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The Benefits of Retiring to Belize for North American Residents


Retirement is the golden years when you can finally hang up your hat, kick back, and relax. It’s a time to live life at your own pace in your chosen slice of paradise. For many North Americans, that dream oasis lies a short flight away in the serene Central American country of Belize. With its lush landscapes, tranquil Caribbean waters, and friendly, laid-back culture, Belize beckons as an idyllic retirement haven.

In this post, we’ll explore the cornucopia of benefits that draw retirees from the U.S. and Canada to Belize, from the nation’s affordable cost of living to its retiree-friendly residency programs.

Blue Hole Belize

Financial Serenity in Paradise

Belize offers a significantly lower living cost than its northern neighbors, so your retirement savings stretch further here. Housing, healthcare, and daily expenses won’t send you into sticker shock as they often do back home. Whether dining on fresh seafood by the beach or getting a check-up at a local clinic, you’ll find that your dollar has more buying power in Belize.

Notably, the Belizean government has rolled out the red carpet for retirees through the Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program. Under this scheme, those who qualify are exempt from paying taxes on their income outside Belize, a benefit that’s hard to overstate.

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Your Health Matters

The healthcare system in Belize is a draw for retirees seeking affordable yet reliable medical services. Though simpler than some North American offerings, the public healthcare system holds its own with competent and reasonably priced care. For a higher standard of health services or more comprehensive coverage, private insurance options are available at just a fraction of the costs you might expect back home.

Navigating the Legal Landscape

Relocating to another country comes with its fair share of red tape, and Belize is no exception. To retire comfortably in Belize, North Americans must acquaint themselves with the requirements of obtaining a QRP visa. Eligibility rules are straightforward, and securing this visa offers tax benefits and simplifies the path to residency.

To ensure a smooth transition, it’s critical to gather the necessary documentation—from police records to health certificates to proof of financial stability. Understanding Belize’s customs regulations regarding the import of personal belongings, including vehicles and pets, is equally essential.

Stay abreast of Belizean immigration laws to maintain compliance, be aware of annual visa renewals, and stay informed about potential legal changes that might affect your status as a retiree in Belize.

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Making It Permanent

For many retirees, the allure of Belize becomes a call to set down permanent roots. Acquiring permanent residency—or even citizenship—in Belize is possible and relatively straightforward, with several pathways leading to a permanent home in paradise.

It’s also important to consider the legalities surrounding estate planning and property ownership in a new country. Understanding the time to understand these facets of living abroad will help ensure that your retirement in Belize is as carefree as you’ve always imagined.

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Retirement in Belize offers a simultaneously relaxing and adventurous lifestyle that is affordable and rich in experiences. With the right preparation and an open heart to the nation’s rhythms and possibilities, your retirement could be everything you’ve dreamed of—and perhaps even more.

Whether your retirement fantasy involves fishing in the turquoise sea, exploring ancient Mayan ruins, or simply enjoying a good book under a palm tree, Belize offers a backdrop of natural beauty and an enticing cost of living that is hard to match. Ready to start your Belizean adventure?

For those considering taking the plunge, remember to do thorough research, reach out to experts, and connect with fellow expatriates who’ve made the move. With a little planning and foresight, you can pivot from the hustle and bustle of North American life to the tranquil, tropical bliss of retirement in Belize.

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Water fall in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.
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The Beautiful Caves of Belize

The Caves of Belize are an Underground Paradise Awaiting Beside Your New Home

Belize, a jewel nestled on the eastern coast of Central America, is a paradisiacal spot to lay down your roots and a world-renowned haven for some of the most breathtaking caves you could imagine. If the idea of having nature’s intricacies just a stone’s throw away from your home intrigues you, then exploring the mystic caves of Belize should be at the top of your to-do list.

The country’s extensive cave systems are not just geological marvels but are steeped in Mayan history and brimming with tales of ancient rituals and traditions. For prospective house buyers seeking adventure and tranquillity in equal measure, setting up a home in Belize presents an opportunity to immerse oneself in a living tapestry of natural wonders.

The Majestic Caverns Beckon

Picture this: waking up to the warm Belizean sun, you set out for a day of adventure. You drive through lush landscapes, arrive at a cave entrance, and step into the cool, subterranean world, where sparkling stalactites and impressive stalagmites craft a scene reminiscent of a fantasy novel. The Caves of Belize will not disappoint.

