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Discover Five Ecosystems in Belize

Being such a small country, you can experience five different ecosystems in Belize within a two hour drive. Read more about these wonders of nature below:

Tropical Rain Forest — Ecosystems in Belize

Much of Belize is still unexploited wilderness. More than half of the country consists of subtropical rainforest or jungle with over 75% under government protection. All this unspoiled wilderness has led to the growth of ecotourism, which is now the nation’s second largest source of revenue. The Belize rainforest is home to an incredible variety of wildlife including wildcats such as the elusive jaguar, ocelot and puma. Tapirs, crocodiles, howler monkeys and armadillos also live in this ecosystem. The jungle is also home to countless Mayan cities and caves, most of which are undiscovered.

Coral Reef — Ecosystems in Belize

The Belize barrier reef is home to a large diversity of plants and animals, it is estimated that only 10% of these species have been discovered. A World Heritage Site, the reef is a series of coral structures that span 300 kilometers in length. Astonishingly beautiful, this ecosystem is diverse and balanced. It is Belize’s top tourist destination, popular for scuba diving and snorkeling. The reef is home to more than 500 species of fish, 36 soft coral species, 70 hard coral species and hundreds of invertebrates.

Savannah — Ecosystems in Belize

The savannas of Belize occupy about 10% of the country’s land area, providing distinctive landscapes of ecological value. This ecosystem is mostly present in the northern part of the country. Tropical savannahs are dominated by grasses, sedges, shrubs, trees and palms. It is an ecosystem also known as “pine ridge” as the pine trees are the most obvious large tree visible. The coarse soil is made up of hard quartz and shallow gravel. At first glance the savannah appears to have no wildlife roaming around, however, the most frequently seen mammal is the Belizean gray fox who feeds on small mammals and insects. At nights, armadillos roam the land and pumas are the dominant predator.

Rivers — Ecosystems in Belize

Belize has approximately 27 major rivers with tributaries that encompass 4 separate watersheds. These rivers carry crystal clear rainwater containing plant matter and energy from the rainforests to the mangroves and eventually to the sea. They are also the source of hundreds of beautiful waterfalls. Many rivers run through caves and offer spectacular cave tubing experiences. Other activities include kayaking, fishing and whitewater rafting.

Mangroves — Ecosystems in Belize

Growing in seawater, mangroves are unique trees that purify water from pollutants, prevent erosion and provide shelter to countless species of fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. During hurricanes, mangroves dissipate wave energy. 34 percent of Belize’s coastline is mangroves which provide a beautiful backdrop for many activities, such as kayaking and fishing.

Explore the five Belizean ecosystems, start a business, or retire in Belize; Get all of our articles in your inbox, weekly!
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What makes Belize such an exciting place? Discover five different ecosystems in Belize, all within a 2 hour drive. Go from diving at  the coral reef to exploring a dense jungle, then back home for lunch.
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What’s new/what’s closed for low season in Placencia, Belize??

season in Placencia, Belize

Things change a lot in Belize – there are many, many businesses here that stay open and can be relied on year after year, and then there are others that shut down for low season, or shut down and sometimes we don’t know why! Placencia as a village runs on Facebook, so a lot of people get their information from different Facebook groups. Unless you are a frequent visitor, it is very hard to keep up with changes, so here are some updates you may have missed!Casino reopened – The Placencia Casino up in the northern part of the peninsula has reopened, HERE is their Facebook page – always smart to check here to make sure they are open the night you want to go. Sometimes they have shuttles from the village as well.

Placencia Yoga – new hours (from a Facebook post!)
“Ms. Pam’s back and happy to offer you Core Yoga & Stretching for all levels at the Wild Orchid on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays at 10am for only $10BZ. Happy to share my 20 years of teaching experience from the USA. Check out my FB pages for more information (see below)”
www.yoga4lifebelize.com
www.yoga4lifenh.com

Pizza….
Citrus Sensations pizza – Just sayin’ – our guests have been raving that their pizza is amazing, so it is worth checking out. Especially since Cha Chi’s pizza is recently closed (for now/forever? Not sure yet. But for your pizza fix, try above!)

