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Part II: What makes someone an Ambergris Caye person vs. a Placencia person? (for vacation or moving!)

palapa bar and grill

This is one of the most common questions I get asked – should I vacation in Ambergris Caye or Placencia? I figured I can now take the collective knowledge I’ve absorbed and give as comprehensive an answer as I can. Many people are vacationing to look at Belize as a possible retirement move, and it is so hard to explain without actually experiencing both. They are a little the same but SO different, and they attract different types of people. There isn’t one that is “better” and equal amounts of people prefer one or the other. In fact – commonly – those that prefer one, often say they don’t care for the other! (There are also those that love both, but it is really common to hear from people that they had a strong preference for one or the other.)The easiest way to do this is to first state what makes them the same. Then I will go through each area where there is pretty significant differences.

How are Ambergris Caye and Placencia the same?
–There is a distinct Belize culture in both places that set them apart from North America. Some of these key differences – lack of materialism, lack of urgency, island vibes, a “swim at your own risk” mentality, a libertarian take on life (life and let live), a desire for a lack of interference by others, a heavy emphasis on “fun” (recently marijuana was legalized in small amounts on private property, and you can drink a beer while doing just about anything, no shame in ordering a beer for breakfast), similar rustic Caribbean styles (lots of thatch roofs, simple wood houses, concrete hurricane strength buildings). You will see in both places simple wood shacks, or million dollar homes. Both places have a vibe where everyone hangs out together – especially in Boca Del Rio in San Pedro, and the village in Placencia. There are areas that are more where expats or locals live in both places, but the heart of both places – tourists, locals, and expats all hang out together. Gated communities as a whole are not part of the culture here, and the few there are, are farther from town. Both have busy downtown areas with golf carts as the main transport, tons of bicycles and pedestrians, dogs, and local characters. Both have a plethora of small, rustic local businesses and no chain restaurants. Both are right on the water and this is the main attraction for both places, along with the reef, fishing, and island excursions.

Both places are tourist destinations, so you will see that many of the activities and businesses are geared to attract visitors – crab races, movie nights, dinner specials, games, drink specials, live music, etc. If you do not like this type of energy, or prefer a place that is off the beaten path, you may want to look elsewhere in Belize. Those that thrive here are those that enjoy the energy that comes with tourism and what it brings. (The benefit is, you can find fun things to do every night of the week, and often for just the cost of a drink or two.) You can find anything from a $15-25usd a night hostel to stay in, up to a boutique hotel room for $300usd a night, and everything in between in both places. There are MUCH bigger resort places in San Pedro, most located north of town. In Placencia, the bigger resort-like places are miles out of the village.

Both have wonderful fishing and excursion options for adventure. In Placencia you can get to the jungle and all sorts of crazy inland fun, but the reef is closer in Ambergris so you can do a multitude of amazing options just minutes away by boat. Hard to pick which of those is more appealing.

Remaxvipbelize - Placencia Beach
This is as busy as you’ll see a Placencia Beach.
Remaxvipbelize - Placencia Beach
This is the heart of heart of town in San Pedro-Palapa Bar, image from TripAdvisor

1.) What is the main difference between the two places?
The main difference is SIZE. Ambergris Caye has around 20,000 people on the island in high season – this is a really hard number to figure out sometimes, as there are locals, then long term renters/expats, and tourists come and go pretty frequently. “Downtown” San Pedro, also known as the Boca Del Rio neighborhood, is pretty crowded all the time. This is where you go for the fun beach bars and energy. In comparison, Placencia Village (at the southern tip) has around 1,000 residents, and gets to around 1,500 in high season. There are also other communities on the peninsula, and the total population of the 16 mile peninsula is somewhere around 3,500-5,000 with visitors.

What this means is, you are looking at a small town vibe and feel vs. a more spread out, bustling tourist town by a lot (by Belize standards). The feel of both places are pretty different.

In Placencia, you can walk from the north end of town (where CBC is) to the pier in about 15 minutes. There are only two “roads” in Placencia Village, a pedestrian-only sidewalk that looks like a Caribbean postcard, and then a main road that looks like a Central American village. You can double back on the main road from the pier, walk to the north end in another 15 minutes, and you have experienced the village. However – the village packs in a LOT of funky, charming fun on this walk. Most people are very charmed by the adorable shops, coffee stops, restaurants, beach bars, and friendliness. If you hang out for a day or two, you will recognize people and beach dogs, and it is very common to have a group that you will hang out with by the end of your vacation, and maybe a beach dog that has adopted you. Locals and expats are warm and welcoming to visitors and it is easy to make friends. If you prefer a small town feel and lifestyle, this might be right for you.

