Top 4 Best Places to Retire in Belize

Top 4 Best Places to Retire in Belize

With incredible nature, a vibrant Mayan culture, beautiful pristine beaches, affordable prices, low crime rates, and English as its main language; it is no wonder that so many people are deciding to retire in Belize. While there are truly so many amazing places you could choose in Belize, we understand the choice of where to settle can be daunting. To help you on that path, here we have highlighted our pick of the Top 4 best places to retire in Belize!

1. Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye, often referred to as ‘la Isla Bonita’ – famously the inspiration for its namesake by Madonna – or ‘the beautiful island’ is without a doubt one of the top places to retire in Belize. Located on the Northeastern coast of the country, Ambergris Caye is the most popular tourist destination in Belize. It is the largest island in Belize and has an abundance of beautiful vibrant beaches and restaurants as well as a many option for water-based activities, especially scuba diving along the famous Belize Barrier reef in the Carribbean sea. The island is known for its long white sand beaches and turquois waters filled with abundant sea life. Furthermore, a large portion of the island has been designated as a nature preserve, which adds to its appeal as a wonderful destination for nature lovers in search of tropical sunshine.

There is currently a lot of real estate available in Ambergris Caye, ranging from beachfront condos and beach houses to properties and development lots. Its largest town, San Pedro is a well-known ex-pat destination with many US and Canadian citizens settling there. Due to this San Pedro has a vibrant ex-pat community with several yoga schools, beach bars, popular live music spots and weekly beach BBQ’s hosted every Sunday by the community. As the fame of the island continues to rise, the value of property is expected to continue to increase at a rapid rate. This means that Ambergris Caye is not only a wonderful place to retire, but also a great investment option whether you are looking for a vacation home or a place to retire.

Are you interested in learning more about real estate in Ambergris Caye, Belize? Scroll through our many listings in the area, or feel free to contact us to schedule a viewing or for any other questions and requests!

2. Placencia

Placencia is located on a peninsula south of Belize City. Due to this it has a bit of an ‘island feel’, however with all of the convenience of being attached to the mainland, such as easy access and cheaper mainland prices. Life here is slow and peaceful, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering it boasts 16 miles of tranquil mostly untouched beaches to the east, as well as incredible views of the Mayan Mountain chain to the west. The peninsula offers great beaches, and easy access to abundant reefs, fishing waters and a number of idyllic small islands off the country’s Caribbean coast.

The area is growing quickly, with most of its population made up of expat homeowners. However, despite this it’s still at a relatively early stage of development meaning that the real estate prices are still low and the lifestyle is quiet, peaceful and communal. Real Estate prices have been growing steadily and arer expected to continue to grow, making this another great investment option in Belize. The largest settlement in Placencia is Placencia Village, which is home to nearly half of the peninsula’s ~3500 permanent residents. Additionally the high season will bring in a decent influx of tourists, making it a very fun and active period, while the low season returns Placencia to its normal laid-back vibe.

Are you interested in learning more about the real estate in Placencia, Belize? View our large inventory or reach out to us for more information!

3. Corozal Town

For those more interested in a vibrant cultural area, consider Corozal in Northern Belize. Corozal is less touristy than some other areas, however it is very popular with ex-pats, partly because it sits right on the border of Chetumal Bar in Mexico, which is knows for its vibrant nightlife and many great shopping options. For those looking for a pleasant town in Belize, consider Corozal Town in the Corozal district. It is a very relaxed and family friendly town, with easy access to the bay for swimming. Additionally you will find several beautiful Mayan ruins in the area.

When looking for a place to settle in Corozal, most ex-pats choose to live in one of two popular communities, namely: Cerros Sands or Consejo. Here you can find many real estate options ranging from smaller condos to larger more traditional homes. Real Estate prices in Corozal are still very low, making it a very interesting and affordable place to retire in Belize.

For more information about real estate in Corozal, Belize – feel free to contact us or view our online inventory!