This is a new activity/excursion – at least, I haven’t seen it before and it look really unique!
Garifuna Drumming Lessons….
#SplashDiveCenter#CulturalTourism is amazing … join Kevin from “The Light of Seine Bight Drumming School” – “Legemeri Seinbedi Drumming School” … Daily Garifuna drumming lessons, dance ,cooking lessons and group performance … For more information call 610-0235 … #GarifunaCulture #LearnToPlayTheDrums #SeineBight #Seinbedi #Belize

Oh, it’s football season….and that is fun around here. Nothing like watching football in 100+ degree heat index!
Yoli’s…..
Sunday at Yoli’s Bar. NFL Football on two TV’s and  lunch specials.
Yoli’s Bar is on the beach by the Paradise Resort Hotel

Trivia….

Trivia is really hot here, a couple new spots to play!
Saturday afternoon trivia. Starts at 3pm at Yoli’s Bar.
Tuesday’s at 6, The Flying Pig……
Trivia
Flea Market shopping
There has been a gradual increase in the number of shopping stalls in the village, in the public space behind the ReMax bus station. It is kind of a flea market, you never know what you will find, but sometimes there are really inexpensive and fun treasures!General Yoga Info
Check HERE for the latest schedules…..they change frequently and there are always special yoga events.Mistletoe Ball
Here is a highly anticipated event every year!

Flea Market shopping

Check HERE for more info.

What’s closed right now?
If you are headed here – just some FYI things that are temporarily closed….and keep in mind, there is PLENTY to do here in low season! Our guests never run out of things to do here, and you could never get everything done in a week or more anyway!

Cozy Corner – reopening at least bu Oct 7th, check this out!
Its That Time Of The Year Again! Cozy Corner 41st Anniversary Party!!! Bring Out Your Family & Friends And Have Fun!!!
Beach Party @ 12pm-6pm
Dance Party @ 9pm-3am

Cozy Corner

Tutti Frutti – this lovely couple goes back to Italy and brings ingredients back, for the best gelato ever….they will reopen sometime in October!
Detatch – reopens sometime in Oct or Nov
Naia – Reopens October 16th
Maya Beach Bistro – reopens October 5th
Guests often ask about Tranquilo or Fusion – at this time, both are still closed, we will keep you posted!




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Belize Retirement 101: How to Retire in Belize

If you’ve ever planned to retire in the Caribbean, you might want to consider Belize as your retirement destination. Named in the 52 places to go in 2017 by the New York Times, this country offers many reasons to retire safely in Central America, here’s some of those reasons:

Named #2 best retirement haven by International Living Magazine, Belize has gone to great lengths to attract foreign retirees, such as the Qualified Retirement program. This program has incentives that allow you to retire in Belize and import your household items and vehicles duty-free. A QRP also pays no tax on foreign-earned income. To qualify, one must simply be aged 45 years or older, have a monthly income of at least $2,000 US dollars and comply with several other minor requirements. Incredibly, you must also live in Belize for a minimum of one month out of the year.

The Qualified Retirement Program is classed as one of the best in the world for tax breaks, to qualify for the QRP you must: Be 45 years or older, you can also include your spouse and dependents under the age of 18 in the program. Submit an application along with:

    1. Birth certificate.
    2. Marriage certificate.
    3. A police record from your most recent place of residence, issued within a month prior to the application.
    4. A copy of each page (including blank ones) in your passport. Retain a notary public to certify the copy with his or her seal and mark how many pages are in the passport, the passport number, and your name.
    5. Proof of income. This can be in the form of a statement from a pension of an annuity company or from your bank. The statement must show that your income is at least $2,000 a month or the equivalent of at least $24,000 a year.
    6. Medical certificate stating that you are in good health and not HIV positive
    7. Color photos — four recent front-view and four side-view passport- size photographs of yourself and any dependents who are applying.
    8. You must also submit a non-refundable $100 application fee plus a “program fee” of $500 for yourself and $350 for each dependent. If you’re accepted into the program, you’ll owe an additional $100. Also figure on $2,500 to $5,000 to retain an attorney who can steer you through the application process.

Advantages of the QRP — Belize Retirement 101: How to Retire in Belize

Paying no Belizean tax on foreign earned income — you won’t be taxed twice on money you’re bringing into the country. As a QRP you can import your household goods tax-free up to a total exemption amount of $15,000. You can also bring in a vehicle tax-free, which can be a car, a light aircraft or a boat.

