Mayor Wally Nunez Discusses Transforming San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro Belize Mayor Wally Nunez

We sit down with the Mayor of San Pedro Town Wally Nunez and discuss what is happening round San Pedro and the future of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Wally Nunez and his team recently won reelection in San Pedro Town. He took the time to sit down with us and explains his past and passion for Belize and the future vision for San Pedro.

If you’re wondering what is happening in San Pedro and around Ambergris Caye, Belize, check out this video. As we sit down with Mayor Wally Nunez to discuss everything that has recently happened as well as the future plans on the island of Ambergris Caye.

We get Wally’s insight into the Finance & Revenue Collections, Infrastructure Plans, Current Development, Planned Development, Tourism, Local Economic Development, Foreign Relations, Traffic Management, Human Resources, Staff Development Training, Trade & Investment!

Check out the latest video below;

Transforming San Pedro Belize with Mayor Wally Nunez

 

Wally takes the time to share ideas on the island as well as discuss his past term as Mayor and his vision for San Pedro. If you’re interested in Belize real estate and the future of Ambergris Caye, Belize, you want to miss this!

Contact us to learn more about Ambergris Caye & Belize!

 

The Latest Updates in San Pedro Belize March 2024

The Latest Updates in San Pedro, Belize

 

There is so much growth and development around San Pedro Town and the island of Ambergris Caye.

Between the road paving project, new hospitals and medical facilities, gas stations north of the bridge, ferry/water taxi terminal, and additional Mexico water taxi routes.

The development, growth, and pace of infrastructure are truly amazing!

San Pedro Town is located on Ambergris Caye and is by far the top destination for tourists and expats in Belize.

Check out the latest video on the Major Updates around San Pedro, Belize!

 

San Pedro Belize Major Updates

 

 

New Water Taxi Route Connects San Pedro & Mexico

On February 24th, a new ferry route was announced that connects San Pedro & Ambergris Caye, Belize, to Chetumal, Mexico.

This latest route is sure to be a Boost for Tourism and Trade between Belize & Mexico!

San Pedro Belize Express unveiled its latest addition, the Three Star Voyager vessel, marking a significant milestone in the connectivity between Belize & Mexico and expanding its service offerings.

The ferry route (water taxi) enhances the travel experience between Belize and Mexico but also holds significant potential for boosting tourism in Belize and facilitating trade in the region.

This new route also signifies a milestone in connectivity, improving not only transportation for tourism but also logistics. By providing a direct and efficient travel option, it opens up new avenues for economic cooperation and trade.

The trip between Ambergris Caye & Chetumal will take customers quickly and smoothly from Ambergris Caye, Belize, to Chetumal, Mexico.

The water taxi service will further increase tourism to Belize and Ambergris Caye, especially with the recent opening of the Tulum International Airport and the Tren Maya (Yucatan Express Train system).

The Tren Maya (sometimes also Mayan Train or Maya Train) is a railway system that traverses the Yucatán Peninsula.

The railway begins at Cancún International Airport and travels down to Chetumal and the Mexico/Belize border.

 

New Water Taxi Mexico & Belize (San Pedro)

 

New Water Taxi Terminal

A new water taxi terminal is being built in the southern part of San Pedro Town, which will relieve much of the downtown traffic and improve accessibility from Belize City to San Pedro and Ambergris Caye. The new Water Taxi Terminal has started constructing the boat terminal south of downtown San Pedro along Coconut Drive.

The project will be completed this year and is already well underway. This new boat terminal also has a seafront extension, an area for parking, unloading, loading, and dropping off passengers.

 

 

Road Paving in San Pedro

Street paving continues in San Pedro. This is a major infrastructure upgrade, and the island is starting to enjoy the smooth, paved roads around town.

Many of the roads in San Pablo, DFC, and Escalante Marina Drive, with the latest paving, are being paved at the entrance of the San Pedrito subdivision near downtown San Pedro.

Many residents and tourists are overjoyed by the upgrades to the streets, which marks a major milestone in the development of the island.

The upgrade on the main streets in San Pedro is expected to be completed sometime this year.

 

 

New Gas Station

A new gas station opened on the island of Ambergris Caye on the north side of the bridge. This is an amazing addition to the island. For both locals and tourists. Providing a new location to gas up your vehicles.

There is also buzz that another gas station is just starting construction at the junction of Secret Beach!

These new gas stations help propel further infrastructure on the island and are a sign of continued growth.

 

 

New San Pedro & Ambergris Caye Hospital

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 and tourists of Ambergris Caye are getting a state-of-the-art hospital and medical facility.

This facility fulfills the need for accessible, comprehensive medical services both for residents and visitors to Belize’s most popular tourist destination, San Pedro (Ambergris Caye).

New Hospital Ambergris Caye

 

If you want to learn more about Belize and invest in Belize real estate, contact us at RE/MAX Belize!