Remaxvipbelize  - bars in Placencia
You can always find a seat, even at the most popular bars in Placencia.
Remaxvipbelize - Ambergris, Truck Stop
One of the hot spots north of the bridge in Ambergris, Truck Stop –

2.) What neighborhoods or parts of town should I visit or live in both places?
In Ambergris Caye, there are three pretty distinct areas. There is the heart of town, Boca Del Rio, that is the heart where all the busiest docks, bars, restaurants are, and the heart of the energy. It is also where you will find the most tourists and locals. Expats definitely hang out there too – but there is a larger concentration of expats that live south of San Pedro (San Pedro is the largest town on Ambergris Caye, and Boca Del Rio is the busiest neighborhood in that town.) South of town is very interesting – there are some of the most fun (mostly expat) bars, like Crazy Canucks, some great resorts, and then a lot of housing for locals and expats. It feels like the second busiest part of the island and has a mini downtown area that feels a bit like Bocal Del Rio. As you leave the paved road, you get to where there are remote guesthouses and many, many homes where expats live. This road is tough for most to handle as it is dirt/sand and last I checked….lots of potholes!

North of the bridge, (and remember that you do have to stop and pay a small fee at the booth to head north of the bridge) you will enter another haven for expats. Just north of the bridge you will see a ton of development, both active and stalled. Then you will see row after row of condos, and you will enter the chic Tres Cocos area. This is becoming a very popular area, with North American style bars with an exotic touch. The new Crocs is a super busy three story tiki sports bar – always packed. Truck Stop and The Dive Bar are also really charming, memorable spots to stop at. These spots are almost always busy, and the feel is very different up north. It is less busy, with one paved, clean road with golf carts, and instead of being a packed spot with local businesses and crazy crowded, it is more spread out and quiet. You will see that people tend to bar hop from spot to spot on a bike or golf cart, it is not as walkable an area – but very vacation-ey, tranquil and pretty. Some might say – it doesn’t feel as authentically Belize as most everything is new and there are fewer locals.

In Placencia, there are two areas where most tourists visit, or expats live. In Placencia Village proper (south of the water tower approximately, some might say south of the airport), there is a mix of tourists, locals, and expats, there are no gated communities or million dollar homes. It is a charming, quaint village that feels very open. There is a plethora of simple wood homes, nice hotels and guesthouses, a few super charming or higher end places, and many local businesses, and the whole time, you feel like you are somewhere special and remote. It is not like Cancun or a busy tourism city. You will not be hassled by people selling things (very little compared to most of the Caribbean), and for the most part, everyone is warm and friendly. There is a slightly more sales-y culture in San Pedro, I would estimate (just my experience) you will be asked 5x if you want to buy something in San Pedro for every one you are asked in Placencia.

You can go north of the village, about 10 minutes drive, where you start to find some of the larger resorts, like Laru Beya, Robert’s Grove, or the new Itzana. About a 20 minute drive gets you into Maya Beach, with Belize Ocean Club or Naia Resort. There are a ton of really cute guesthouses and private homes you can rent based on your preference for remoteness throughout the peninsula as well. To get to Maya Beach from Placencia Village, you will drive through Seine Bight, which is a Garifuna village. This is not a tourist destination, this is an authentic village that looks a bit rough in spots, but it is on the whole, welcoming for those driving through or stopping for a bite.

You could compare the Maya Beach area of Placencia (about 20 minutes north of the village by car) to north of the bridge on Ambergris Caye; there are a lot of similarities. The feel is quite similar, with one road through, with a scattering of really charming and memorable restaurants. Like north of the bridge in Ambergris, Maya Beach is mostly expats, with less of the local culture that you see in the village.

Remaxvipbelize - village of Placencia
These are a couple of the only docks in the village of Placencia.
Remaxvipbelize - village of Placencia
There are a few more docks to be found in Ambergris 🙂 -from

3.) What opinions do people have about the difference in experience between the two places? 
This is an opinion section, very subjective, and open to argument! I will report a list of the things I have heard visitors and expats say about the differences. Note before thinking that I am wrong – I am passing on other’s opinions, but argue if you feel they are wrong!
-Placencia is where the country goes to vacation.
-Placencia is the prettiest place in the country.
-Placencia has the best beaches in Belize.
-Placencia is getting too commercial, not like it used to be.
-Placnecia is moving very slowly and is 20 years behind Ambergris Caye.
-Placencia is growing too fast.
-Placencia is better because you don’t get island fever, you can drive right to the mainland.
-Placencia is more affordable.
-Placencia is safer than Ambergris.
-Placencia is a bit remote and is not commercial like Ambergris, it has a “cool” factor.
-Placencia is for entrepreneurs.
-Placencia is boring.
-Placencia is for lovers.
-Placencia is for couples.
-Placencia is for adventure.
-Placencia is Key-West like.
-Placencia has world class dining.
-Placencia is too far from the reef.
-Placencia doesn’t have a lot of bars, but the ones they have are the best in the country.
-Placencia has one of the best small village experiences you can have in Central America.

