are also no limitations on how long a foreigner can reside and/or live in Belize. Even without residency, you can renew your tourist visa every 30 days and remain in the country as long as you wish. After a year, or through investment, you can obtain Belizean residency. This provides many incentives for those wishing to live or retire in Belize.
Living on Ambergris Caye
Living on Ambergris Caye, Belize has many other perks and advantages when it comes to living here. Also, you give yourself a home base in Belize for further exploration of the country. You can make Ambergris Caye your permanent residence or a Caribbean getaway (second home).