 

Ambergris Caye Investment & Vacation Rental Data October 2023

Ambergris Caye Vacation Rentals

Ambergris Caye has been the epicenter of the Belize tourism surge and COVID recovery. This has led to growth in the Ambergris Caye Real Estate and investment in vacation rentals.

Ambergris Caye luckily has something we like to call “Island Economics.” When investing in an island, there is only so much land available. The limitations on available land create scarcity, not only scarcity of property but also a scarcity of land and completed resale homes. There is only so much land on an island. Island economics means that you see greater property appreciation on an island due to scarcity of property and limitations on how much can be built.

Tourism growth, increased awareness, offshore residency, and improved connectivity have all led to higher investment yields on vacation rental properties on Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye and San Pedro Town (the municipality on the island of Ambergris Caye) are by far the top destinations in Belize. Below, we look at the updated tourism data and vacation rental investment opportunities on Ambergris Caye!

 

Ambergris Caye Tourism

Ambergris Caye has seen tourism hitting all-time highs year-over-year as we become a globally recognized destination. From 2010 to 2023 (13 years), Ambergris Caye overnight tourism (people booking rental units) has grown at an annual compounded rate of 14.8% per year increase, with overnight tourism nearly doubling from 2010 to 2023 (+81.5% increase).

 

Belize Overnight Tourism

 

 

Belize Tourism Board Overnight Arrivals

 

Ambergris Caye Vacation Rental Inventory

Even though tourism is growing, the total rooms for rentals have stayed stagnant, with limited new losing inventory and often even a decline in inventory. Tourism is growing, and this usually correlates to added supply; that said, Ambergris Caye, Belize, is at the perfect time for investment as we have unique market conditions that have led to increased demand and a decrease in supply inventory.

Rental Inventory on Ambergris Caye has dropped by -4% from 2022 to 2023. Also dropped -13.9% over the last 3 years. This is largely due to the influx of people moving to Belize and the growing expat community and people who can work remotely.

 

Ambergris Caye Vacation Rental Lodging Inventory

 

For lodging, as a point of reference, Ambergris Caye saw -4% from last year. Lodging inventory for vacation rentals on Ambergris Caye has seen a -13.9% decrease over the last 3 years.

Ambergris Caye has had a compounded annual tourism growth over 12 years at an average of 14.8% per year.

As you can see, the 3-year trend has been consistent, with many quarters witnessing a dip in rental inventory (even with an increase in demand). This creates a unique opportunity for investors. With the shortage in supply and increase in demand, there is a need for more lodging and rentals.

 

Increase in Demand + Decrease in Supply = Increase in Price & Rent

 

 

 

 

 

Many industry experts predict Ambergris Caye real estate prices and nightly rental rates will continue to increase. This will lead to greater equity appreciation and a higher cash-flow yield.

Even though demand is on the rise, the supply has remained stagnant. With increased awareness comes increased demand, but the lodging and vacation rental inventory supply does not meet the demand growth.

 

Ambergris Caye Occupancy

 

 

In 2022, Ambergris Caye had an average vacation rental occupancy of 54.8%. In 2023, the average occupancy of vacation rentals has been at 61.3%. This is an increase of +11.9% year-over-year (2022 to 2023).

 

 

Ambergris Caye Nightly Rental Rates

 

In 2023, Ambergris Caye has seen ADR (Nightly Rental Rates) for vacation rentals increase by +15% from 2022. In 2023, the average nightly rental rate on Ambergris Caye has been $284 USD per night, which is up from $262 USD per night in 2022.

 

Ambergris Caye Investment Revenue

The increase in tourism with the lodging and vacation rental supply shrinking has led to higher occupancy and higher nightly rental rates (ADR). The increased occupancy and ADR have resulted in higher revenues. On Ambergris Caye, vacation rental gross revenue is up 30% in 2023 (from 2022).

 

Annual Average Rental Revenue

 

 

What is fascinating is the renal income for detached homes over condos (and the % annual growth).

 

Detached homes on Ambergris Caye have seen an average annual gross revenue of $88,850 US in 2023 (Airbnb income). Compared to condos, which saw an average gross yearly earnings of $44,300 US. Detached homes also saw a higher % growth at 23% annual revenue growth (condos with 14%) from 2022 to 2023.

For more information on investing in Belize and Ambergris Caye rental income investment opportunities, contact us at RE/MAX Belize!

 

New San Pedro & Ambergris Caye Hospital

San Pedro Town & Ambergris Caye Hospital

 

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.

 

Proposed Hospital Site

 

Hospital Location

 

Media

Taiwan Gifts $33 Million to Belize for Hospital

Model for San Pedro Hospital Revealed

 

Biggest Development Announcements & Updates

 

For more information on the new hospital and medical facility, contact us! We look forward to sharing the latest updates and developments coming to Belize.

