10 Reasons to Relocate to Belize
While the decision to relocate to a lush, tropical country may have been an easy choice to make, the process of actually picking the country may be an entirely different story.
With so many amazing countries out there in Central America alone, how can you be confident that you’re making the right selection?
Sharing a border with Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, the tiny country of Belize has been receiving a lot of attention from expats in recent years. So what does Belize have to offer that has so many people coming back for more?
1. Scenic beauty
Only a fraction, around 20% of Belize’s land is used for human purposes (agriculture and settlements) leaving the rest, natural and unspoiled. Filled with majestic landscapes, waterfalls, archaeological sites and thousands of species of plants and animals, there is always something new to experience in Belize. And because Belize has 174 miles of Caribbean coast line, you can enjoy the beach life and the exotic rainforests all in one day.
Conservation efforts are an important aspect of government policy in Belize and because of this, much of the land and animal life remains protected. Belize is even home to the only jaguar reserve in the world.
2. 2nd largest barrier reef in the world
Belize is known for its marine life, especially the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is actually the longest living barrier reef in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world, after Australia. Belize’s top tourist attraction, people come from around the world each year to swim, snorkel, and scuba dive in this breathtaking, natural wonderland.
3. Slow pace of life
Nicknamed “Belize time”, the pace of life in Belize is significantly slower, and for many expats, it can be a dream come true. Unlike in North America, and many other places in the world, the people in Belize don’t seem to be in such a hurry. Instead, they have a more leisurely attitude towards life and work that is embraced by many expats and a bit of an adjustment for others.
And for an even bigger taste of the Belize laid-back lifestyle, visit Caye Caulker, a 5 mile island off the coast of Belize. One mile west of the barrier reef, you can take a water taxi to the tiny island and spend your time swimming, snorkelling, fishing, or simply relaxing on the beach.
4. The climate
Like most expats, you are probably looking for a place with perfect weather, a place where it’s not too hot and not too cold. Belize definitely fits the bill. With the average year round temperature hovering around 79 degrees F, in Belize the sun shines almost every day. You won’t need a heater in Belize, and for some, air conditioners aren’t even necessary due to the cool Caribbean breeze that comes in off the sea.
5. The people
If the scenery and the climate drew you to Belize, the people will keep you there. Known to be friendly and welcoming, the people in Belize typically don’t put up barriers like people in other places tend to do. If you decide to make the move to Belize, you can expect to make friends with both the locals and fellow expats as you settle in to your new home.
Along with being open and welcoming, Belizeans also speak English, making communication that much easier. In fact, Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America. This is because Belize originated as a British colony called British Honduras before it became a self-governing colony in 1964 and completely independent in 1981.
So don’t worry, in Belize you will be able to communicate with the locals, understand government forms and even read the road signs because it is all in English.
7. Low cost of living
Like most countries in Central America, the cost of living in Belize is quite low. It is estimated that a couple can get by comfortably in Belize for as little as $1000 a month, and if you have more to spend, life in Belize can be even more comfortable.
8. Fresh food
Unlike North American diets that are known to be heavy and often full of processed foods, the food in Belize can be like a breath of fresh air. Many expats claim to have experienced significant weight loss after coming to Belize because of the foods they eat.
In Belize, people typically tend to eat simpler, lighter meals due to the abundance of fresh fish and tropical fruit that they have available.
9. Mayan history
Belize is rich with history and culture that can be experienced on a daily basis if you feel so inclined. In the Maya Mountains and many other areas of Belize, you will have the opportunity to observe Mayan archeological ruins that date back thousands of years.
10. Close to home
While it’s true that many of us dream of moving away to a tropical paradise, it doesn’t mean that we want to isolate ourselves completely from friends and family. Belize offers expats the escape they desire, but with a relatively short commute from the U.S. Feeding out of cities like Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta, the flight to and from Belize is only a minimal three hours, making it an accessible paradise for North American expats.
Is Belize the place for you?
If you are looking to slow down in a tropical climate, surrounded by a welcoming, English speaking community, Belize may be the place to dig in your roots. Plan a visit and soak in all of the aspects of Belizean life, and when the time is right, start searching for your own little piece of paradise to call home.