Hot, tropical weather, delicious food resulting from a mix of various cultures, and great natural landscape are only some of the reasons why you should consider moving to this amazing country. Here are 13 more reasons to take the plunge:
1. English is the Official Language
Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the primary language. The country was part of the British Empire between 1862 and 1981. It was known as British Honduras before it became a self-governing colony in 1964 and gained its independence in 1981. Besides English, Belizean Creole and Spanish are also widely used by locals.
2. Easy to Get Around
Since the country is generally small, one can get around and get to know every corner of Belize easily, and in a short time. Getting to shorter distances is easiest by bicycle, which can be rented for less than $10 a day. If you want to get to other islands, then local boat taxis are the best option. Another alternative for land transportation is the taxi, albeit it tends to get expensive depending on the distance. Buses travel regularly between the main cities and towns of the country for a fair price.
3. Close to North America
If you want to be at a plane ride away from your original home, then you’ll be happy to find that Belize has its own airport welcoming international flights. Goldson International Airport is located in Ladyville, northwest of Belize City, and it welcomes inbound flights from North American cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Newark, Miami, Houston and Dallas.
4. Favorable Retirement Program
Should you decide to retire to Belize, there is an excellent program called the Qualified Retired Persons program, beneficial for North American residents. Some of the advantages of retiring here is that you can bring in personal goods to the country without paying any taxes for them, you don’t have to pay any taxes for any foreign-earned income, and you can opt to continue working once your income is earned outside of Belize.
5. Real Estate is Affordable
You can purchase a 2,600 sqft, two-storey home in the Belama residential district of the capital, Belize City, for merely $162,500. The residential property has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a spacious balcony, a large landscaped yard and a porch area, perfect for large families with children and even pets. The home is located in a safe and clean neighborhood, in the proximity of shops, supermarkets, restaurants, parks and schools. The home is fully fenced and even has a concrete driveway.
6. Beach Luxury at San Pedro
You can buy your own beach house in the most popular area in the country, in the San Pedro neighborhood of Ambergis Caye, for $275,000. The 2,400 sqft home is just a short walk’s distance from the beach, and has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. The two-level house is made up of two separate apartments, since the downstairs room comes with an equipped kitchenette, while the upper level has its own large kitchen, dining and living area. The house comes with a lovely lot covered in lush green tropical vegetation.
7. Strong and Large Expat Communities
There are numerous areas in the country where large expat communities have formed. The Placencia Peninsula is the most popular beach area in the country, famous mainly for its quiet, sandy beaches and Placencia, a colorful and lively little village. The Corozal district is popular among those in search of a low cost of living and a huge expat community. Belmopan is close to plenty of forest reserves, making it an attractive base for outdoorsy people in search of hiking, canoeing and exploring caves. The Toledo district is considered to be Belize’s forgotten region, this part being the most authentic area in the country.
8. Proximity to Wildlife
One of the essences of living in Belize is that you’re close to the jungle and, consequently, to local wildlife. An interesting fact is that the country is home to the only jaguar preserve in the world. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to all 5 of the Belize cats (jaguar, puma, margay, jaguarondi and ocelot) on a 128,000 acre reservation.
9. Cool Caves
Belize is home to one of the most complex cave systems in Central America. The Chiquibul Cave System is nearly 540,000 sqft and features four main chambers: the Actun Kabal, Actun Tun Kul, Cebada Cave and the Xibalba, of which two are the largest underground chambers in the World. Some other popular caves worth visiting are the Actun Tunichil Muknal, the Barton Creek Cave and the Caves Branch.
10. Home of the Great Blue Hole
The world-famous Great Blue Hole can be found in Belize, and it is one of the most popular attractions in the country, especially among divers. It ranked first on Discovery Channel’s 2012 list of “10 most amazing places on Earth”. Those who decide to dive in can encounter a number of fascinating fish species like the Midnight Parrotfish and the Caribbean Reef Shark.
11. Dive in the Second Largest Barrier Reef in the World
The Great Blue Hole is part of the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. It is the top tourist destination in the country, and it’s a true haven for snorkelers and divers. Scuba divers can witness the diverse beauty of walls, pinnacles and reef flats, along with colorful marine life.
12. Explore Ancient Ruins
Belize is home to numerous pre-Columbian Mayan ruins, which are very popular sites among tourists and locals alike. Caracol is one of the most important sites in the country, as it once was the center of one of the largest Maya kingdoms. Today, thousands of structures offer a stunning archaeological site for anyone interested. The Cerros is also an important attraction, since it was one of the earliest Maya sites. Another notable site is Lamanai, known as the longest continually-occupied site in Mesoamerica.
13. Celebrate in September
Belize has a series of events and parties a couple of weeks before their Independence Day, celebrated on September 21. But Belizeans decided that they not only want to celebrate that one day, but would rather party for the two weeks which lead up to it. These weeks are colored by the Expo Belize Market Place, one of the largest events in the country, numerous parades, concerts, children’s events as well as a huge carnival.
As you can see, Belize is not only rich in natural scenery and wildlife, moving here also has its financial perks in addition to a country with awesome historical heritage and fun, colorful festivals!
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