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Why the Caves of Belize are a Homebuyer’s Hidden Perk

They say a home isn’t just about the structure you live in but the environment it resides in. For those living in North America, the appeal of purchasing property in Belize lies not only in the favorable climate and friendly communities but also in the extraordinary access to natural attractions like these caves. Here are a few reasons why a home in Belize can be your gateway to adventure:

  • Unmatched Natural Beauty: These remarkable caves in Be lay the canvas for experiences that turn a standard home into a retreat in paradise.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage: The Caves of Belize serve as conduits to the past, offering unique insights into the Mayan civilization that once called this land home.
  • Adventure at Your Doorstep: Kayaking, spelunking, and exploring — the caves of Belize offer endless thrills to satiate the most avid of explorers and nature enthusiasts.
  • A Slow-paced, Fulfilling Lifestyle: Belize’s serene beauty and awe-inspiring wilderness allow for an adventurous and peaceful lifestyle.
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Caverns to Call Your Own

Imagine being a short trip from some of Belize’s most famous caves, where tours can take you back in time or challenge your spirit of adventure. With REMAX VIP, the best Belize realtor at your service, you can find the perfect abode conducive to relaxation and thrill-seeking — an investment in lifestyle elevation.

Luxuriate in Wonder Every Single Day

Settle down in Belize, and inherit a backdrop of unparalleled beauty. The caves are but a slice of the visual feast and experiential fortune that lies in wait. By choosing Belize as your home, you’re choosing to live life flanked by wonders that people flock from around the globe to witness.

Navigating Your Belizean Home Buying Journey with REMAX VIP

In search of a reliable partner to help you discover your ideal sanctuary amid these natural marvels? Look no further than REMAX VIP — acclaimed for its local expertise and dedication to pairing clients with stellar tropical properties far beyond four walls and a ceiling.

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In Closing

Belize’s beautiful caves are a spectacle to behold, a playground for the adventurous, and a testament to the past. For those contemplating a life immersed in nature’s most magnificent creations, consider this: a home in Belize offers more than a roof over your head; it offers an invitation to a less ordinary life.

Interested in making Belize your new home and the caves your personal escape? Contact REMAX VIP, your portal to the best properties tailored to adventure enthusiasts and serenity seekers.

Whether you’re entranced by the ancient mysteries that lie beneath the earth’s surface or seeking solace in a home surrounded by beauty, Belize holds the key. Unlock your dream living experience today — explore your Belizean housing options with the assistance of the best Belizean realtor and begin your adventure in a home that promises more than just a dwelling but a doorway to the extraordinary.

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Dive Belize

Dive Belize 1

Barrier Reef

Belize, a small Central American country nestled between Mexico and Guatemala, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and rich biodiversity. One of the country’s most treasured assets is its incredible diving opportunities, drawing underwater enthusiasts from around the world to explore its pristine waters. With the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, running along its coastline, Belize offers some of the most spectacular diving experiences on the planet.

Spanning over 190 miles, the Belize Barrier Reef is the second-largest barrier reef in the world, after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This impressive natural wonder is a haven for marine life, with vibrant coral formations, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine species. Divers flock to Belize to immerse themselves in this underwater paradise and witness the diverse ecosystems that thrive beneath the surface.

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Blue Hole

One of Belize’s most famous diving spots is the Great Blue Hole, a massive underwater sinkhole measuring over 300 meters across and 125 meters deep. Located near the centre of the Lighthouse Reef, the Great Blue Hole is a mecca for experienced divers looking to explore its depths and encounter unique marine species such as Caribbean reef sharks, giant groupers, and colourful angelfish. The circular shape of the Blue Hole creates an otherworldly diving experience, with steep walls covered in corals plunging into the deep blue abyss.

Apart from the Great Blue Hole, Belize offers a plethora of other dive sites that cater to divers of all levels. Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize, boasts an array of dive sites suitable for beginners and advanced divers alike. Hol Chan Marine Reserve, located off the coast of Ambergris Caye, is a popular spot for snorkelling and diving, teeming with marine life such as nurse sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles. The shallow waters of Hol Chan make it an ideal site for novice divers to get their feet wet and explore Belize’s underwater wonders.

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Incredible Biodiversity

For those seeking more adventurous diving experiences, Turneffe Atoll offers a remote and pristine environment for underwater exploration. As the largest coral atoll in Belize, Turneffe Atoll is home to diverse dive sites, from shallow coral gardens to dramatic wall dives. Divers can encounter eagle rays, barracudas, and even the elusive whale shark in these nutrient-rich waters, making Turneffe Atoll a must-visit destination for diving enthusiasts.

Belize’s southern coast is also a treasure trove of diving opportunities, with sites such as Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve offering encounters with massive schools of fish during the annual spawning of snappers and groupers. This natural spectacle, known as the “Great Blue Hole,” attracts divers and marine biologists alike to witness this underwater phenomenon.

In addition to its stunning marine life, Belize is also known for its unique underwater formations such as underwater caves and tunnels. The Caves Branch River, located inland near Belmopan, offers adventurous divers the chance to explore intricate cave systems adorned with stalactites and stalagmites. These cave dives provide a thrilling and otherworldly experience, allowing divers to venture into the heart of the earth and witness geological formations rarely seen elsewhere.