4. Cayo District

For those interested in a different kind of lifestyle than the aforementioned beach paradises, Cayo District offers something very different. The Cayo District is known for its incredible and pristine natural beauty, consisting of many mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and an overall jungle scene. The weather here is often hotter during the day, but a very pleasant cooler temperature at night. It has fewer bugs and is overall a much less touristy destination than the other options highlighted in this article. The largest town in the Cayo District is San Ignacio, which has a very rustic atmosphere but with a vibrant nightlife. San Ignacio is also the take-off point for canoe trips along the Macal River as well as hikes to the neaby Mayan Ruins.

The abundance of rain, sunshine and high quality farmland contribute to Cayo being known as a great option for off-the-grid living. Additionally, although it is located just two hours from Placencia, it is significantly cheaper and boasts very affordable real estate prices including many development properties and lots. Therefore, for those looking for a secluded nature paradise in Belize, the Cayo District could be a great option!

Are you interested in learning more about real estate in Cayo District, Belize? Feel free to contact us for more information or a real estate viewing!

Retiring in Belize

In conclusion Belize is a truly wonderful country to retire. We hope this article gave you some insight into a few of the options for places to retire in Belize. However, there truly are so many more amazing places available to you in Belize. We at Century 21 Btal have homes, condos, properties, and development lots across the country, as well as extensive knowledge of the various areas. Feel free to contact us with any questions or requests about real estate in Belize, and we would be more than happy to help you find your dream retirement home!

The Natural Wonders of Belize

The Natural Wonders Of Belize

Nature is the best architect. Perhaps this is why no building or man-made object can ever compete with its beauty. If you love going to scenic places with an abundance of nature, then look no further than Belize. With its large Caribbean coast and unique geographical location Belize is full of natural wonders.  

Need some convincing? Here are our top picks for nature travel in Belize!

1. Barrier Reef

This is the 2nd largest coral reef you will find in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is a part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System and stretches across 300km.

It is home to more than seventy unique hard coral species, thirty-six soft coral species, and more than five hundred species of fish! The Belize barrier reef is so vast that many parts of the reef are yet to be discovered. This provides a incredible and unique opportunity for underwater enthusiasts to explore a largely untouched reef ecosystem! It should come as no surprise that the Belize barrier reef is also often spoken of as one of the best snorkel and diving spots in the world.

2. Limestone Caves

These caves are mainly made of fish skeletons that got buried and compacted here. It also comprises many coral shells in its structure which contributes to the caves unique coloration.

These caves were a big part of the Mayan culture as they used to perform many ceremonies and rituals here to please their Gods. For cave lovers, there are a plethora of beautiful caves that can be explored in Belize. For instance, you can also visit other beautiful caves such as:

– Caves Branch
– Actun Tunichil Muknal
– Rio Frio
– Barton Creek Cave
– Che Chem Ha
– Crystal Cave

3. St. Herman’s Blue Hole

If you want to see nature at its finest then this is a treat to the eyes. However, make sure not to confuse St. Herman’s Blue Hole with the Great Blue Hole (also found in Belize). They are not the same; the Great Blue Hole is a limestone formation that collapsed. The rising sea levels then surrounding this formation, filling it with ocean water, and thereby forming the Great Blue Hole.

St. Herman’s Blue Hole on the other hand is a natural pool with the clearest blue water you will ever find. This is what makes this attraction unique and the perfect place to take a fresh water dip! This swimming spot can be found in the St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, found in the Cayo district of Belize.

4. Coastal Atolls

You must be wondering what an atoll is. Well, an atoll is an island made of corals, in the shape of a ring and is usually surrounded by a lagoon. The Barrier Reef surrounds this atoll and you can go here for bird watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, and much more.