Ambergris Caye
-Ambergris Caye is Spring Break for adults.
-Ambergris Caye is too crowded.
-Ambergris Caye has the prettiest water I have ever seen.
-Ambergris Caye doesn’t have enough beaches, too much sea grass.
-Ambergris Caye is my favorite place in the world.
-Ambergris Caye makes people write songs and poems about it, where else can say that.
-Ambergris Caye is where you go to party.
-Ambergris Caye is much closer to the reef and you can do all your water excursions so easily.
-Ambergris Caye is starting to allow some chain hotels on the island and this will ruin it.
-Ambergris Caye is where all the tourists go.
-Ambergris Caye has world class dining that gets better every year.
-Ambergris Caye is the only place in Belize I would visit again.
-Ambergris Caye is the fun place, Placencia is the relaxing place.
-Ambergris Caye is where you can do it all, a remote resort experience or the fun in town.
-Ambergris Caye is the best island in the world to visit.

You may notice, many opinions you hear are totally incongruent or opposite. There are just TOO many opinions on the internet to get it right. Some say Belize has gorgeous beaches – they do! Unless you come after a storm when there is a ton of sea grass. Some say Belize isn’t safe – there are parts that aren’t, and if you did have something taken, you won’t think it is safe. Plenty of tourists and expats live here for years and never have a problem. Some think both places are too busy or not enough to do, or that it is the best vacation of their lives and they never want to leave, and end up moving here. Some say they hated it upon first step and will never come again. No one is wrong, and you will find these very opinions about everywhere on the planet. The facts are, Ambergris IS more of a party atmosphere, there are more party options, the water is prettier, the sand is softer, there is more to do, the reef is closer, it is busier, and it is easier to get to. Placencia Village is more tranquil, peaceful, prettier, better beaches, more of a remote adventure, and you are left feeling special after a vacation here because you will have connected more to the small community here.

Remaxvipbelize - Pretty breathtaking
Pretty breathtaking view for lunch.
Remaxvipbelize - Pretty breathtaking
A few more choices in Ambergris right on the water –

4.) What are other ways Ambergris Caye and Placencia are different? (weather, bugs, beaches, water, housing, culture, crime, social life, cost, activities, accessability)
–Weather – the weather is similar, but because Placencia is several hours south of Ambergris, there are two differences. It is typically a bit hotter and rainier in Placencia, but for a short vacation, you are not likely to really see a differences because it is so random. For those that live here year round, the winters are typically warm and mild, and it is considered dry season. There are cold fronts that come through and make it a bit breezy, cloudy, or drizzly for a couple days here and there, but it is still in the low 70’s. After about April or May, there are some hot stretches through about September and October, where it gets a bit wetter. One annoying thing about this time of year is the puddles that stick around. Then it brings more mosquitos. This is not really an issue in the winter months.
–Bugs – my opinion here 🙂 – coming from NE Ohio where bugs are not really a consideration in life, I thought coming here that I would constantly be jumping out of my skin from tropical swarms popping out at me. I hate bugs (and am scared of them) as much as anyone, and they just aren’t THAT bad. I’ve been bit by things and swelled up, experienced sand flies, multiple mosquito bites, scorpions, and dealt with termites, cockroaches, etc. You do have to be vigilent with bug spray at certain times, and OFF tends to be your perfume here. I don’t find it to be a deal breaker, it just becomes part of life after a while. You will see a lot of ants, you’ll see an occasional freaky looking beetle, you don’t stick your hands into dark spaces, you wear baby oil or spray preventatively, but if you do some basic precautions, it really isn’t an issue in either place.

Remaxvipbelize - Placencia
“Busy” main street, Placencia
Remaxvipbelize - Ambergris
Busier streets in Ambergris,