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Protect and Preserve

Belize’s commitment to marine conservation and sustainable tourism practices has helped preserve its underwater ecosystems for future generations. The government has established marine protected areas and regulations to safeguard its pristine reefs and marine life, ensuring that divers can continue exploring Belize’s underwater wonders for years.

In conclusion, Belize stands out as a premier diving destination, offering diverse dive sites, marine life, and underwater experiences for enthusiasts of all levels. Whether you’re a novice diver looking to take your first plunge into the underwater world or an experienced diver seeking thrilling encounters with sharks and rays, Belize has something to offer everyone. With its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and abundant marine species, Belize is truly a diver’s paradise waiting to be explored.

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22 things first-time visitors to Belize should know to prepare yourself for your adventure here!!

Remax Vip Belize: Barefoot
We have had requests for a blog post to discuss the differences between rules/laws/expectations in Belize vs. North America, so that you can get the most out of some of the freedoms here, and also not get yourself in trouble by doing something that is natural in the US (drink from the tap for example), but that you are advised not to do, here!1.) Placencia is the only place you can drink water straight from the tap – there is an underwater spring in Placencia, but the rest of the country uses city or cistern water. In other words – don’t drink the water ANYWHERE else – brushing your teeth is fine, and some people in Ambergris Caye, will tell you they drink it. I can tell you from personal experience that I DO NOT drink the water anywhere but Placencia :).

This will be a VERY familiar sight during your trip
Remaxvipbelize-  cropped splash bottle

2.) You can feel comfortable driving in Belize – it is not a place where you need to worry about crime on the road, and the “highways” are like country roads, but they are not terrible. You just need to know about speed “humps”, the fact that the sun sets early and driving at night is not recommended for your first time, and to know what the check points are – you can read about all that HERE.

3.) The sun rises at about 5:30 year round, and sets about 6 year round. Belize has a healthy appetite for happy hours, and these are right as the sun sets, which is awesome! You will DEFINITELY find yourself saying, “it is only 7pm?? I thought it was 10pm!” And then wake up, wide awake, at 6am :).

4.) I will tread lightly here because the laws do exist, and are sometimes enforced. But, here’s what you will see all over the place… you will see people EVERYWHERE walking around (even riding a bike/driving!) with a beer. If you get carried away with it you might get approached(and it is not always advisable to carry glass around), but this country is very friendly to beer and alcohol drinking. You can even bring in a beer from home into a bar. You can drink on the beach, you can drink a beer with breakfast – no judging! There is beer sold everywhere as well.

5.) Watch yourself – in Placencia, Caye Caulker, and San Pedro, there are no sidewalks on the main roads – you really do want to watch youself when you are walking in traffic. You will be inches from bikes, scooters, golf carts, and cars. So combine that with #4, and just be careful 🙂

6.) Beach dogs- you will see happy, friendly, mostly cute beach dogs everywhere. They are not going to hurt you, occasionally people report they were chased by a dog near a property, but in town this rarely happens. You will notice that they are all fat and happy in Placencia and Ambergris Caye.

Actual guest with actual beach dogs.
Remaxvipbelize - Actual guest

7.) Tipping is appreciated, but it is not the same as the US. 10% is an appropriate tip.

8.) Ask before you get that third cup of coffee – most restaurants do not have free refills – I didn’t know this was more of a US thing 🙂

9.) What’s with the napkins on the beer bottles at bars? The bottles are recycled, and when the bottles sit in the salt air, they often get a bit of rust. Use that napkin to wipe off the mouth of the beer – recommended. Also there is only a couple kinds of beer you can get in the country and when you are ordering a Belikin, just order a “beer” – yes it feels weird but you’ll get a Belikin every time. You can also bring your own beverage containers to bars – you’ll see people do it all over the place.

10.) Golf carts – it is FUN to ride around on a golf cart as your transportation, because how many places can you do that?? It is like a video game. It is highly recommended you get one for a day, they are about $40-50us per day, and very easy to rent everywhere.

Remaxvipbelize - Golf carts

11.) Almost everything can be delivered if you ask. Even a case of beer!

12.) This one is obvious…..but you’ll see sunburns everywhere. The sun is HOT here….even when it is cloudy. Unless you have been hitting the tanning beds like a champ, wear sunscreen and don’t ruin your trip. Especially when snorkeling – wear long sleeves and lotion up your butt and legs, the burn you can get on the water is astounding.

13.) You want to get up close to that turtle, the size of a car, while you are snorkeling? Go ahead! There are few regulations here compared to the US – you decide the level of risk you want. This is another shining example of why Belize is fun. Or, will leave you with a good story about the jacka** thing you did.

