Belize is quintessentially Caribbean. The sand is soft, the palm trees sway on the gentle breeze and the aquamarine water is so clear that you can see the coral below. Belize, known in travel circles as "Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret", is truly a naturalist's paradise. This tiny country squeezes a tremendous diversity between its borders - not only is Belize the diving and snorkeling capital of the western hemisphere but it also boasts incredible old growth rain forests, rushing rivers, majestic mountains, intricate cave systems and ancient Mayan pyramids. To top it off it is the only English speaking democratic country in Central America, has a benefit-laden retirement program as well as a broad array of tax incentives for property investors.
Timing is everything ... and now is an intelligent time to choose Belize real estate
Right now Belize is an increasingly popular destination for tourists, and this trend bodes well for investors who acquire a foothold now. Belize is the only Central American country to enjoy consistent increases in tourist arrivals since 1998 including over the post 9/11 period. Cruise visits to the country increased by over 50% between 2003 and 2004. Some commentators are predicting that this tiny tropical paradise is destined to be the next Cancun or Costa Maya. Real estate dollars tend to follow leisure and tourism dollars and with tourism growth rates surpassing other counties in the region, the market for Belize property is set to boom.
Belize real estate has flown under the radar for some time being a small country, the word is now getting out but its not too late to make your claim. The opportunities are proven as the early risks have been taken. Furthermore, with baby boomers turning 50 at a rate of three to four million a year, the demographics are set for growth.
Belize and Baby Boomers
Time Magazine recently reported: "Many of the 76 million American boomers are more likely than their parents to consider retiring to a foreign land, because they have traveled more, have higher hopes for retirement, and tend to be more active and adventuresome." The Baby Boomers are looking beyond Florida and the southern states to countries such as Costa Rica, Mexico and Belize. Belize stands out as offering a unique combination of affordable properties and world-class amenities not to mention one of the most attractive retiree benefits package in all of Central America.
Where is Belize?
Belize is located in Central America and it is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. Belize is a diverse country with various cultures and languages.
Belize is also known for its extreme biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems and what most people do not know is that over 35% of Belize land is protected by the Belize government. On the coast and mostly to the north, there is a swampy coastal plain with mangrove swamps. In the south there is a beautiful sandy coastline. In the interior, there are hills and jungle. Just offshore from the mainland, Belize has the second-largest barrier reef in the world, including the famous underwater atoll, known as the Great Blue Hole.
Belize has many wildlife reserves, a large variety of different species of flora and fauna and the largest cave system in Central America.
One of the nicest things about visiting Belize is the weather. With an average yearly temperature of 84° F (29°C), it’s always warm, yet comfortable. Costal sea breezes as well as our jungle and rainforests keep you cool even in the hottest summer months while winters can be cool but never very cold. In short, the climate is pretty much near perfect. Even in winter (November-March) the temperature in Belize rarely falls below 60°F (16°C), while the summer (May-September) is around 86°F (30°C). Humidity is also fairly consistent at around 85 percent.
Belize’s dry season is between February and May and has significantly lower rainfall than the rest of the year. When it does rain, it is usually in mild, short bursts.
June through December is our wet season, when parts of the country receive up to 150 inches of rain and the heavy, sometimes wild storms associated with the Caribbean occur, usually in the late afternoons. The most frequent rainfall usually happens in June or early July and is punctuated by a break in late July or August known as the "little dry." , evacuation and other procedures have proven to be effective, so no worries.
No matter what season you visit, there’s plenty to do and see down here.
As a member of the British Commonwealth, the government of Belize is a parliamentary democracy. Belize provides a very a stable democratic government established along the model of the British parliamentary system. One of Belize’s best attributes is that it is economically & politically very stable, safe and secure.
Belizeans are some of the most friendly people around. The locals intermingle with the foreigners as if all were from the same place. From 1862 to 1973, its name was British Honduras. It became an independent Commonwealth Realm in 1981, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
In Belize, traditions and customs are varied and represent more than eight diverse cultures. For generations, the people of Belize have demonstrated a cultural commitment to preserve the country’s unique charms.
The Belizean people are made up of Maya, Mestizo, Kriol, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab and Chinese.
There also are a number of expatriates in Belize from Canada, Europe and the United States – and many of them retire here. A blending of cultures has resulted in one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region and a widespread reputation as one of the world’s friendliest tourist destination.
In Belize (formerly British Honduras), English remains the official language, but the most diverse language in Belize is Kriol (Belizean Creole). Other languages spoken include Garifuna, Mandarin, Spanish and Maya.