–Beaches – General opinion is this: San Pedro has softer, whiter sand that is easier to walk on, and prettier shades of water. Placencia has better beaches overall. How? Placencia has wide stretches of natural beach up almost the entire 16 mile coast of the peninsula. You can walk right into the water, with little worry about shells, grossness on the bottom, or too many creatures. In Ambergris, because of wanting to protect the island, a lot of the beach is breakwalled, and the beach that there is, often has a lot of sea grass growing on the bottom that you don’t want to walk on; this is because it is closer to the reef. However – one complaint you’ll hear, or have yourself perhaps, is that there IS a lot of sea grass all over Belize. It is close to the reef and is part of the ecosystem of the mass amount of sea life that is here. It is not a constant problem, but it is common. Most people don’t like to walk on or swim through sea grass to enjoy the water. Ambergris dealt with this by building a ton of docks that you can jump off and enjoy clear water, and you can always find a beach or island, or area, where there isn’t sea grass in both places. It doesn’t need to be a deal breaker for vacation or living here, but it is one of those nuisance things that you get used to dealing with.
–Housing – Both places offer everything from a wood, rustic, basic cabin on the beach, to million dollar condos. There is a lot of arguments online about whether it is too expensive in Belize. You CAN find really inexpensive housing here, or you can pay prices that are in line with anywhere in the US. After some time and experience here, you can figure out what you are comfortable living with and without, and at what price. If you want directly on the beach, with a/c, laundry, multiple bathrooms and bedrooms, in a resort community, it will be expensive, because a lot of people are moving here, and there is a demand for this. If you want to find a place to live economically, near the beach, this CAN be found. In Placencia, for example, there is a popular multiple suite house that has beach views, a/c, laundry, 3 beds/3 baths, and rent is $1300usd/month. In Ambergris, just north of the bridge, you can live in a resort community a block from the beach, 2 bed/2 bath, for about $1200usd/month. These are hard to find on line and you really will find the best deals by spending time in each community and knowing where and how each place advertises the best deals. In Placencia, the village is known to “run on Facebook.” Everything from housing, to swapping items, to finding out what is happening in the village, is found on Facebook groups. In San Pedro, because it is bigger, there is less “intimacy,” and it takes a little more research to figure these things out.
–Culture – There is a melting pot culture all over Belize. There are some differences between the two places, San Pedro is a busier, more hurried pace, and Placencia is slower. There is a more noticeable Garifuna culture in southern Belize, and you can find a slower, more traditionally Caribbean vibe in southern Belize.

Remaxvipbelize - main street, Placencia
Still not busy on main street, Placencia.
Remaxvipbelize - Ambergris
Always something busy in Ambergris –

–Crime – Crime is a hot button issue for everyone, with good reason of course, as no one wants to visit or live in a place they don’t feel safe. There are parts of Belize that you really need to have advanced experience to visit, but those places are not Ambergris Caye or Placencia. These two places know that tourism is very important to the economy, and tourists are treated (mostly) with warmth. However – like anywhere in the world, there ARE characters who will find opportunities to take advantage of others. Violent crime against a tourist is rare, but theft is common if you leave things unattended, doors unlocked, etc. They are mostly crimes of opportunity, and because Belize often feels safe to visitors, safety precautions tend to be forgotten. It should be noted in both places, that although police are limited in their advanced technology, there is also a limitation in the weapons that criminals have access to here. You aren’t going to find many organized crimes, and mass shootings are nonexistent. There is a bit of a do-it-yourself mentality here – you can prevent most crimes by a bit of vigilence, as you would do anywhere. You’ll see “burglar” bars on windows, and this is a super effective deterrent. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a place is crawling with crime, but it does mean, there is enough of a risk of theft that this precaution is taken, and it is enough to stop most problems. In the US we have alarm systems, and this is a similar precaution. In both places, there is similar stats as far as your risk to travel at either. Your chance of a crime happening against you is low, and if you are vigilent with your stuff, even lower.
–Social Life – Social life in both places is similar, but it is much more small town and smaller scale in Placencia. You can’t hide much in Placencia, but it does create the ability to be connected to many people quickly. In San Pedro, there are so many more options and neighborhoods that you do have to put some time in to get connected, as compared to Placencia, and there is a more scattered way of getting news of what is happening. Some of it is knowing which local websites to look at, some Facebook, some newspaper or blogs, or word of mouth.
–Cost – Placencia is a bit more affordable across the board, mostly because Ambergris Caye is an island and therefore, everything has to be shipped in. Both places have very expensive imported food and wine, and the prices feel a bit shocking both places until you have more time here, and you can figure out how to bring costs down for almost everything. Belize is said to be the most affordable place to live in the Caribbean – but the most expensive place to live in Central America.
–Activities/Accessability – Activities in town are similar if you look at what you do in town (see above) – but a big difference is that Placencia, although it feels like an island, it is not. You can drive inland and have cave, jungle, and inland adventures that you have to fly or take a boat, to do from Ambergris. Some people say they get “island fever” in Ambergris, but it does feel like a large place for quite a while. In Ambergris, you can take a quick boat ride to Caye Caulker, which is another great Caribbean island. Ambergris is closer to Belize City and Mexico; however, which for some people makes it more convenient. Ambergris has more government offices located right on the island, which you will likely need at some point, and in Placencia you may have a drive or a water taxi to get to bigger towns where these offices are. Placencia has a more remote feeling and because it is farther from the big towns, with a smaller population, sometimes some items you have to wait longer for.