What you actually see.
Remaxvipbelize - What you actually see

14.) You may hear Belize is dangerous – in reality, this is only in southern Belize City. There are few violent crimes here. What does happen is theft. It is highly recommended that you behave with your stuff as if you really, really care about it – only bring out with you the necessities – not ALL your credit cards, passport, etc. While I know few people who have gotten things stolen, it happens often enough and can happen so fast. Usually because of #4.

15.) Another reason people love Belize – you don’t hang out in your all inclusive resort here. Locals hang where everyone else does, and everyone lives in harmony. You’ll hear people say “I want to go where the locals go” because they want to have an authentic experience – you don’t have to say that here. Everyone is everywhere!

Typical Belize bar at happy hour
Remaxvipbelize - Typical Belize bar

16.) You really do not need a car – unless you plan on jetting around the whole country, rental cars are expensive, gas is expensive, and you just won’t use it. If you are staying near town you can walk to everything, and the tours will pick you up. See #10 for the alternative.

17.) People sometimes get freaked out because they hear Belize is a “third world country.” Actually a better term is developing country – and that is what this is. If you get out of town at all, you will see very rustic villages, and in some Mayan villages they have dirt floors, palapa roofs, and sleep in hammocks. And if you visit, you will find that it is really peaceful. You will see that the maintenance is maybe not what you see in the US. By the end of your trip, you will hardly notice these differing standards. There is so much natural beauty here, and there is also a charm in rustic wood shacks painted in every color! There is very little begging in Placencia or Ambergris and MUCH less than most places. You will be asked if you want to buy a necklace by a child sometimes, but they are not pushy and rarely ask for money.

Typical Mayan village
Remaxvipbelize - Typical Mayan village

18.) Bugs – how to manage. “Sand fleas/no-see-ums” are present here, and everywhere warm. They come out in cooler weather, at night, after a rain, or by mangroves. You may not have a problem at all – a lot of it is pure luck. If you are hell bent on not getting bit, wear baby oil on your legs, they can’t bite through it. Mosquitos – they are no worse here than anywhere in the summer – wear DEET at night, especially between 5:30-7.

19.) Sometimes I hear that Belize is expensive compared to other Central American countries. There are things that are expensive, like imported US foods and booze. Other things are cheap. There are beachfront hotels you can find for about $40us a night. You can eat like a local (stewed chicken, rice, and beans) for $5us. You can drink local beer, rum, and vodka for about $2.50-3us a drink. You do not HAVE to go to the US standard restaurants, which have US prices. You can stay in a US standard hotel, which is really hard to run here because you have to import everything. A US standard hotel will be about the same cost as the US – BUT – for perspective, check the hotels in high season in Key West, in town – those run about $500us a night, for what you can get for $200 a night here. Belize is a tourism country, not a manufacturing country, so goods are expensive, and it is why it is simple and rustic here – and totally charming :). Let’s not forget Belize has the 2nd biggest reef in the world, hundreds of islands, jungle, Mayan ruins, and a totally unique experience that is nothing like your sanitized Myrtle Beach vacation. There are almost NO chain restaurants or hotels in the country.

If you think this is charming, you’ll like it here.
Remaxvipbelize - charming

20.) People will ask if the sea grass is a problem, and how are the beaches? We are very close to the reef and the reef life has to eat – and they eat sea grass. There is sea grass that washes in a few days a week, and some people are bothered by this. But, again, you are close to the reef!! The sea grass is part of the environment here, and while many places rake and keep it clean, it is also a part of the ecosystem. If you go snorkeling here you will feel better about it, because you will swim with all the creatures that are feeding off it :). There are MANY beaches that are among the most beautiful in the world, but 100% of the beach here is not pristine. You can easily find the pristine beaches if you want them here!

Typical sea grass on the beach
Remaxvipbelize - Typical Mayan village

21.) Will I be inundated by people selling things to me? It is NOTHING like Mexico or any cruise port here – not even close. Yes, people will want you to buy their things but the culture here is very laid back. They will not argue or chase you down. If you say no thanks – that’s it. And yes, you will easily find someone that may ask if you want to “buy some green.” If you don’t want it, just say no thank you 🙂

This is Leo, he’s right on the Placencia Sidewalk!
 Remaxvipbelize - charming

22.) Another reason people come back to Belize again and again is because – the locals really are that warm and friendly. Go out for one evening and you’ll see and feel it :). It is a truly charming, welcoming culture here!

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Spectacular couple weeks for Belize, in the news!!!

