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

Trading a 90-Mile Commute for a Bike Ride in Belize

Trading a 90-Mile Commute for a Bike Ride in Belize

Even after living on Ambergris Caye in Belize for a dozen years, it still sounds like magic to my ears when I tell people my home is a tropical island. From the Caribbean coast and our stunning Meso-American Barrier Reef, to the mountains, Maya sites, and charming communities of the mainland…we have the best of worlds. When we grow tired of white, sandy-beach views we head to the jungle to hang out with the monkeys.

“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.”

Living in Stress-Free Belize on 66% Less Than in the U.S.

Living in Stress-Free Belize on 66% Less Than in the U.S.

Daily Postcard
By |
February 19, 2016

If you drop by Dan and Mary Elizabeth Crofts home in Corozal, Belize, you might find Dan indulging in one of his favorite new pastimes…feeding the local iguanas. Mary Elizabeth explains, “We have a family of three that we have named: Greta, Gary, and their son, Genghis. They love bananas and we have a video of Dan feeding them”.

A Snapshot of Daily Life in Sunny, Snow-Free Belize

A Snapshot of Daily Life in Sunny, Snow-Free Belize

Daily Postcard
By |
December 15, 2015

Life here is busy, but it’s a good kind of busy. We have less driving and commuting than when we lived in Ohio…and we don’t miss traffic jams, shoveling snow, and de-icing the car in the morning, which used to take up so much time. Here, grocery shopping or paying bills involves a bike ride or a walk in sunny weather, where you can hear birds and see the beach.

Stalactites and Skeletons in Belize’s Mayan Underworld

Stalactites and Skeletons in Belize’s Mayan Underworld

Culture
By |
December 9, 2015

If you’ve ever yearned for your own Indiana Jones-style adventure, be sure to add Belize’s most infamous cave to your bucket list. ATM—full name Actun Tunichil Muknal—is your ticket to the ancient Maya underworld, or Xibalba. Also known as the “cave of the stone sepulcher,” it’s near san Ignacio in the Cayo District, and it’s where the Mayas of old performed their sacred rituals long before Europeans came.

Artboard 1Artboard 14Artboard 1Artboard 1down-arrowdown-arrowArtboard 1facebook-roundfacebook-squareArtboard 12Artboard 1googleplus-roundgoogle-squareheadphoneshealthcarehousehouseArtboard 2Artboard 1Artboard 1locksearch-mag3Artboard 1Artboard 15Artboard 1next-largenextArtboard 1plusprev-largeprevread-more-arrowread-more-arrowsearch-magSlider Arrowto-toptwitter-roundtwitter-squareyoutube-roundyoutube-square