Remaxvipbelize - charming bars in Placencia
Super charming bars in Placencia, just not many.
Remaxvipbelize - Ambergris
One of the famous views on Ambergris, from Estelle’s. –

The best advice if you are still confused is to do what a lot of visitors here do the first time – make enough time to visit both. Spending 4 days in one and 3-4 in another, if you can swing it, is highly recommended. People that come to one place and love it, and keep coming back (and you find a TON of repeat visitors to Belize), often say they waited years to try the other side of the country, and then were sad they didn’t do it earlier. It takes a half day to travel from one to other, you can easily take a puddle jumper to Municipal Airport and then to the next place, and be there within a couple hours total!

What makes people visit Placencia versus Ambergris Caye? Find out which paradise to visit on your next Belize vacation.
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Maya Beach Belize — Travel Guide

Remaxvipbelize : Beach Restaurant

It’s time to talk about Maya Beach, one of the last hidden gems in the Caribbean.

Maya Beach is a village — we’re talking 250 people style village — and your first stop as you enter the 16 mile Placencia peninsula. Nestled between Riversdale and Seine Bight, this expat haven is the definition of serenity.

To the east of this town you find False Caye, one mile out into the Caribbean. The waters in this stretch of ocean are so gentle that you can kayak right out to the island, or simply enjoy a wade into the pristine waters. On the other side of Maya Beach is the lagoon, a perfect spot for fishing, or kayaking through the native mangroves, where iguanas gaze at every newcomer.

Activities in Maya Beach

Serenity and picturesque sunsets are not all Maya Beach has to offer: Visitors driving into town from the north will immediately notice a wide variety of thriving establishments such as Belize Ocean Club, the Jaguar Lanes bowling alley or even the award winning Maya Bistro restaurant. With a small local crowd, these businesses which include some of the finest boutique resorts and restaurants are still very well-priced.

WowBelize recommends:

Naia Resort (south of Maya Beach)

Singing Sands Inn

Maya Breeze

Mango’s Restaurant — pictured below


Mango's in Maya Beach
Credit: Mango’s Restaurant

Not in the mood for eating out? You can do regular grocery shopping at Elvis and Ivy’s shop located next to the single police station in town. The other option to buy fresh vegetables, fruit or medicine is to drive down to Placencia, a 16 minute ride with very few people on the road. (And no stoplights)

The best way we could describe Maya Beach is with one word: peaceful.

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Why should you travel to Maya Beach? Read one of our Belize travel guides today!
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How to Use IRA funds to buy Real Estate in Belize

Remaxvipbelize - Real Estate in Belize

Many of our clients have asked us if it’s possible to use IRA funds to buy real estate in Belize. Remax has now partnered with NuView IRA, enabling our clients to purchase real estate as an investment inside their retirement account without incurring penalties or taxes – before their retirement age. Many IRA holders see a big opportunity in Belize and decide to join thousands of NuView clients in adding a property to their portfolios.


According to Morgan Stanley, US millionaires view real estate as the top alternative-asset class to own. Almost 60% of those surveyed expect to add to their real estate investments, whether through a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) or direct ownership. Many IRA funds holders see the same opportunity and decide to join thousands of NuView clients in adding property to their portfolio.


The ever-increasing amount of tourist arrival in Belize has greatly increased the demand for rental properties, as currently, only a few new rental properties came on the market during the past four years.


  • Single Family Homes
  • A free-standing residential building.
  • Co-Ops
  • An association of people who cooperate for economic benefit.
  • Commercial Property
  • Business or land intended to generate a profit.
  • Apartment Buildings
  • A building consisting of rented self-contained housing units.
  • Condominiums
  • A building consisting of owned self-contained housing units.
  • Unimproved Land
  • Land without basic required services.


Most investors seek out real estate for certain tax benefits, such as depreciation, and long-term capital gains, or they utilize tax deferring exchanges to move from one investment to another.  The benefit of holding rental real estate in an IRA is that there are no taxes due as long as the investment has not been distributed to the IRA owner.

All expenses are paid by the IRA, and all income belongs to the IRA.  When properties are purchased with cash from an IRA, no taxes are due when rental income is received, or when the property is sold.  There is no need to go through the expense and complexity of 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, as the entire IRA is tax-deferred (tax-free within a Roth IRA).  While certain investments held within an IRA may be subject to Unrelated Business Income Tax, the rental real estate enjoys a special IRS exclusion, allowing all income to return to the IRA tax-free. Taxation only will occur when a distribution is taken, but a piece of property may never be taxed if it is owned in a Roth IRA.


  • Cash – the IRA pays cash for the entire property
  • Partnering – an IRA can purchase fractional ownership in a property
  • Financing – IRAs can mortgage real estate with a non-recourse loan

Please note that any property purchased in an IRA must be titled:  NuView IRA FBO (For the Benefit Of) Your Name IRA. Once all closing documents are read and approved by the account holder or a designated interested party, NuView can execute the request and send funds to the closing within 48 hours. The IRA now owns the property.