Remax Vip Belize: Spectacular couple weeks for Belize
I don’t know if I have ever seen Belize in the news as much as I have in the last couple weeks…here is a recap in case you missed any of these very positive, optimistic articles about Belize!!!1.) USA Today’s “10 Best” Awards….Readers choose out of their Top 20 picks, this time it is for Best Dive Site. The Blue Hole is one of Belize’s most famous adventures….there is still time to vote! Southwest Airlines is starting a new nonstop flight from Fort Lauderdale to Belize City, due to increased bookings!! My personal favorite…..WOW…..New York Times picked PLACENCIA, Belize as one of the top 52 places to visit in 2017! Although Belize typically gets a lot of attention, Placencia is still considered a small, rather remote village, and this is one of the few times it has gotten a nod like this in such a major publication!

4.) In lil’ old Tipsy Tuna on NYE…..there were two major celebrity sighting….Drew Carey and James Franco were seen having a blast!

5.), a “hotel tell all” site, ranked Belize as one of the “cheapest” Caribbean destinations to visit this winter!

6.) Business Insider ranked Belize as one of the 11 trips everyone in the 30’s should take!!

7.) ranked Belize as one of the top 15 places you should visit before they “fill up with tourists!” We agree that Belize is one of the few rustic and authentic beach vacations around…

8.) The Washington Post published this wonderful article about Belize, calling it “breathtaking.” 🙂–caving-and-diving–belize-is-breathtaking/2016/11/03/1c9c52a8-97bd-11e6-bb29-bf2701dbe0a3_story.html

9.) The Telegraph called Belize the most surprising Caribbean destination!

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Thinking of moving to Placencia, Belize? 13 ways living here will change the way you think!!

Remax Vip Belize: Easter weekend 2017 in Placencia
It is hard to remember how things change in the way you think, after a few years here…but here are 13 ways that I guarantee you will change if you stick around!1.) Continuously lowering your expectations about what hair products (and makeup, etc) you’ll be OK with using.–unless you are going back to the US a lot, you have to be ok with whatever stock is here. I have been unable to buy hairspray for a couple weeks at a time, and while in the US my preferred brand is certainly not V05 or Suave, I am happy to have it here! (because it is only a few bucks, the occasional random good stuff is 10x the US price!)

Get comfy with this brand. (
Remax Vip Belize: Get comfy with this brand
2.) Although you lose the materialism mentality in the US, the scarcity mentality will hit you hard….–when you DO find a beloved import product in the stores, you will find yourself buying all the things, because you may never see it again.3.) Finding yourself saying – “Its just a cockroach…. It’s just some termites…. Scorpion stings/tarantula bites don’t actually kill you….Oh the bees here are all Africanized bees? Sweet.”
—Your peripheral vision will pick up dark shadows in the corners pretty frequently. For my first year here that would set off my central nervous system every time…coming from NE US, we are taught to be pretty terrified of all the creatures. I have now become completely desensitized. Oh a little gecko poop on my pillow? Well at least it is here eating the mosquitoes. Oh there was a boa constrictor sighting in my front yard? *yawn.* Oh there is a scorpion by my foot? Well I should move. Oh look at that 6 inch beetle with pinchers. Cool. Shoot that 4 inch cockroach went under the fridge. And so on.

Don’t believe me? Check out this Facebook page…
Actual pic from the page. Cute!
Remax Vip Belize: Scorpion stings/tarantula bites
4.) I guess it is ok to start drinking at 11(am)…—Belize is FUN and you can find yourself finding a lot of excuses why it is a good happy hour day. Every day. Tourists are having fun every day of their vacations. It is a struggle because no one is going to judge you if you do!

Because THIS is a 2 minute walk away.
Remax Vip Belize: Start drinking at 11
5.) No, really, I don’t miss having a large selection of beer. —For some reason, you just don’t! You can only get Belikin and its cousins here, plus a few other Caribbean beers, but because you are always drinking it while at the beach bars of your dreams, it doesn’t occur to you that it matters.
Remax Vip Belize: I don't miss having a large selection of beer
6.) Having your soul die a little every time you throw away very recyclable plastic.—Placencia is quite clean, and does a great job with its resources, but the amount of plastic garbage you will see….will make you immediately want to open a recycling facility.
7.) Forgetting how to look at a bill and not ask yourself if it is Belize dollars or USD. —Even when you go home. It is a switch I can’t turn off. And you will still probably question your math 100x every time you pay a bill with mixed Belize and USD.8.) Feeling guilty if you put any toilet paper in the toilet.—Even when I’m in the US, I am programmed to throw toilet paper in the wastebasket….it is ingrained due to the septic systems here.

9.) Being OK with almost getting hit by a golf cart, bike, bus, or truck….every day.—Just head to Main Street during a busy hour for this fun time!

10.) You stop wondering if the Pit Bull-looking stray dog walking towards you is going to rip your throat out. –In the US, if I see a huge, mangy stray coming at me I am accustomed to thinking it is Cujo. Here, he probably just wants you to pet him. The dogs here are unnaturally nice.

11.) You stop wondering where all the tourists are….the hotels are all full….yet you are still the only one on the beach. Every time.
— This is one of Placencia’s mysteries. No one has solved it. But it is why many people come back again and again!