Every five years you can import a new vehicle tax-free as long as you sell the original vehicle outside of Belize.

In many countries you have to make a significant financial commitment in order to qualify for a program that provides financial incentives for living in the country. In Belize, you must simply prove an income of at least $2,000 a month.

Explore the five Belizean ecosystems, start a business, or retire in Belize; Get all of our articles in your inbox, weekly!
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Belize Retirement 101: How to retire in Belize? Learn everything you need to know about that next big step in your life, the Belize qualified retirement program is explained in this blog post.
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What to do in Belize?

What to do in Belize

No other country in the world has as many world-class outdoor activities in such a small area. If you’re wondering what to do in Belize during your vacations, read on and get some travel inspiration.

During three years of regular visits to Belize, I realized this country has something for everyone, the activities never stopped!

Belize is a great destination for travelers looking for outdoor activities and adventure. From diving on the reef to exploring the ancient Mayan cave system, one visit to Belize is never enough.

What to do in Belize — Diving and Snorkeling

Named one of the seven underwater wonders of the world and most amazing place on the planet by Discovery Channel, the Belize barrier reef is one of the world’s premier diving destinations. There are many places to dive and snorkel all along Belize’s territory and include the cayes, the atolls, various spots on the reef and the mainland.

Water visibility generally reaches 100+ feet. The water temperature stays close to 27 °C (81 °F) all year long and the barrier reef makes for calm water almost year round.

Canoeing / Kayaking

Breathtaking views and nature trails are plentiful in Belize. With abundant water sources, canoeing and kayak- ing are very common and rewarding activities. Dozens of streams cut through the Belizean shallow soils and create cascading waterfalls and refreshing natural pools.

The riverbanks are heavily forested and limestone rocks protrude along the rivers. Many tropical fish, turtles and river otters share these rivers with kayak aficionados. Swimming and swinging from vines are the best way to escape the tropical heat.

Birdwatching

In Belize you have the opportunity to observe hundreds of different birds. It is possible to spot over 100 in just a couple of days. Belize has recorded more than 540 species within its borders. Because of its small population and lack of industry, much of the country has remained undisturbed. On various islands you will find reserves for birds such as the reserve for the black catbird on Caye Caulker and a bird sanctuary on Man-of-War Caye where you will find pelicans, frigate birds and brown bobbies.

Windsurfing / Kiteboarding

What to do in Belize? Kitesurf!

The cayes and islands that surround Belize are perfect places to enjoy wind sports. It is not unusual for newcomers to pick up a new skill. When figuring out your schedule of what to do in Belize, remember the quiet belizean waters, where many beginners take their first lessons. For the more experienced kiters there are several wave sites and access to the swells on the outer reef. It is not unusual to be chased by dolphins.

Fishing

A big part of Belize’s tourism industry is fishing, for Belizean waters are teeming with game- fish. Although, many Belizeans rely heavily on fishing for subsistence and primary income, the lack of sophisticated commercial fishing has left the fish reserves virtually unchanged. Anglers all over the world gather in Belize for fishing tournaments such as the Placencia Grand Slam, where fishermen land a permit, a tarpon and a bonefish in the same day. When asking yourself what to do in Belize, think of the coastal flats in Belize, a great place for fly-fishing.

Caving

Belize has an extensive cave system. These limestone caves are home to countless mayan archeological sites. Although most caves have not been thoroughly explored yet and because of their isolation you will find natural splendors, pottery and abundant species of animals such as blind white crayfish. Rio Frió, St. Herman’s and Barton Creek Cave are some of the caves that are accessible and waiting to be explored. Many caves are closed to public exploration because most have archaeological significance.

Sailing

Thanks to the Mesoamerican reef, the coastal waters of Belize are extremely calm and shallow. Although this limits access to larger ships, it is a paradise for smaller vessels and sailboats. Catamarans are very popular in Belize and there are several yacht charter companies that offer 1-7 day full service caye excursions (island excursions). The tradewinds are consistent throughout the year, often reaching 25 knots.

Not enough activities? How about horseback riding, parasailing, white water rafting, cave tubing, jungle hiking, diving off waterfalls or simply enjoying a local rum drink?

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Belize Independence Day in Placencia, 2017!!!

