I’m writing from my office in the city…but I’m thinking about my favorite Caribbean island. The coconut palms dotted along the white-sand beach, the crystal-clear water lapping the shore…a picturesque fishing village or two…and a laid-back pace of life.
My Spanish is pretty good, but I don’t need it on this island–everyone speaks English.
I’m thinking of Ambergris Caye off the coast of Belize.
In the 90s, it was virtually unknown outside the divers who were attracted by the massive barrier reef and world-class emerald waters. Fox filmed Temptation Island here in 2000…and then everyone knew how to get here.
This used to be an island of beach bums and friendly vagabonds…divers and backpackers. But now it’s one of the most popular destinations in Belize, and trendy Ambergris has attracted a more upscale traveler (and second-home buyer).
The resorts are fashionable, it’s easy to find a million-dollar house, and even a small condo can cost $300,000. But if you know where to look, you can buy your own island retreat for a lot less–as little as $164,000 for an apartment just three blocks from the beach.
Despite the big changes, Ambergris retains its small-island charm. San Pedro, the biggest town, still has brightly-painted wooden houses, packed sand streets, and golf carts as the main transport. The shops are still mostly mom-and-pop stores. The restaurants are quaint. The opportunities for dining, dancing, and enjoying music are endless. And it’s still somewhere I want to escape to.
If you want to check out Ambergris, those $164,000 apartments are one of the highlights of the Ambergris three-day Chill Weekend. A Chill Weekend is a benefit of an International Living subscription–discounted trips to a small group of exotic destinations. On this trip, you’ll get all of your questions answered about living on Ambergris, buying property, and the business culture here. All your food, accommodation, cocktail parties…even a snorkeling tour over the Belize Barrier Reef…is included. Normally a trip like this would be expensive…but if you subscribe to the International Living Magazine right now with this link…you get the Chill Weekend for just $299 (or $399 for a couple sharing).
P.S. Belize eases you into your new life overseas. Readers I meet at IL conferences regularly tell me they chose Belize because it’s English-speaking. They love the fact that they can make friends quickly and easily.
Learn more about Belize and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter. We’ll also send you a free report – Belize: The Top English Speaking Retirement Haven in the Caribbean. This special guide covers covers real estate, retirement and more in Belize and is your free when you sign up for our IL postcards.
Editor’s Note: Margaret Summerfield is a Director of Pathfinder (International Living’s preferred real estate advertising partner), which focuses on opportunity for gains in strategic pockets around the world-before most folks have even heard of them.