5 of the Best Places to Live & Retire in Belize

by Larry Waight
San Pedro beach ambergris divers

Perhaps you know you want to live in Belize, but you’re not sure quite sure where exactly to start. Here are the five best places to live or retire in this wonderful Caribbean and Central American country.

Ambergris Caye

This popular island is a major tourist destination. It has a large, active expatriate community. With 20,000 residents, it’s the busiest spot in Belize. From the Belize mainland, you can reach Ambergis Caye with 15-minute plane ride or a 90-minute boat ride. Ambergris Caye is a classic Caribbean vacation spot with long stretches of beach and beautiful sunsets. There are high-end condominiums and resorts, tourist amenities of all kinds and laid-back beach bars. You can find everything you need on the island, and you won’t need to return to the mainland often. The capital of San Pedro is a lively, bustling town with grocery stores, retail shops and restaurants.

 Caye Caulker

If Ambergis Caye is too busy for your tastes, escape to this tropical haven. With around 2500 full-time residents, Caye Caulker is a laid-back island whose motto is “go slow.” Not to mention, the soft sand roads and picturesque, pastel-colored homes are straight out of a postcard. You’ll find most things you need for daily life here. While there are no cars here, everyone walks, rides a bike or drives a golf cart. Besides, the island is a popular launching site for snorkelers and divers.


Sarteneja retire

A rustic dock in the scenic Sarteneja. Photo courtesy Jessica Sawers

This charming village is in the northern Corozal District. The border with Mexico gives this district a strongly Mexican flavor in terms of food, culture and language. Sarteneja does not have many tourist amenities, but it is a well-kept, pretty destination with great views of the Caribbean and the lovely Bay of Chetumal. However, Sarteneja is the ideal place if you want a simple, natural beach life in lovely surroundings.

San Ignacio

San Ignacio is the capital of the Cayo District and the unofficial capital of Belize’s eco-tourism industry. The district is the gateway to Belize’s inland adventures. Eco-lodges and adventure tours are everywhere. San Ignacio is a well-established town with many recreation opportunities, beautiful mountain views, rolling hills, nature reserves and Mennonite farms. There are no beaches here, but you will find cascading waterfalls and scenic rivers. Plus, it’s more affordable than the more popular beach locations. Expatriates who live here say they’ve discovered a hidden jewel.



The world famous Placencia sidewalk.

This former fishing village benefits from its location on the stunning Placencia Peninsula. This peninsula on the southern tip of Belize features 16 miles of white sand beachfront, palm trees and endless sunshine. Placencia a classic beach town with both low-priced family motels and high-end luxury resorts, but it’s also close to the cultural centers of Dangriga and Hopkins. Placencia is another favorite destination for expatriates and retirees. It’s close to many Belize adventures in the wild, untouched Toledo District.  
If you can’t decide where to live in Belize, visit these locations on your next vacation. You’ll soon discover which one feels right to you. Looking to settle down or invest? Whether you’re looking to buy, lease, or rent, let Vista Real Estate – a full-service Belizean real estate company – help.

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