Caribbean Country Of Belize

Caribbean Country Of Belize

Where Belize Is Located

The Caribbean Country of Belize is situated on the eastern part of Central America. It is bounded in the north by Mexico, in the west and south by Guatemala and in the east by the Caribbean Sea. Its Caribbean coast hugs 174 miles of the sea wherein its world-famous reef can be found. The reef is vast and only comes second to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in terms of size.

Its capital is Belmopan, located at the country’s Cayo District. Belize Real Estate is divided into six districts: Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek and Toledo. These districts are further divided into 31 constituencies, each headed by a representative.

Why Buy a Property in Belize?

CNN Money’s Les Christie dubbed Belize as one of the hottest foreign second home markets. And there are lots of reasons for this. The list below shows you why you should buy a property in Belize.

Living in Belize is like being on Vacation All Year

If living in a tropical country is your idea of a perfect getaway, then buying a property in Belize will fit you perfectly. Life here has a slower pace than cities. And with only over 300,000 citizens, the county is hardly overcrowded.

There are also a lot of things that you can discover throughout Belize from its food to its culture. You can always buy fresh fruits, meat and vegetables in local markets. And if you are after a fantastic cultural experience, then its Mayan ruins that dot the country will be a treat for you. You can also pursue various activities in its parks, hiking trails, zoos and beaches. There is an almost endless list of things you can do in Belize.

Think you have to spend a lot when living in Belize? You don’t have to. The cost of living here is lower than a lot of countries so you can live here comfortably for less.

Feel Welcome Wherever You Go

Belizians are some of the friendliest people in the world. You definitely won’t find it hard to adjust to the country’s people and culture because of this trait. And because you considered living in Belize means you like to enjoy life to the fullest. Belizians too love to have fun and enjoy life!

Moving and Adjusting to Belize is a Breeze

To promote the country’s tourism industry, it is very easy for foreigners to move to the country if they choose to. Let’s begin with the language. If you speak English then you won’t have a hard time adjusting because English is Belize’s official language. Government documents, newspapers, road signs and the likes are all in English.

It’s even easier if you are a retiree. Through the country’s Retirement Incentives Program, moving to Belize is a breeze. There is a quick approval process for residency applications and the government allows you to import your household goods tax-free within a one-year period. Finally, you don’t have to pay taxes to the government for income that you generate from work or investments outside the country.

US Dollars are also accepted throughout the country so you don’t need to have your US Dollars changed when you get here. Best of all, the exchange rate is pegged at BZE$2=US$1.

Don’t fancy taking long trips? Belize is only a two-hour flight away from Miami so you can visit Belize whenever you want to.

Owning a Property is Even Easier

Unlike in other countries where foreigners are not allowed to own properties, Belize allows you to own 100% of the properties you buy in the country. Application is easy and you get a title for your property.

Belize has a Stable Government and Economy

Belize has a government headed by a Prime Minister and the Queen who rules through the Governor-General. The government is stable as well as the economy. Now you don’t have to worry about moving to Belize if you

Economy Of Belize

Logging was the main industry in Belize from the time it was colonized by Europeans until the early part of the 20th century when the demand timber decreased. Logwood, used to make dyes, was Belize’s initial main export, until Europeans developed man-made dyes which were less expensive. From there, the focus shifted to harvesting the slow growing Mahogany, which prized for use in furniture and cabinetry.  Over time the supply of accessible timber dwindled and loggers were forced to go deeper and deeper into the rain forests to harvest the slow growing trees, and logging became too unprofitable.  In the 20th century, Belize’s economy shifted to exporting Cane sugar, citrus, bananas, seafood, and apparel.

Its farm land is largely uncultivated and the domestic industry is limited. The largest source of income for the country is its tourism industry. Belize offers great destinations for scuba diving, hiking and other activities, as well as cultural experiences through its various Mayan ruins and its tropical climate, all of which contribute to the country’s million-dollar tourism industry. Because of this, the government has focused itself in promoting the country as a top tourist destination.

Currently, the country relies largely on imports. In 2006, Belize spent a total of $660.4 million in imports while earning only $268.2 million in exports.

Its main trading partner is the United States. Aside from the US, Belize’s other trading partners include the United Kingdom, Canada and its neighbors, Guatemala and Mexico.

Because Belize allows foreigners to buy and have 100% ownership of properties here, it is one of the hottest foreign second home markets in the world today.

Climate In Belize

climate in belize

The climate in Belize is subtropical with prevailing winds from the Caribbean Sea and an annual average temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius).  Summer high temperatures rarely exceed 96 degrees Fahrenheit and winter lows seldom fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  Saltwater temperature varies between 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, its annual rainfall differs between the northern and southern regions. The north typically receives less rainfall with an annual rainfall of 50 inches while the south receives up to 270 inches of rainfall annually.