Remax Vip Belize: Tourists are the hotels
12.) Burglar bars don’t mean you are in a “bad” part of town.
—Belize is a DIY country. Also, it is known that if you leave your stuff out, it means it must not mean a whole lot to you. Burglar bars just mean that the person building the house had a bit of extra money to add in this bit of security – there aren’t alarm companies down here yet and it is just a little extra peace of mind.
13.) If you are on the internet, as Placencia runs on facebook….you will write this infinity times to messages you will get – “No, sorry, I don’t know of any good long term rentals right now.”
—Yes, there is a shortage of these. But here is a good resource!
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Improve your mood immediately by looking at these Placencia, Belize beach bars!!

Remax Vip Belize: Tipsy Tuna Only
OK, that title is not totally backed by science, but we hope you enjoy these images from Barefoot Bar and Tipsy Tuna – our guests RAVE about the food and atmosphere at these two….they are the template for all beach bars!
This is the (famous Placencia) sidewalk in between CBC and Barefoot 🙂
Remax Vip Belize: Sidewalk in between CBC and Barefoot
This is the totally charming entrance from the sidewalk, heading to the beach at Barefoot Beach Bar…
Remax Vip Belize: Heading to the beach at Barefoot Beach Bar
Getting closer!
Remax Vip Belize: Getting closer Barefoot Bare
Tipsy Tuna has an equally adorable entrance! Just try not to get a picture of one of their many kitschy signs…
Remax Vip Belize: Tipsy tuna only
Remax Vip Belize: Tipsy tuna thankyou
Inside of Tipsy Tuna….at their opening, before the lunch and happy hour crowds roll in!
Remax Vip Belize: lunch and happy hour crowds roll in!
The seating on the beach at Barefoot Bar…have your pick of tropical colors
Remax Vip Belize: The seating on the beach at Barefoot Bar
 THIS VIEW….they share the beach seaside.
Remax Vip Belize: THIS VIEW....they share the beach seaside.
Looking down the beach the other way…
Remax Vip Belize: Looking down the beach the other way
The view of Barefoot, standing on the shore
Remax Vip Belize: The view of Barefoot, standing on the shore
Inside Barefoot
Remax Vip Belize: Inside Barefoot
Hopefully you are on your way here soon! If not, and you are looking at snow outside, then take advantage of the recent slew of discounted plane tickets to Belize, and get here!!
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On your way to Placencia, Belize for vacation? Here are some gorgeous images from around the village!

Remax Vip Belize : On your way to Placencia, Belize for vacation
Get more excited for your vacation (or take a break from looking at snow) by checking out some of our images below, these are mostly taken from the pier walking on Main Street…
Thank you Breeanna!!

The pier…the most southern tip of the peninsula…some really cute shops and great people watching!
Remax Vip Belize: The pier...the most southern tip of the peninsula
 On the right is Above Grounds coffee house, a great second floor balcony to people watch. You’ll feel like you are in a treehouse.
Remax Vip Belize: Coffee house, a great second floor balcony
 Mojo, another great second floor people-watching fun time…..Fridays they have a great Happy Hour 5-6:30…often there is live music on the balcony
Remax Vip Belize: Mojo, another great second floor people-watching fun time.
 One of the farmer’s markets in town, the produce is sold at these stands – not the grocery stores
Remax Vip Belize: Farmer's markets in town
 A Placencia favorite…the second floor balcony at Rumfish
Remax Vip Belize: A Placencia favorite...the second floor balcony at Rumfish
 Another farmer stand
Remax Vip Belize: Farmer stand
 Omar’s – great place for local food, or they will cook your fish for you!
Remax Vip Belize: Omar's - great place for local food
 There are several great spa/massage places you’ll see all through town!
Remax Vip Belize: Tree of Life
It is always fun to see the random vehicles that you don’t see in the US or Canada – driving around town in a golf cart, Indian/Chinese trucks, and Scooby Doo looking vans!
Remax Vip Belize: Indian/Chinese trucks, and Scooby Doo
 Tutti Frutti….everyone’s favorite stop
Remax Vip Belize: Tutti Frutti
 Main Street will give you a feel for a Central American village, whereas the sidewalk makes you feel like you are on the perfect Caribbean vacation…
Remax Vip Belize: Central American village
More to come! 🙂
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Remaxvipbelize : Beach Nature
Over the years, we have learned a ton from our own travel, and the questions and problems guests have had in getting here. Here are the top 10 tips we’ve learned on how to navigate the Belize airport and regional jet system like a pro!1.) Tropic and Maya Island Air –
The most popular method of travel around Belize, is to take one of Belize’s regional planes (“puddle jumpers”) from the Belize International Airport (BZE) to the village airports (in our case, Placencia). You can pre-book this flight by going to, or The flights are scheduled throughout the day to most larger villages. The flight is only 40 minutes long to Placencia, and once you’re away from the mainland, the water turns beautiful shades of blue and turquoise. It is like an excursion in itself!