Real Estate Purchase Process

1) Set up and fund a self-directed account with NuView IRA

2) Identify the piece of investment real estate

3) Submit a Purchase Authorization and the contract to NuView


IRA account-holders invested in rental or leased real estate are encouraged to retain the services of a non-disqualified party to serve as a property manager and oversee rental property activities. A property manager may be able to respond to tenant or property emergencies and quickly pay for unexpected expenses. When you use IRA funds to buy real estate, the IRA must pay all expenses related to the property. If the IRA owns an undivided interest in the property, then the IRA must pay the pro-rata portion per its undivided interest. The IRA owner can direct NuView to pay the expenses by simply submitting a Payment Authorization Letter along with the invoice to be paid.


The IRS does provide rules about IRA holders and other “disqualified persons” as it relates to the usage of the property once purchased.  These people, as defined in IRC Section 4975 cannot get a beneficial use from the IRA-owned property.  Simply stated, they cannot use a vacation home on an interim basis between rentals, regardless of what rent they paid back to the IRA.

The IRA holder gets to make all the decisions not just in the purchase process, but also in hiring the property manager, what to charge for rent, hiring subcontractors to rehab the property, negotiating contracts, or working with the property manager to screen tenants.  With a self-directed IRA, the opportunity to take control and use IRA funds in the way you see fit is significant.

Who really controls your IRA funds?

Many IRA plan administrators, such as brokerage houses, only offer products they sell. Not only do they benefit from the sale of these products, but the offerings are also typically limited to traditional IRA funds, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. And the uncertainty in today’s financial markets makes it even harder to feel secure about your retirement and how to use IRA funds at maximum value.

How to use IRA to Buy Belize Real Estate — More Choices

With a self-directed IRA, you are allowed greater flexibility in the options available for investments. Under IRS rules, you can use IRA funds to invest in a broad range of alternative investments. With a NuView IRA, you can capitalize on these investment opportunities and still enjoy the great tax advantages an IRA affords.

More Control

By self-directing your IRA, you use IRA funds to decide what to buy, when to buy it, how long to hold it, and when to sell it. You can now be the play-caller for your retirement investments, giving you more control over the outcome of your retirement account, while potentially building wealth and securing your future.

NuView IRA

As a self-directed retirement plan administrate NuView allows you to use IRA funds to access an investment not prohibited by the IRS. We do not promote or sell any products, so your choices are never limited. And any cash in your account enjoys full FDIC protection.

As a NuView client, you’ll have access to our certified IRA professionals in our Florida and Ohio offices, as well as our affiliate in Chicago, all of which can provide a wealth of information either in-person or online. These professionals handle all administration of your account, providing accurate, reliable accounting transaction assistance and timely reporting. All you need to do is open your account, fund it, then choose your investments!

Use IRA funds to take the first step toward your dream of retirement and contact us today.

Learn how to use your IRA funds to buy Belize real estate. WowBelize has now partnered with NUVIEW IRA to make your retirement easier!
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Seine Bight | Belize Travel Guide

Remax Vip Belize: Commercial/Residential Space in Hopkins Village

Travelers looking for a real Belizean experience are always delighted to find the heart of the Placencia Peninsula in Seine Bight, a tiny Garifuna settlement where pristine white sand meets the Caribbean ocean. Just three miles north of Placencia town, Seine Bight is home to Garifuna culture, fast paced drums and bright festivities. Interested? Read more below…

The first time you stop at Seine Bight — whether it is for your groceries or for a grilled meal, you will feel the laid back soul of the Caribbean. With only 1000 residents, this town located on a small curve of the shoreline, also known as a bight, is home to many “cool spots”, a name given by the locals to their favorite places to drink an ice cold beer, or hang out over a shot of bitters — the local specialty. There is a great chance you will be captivated by the smell of a grill cooking chicken, lobster or fish at one of several outdoor restaurants. Our food recommendation when visiting Seine Bight is definitely Vern’s Kitchen.

Drum Barbeque Seine Bight Chicken

Bitters lovers worldwide can also find the best Belizean digestifs in this small town; For an authentic drinking experience, tourists can visit Geepee’s, a local bar with an outdoor pool where loud punta rock and reggaeton music blasts for everyone to hear. Here’s a punta rock playlist you might hear while you drink your beer in this Caribbean settlement.

The people of Seine Bight

Seine Bight locals are amongst the friendliest people in the planet.

Tourists are always surprised at the warm welcome they receive in Seine Bight, not only from the restaurant owners, fishermen or other drivers, but from every waving resident in this town, both young and old.

Perhaps the main reason why the locals are so friendly is the unbelievable scenery surrounding Seine Bight: to the east, abundant white coral sand facing a turquoise Caribbean ocean, and to the west, a lush mangrove shored lagoon where locals brag about their daily catch and where 200 pound groupers are still caught by Seine Bight fishermen.

