Belize Fast Facts

belize beach

Population: 353,858

Capital City: Belmopan

Climate: Tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)

Time Zone: GMT -6

Language: English, Spanish, Creole, Mayan dialects

Country Code: 501

Coastline: 386km

Over 200 pristine cayes (islands) are scattered along Belize’s coastline—each surrounded by crystal clear, turquoise seawater that teems with brilliant fish, coral, and sponges.

A favorite pastime on the cayes is to relax in a hammock, under a gently swaying coconut palm, while sipping an icy Belikin beer, or a pina colada… It’s the perfect spot to relax and watch the frothy white waves wash against the Mesoamerican barrier reef… For those who live on a caye, the living reef is so close it’s a visible touchstone, a reminder of its many wonders. Diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, sailing, and surfing are pleasant activities in the shallow waters inside the protection of the reef…

The Caribbean seascape you see from the mainland is equally stunning. Placencia’s 17 miles of golden sand beaches are perfect for long, leisurely strolls and days spent sunning or picnicking near the sea. Sailboats, cruisers, and catamarans come and go from the deeper water docks, or idle in the calm, protected waters at the tip of Placencia Village.

From Placencia it’s a short drive to a host of other mainland activities such as hiking, bird-watching, and zip lining.

Belize is quintessential Caribbean but with Maya roots.

But Belize offers much more than the beauty of the Caribbean Sea and Mesoamerican reef. It’s complimented by the lush, wild jungles of the Maya Mountains, with tumbling rivers, mysterious Maya ruins, and awe-inspiring rainforests. The Cayo region is rich with productive farms and the perfect spot for homesteading expats.

Caye Caulker, Belize

A small country barely the size of Massachusetts it’s easy to travel from one part of the country to another. As one adventurous expat eloquently described his rational for moving to Belize, “I can be Jacques Cousteau in the morning—diving in the blue hole, and Indiana Jones in the afternoon—exploring a Maya cave in the jungles…”

Belize offers other advantages. As a British Commonwealth country, English is the primary language, making it easy for expats to transition. This little country is also well known for its open-arms attitude toward expats who wish to become residents, or to open a business.

Talk to expats who live in Belize and you’ll hear a common theme…Belizean people are warm, helpful, and made them feel welcome.

Most expats who live in Belize today moved from the USA, Canada, Britain, and other European countries.

From the Archives of Belize

Sapodilla, Belize: In Search of the Most Beautiful Beach in Belize

Sapodilla, Belize: In Search of the Most Beautiful Beach in Belize

Beach Living
By |
June 23, 2018

There are few things that can motivate me to rise before the sun. But on a calm, hazy April morning I arrived at Garbutt Marine's dock before 6 a.m., as the sun was rising... I was joining a ReefCI day trip to the Sapodilla Cayes, in search of Belize's most beautiful beach. The other participants had fishing on their minds...

Where should I retire to where English is spoken and is safe as a senior, single woman?

Where should I retire to where English is spoken and is safe as a senior, single woman?

Ann Kuffner – IL Belize Correspondent There are actually quite a few single expats over 50 in Belize, women and men alike. That is especially true on Ambergris Caye, where there’s a lot to do. Many of my single women friends either are active volunteers, or own a business that keeps them busy.English is spoken Read more...: Where should I retire to where English is spoken and is safe as a senior, single woman?

What taxes would I have to pay if I retire in Belize?

What taxes would I have to pay if I retire in Belize?

Hello, I was wondering if I retire in Belize and do not become an expat, am I still liable for taxes on my Social Security and 401k? What would I owe in Belize? Hi Hawk, Belize will not tax you on your income outside of Belize. If you become a resident of Belize and work for a Belizean company, or start a business in Belize, you will be taxed on that income...