Remaxvipbelize - Our own travel

2.) Make it fun! Ask the pilot if you can sit in the co-pilot seat – they will let you if you ask. The right side of the plane shows you the Maya Mountains, the lagoon, and across the mainland. The left side shows you spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea – get your camera out!

Remaxvipbelize -Co-pilot seat

3.) Money saving tip!!!! Laurie, “Taco Girl”- a great blogger from San Pedro, provides (for free) the most up to date code for 10% off your Tropic Air flight. You can enter your email here – you’ll get the code immediately – and no spam email.

4.) How much time should I leave between flights? What is the airport like?
We recommend leaving at least 75-90 minutes between your incoming flight and your puddle jumper flight. Please note that the airlines still recommend 2-3 hours in between. As there is always a chance of delays, please schedule what makes you comfortable. If you breeze through customs and immigration, they will put you on an earlier flight. How to ensure you get through immigrations/customs as quickly as possible? Read on!

5.) Expert Tip!!!! International flights deplane from front AND back at BZE – you really want to try to be one of the first off, as this will get you in the front of the line for immigration – this makes a big difference! (and don’t dawdle…walk fast – don’t run people down, but move stealthily through the crowd.) We recommend you book in the last few rows or as close to the front as you can, but avoid the middle of the plane. When you get off the plane (all planes deplane right on the runway, total old-school, exotic fun!) you’ll go through Immigration and Customs, and then after collecting your bags (see notes on immigration and customs below), you will proceed to the Tropic Air/Maya Island Air counter, to check in for your flight to Placencia (or wherever.) If you breeze through Immigration and Customs, you may be bumped up to an earlier Tropic or Maya Air flight. No worries, this happens often, ask the desk to call your hotel or ride (CBC is 622-4142) and let them/us know you got on an earlier flight, so they/we can be there to pick you up.

Remaxvipbelize - San Pedro

6.) Immigration – After getting off the plane have your passport and Arrival Form (they give it to you on the plane) available to go through Immigration. As noted above, try to sit at the front or back of the plane, not the middle, to get off the plane first. Immigration is pretty straightforward, and you just need to get your passport stamped. You then pick up your bags…BUT FIRST…

6.) **MONEY SAVING TIP! Before you leave the baggage claim area to head to customs (the baggage claim duty free store is the only place you can buy duty free at arrival in BZE, to take with you for your vacation – the others are in the main waiting area, and for taking back OUT of the country when you are leaving). After you are in the baggage claim area look around and you’ll see a store called “Arrival Duty Free”. This is not your typical duty free store where you buy wine or perfume, etc, when you leave; this store is for buying when you arrive in Belize – they have the very best prices. If want to enjoy any of the name brand liquors like Bombay Gin, Johnny Walker Scotch, Stoli Vodka or any of the others, make sure you buy those liquors here at this store. Because of the high import tax, these same liquors will cost twice as much in Belize (local rum, beer, vodka are relatively inexpensive.)**If you buy duty free, as you head towards customs, you will have to get in the line for “Declaring” items. On to Customs….

Remaxvipbelize passport and Arrival Form

7.) Customs – When you are on your way in, on the airplane, you’ll get a Customs form, along with the Immigration form, to fill out. They basically want to know if you are bringing in things to sell, or anything that will be left in the country (for example, we have to declare items we bring in to use at the resort, like a lighting fixture or household item.) You are allowed to have your personal items and these do not have to be declared. Unless you go to the duty free shop at the airport, and you just have normal tourist things in your suitcase, don’t declare anything. There is a line for those who are declaring and those who are not. They don’t look in your bags in the latter group; once in a while they will spot check, but for common items, even expensive ones like cameras that are for personal use – this is a very common item and shouldn’t raise any red flags. You can get through quickly if you are not declaring anything. The officer may direct you to the line to get your bags checked, but again this is pretty low stress. Your personal items are allowed duty free in Belize. There is an import allowance of 200 cigarettes, or 1/2 pound of tobacco goods, 20 ounces of alcohol and one bottle of personal perfume. For other questions regarding customs, please check:

Remaxvipbelize - BZE waiting area
BZE waiting area – totally exotic!

8.) Please note our time difference. We occasionally have had a guest get mixed up about the time change. Belize is on Central Standard time but they do not have Daylight Savings Time. One of the common ways people get screwed up is if they use Google calendar, which will record your flight times in your local time, unless you change your settings. When you are booking your puddle jumper, this will be on Belize time, so keep those times straight!

