San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro

San Pedro, Belize: Retiring & Cost of Living - International Living

San Pedro Town is the one and only town on the popular Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. It serves as a hub of amenities for the 20,000 expats and locals who currently live on the island. This is where they go to shop, bank, and socialize.

IL Belize Contributor Ann Kuffner lives close to the town center. “We can get most of what we need right here,” says Ann. “Every year more conveniences are available. We have reliable power, water, cable, and internet. There are many great restaurants, bars, and a monthly gourmet farmers’ market. We have a theater north of the bridge. Events and parades are held often. The road north has now been paved, making it easy to get to beaches and resorts that used to be remote. And the San Pedranos are friendly and helpful in general, making it easier to fit in.”

As well as everyday amenities, San Pedro is also home to Ambergris Caye’s one and only air strip, which offers regular domestic flights to destinations like Caye Caulker and Corozal, should you want to explore Belize a little further.

And because Ambergris Caye is such a small place, living in San Pedro means that you can easily avail of all the natural wonders the island has to offer. “The initial reasons expats choose to move to Ambergris Caye are because the view of the aquamarine sea and the world’s second largest barrier reef is absolutely stunning,” says Ann. “No matter where you travel on the island the sea is nearby. So those who live here have easy access to a variety of sea related activities. The reef is less than one mile from shore, so it’s easy for divers, snorkelers, and anglers to get to their favorite spot quickly. The constant sea breeze is a blessing for sailors, wind surfers, and kite boarders.”

Cost of Living in San Pedro

San Pedro

As Ambergris Caye is such a small island, the cost of living is pretty much the same throughout. However, living in San Pedro means that your circumstances will differ slightly from someone living outside of the town.

First of all, your transport cost will be pretty much non-existent. Whereas someone living elsewhere on the island might have to drive into town to pick up groceries, do some banking, or head to a nice restaurant, living in town means that you can walk pretty much everywhere you want to go, saving you money on fuel costs.

However, this could be seen as a double-edged sword. With all of these amenities so close at hand, it is easier to over-indulge on eating out and meeting friends for drinks multiple times a week. And while the price of entertainment may be low in San Pedro, it all adds up in the end.

“If you want to live on the beach the cost for rent starts around $950 a month for a studio apartment or one-bedroom unit in an older development,” says Ann. “A two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit in a beach development starts at around $1,100 a month.”

A couple can live here on $2,600 a month, including rent, if they live a simple lifestyle. As with everywhere else, their cost of living will also depend upon their lifestyle choices. Some expats who own a home on the island spend less than $2,000 per month. Other expats, who rent a two-bedroom condo on the beach, eat out at high-end restaurants, entertain regularly, and keep their AC on most of the time, can easily spend $3,000 per month.

Here is a sample budget for a couple living in San Pedro, Belize:

ExpenseU.S. $
Rent (one-bedroom, two-bathroom condo)$950
Internet and landline (use a SMART MiFi)$35
Cable TV$24
Gym memberships$100
Monthly food$600
Monthly total$2,244