Apart from that, here are the three other atolls you must visit:

  • Turneffe Atoll
  • Glover’s Reef
  • Lighthouse Reef Atoll

5. Great Blue Hole

We already talked about how this hole was formed earlier in the blog. Now, we will further focus the spotlight on perhaps Belize’s most famous natural wonder. The Great Blue Hole is a truly magnificent marine area, and it is the perfect place for divers. No matter which article or blog you read, the Great Blue Hole is almost guaranteed to be on every list of the best dive spots in the world. A trip to the Great Blue Hole is sure to include many species of marine life that you will not see anywhere else.

It is extremely deep and the deeper you go, the more wonders you will find here. The Great Blue Hole extends to depths of more than 400ft, so there truly is a lot to discover and explore in this beautiful marine area.

6. Mayan King Falls

While it may not be as big as Niagara Falls, it is still just as beautiful and mesmerising. You will find two falls here that are perfect for taking a shower and swimming.

The water passes from the rocks and into the pool where it meets the river. If you ever want to enjoy a calm and serene day then this is a site you must see. You will love sitting here all day doing nothing but swimming, relaxing, and taking in the beauty of the falls!

Final Words

Belize is a truly magnificent country that has something for everyone. For nature enthusiasts Belize is the perfect location and these are our top picks for anyone thinking of commencing on a nature travel in Belize. We promise that visiting these attractions will ensure that your trip to Belize is truly magical. Staying a while and need help finding rental accommodations in Belize or considering moving to Belize? We can help you find the perfect house, property, condo or vacation home in Belize! Contact us for more information about Belize real estate.

Top 5 things to do in Cayo Belize

Top 5 Things To Do In Cayo Belize

For visitors or prospective ex-pats, rest assured that you will never run out of things to do in Cayo, Belize. The district of Cayo is filled with natural beauty including numerous Mayan sites that you will love to explore. Apart from that, the food is excellent and the district is rich in culture.

Cayo is known as the heart of Belize, making it a perfect location to settle. Are you currently in Cayo and looking for things to do? Here are our suggestions for the top 5 things to do in Cayo, Belize!

1. Xunantunich

Xunantunich translates to ‘the stone woman’ and it highlights the story of a legendary Mayan female ghost, dressed in white. Xunantunich is a large Mayan archaeological site with a large structure shaped like a pyramid. Legend has it that the ghost woman would be seen walking up the steps before she reached the top and disappeared completely.

This is 2nd tallest Mayan ruin in Belize and it is situated across the Mopan River. The pyramid structure is full of ancient carvings, and there were many archeological treasures retrieved from this site that can now be seen in various museums. 

2. Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave)

The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave is situated inside the Tapir Mountain nature reserve. This is an extremely ancient cave system, and when exploring it you will be taken back in time to when the Mayans used to rule this land.

Inside this area, you will find various spots where rituals and ceremonies used to take place, including actual skeletons. These ceremonies and rituals were performed long ago by the Mayans please the Gods. Apart from the rich cultural history, the cave itself is extremely stunning. Part of the cave is underwater so it is possible with a cave tour to go swimming within the caves. This provides some unbelievable underwater cave views, much like the cenotes in Mexico.

3. Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum

The Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins is one of the oldest Mayan sites and translates to the “Place of Ticks”. This was an important settlement for the Mayans for at least two thousand years.

This is the perfect place to learn more about Mayan culture in Belize. Because of its rich and long history, you will find many hidden gems here. From models to writings to sculptures and artifacts the history of the place will be more than evident.

It is an educational and fun experience wrapped in one. So, if you love learning new things then this is one of the best things to do in Cayo, Belize.

4. Monkey Bay National Park

Want to learn about how to live sustainably while also having a fun experience? Visit the Monkey Bay, National Park. It has different habitats within one sanctuary that includes a riverine, a tropical forest, and a savanna. And yes, there are monkeys.

Experience the amazing wildlife and learn about ways you can make a change by helping the environment. It should be on your list as it is a great experience that everyone enjoys and educating ourselves on sustainability is extremely important for our planet.

5. Caracol

Many people don’t fully grasp how big and expansive the Mayan Civilization was. This archaeological site is proof of the vastness of the Mayas. Here you will find insanely massive structures built during a time when the Mayans were at their peak. At this archeological site you will find many large pyramid structures dating back to 1200 BC!