Chicken a la Seine Bight, the best meal you'll have in Belize

If you are staying in Maya Beach, then you might find yourself in need of a visit to the Seine Bight mega store, where one can find veggies, frozen meat and a wide assortment of groceries. A couple of Chinese restaurants have also opened in Seine Bight, adding variety to the culinary options available in the bight.

Young boy playing drums during a wake in Seine Bight, Belize

Are you planning to visit? Time your visit to one of Belize’s national holidays, or better yet, come on November 19th, the perfect day to visit and experience the bright Garifuna folklore. Settlement Reenactment Day is a cultural event where everyone in the Peninsula gathers for a reenactment of the first Garifuna settlers arriving to Southern Belize, a great show of the local drumming skills, dancing and amazing food.

A travel guide to Seine Bight. Read our fully detailed adventure recommendations on this wonderful little town located between Maya Beach and Placencia Village.
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Part I: Why do some people choose to move to Belize after a vacation here?

Remaxvipbelize - Belize after a vacation

Canadians and Americans make up the bulk of the expat population in Belize. So why is it that some individuals move to Belize? Here are the top reasons given…

1.) The weather – once some people experience year-round summers, it is VERY hard to go back. Most of the US experiences 4 seasons, and many people do genuinely love to experience that. For others – they are just summer people. And the weather in most of the US (and definitely north of there!) does not cut it. Except for southern Florida, it does get “cold” in the winter. For those that are uncomfortable when the weather dips below the low 70’s, you do have to be close to Miami or south of there.

Actual pic taken recently from NE US, vs Belize in winter…
Move To Belize

2.) Why don’t people just live in the southernmost parts of the US? There are a lot of great places to live in the US, where it does stay warm enough for most folks. In general – there is a vibe in the Miami area that does not match what everyone is looking for – for others, it is perfect, and Miami grows every year for this reason. Key West is a crowd pleaser for many – but it is one of the most expensive places to live in the US, and a bit challenging to get to. There are also many other choices on the southern tip of Florida, so to dig a bit deeper…

There is a different culture and vibe in Belize, and for some people, when they show up here, they feel at home. What are some of these cultural differences that make it better to live in Belize for some people….each one deserves its own section – read on!

 If the idea of sand streets, golf carts, and rustic, candy colored street buildings appeal to you, you might like it here – pic from
Remaxvipbelize - sand streets

3.) Lack of materialism – appropriate attire for Belize is flip flops or bare feet, and you are welcomed everywhere in what you might wear to the gym in the US. It doesn’t occur to you after a while here why you’d need a designer bag, jewelry, expensive shoes, fancy car, or most of the electronic toys that are part of everyday life in North America. The longer you are here, the less money you find you spend and the less you feel you need. If you are partial to a minimalist lifestyle and have felt turned off by the “keep up with the Jones’s” culture in North America, this could be a big reason you are drawn back here. For those that have lived here for a length of time – it is generally quite shocking and uncomfortable to experience the materialistic cultural difference when they return to North America.

4.) A “swim at your own risk” mentality – Many people find it very refreshing (and at first, overwhelming and even confusing!) that the restrictions/rules/regulations in Belize are very different than the US. This does NOT work for everyone – in fact, there are some that are put off by this lack of regulation, and they feel safer in places that have a list of rules posted everywhere you look. And in fairness, if you do have an issue of some sort, this difference in structure can cause you to long for home or get cultural fatigue.

Things like drinking a beer while driving your golf cart, the fact that golf carts are allowed like cars in places in Belize; the fact that you can swim with sharks or jump from high places without signing a waiver; walking on the beach with a drink (even if it is in glass!); if you want to rent out your space, or start a business, compared to a tourist place like New Orleans or Key West – the barriers to entry are wildly different; major differences in the regulations needed to build – this one can again be a positive or negative, but if you desire to trust in what you are building, with a permit, you have a different amount of freedom compared to what you can do in the US; enjoying the vast amount of small businesses that pop up by locals, right next to their homes sometimes, where they provide wonderful authentic food or experiences, and I could go on and on. It is a different day to day lifestyle here. I would describe it as a bit of a libertarian mentality – those that prefer to live and let live, think for themselves, decide for themselves what level of risk to take, who want less restrictions than the US will find it refreshing here.

You’ll find this sign all over Belize – and it is not totally joking….from
Remaxvipbelize - all over Belize

Ready to Move to Belize yet?

