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

Rent on This Quiet, Laidback Caribbean Island From $600 a Month

Rent on This Quiet, Laidback Caribbean Island From $600 a Month

Daily Postcard
By |
August 31, 2016

Walking along Caye Caulker’s coastline, wherever you look the scenery is pleasing to the eye. Along the village’s front street, an expansive soft-sand beach extends towards the multi-hued aquamarine sea. The sea breeze ruffles the plentiful coconut palm fronds and cools your skin.

Rent in Belize From $350 a Month

Rent in Belize From $350 a Month

Belize is a charming little country with one foot planted in the Caribbean, the other in Central America. In addition to an abundance of natural beauty, the offshore World Heritage Mesoamerican barrier reef, and a multitude of Maya ruins, Belize offers expats an outstanding residence program for retirees. Another plus, English is the country’s primary language. For these reasons—and others—an increasing number of expats are moving to this laidback, democratic country.

Swapping “Traditional” Retirement For Overseas Adventures

Swapping “Traditional” Retirement For Overseas Adventures

One of the coolest things I get to do for International Living is call expats all over the world and interview them about their lives. I’ve been doing this for years, and one thing I’ve noticed is that the expats who describe themselves as “retired” seem to be the busiest ones of all.

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.

Living an Affordable Beach Lifestyle in Placencia, Belize

Living an Affordable Beach Lifestyle in Placencia, Belize

With 17 miles of continuous golden-sand beaches, a low key, laidback Caribbean lifestyle, a small population, and plenty of top notch restaurants and funky beach bars, it’s not surprising that expats are pulling up stakes to move to Belize’s Placencia peninsula… In February of 2014 Laura and Dave Diffendal left Cleveland, Ohio, for Placencia Village. They now live an entirely different lifestyle, as Laura explains, “Exactly two years ago, I was sitting on my couch in snowy Cleveland. Now we’re having weekly adventures, spending days on the beach, afternoons in farmers’ markets, and living a life we would only have tried out on vacation once a year if we had stayed back home.”