- Located in Central America
- English is official language
- Tropical climate; hot and humid with a coastal sea breeze; rainy and dry seasons
- Exchange rate is two Belize Dollars to one U.S. Dollar
- The size of Massachusetts
- Approximately 350,000 people
- Parliamentary government based on British common law
- Central time zone
- Internet and phone availability is good
- Capital is Belmopan
Belize is often referred to as one of the few remaining undiscovered retirement and investment destinations on the planet. This is a bit of a misnomer because the truth is that people have been retiring to the Caribbean paradise for decades due to relocation friendly laws and the fact that the main language is ENGLISH.
It is located south of Mexico and north of Guatemala on the Gulf side of the mainland. It is less than a two hour plane ride from the southern United States. The country has thousands of islands just off the coast; many of which have become expat havens. Belize itself is just smaller than the State of Massachusetts, covering 8,800 square miles.
The rainforests are unspoiled. The beaches go on for days. The barrier reef, just off the coast, is the second largest barrier reef in the world. It is a dive mecca for divers, snorkelers, and swimmers from all over the world. The marine life is one of a kind. It is one of the migration paths for the elusive whale shark, and the majority of the pictures you see of them were in fact taken right off the coast of Belize.
In addition to the fact that the primary language is English, people are draw to the low-key lifestyle that the native population has adopted. The “no worries, no problems,” attitude has permeated every aspect of life and the beautiful warm weather climate compliments it perfectly. The population breakdown is mostly African-European Creoles, Spanish-Indian Mestizos, African-Indian Garinagus, Mayan Indians, Europeans, North Americans, and some Asians. The Belizean people are very friendly people and the majority of the country is very safe. Like any country, there are some neighborhoods that are higher crime areas. Fortunately, these are easily avoidable and generally out of the way for people considering investment in Belize.
Tourism is Belize’s main economy. The government has spent a substantial amount of money in recent years making sure that the industry can prosper and has passed laws to ensure that this is the case. The tourism department has recently been revamped and has established a visible presence in the country. In addition to the pristine rainforests, mountains, beaches, and the coral reef system, the country is the location of many ancient Mayan temples and wild life preserves.
As more people become aware of the treasures that exist, the Belizean government has also begun legislation to protect the very things that are attracting attention. Unlike many of the other investment destinations in Central America and the Caribbean, Belize has the benefit of having watched what unregulated growth can do to a developing area. It is apparent that the country will continue to grow, but that it will be done in a way that preserves its beauty.