Quick Facts on Ambergris Caye Belize

Ambergris Caye Belize

Belize is unique as it is both the Caribbean & Central America. Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize and the #1 destination in the country. The Belize island of Ambergris Caye is more of a peninsula with the northernmost channel being a divider between Belize and Mexico. Ambergris Caye is in the Caribbean Sea, having the Belize Barrier Reef (Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System) on the East Coast and calm beaches on the West Coast.

The island of Ambergris Caye is geographically contiguous to Mexico, but my stroke of providence and the Maya intervention in dredging and expanding the north canal end of the Caye brought it under Belize rule and territory. Ambergris Caye is also home to San Pedro Town which is the largest town of Ambergris Caye and the second-largest municipality in Belize.

Ambergris Caye gained mainstream popularity in early 1970 when it opens its doors to tourists, and in 1984 San Pedro was officially granted ‘town’ status. Many believe the town of San Pedro and Ambergris Caye was the inspiration behind the famous Madona song “la Isla Bonita”, which gave the island of Ambergris Caye its famous nickname “La Isla Bonita”. Ambergris Caye gained further popularity and notoriety when it played host to season one of the Fox show Temptation Island in 2000 and aired in 2001.

The main attraction to Ambergris is its gorgeous Belize Barrier Reef which extends the eastern shoreline and West Coast beaches which pull thousands of tourists annually. The Barrier Reef is considered the world’s second-largest reef coming after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the largest living reef in the world. The island is accessible through a small airstrip serviced by Maya Island Air and Tropic Air or reached by air directly from Belize City and many high-speed ferries.

Ambergris Caye is still a boutique tourist destination that is only starting to see mainstream notoriety, many attractions bring lots of visitors to the island of Ambergris Caye which you can see in some of the fun facts below;

  • English Speaking: Belize is the only country in Central America that has English as the official language and the English language is widely spoken.
  • Change its colonial name: Belize was formerly called British Honduras but changed to Belize in 1973.
  • Largest island: Belize is home to many islands but Ambergris Caye is the largest as it is roughly 25 miles long.
  • Protected National Park: The northern part of the island is a national park “Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve“.
  • Origin of the Name: The island got its name from the word “Ambergris” after large lumps of ambergris, the solid, flammable, and waxy substance from sperm whales’ digestive systems were found on the shore. Ambergris at the time was a popular commodity used for perfume.
  • Retirement Destination: Informed retirees find inspiration and a new start in Belize. Belize offers a warm climate, affordable living, and retirement incentives like the QRP.
  • Laidback Caribbean & Urban Lifestyle: Its foods and urban supermarkets are comparable to the US, Ambergris Caye parades American-style groceries conveniently present across the island which promotes native culture and makes tourists, especially from North America feel at home in Belize. Locally, there are fresh fruit and vegetables, you also have meat and poultry from the mainland. Belize is also the only net agricultural exporter in CARICOM.
  • Beautiful Celebrations: Belize is full of festivities; its nationwide culture and Ambergris Caye present four unique highly revered occasions – the Costa Maya Festival, San Pedro Day, Township Day, and Carnival. The annual Lobsterfest also draws in thousands of tourists every summer.
  • Entertainment & Nightlife: San Pedro is by far the hub for Belizean nightlife. From nightclubs to bars and great restaurants, every tourist must find something so cool to identify with and get busy on a daily basis. Between the downtown nightclubs, the beach clubs at Secret Beach, and the countless restaurants, there are always festivities to enjoy on Ambergris Caye.
  • Transportation: Only a few full-sized cars are on Ambergris Caye; the primary mode of transportation is golf carts or small vehicles. This adds to the island’s charm and appeal.
  • Unique community identities: Every part of Ambergris Caye has its unique characteristic just as you will find in the US; it is highly diverse. The locals have varying backgrounds which have created a naturally multicultural community. On Ambergris Caye you see Mayan Heritage, English/British Influence, Spanish influence from the region, the Garifuna people, and the Mennonites (who are responsible for most of the agriculture). All of these groups create and maintain the unique culture of Belize.

Ambergris Caye also has amazing geography with unique conditions. Overall, the island is a flat, coral Sand Island, a 25-mile-long location protected by a living reef extending over 185 miles down the coast of Belize; Ambergris is home to the unique peninsula of porous limestone. The bedrock below the surface makes the ground hard and less susceptible to land erosion. Its beautiful climate is often the primary draw to the island as sunseekers visit through the winter months, but the world-class diving and fishing bring people to the island year-round.

The consistent climate is what draws so many tourists to Ambergris Caye. The temperature is perfect and more accommodating than in most tropical climates. The plethora of Flora and Fauna in Ambergris Caye, much like in Mexico adds to the color of the Island. The water is turquoise blue, with picturesque views from almost every angle. Ambergris Caye is the perfect destination for investment or to call home.

If you are looking to buy Ambergris Caye real estate or investment properties in Belize contact the team at RE/MAX Belize.