Beyond the ruins, you will also be amazed at all the natural beauty of the area. This is a great site for some exploration, especially since this site is often much less crowded compared to some of the other famous Mayan locations in Belize.

Final Words

While there are so many great options, these are our picks for the top 5 things to do in Cayo, Belize. Make sure to check out at least a few of these while visiting the district.

Are you falling in love with Belize and considering moving here? Reach out to us for more information or viewings on real estate in Cayo Belize speficially, or real estate in Belize overall. Century 21 Btal services all of Belize, so make sure to check out our large collection of listings throughout the country!


About Oceana

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 200 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that one billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. To learn more, please visit

Oil Campaign
The biggest reef in Americas says “No!” to offshore oil Belize moratorium on offshore oil activity passes with unanimous support In December 2017, Belizean leaders unanimously supported and passed the Petroleum Operations (Maritime Zone Moratorium) Bill placing an indefinite moratorium on offshore oil in Belize’s marine territory, including territorial seas and Exclusive Economic Zone. This action is historic given Belize’s economic dependence on its natural resources and will safeguard invaluable marine environments including the second longest barrier reef in the world, which runs along Belize’s coast. Just as importantly, this law recognizes and respects the collective leadership and persistent involvement of tens of thousands of Belizeans for more than seven years on the issue of offshore oil.

Oceana has been an unwavering supporter of this call of the Belizean people since it began in the aftermath of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 and within the reality that Belize’s entire offshore area had already been sold as oil concession licenses. Following the announcement, Oceana’s Vice President for Belize Janelle Chanona said, “This is truly ‘The People’s Law’. Belizeans have remained steadfast in their opposition to offshore oil since they became aware that marine assets were at risk of irreversible damage from the offshore oil industry.”
Belize’s outstanding and invaluable marine assets and biological diversity has made tourism and fishing key economic pillars in the country’s financial landscape. Belize is one of less than 50 places on the planet designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. This law will be a critical step in getting Belize off the Sites In Dangers List as oil was identified as a direct threat to the site’s integrity.

Gillnet Campaign
Blog posts on Oceana website:

Fish Right, Eat Right: A Sustainable Seafood Initiative for Belize
Local Market-Based Certification Program for Responsible Seafood Sourcing
The Fish Right, Eat Right Concept Fishermen, NGOs, and fishery managers recognize the importance that responsible consumption can have on compliance with fisheries regulations. Managed Access, Replenishment Zones, Fish for Life and Restaurant Resort Roadshow are programs that have been contemplating the implementation of a market-based program backed by an education campaign that will provide incentives for fishermen, retailers, restaurants, and consumers to promote and support the harvest, trade and consumption of sustainably- and legally-caught seafood. Fish Right, Eat Right establishes a local brand that will highlight establishments sourcing seafood responsibly. This will help make it easier for consumers to make sustainable choices that ensure the health of our oceans. The brand is being developed via a collaborative process involving all partners including the private sector.

The goal of this certification program is to curb illegal fishing and promote best practices in fisheries by providing marketing incentives throughout the supply chain via the promotion of responsible seafood consumption. Those establishments that demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with the Fisheries Regulations will receive special recognition, and responsible fishermen who comply with the Regulations will have preferential access to these reliable markets. Fish Right, Eat Right is initially targeting restaurants and hotels, and possibly expanding to include cooperatives, fish markets, supermarkets and other seafood purveyors in the future. An advertising campaign for tourists and the general public to support these compliant, recognized establishments will be planned and launched. For restaurants, this program will help match consumer demand for sustainable, healthy products with a supply chain that will deliver. The program will also help restaurants identify alternative seafood options for consumption that can help reduce fishing pressure on species that are overexploited, threatened, or endangered.