5.) Nature – There are parts of Belize that are just jaw dropping, and this is enough for some people to move to Belize. There are parts of Belize that look like the very best parts of the US all in one. I wrote this in my first few months of living in Placencia, and it is still true:
“The peninsula is very special and unique. We drove onto the peninsula the first time we came. The drive is so gorgeous and special….you go from watching the Maya Mountains, which look like Hawaii, to driving through what feels like a North Carolina shoreline… arriving at Hilton Head-like homes (Plantation area and North)….to driving through Maya Beach, which looks and feels like 1940’s Florida (at least what I imagine it did 🙂 ), to seeing authentic Belize culture in Seine Bight (this town is rough around the edges, but friendly, right on the water, and tons of local character), to arriving in the village, where not a structure is over a few stories high….everyone is friendly…..Caribbean-colored wooden homes and businesses….one cute restaurant and shop after another…and throughout this whole drive, you can see the lagoon and Maya Mountains on your right, and the gorgeous Caribbean the whole time on your left, and palm trees everywhere. I have never been in a place that had so many charming natural aesthetics.”

Also add to this that ALL THE BEACH IS PUBLIC! And you can find fun, lively beach action, or the prettiest remote stretch without another person in sight. And as this post is not specific to Placencia, I will add that I have never seen prettier water than Ambergris Caye, and the whole coast of the country has retained a vintage beach town feel that does not exist in the US.

I can verify this is a real pic because that is me sitting there!
Remaxvipbelize - real pic

6.) So add to above, many move to Belize because of the low cost to live here. You may read complaints that it is very expensive in Belize. It is for certain things, but if you give it some time and experience, you figure out how to live more cheaply here than you ever could in the US – let alone a popular beach town in the US. When people see that the real estate prices look like the US, and that a bag of Doritos is $6us at the store, and that gas is twice the price of the US, some say forget it, why would I live here without all the first world benefits?

Here are some ways this happens….property tax is pennies on the dollar compared to the US. It is almost nothing. If you compare this to the real costs of owning on a coast in the US, it is not even comparable. Water, gas, cell phone, are much cheaper here, electricity is relatively expensive, but this is somewhat in everyone’s control how much they want to use. Internet is reasonably priced – again this is a complaint here, but after 4 years here I can say I truly do not understand the complaints about internet access, speed, or cost – I am an average computer user and I experience no difference, and the cost is less here for us than in the US. Most people do not need a car here. If you do, you will only have one, and rarely use it. You walk and bike everywhere. If you get a golf cart (and let’s face it, this is a fun and charming way to get around!), there is no comparison in cost in every way to a car in the US. There are very few stores or things to buy – because the materialism needs are SO much less here – I barely spend money on anything here outside of food. Imported food and wine are expensive, period. But who doesn’t love the idea of farmer’s markets for shopping – which are way cheaper than any food shopping in the US. Local chicken, rice, beans are super cheap. And another huge money saver, which deserves its own section next…

Remaxvipbelize - food shopping

7.) The entertainment is cheap, free, and plentiful – people who love it here are people who can sit on a pier or dock and enjoy their surroundings…….bike rides, swimming, happy hours, horseshoes, walks on the beach, hiking, relaxing in a hammock, kayaking…..all year long. Because some parts of Belize are set up for entertaining tourists – you find so many great activities that provide endless fun – trivia nights, movie nights, karaoke, games, drink specials, live music, dinner specials – there is something every night, and for the cost of a drink or two, or dinner less than $10, you can have fun any night you choose. Not to mention the many festivals, and the random things you see, like the high school band marching through town, or a fisherman fighting with pelicans and sea gulls as he’s cleaning his fish.

When I am in the US – the entertainment and cost is SO different. Socializing in the US usually involves movies, pedicures, expensive dinners, yoga classes, themed parties like makeup or jewelry which revolve around buying things, of course shopping, theme parks, miniature golf, trampoline gyms, Chuck E Cheese, golfing, skiing, and the endless ways we spend our money for entertainment. It adds up!

Remaxvipbelize - our money for entertainment

8.) Some random things – fatigue over the political climate in the US – and this is everywhere, you can’t get away from it, but by being a guest in another country, I can promise it feels much less personal and upsetting no matter what side you fall on. People also often ask about crime in Belize – seeing that I just read about multiple carjackings and gunpoint robberies near my hometown – please consider that while theft here is common, it is usually the result of leaving things unsecured or crimes of opportunity (leaving doors unlocked, leaving things unattended). The rarity of guns, organized crimes, and nonexistence of mass shootings…while the police here are limited compared to the US, so is access to weapons that can be used against you here. Meeting people from all over the world – who are usually pretty interesting! Although you do find this in some parts of the US – plenty of us are from places where we see very limited demographics and backgrounds. The tourism culture – to succeed in Placencia or Ambergris Caye, you really do need to enjoy this kind of environment. I love the energy of new guests, the signs directing guests to the best snorkeling excursions, the happy hour with local music on the chalkboards at Barefoot Bar, seeing backpackers get off the water taxi, things like crab races and chicken drops, the many booths and stalls the locals set up for tourists, etc….it gives some people a feeling of a perpetual vacation, and some of us find that’s the best way to live! that’s why it’s easy to see why so many people choose to move to Belize!