9.) If you get stuck at the airport, please keep note of hotels around the area that are to your taste. For example, the airlines like to put people up at Global Village hotel. Nothing against them, but note that you may want to check out all your options and make your own choices – everyone has a different tolerance for location/aesthetics etc. It doesn’t hurt to have a back up plan! Also note – there are better food options than ever before at BZE – they changed the carb-happy old cafe, to a 1st rate grab and go sandwich place, with salads and sandwiches – and there is a stand with Chinese food (they also have salads and Belize food) – but if you are a picky eater, this is not a first world waiting area – you might be stuck eating cashews and bottled water. Oh, there is also a bar with just hot dogs :))

10.) One of the best back up plans we’ve come up with, if you come in to BZE too late to make a puddle jumper, or you miss your flight and have to stay, but want an adventure…. The Belize Zoo is about 45 min away from the airport. Here is the website:

Remaxvipbelize - Chaacreek

The Zoo is well known as one of the most unique experiences you can have here; it is not a regular zoo. You only need about an hour or two to get through it. You can spend the night at or near the zoo- even go to the zoo in the morning, then drive down/take a shuttle/taxi back to the airport and puddle jumper, down to us….I highly recommend it! The zoo accommodations are quite rustic but might be a good story. 🙂 San Pedro Scoop is a very popular blogger and wrote a funny post about staying at the zoo to give you an idea what to expect:
There is also a guesthouse nearby and you can see that link lower on the Zoo page. Alternatively, you could drive to many hotels in Belize City, and just come down to us, but I highly recommend the zoo for a memorable experience. Hotels in Belize City – I would recommend NOT staying right by the airport, driving just a bit, as you can have a night of an experience/memorable adventure at some really unique places. Here are some rather close to BZE:

Remaxvipbelize - Cool Caribbean house – cool Caribbean house
Remaxvipbelize - Casino in the heart of Belize City – Casino in the heart of Belize City
Overall, I have been seriously impressed by my experiences with BZE and the puddle jumpers. They are friendly, safe, efficient, and pretty consistent. The experience is just exotic enough that you will really feel like you are doing something before you even start your vacation 🙂
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Driving directions from San Ignacio to Placencia, Belize – specifically to Caribbean Beach Cabanas!

Remax Vip Belize: Yoga
I always like to start with this LINK to what it’s like to drive in Belize!San Ignacio is a little trickier than smaller villages in Belize – but follow the signs to the Western Highway. You can go on either bridge, as you can see on the right of this map. You can see the road marked Western on the far right. (Thanks Cahel Pech for map!)

Remax Vip Belize: Driving directions from San Ignacio to Placencia
A couple gratuitous pics of San Ignacio, or what you’ll be driving in, in the heart of the village.
Remax Vip Belize: A couple gratuitous pics of San Ignacio
Remax Vip Belize: Heart of the village
Follow the Western highway headed east, towards Belmopan. You will turn right onto Hummingbird highway. Hummingbird Highway is by far the prettiest part of the drive. You will wind through hills and towns, up and over bluffs, and through the Mayan mountains.

Remax Vip Belize: Mayan mountains
You will see a lot of this, keep your camera out!

As you approach Dangriga, you will see a Shell Gas station on your right. The turn off of the Hummingbird Highway and onto the “Southern Highway” is just ahead. Turn Right onto the Southern Highway. You should see signs for “Punta Gorda” and/or “Placencia”.

Follow the Southern Highway for about 35 minutes, and then you’ll approach a round-a-bout. Here, follow the signs to Placencia. It’s the “left turn” in the round-a-bout. You are now on the road to the Peninsula.

Remax Vip Belize: Southern Highway
A lot of this view on the Southern…

There are no turns off of this road, just lots and lots of speed “humps.” The only “turn” that appears is a turn off to Riversdale. Don’t make that left, but rather stay on the road to Placencia. After you drive through Maya Beach and the somewhat rough looking (but relatively safe) village of Seine Bight, you will be closer to the tip of the peninsula, where the village is.

After you pass Turtle Inn on the left, and Chabil Mar, you will soon see an orange grocery store called Top Value. Just seconds after you pass Top Value, you will see signs on the left that say Caribbean Beach Cabanas as well as Casa Palma and Heaven’s Gate. Turn left there.

As you pull toward the beach, you will see our sign and a welcome gate-pull up right in front and enter our welcome gate!!

Two points:

—The total drive can take from 2 ½ hours to 3 ½ hours. The speed humps, traffic and familiarity with turns and roads can greatly affect your drive. If you are able to feel patient and enjoy the drive – it’s very pretty.

—If you put the drive into Google Maps – it may take you through unpaved roads. These can be treacherous. It can be done, but because it’s a dirt road, it will unlikely save you time, but definitely cause you headaches.

As always, give us a call at 622 4142 if you have any problems on the way!