What is Responsibly Sourced Seafood?
The Fish Right, Eat Right symbol on a menu is Belize’s assurance that your seafood has been responsibly
sourced – that is, caught legally, following best management practices, and fully traceable.
Initial Requirements for Receiving Recognition through the Fish Right, Eat Right Certification

  • Education: knowledge of Belize fisheries regulations and sustainable fisheries management
  • Compliance & Transparency: compliance with the Fisheries Regulations and participation with the data collection program of the Fisheries Department
  • Promotion & Awareness: promotion on menu of sustainable seafood options and display of educational material that highlights the Fisheries Regulations and other sustainable fisheries management initiatives
  • Purchase of responsibly-sourced seafood

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the goal of the program?

To have seafood purveyors become part of the solution to managing and protecting Belize’s natural resources – by agreeing to purchase only seafood that is legally-caught, follows best management practices and is fully traceable, they reduce the market for juvenile fish and other
unsustainable practices.

Who is running the program?

  • Implementing agencies: Belize Tourism Board (BTB), Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Belize Fisheries Department (BFD)
  • Supporting Organizations: Oceana, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

Who can join?

  • Any restaurant/hotel in Belize whose seafood is primarily sourced locally (from Belize). At the outset this program will be limited to restaurants/hotels, but may be expanded to supermarkets, fish markets and other seafood purveyors in the future.
  • Support of local fishermen that are committed to sustainable use of Belize’s natural resources. How does this fit in with other sustainable seafood programs?
  • Fish Right, Eat Right compliments international sustainable seafood certifications and rating programs by ensuring that chefs are committed to buying legally caught local seafood. In this way we can work with other globally recognized certifications and ratings that certify seafood products themselves (e.g., MSC, Fair Trade, Seafood Watch).

Let Love Roam Freely Through Belize…

As cool as the sprinkling of a dense jungle waterfall or the extra bliss that the sunrays radiate on a picturesque island, let your love wander freely through Belize. As cool as the sprinkling of a dense jungle waterfall or the extra bliss that the sunrays radiate on a picturesque island, let your love wander freely through Belize. Here is the reason: NO need to travel far distant routes to enjoy the country’s top sites or activities, each district is accessible by small crafts. NO repetition here, every destination offers something new to discover: culture, food, views and ancient miracles. NO is no common word, YES, YOU CAN enjoy a romantic time in a top destination without the crowds! Extend your vows on the Mayan area, and be enchanted by their magic. Discover the authenticity of nature and explore the worlds of Thousand Foot Falls, the great Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System or the vast underworld “Xibalba” cave (Actun Tunichil Muknal “ATM”) or more. Here is the perfect setting to congratulate the passion of love, in an underworld, ancient Mayan temple or Blue Hole View awayJ. Step into the ultimate playground.

Create your own romantic memories in Belize, a destination that suits you … Let us help you plan your dream vacation. Please call 1-800-624-0686 or send an email to: Here is the reason: NO need to travel distant routes to the country’s top locations or activities each district is accessible through small crafts. NO repetition here, every destination offers something new to discover: culture, food, views and ancient miracles. NO is no common word, YES, YOU CAN enjoy a romantic time in a top destination without the crowds! Extend your vows on the Mayan area, and be enchanted by their magic. Discover the authenticity of nature and explore the worlds of Thousand Foot Falls, the great Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System or the vast underworld “Xibalba” cave (Actun Tunichil Muknal “ATM”) or more. Here is the perfect setting to congratulate the passion of love, in an underworld, ancient Mayan temple or Blue Hole View awayJ. Step into the ultimate playground. Create your own romantic memories in Belize, a destination that suits you … 

How Belize Inherited Steelpan Music

In the heart of Belize’s melodious fusion is the metallic resonance of the Steelpan. This Caribbean instrument was founded in 1964 by the musically savvy Dr. The Honorable Lennox A. Pike 1964 in more than two decades before the independence of the country from its British colony 1981 into the Belize’s culture introduced. Later he was in the “2012 Pan Yaad steel band concert” for his contribution of Steelpan music to Belize, by the President of the National Institute of Culture and History, Mrs. Diane Haylock. In the country’s national September festivals, steelpan music continues to be an anticipated feature, especially at the annual Pan Yaad Steel Band Concert at 7:00, September 9, 2016 at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City.