Remaxvipbelize - Belize Independence Day
What a fun day…many people said this was the biggest and best parade ever! Our guests had a blast tailgating at the parade, and then some followed the party down to the pier later at night. Here is a sampling of pictures from the day to give you an idea of what to expect, it is a very fun time to have a vacation here!

Remaxvipbelize - Belize Independence Day in Placencia, 2017
 Our guests tailgating during the parade!!
Remax Vip Belize - Our guests
 Even CBC mascot Sticks was in on the fun
Remaxvipbelize - Our guests
 These little guys were awesome…two miles of drills!
Remaxvipbelize - Our guests
 Awesome floats
Remaxvipbelize -  Awesome floats
Remaxvipbelize -  Awesome floats
Remaxvipbelize -  Awesome floats
Remaxvipbelize -  The pier
 Heading to the pier
Remaxvipbelize Beautiful costumes
 Beautiful costumes everywhere!
Remaxvipbelize - Beautiful costumes
 Pretty much everyone was dancing, you couldn’t help it!
Remaxvipbelize - Pretty much everyone was dancing
 At the end of the 2 mile drill!!
Remaxvipbelize  - Mile drill
Remaxvipbelize  - Mile drill

Be here next September 21st!!!!

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September fun events, Belize Hurricane stats, and other Belize news!

Remax Vip Belize -September fun events

How often does a hurricane hit Belize/Placencia?

This has been a very stressful hurricane season for the Caribbean as we all know by now. It has led to a lot of panic throughout the region, and if you happen to be traveling to the Caribbean right now, you are probably not very happy about your timing. I wanted to take a look at Belize’s hurricane history to find out your chances of being impacted during hurricane season here. Here’s the highlights of my research….

  • Since 1930, there have been 16 Hurricanes.
  • 8 were Major Hurricanes, that either made landfall in Belize or passed close enough to cause damage or loss of life.
  • 17 systems made landfall in Belize as Tropical Storms.
  • Average years between direct hurricane hits – 6.59
  • Average years between MAJOR hurricane hits – 24.16
  • Average years between being brushed or hit with a major storm – 2.84
  • Months when storms are most likely – September and October
Placencia itself was touched by Hurricane Earl in 2016, and was massively damaged by Hurricane Iris in 2001. There aren’t too many reports of major hits in the 100 years before this – minor to moderate damage in the 1940’s and once in the 1960’s. So if you look at a specific village – the chances of that specific village getting hit are still pretty low – so, statistically – I would not plan your vacation around it!!
Remax Vip Belize: Photo by Cecil Johnson
Photo by Cecil Johnson – HERE are more pics from Hurricae Iris in 2001, when 95% of the village was damaged…

On to more uplifting topics…..

September Fun Times!

If you are here in September you are in luck! The two weeks leading up to Belize Independence Day on the 21st are one big party! You will find a lot of parades, music, and festivals during this time. Here are three things you can have fun with in Placencia in the coming weeks….

9/9 and 9/10 – Fishing Tournament – see HERE (always fun to watch down at the pier!)
9/10 – St George’s Caye Day – See HERE for more info
9/21 – Belize Independence Day – See HERE for more info….

Remax Vip Belize: Belize Independence Day
Image from prweb.com of a past Placencia Belize Independence Day

And finally…..here are the latest news articles about Belize, in case you missed them!

  • ATM Cave tour was ranked as one of the most terrifying (thrilling?) things to do in the world…..
  • The Fort Worth Star Telegram thinks Belize is an amazing tropical getaway with something for everyone….
  • Although this one sends a mixed message, apparently environmentalists are impressed/surprised at the health of the reef in Belize, despite the massive growth….
  • Forbes thinks that Belize is worth looking at as an international investment….
  • Hoffman’s Houston thinks you’ll have a pretty good time here in Belize…
  • And so does The Spokesman Review….
And I’ll finish with my top five favorite photos I found this week on Instagram, from Placencia vacationers!
Remax Vip Belize: Placencia vacationers
 @everydaycayes (ranguana caye)
Remax Vip Belize: anguana caye
@infiniteroadmaps (Tradewinds near the pier)
Remax Vip Belize: Tradewinds near the pier
@mb_outside (Barefoot Bar)
Remax Vip Belize: Barefoot Bar
@niki_spaniol (Laughingbird Caye)
Remax Vip Belize: Laughingbird Caye
@3fatlabs