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.

Find Out More From Our Belize Correspondent

From the Archives of Belize

Ambergris Caye vs Roatán: Which Caribbean Island Would You Retire to?

Ambergris Caye vs Roatán: Which Caribbean Island Would You Retire to?

So you’ve decided to retire to a Caribbean island paradise. You can already see yourself, toes in the sand, sipping a mojito by the turquoise-blue sea. Behind you, children laugh as they cartwheel down the beach, and by the waterfront fishermen chat as they haul in the catch of the day…but where are you?

Clever Incomes Mean More Leisure Time in Belize

Clever Incomes Mean More Leisure Time in Belize

Diana Snyder first visited Belize as an anthropology student. "My first thought as I exited the plane was that someday I would live in a place as beautiful as this," she says. Today she does. Her home is on Ambergris Caye—the country's largest island, set amid the blue Caribbean waters. "I don't know which I value more—the slower pace of life or the spectacular beauty of living on a tropical island," says Diana, who spends about two hours a day running her online business...and the rest having fun.

Rediscovering Belize With Help From My Grandkids…and a Lobster

Rediscovering Belize With Help From My Grandkids…and a Lobster

Daily Postcard
By |
April 17, 2016

When the big day arrived, the temperature was warm, the breeze faint. As our boat, the El Gato, glided over the sea I could see everyone relax, hypnotized by the clear water and vibrant hues of the aquamarine sea that surrounded us. “I can’t believe I can see all the way to the bottom”, was a constant comment.

My Love-Hate Relationship With the World Of Travel

My Love-Hate Relationship With the World Of Travel

I am a bad traveler. That may seem like a strange admission to make for an expat. Travel is, after all, part of the deal...you can't really live abroad without traveling—at least to the country in which you plan to settle. And to be sure, I love to see and experience other towns, cities, beaches, mountains...the lure of foreign lands and exotic adventures has not diminished for me during my years abroad.

“We’re Content in Belize…And Don’t Plan on Moving”

“We’re Content in Belize…And Don’t Plan on Moving”

Daily Postcard
By |
March 7, 2016

Sue and George’s interest in Belize was piqued in 2010, while still living in Los Angeles. Sue read an AARP article about retiring in Belize and George watched an International House Hunters program about building a home there. George had long dreamed of building their ideal retirement home. But the Paolettis knew that it would be exorbitantly expensive to do so in Southern California.

Cut Your Expenses in Half and Live Well in Sunny Belize

Cut Your Expenses in Half and Live Well in Sunny Belize

Sue, 49, and her husband, Steve, 54, left Toronto, Canada, for Ambergris Caye, Belize in September 2012. “We love the weather in Belize, with sun and the warm temperatures all year round,” says Sue. “We certainly don’t miss the rat race of our past life in Toronto, and the crazy pressure to always follow the latest trends, and spend all our time working just to buy more ‘stuff.’ We may not make the money we did back in Canada, but we happily get by with less.”

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