This great entertainment of musical perfection offers an electric genre of different local and regional sounds in a warm patriotic ambience. That’s what Steelpan Music is EVERYTHING! From its origins in Trinidad & Tobago, the steelpan was used during the enthusiastic showcases of the celebration; later added to the carnival road marches. It was the fate that introduced the young Mr. Lennox Pike to Steelpan music during his studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica. His passion as a musician brought him to master his now 19th musical instrument. Mr. Pike’s interest in getting to know all aspects of the Steelpan was a factor for him, who later became a member of the university’s steel band.

Here, other musicians assisted in his search and supplied him with the craftsmanship of the instrument. Later he became the leader of the band and even presented his good friend Colville Young (today’s Governor-General of Belize, His Excellency Sir Colville Norbert Young). After several years and a failed attempt to import the instruments, Dr. Pike here the craft of the pebbles in Belize and was soon at the head of avid musicians and a very receptive local community! As a diverse population that continues to evolve, the love of the Belizians to the Steelpan melodies remains concrete, while the vibrating performances are all bound to hearing! Download the full list of activities taking place throughout September. 

Christmas Traditions in Belize

Belize is a diverse destination with a wealth of cultural influence and the Christmas holiday is a perfect time to explore! Having a little over 365,000 in population (within 8,867 square miles of pristine environment) you’ll discover the destination’s true vibrancy, its people.

Christmas Times…

There’s a celebration for almost every season in Belize and Christmas time is no exception!

The Creole culture

Now done mostly only in Gales Point Manatee, Belize District, the Creole “Bram and Brokdong” and “Sambai” are two such examples of Belize Creole Christmas traditions.

“Bramming” is the Creole cultural form of dancing done in collaboration with the “Brokdong” music which entails the towns’ participation and is dependent on a lively music created with numerous musical instruments. These musical range from a fork and grater, a shaker (maraca), gombay (two-sided) drum, harmonica (“mouth organ”) and an accordion to list a few. It starts from one end of the town/village with residents offering the dancing crowd food, drinks in large amounts, throughout this feasts the dancing continues and the celebration mood is enjoyed by ALL. 

This usually ends with the crowd extremely full with the numerous food and drinks consumed! Offerings the traditional Belize Christmas items: black & white cake, sodas, local wines, locally made rum, rice and beans, ham and more!

“Sambai” the fertility dance has African roots.  Done during Christmas, the Creole culture also involves the participation of a man and a woman in a courtship.  The music is created particularly with the traditional African fertility musical instrument Goombay (gumbeh). This is a celebration dance also which involves older members of the community but no children.  The Fertility aspect of this coincides with both the full moon and the harvesting of crops.

The Garifuna culture

This lively culture is rich in celebrations and during the Christmas season the “Cha-Ri-Ka-Na-Ri” (Two-Foot-Cow) dance is a prime example of this!

The CHARIKANARI “Two Foot Cow” is a fun dance involving a man dressed in a cow shaped face with a larger-than-life rare end added on to emphasize the dancing movements. It is a mocking dance of the past slave owners’ attire and mannerisms as they dance throughout the streets. The movements follow a story format where the cow first enters the scene declaring his presence followed by dancing. He periodically intimidates the audience by aggressively approaching them then retreating back into dance.  This group affair features the traditional drumming of the Garifuna and can be seen throughout the country. If you see a group of dancers call upon them to perform for you; you can then offer water or other nourishments as they continue their journey.

Cultures that harmonize…

This little part of the world packs a BIG cultural contribution which includes the ancient Maya descendants, the Garifuna settlers, the Creole “Kriol” and the unique Mestizo, Mennonite, East Indian and Chinese communities.  It is a peaceful blend which not only contributes to each’s traditions, but celebrates and absorbs it too!