The most popular time to travel in Belize is from December through April when rainfall is less common and the humidity is nicely tempered by Caribbean Sea breezes. Rainfall is more frequent from May through November, with the exception of August, which often offers a brief respite from the rain. September through November brings the chance of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Because of its location, Belize has seen its share of strong hurricanes. In 1931, a hurricane that hit the country killed 25,000 and almost crippled the economy which was already suffering from the effects of the Great Depression. Half a century later, Hurricane Greta hit the country’s southern region in 1978 which caused an estimated $25 million in damages.

Belize is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. It is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations being a former British colony.

Government Of Belize

There are three branches of government in the country: the executive, legislative and the judiciary. The executive branch is headed by Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state, the prime minister, a position currently held by Dean Barrow, and by the Governor-General Sir Colville Norbert Young, Sr. who was in position since 1993.

The governor-general acts as the representative of the Queen in Belize. He acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet.

Meanwhile, the legislature or the National Assembly is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are 31 representatives while there are 12 senators plus the Senate President. The senators are appointed by the governor-general based on the advice of the prime minister and other groups and organizations.

Finally, appointed members compose the judiciary. The Magistrates’ Court, Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals form the country’s judicial system.

Political Parties

There are several political parties in Belize. However, two parties that dominate the political scene: the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People’s United Party (PUP). Belize’s current prime minister, Dean Barrow, is a member of the UDP.


The official language of Belize is English as it was a British colony. As such, English is the language used in government and education. But the majority of the population speaks Kriol, a language based on English and follows the syntax from different African languages. Around 37% of the population consider Kriol as their main language.

Aside from English and Kriol, Spanish is also a predominant language. This language is spoken mostly by Mestizos and refugees from other Central American countries.

Then there are the Maya dialects which include Kekchi, Mopan and Yucatan.

Other languages spoken in Belize are German, Chinese, Hindi and Garifuna (spoken by the descendants of Carib, Arawak and African people). The varied mix of languages is due to the influx of immigrants from countries like Germany, China and India.


Christianity is the predominant religion in Belize. Almost 80% of the country is either Roman Catholic or Protestant, with half of the country being Catholics.

Just like its language, the influx of immigrants – along with the religious freedom granted to Belizians – also created a varied mix of religions. Hinduism and Islam are just two of the different religions practiced in the country.


The Belize dollar has been Belize’s currency since 1885. The currency is symbolized by the dollar sign ($) or BZE$ to distinguish it from other dollar-based currencies such the US and Australian dollars. The Belize dollar is at a fixed rate of 2 Belize dollars to a US dollar.

Coins and banknotes compose the country’s currency. There are 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50-cent coins as well as a dollar coin. Meanwhile, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Belize dollars make up the banknotes.

Popular Tourist Spots

Belize is known for its beaches because it is located along the Caribbean Sea. The country boasts a reef that only comes second to Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef in terms of size. Because of this, Belize is a popular spot among scuba divers who want to explore the marine life on this part of the Caribbean.

One popular diving spot in Belize is called the Great Blue Hole. It is an underwater sinkhole with a 300m diameter and a depth of 120m. The sinkhole is situated at the Lighthouse Reef some 100km away from Belize City.

Aside from diving, other popular water sports in Belize include windsurfing, fishing and sailing.

But for others who want to explore the country’s interior, there are other activities such as hiking, caving and horse riding.

Belize is also known for its culture so anyone who visits the country should also check out the various Mayan ruins in the country. There are over 600 Mayan sites identified throughout Belize so tourists can surely find a nearby site wherever they go.

Some of the popular Mayan ruins include the Altun Ha and Yarborough cemetery in Belize District, Mayflower in the Stann Creek District and the Lamanai and Nobul and Cuello in the Orange Walk Disctrict

Why People Visit to Belize

Tourism is Belize’s biggest draw. With a combination of adventure and archaeological trips, Belize offers a complete package that caters to anyone interested in taking a trip to the country.

One can go diving in its numerous atolls, go hiking along its vast trails and take a trip to the Mayan ruins for a complete tourist experience of the country.

But nowadays, more and more people don’t just choose Belize as a tourist destination – they also choose it as their second home.

There are many reasons why people decide to live in Belize. Here are a few:

– English speakers prefer Belize because it is the country’s official language. One can’t get lost in the country because English is used in road signs, television and other forms of media.
– Spanish is also widely understood and spoken here. It is the language spoken by the Mestizo community and is one of the major languages of country aside from English and Kriol (a mix of English and African languages).
– Belize has a warm tropical weather which is perfect for those who live in countries with colder climates.
– The country has a more laid-back way of life. The environment will definitely suit those who want to slow down and relax after living fast-paced lives in cities.
– Many Americans go to Belize because of its proximity to the United States. Belize is only a two-hour plane ride away from Miami.
– And finally, it is every easy to own a property in Belize. Foreigners can buy properties in the country through the various reputable developers. The great thing is that foreigners can have 100% ownership of the properties they buy, making it more popular among those who wish to buy second homes in a tropical country.

History Of Belize

history of belize

Present-day Belize was molded by several millennia of history that began with the Maya Indians to today’s ethnically diverse country.

