I couldn’t keep my eyes off the Caribbean Sea in Belize—whether I was cruising around by boat, watching tiny islets fade into the distance…swinging in a hammock strung between two palms on the beach…or beating that tropical heat with a cold Belikin beer in the shade of a palm frond-roofed beach bar.
Belize has a lot to offer those seeking a new life abroad. The low cost of living means a couple can live well on $2,000 to $3,000 or less a month. Established expat communities make for a ready supply of new friends, and it’s English-speaking, even if it’s the second or even third language for many locals. (I spoke only English during my time there and had no issues.)
Plus, it’s easy to get to from North America, thanks to daily flights. And it’s no problem to get around the roughly Massachusetts-sized country itself: The main highways are in good shape, regional airlines provide service all over, and frequent and on-time water taxis serve the island communities.
But under the surface, you find even more reasons to make Belize your home. Sure, it’s somewhat rough around the edges. This country of just 330,000 is still coming into its own. But you can get comforts from home in the local stores.
There’s a feeling of opportunity and possibility, of a place being shaped right now…a country where retirees can find a comfortable place or someone with an idea can start a business. It’s not as established as some of the other tourist destinations in the region, so there’s still lots of room for new businesses that fill a gap in the market.
Whether you prefer the life of quiet beachside leisure, an active social life and plenty of places to go out at night, the tranquility of pasture and jungle, or a low-cost beach destination, there’s something for you in Belize. And because it’s such a small country, you can visit all the other spots quite easily. While you’ll find your place in the sun for a calm retirement in Belize, if you’re seeking a place to reinvent yourself, with a business or perhaps farm, you’ll have plenty of opportunity. This plucky little country offers a lot to expats, and it’s getting better all the time.
Add the genuine, helpful, and friendly local people from a myriad of backgrounds and cultures to the huge variety of landscapes and lifestyles—from beach-bar hopping on Caribbean beaches to off-the-grid jungle living—and you have an ideal destination…