The history of Belize began with the Maya Indians who occupied the majority of Central America. It is believed that at the height of this civilization, there were as many as 1 million Maya Indians in the borders of modern-day Belize.

The Maya Indians inhabited Belize from around 1500BC to AD1500 when the Spanish conquistadores arrived. During this period, the Mayas have formed a civilization that built awesome temples, pyramids and pieces of pottery and tools.

Aside from these tools and structures, there were other things that showcased the sophistication of the Ancient Mayas. They devised a form of writing and a calendar. They were also known to be very good astronomers and mathematicians.

The Maya civilization went on a steady decline half a century before the Spanish conquistadores arrived. In 1502, Christopher Columbus sailed along the coast of Belize. He then named this the Bay of Honduras.

But despite the decline of the Maya civilization, evidence of its greatness remains in the structures that still stand in various parts of Belize and the descendants of the original Mayas who still live in the country.

During the colonial era, the first settlers of Belize were English and Scottish buccaneers known as the Baymen. They established a base in the country from which they could attack the Spanish who at the time claimed sovereignty over the entire Central American region.

The Spaniards eventually allowed the British to occupy Belize some time in the 1700s in exchange for the end of piracy in the region. By this time, the settlers were already cutting logwood in the country.

To help the settlers with their work, they brought in Africans from Jamaica to work as slaves. By the early part of the 19th century, there was an estimated ratio of four Africans in every one European in Belize.

The Spaniards unsuccessfully colonized Belize and the British Crown eventually took over the territory. Belize then became known as British Honduras.

Belize’s economy slumped during the Great Depression when the demand for timber, its main product, dropped. The condition was further aggravated by the hurricane that struck the country in 1931 wherein 25,000 people were killed.

The country’s economy rebounded during the Second World War wherein many Belizians were involved in the war effort either as soldiers or as factory workers. However, the rebound didn’t last long as the economy nosedived again after the war leading to calls for the country’s independence.

Britain granted the country self-government in 1964 and was renamed Belize in 1973. But it took eight more years before the country finally gained independence from Britain. Because of Guatemala’s claim to sovereignty over Belize, it didn’t recognize the country initially which created tension between the two Central American nations.

Today, the country is gaining popularity as a tourist and retirement destination. Scuba diving in the country’s reef is hugely popular mostly because of its clear waters and its size. Belize’s reef is the second-largest reef in the world, next only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Americans also prefer to buy second homes in Belize or retire here because of its relaxed atmosphere, its proximity to the United States and the relatively lower cost of living in this country. It is also easy to acquire properties in Belize because it allows foreigners 100% ownership of the properties they buy.

Investing in Belize

Investing in Belize is truly for everyone who dream of building a new future with new experiences as Belize doors are open to all who dream. With a stable political and economic climate under democratic rule, Belize is a land of opportunity for the international investor. Unlike any other place in Central to South America, English is the official language of Belize. As you can imagine, with contracts and negotiations all being in English, navigating the purchase process or simply communicating clearly becomes a much more efficient and comforting experience.

Belize is a thriving offshore center with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world and affordable and desirable real estate in abundance. Property prices in desirable parts of Belize have been steadily increasing in value for the past 25 years. This means that whatever you buy you are almost assured a great return on your investment.

Belize has a long history of private property ownership rights. Foreign buyers are able to purchase real estate in Belize unrestricted, meaning they have the same rights to own freehold property title deeds as a Belizean so there are no special permissions or permits required. The Government has established a whole host of incentives to promote investment, specifically foreign investment, through developer benefits and less restrictive development criterion.

English Speaking

A key consideration for a direct investment or development opportunity in Belize is the country’s tax climate. Belize has long been regarded as one of the T-7 Tax Havens and it is for this very reason that it is such an attractive option for investors. With the US in economic downturn many investors are looking to internationalize their finances and their portfolios for both tax and asset protection reasons. Belize offers a legitimate path to investors seeking to cover both of these bases.

Tax Climate

A key consideration for a direct investment or development opportunity in Belize is the country’s tax climate. Belize has long been regarded as one of the T-7 Tax Havens and it is for this very reason that it is such an attractive option for investors. With the US in economic downturn many investors are looking to internationalize their finances and their portfolios for both tax and asset protection reasons. Belize offers a legitimate path to investors seeking to cover both of these bases.

Qualified Retirement Program (QRP)

From a sales perspective to prospective off-shore buyers, The Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) is a key marketing strategy that needs to be incorporated. Qualification is easy and relatively inexpensive.
Income on local employment by foreign residents is taxed at 25%–however, the first $10,000 annually is exempt. You would need to live in Belize at least 183 days or more in a calendar year to qualify as a resident. Non-residents would not be entitled to the exemption, but there are still excellent ways to earn money tax-free.

Foreign earned income is exempt from personal and business taxes. Income can also be earned tax-free while residing in Belize simply by having your own Belize International Business Company (IBC). Pension income is also exempt from income tax, making Belize financially attractive in many ways for expatriates from North America and elsewhere.

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