Consider scheduling a flight to Belize in Central America while arranging a pleasant and worthwhile trip to look for real estate. It was actually rather simple to purchase beautiful Ambergris Caye Belize real estate, and it paid well when we sold it.
Why Did We Purchase Property in Ambergris Caye, Belize?
We chose to travel to Belize in 2014. We were thinking about buying a house in the area where we planned to retire.
International Living Magazine, one of our favorite magazines, would print article after article extolling Belize as one of the best destinations in the world to retire. Belize has a number of advantages.
Because Belize was formerly a British colony, English is the official language. Foreigners are not restricted from owning land (even on the beach), and there are few real estate taxes.
Furthermore, they give a qualifying retirement program that allows persons 45 and older, as well as their families, to relocate to Belize if they earn a respectable $24,000 or more each year. You can use this software to import any of your belongings (including vehicles and yachts) without paying any taxes or customs fees.
After learning about all of these advantages, we felt that traveling to Belize was worthwhile. (At the very least, we’d enjoy a relaxing vacation!) We did some study and chose a few key sites in Belize, including Belize Investment Property, as our final likely buying zones.
Placentia is the first station
We arrived in Belize after less than five hours of driving from Los Angeles and rented a car in Belize City. Because this city isn’t the best area to go sightseeing, we drove south along the coast to our first stop, Plascencia, a tranquil tiny peninsula settlement.
We booked a couple of nights at the on-the-beach Maya Beach Hotel Plascencia. It appeared to be our idea of paradise: peaceful, distant, and sandy.
The water in Plascencia was warm and transparent, with the strangest turquoise blue you’d ever seen. You could go out into the ocean and see fish swimming around your toes if you looked down.
Plascencia was lovely, albeit a little on the small side. The restaurants and stores were fantastic, but living here and going to the same few places every week might make you feel like you’re on Groundhog Day. Especially if you were retired and had plenty of free time to go out to eat.
So, even though we adored the beauty and serenity of this beach, we couldn’t imagine spending our golden years in a town of less than 2,000 people. We would have enjoyed a little more action and dining options (who knows what we’ll like when we’re 60!)
Join me in the jungle!
On our next adventure, we ventured deep into the jungle. San Ignacio is located in western Belize’s Cayo District. Mennonites, Creoles, Maya, Lebanese, Chinese, and Latinos live in great numbers on the Cayo. There are rivers, beautiful tropical flora, rich agriculture, and archaeological sites.
We booked an overnight stay at a forest lodge near San Ignacio, where we could go hiking, caving, river tubing, zip-lining, and exploring Maya ruins. We spent a terrific time conversing with the owners of Table Rock Jungle Lodge, who relocated there from the United States many years ago and built a beautiful jungle lodge.
They purchased the land (an abandoned farm) and gradually transformed it into a flourishing lodge business. Their 5-year-old kid attended the neighborhood school because they thought it was a great fit for their active family.
Unfortunately, we learned that we are not used to live in rainforests. We had to cut our visit short after a few days since we were itching to get back to the beach. The forest is hot and humid. Even though we enjoy reptiles, rivers, and historical sites, when it comes to buying a home and starting a family, we are beach people.
Ambergris Caye is a lovely island
We landed in Ambergris Caye Real Estate, also known as “Isla Bonita” (yep, the same one from the Madonna song), after a swift 20-minute flight (10 flights per day depart from Corozal and Belize City). It is Belize’s largest island, measuring 25 miles in length.
The present population is estimated to be around 20,000 people. What is your preferred way of transportation? The golf course!
It was once a little fishing community, but it is now home to luxury hotels, yoga retreats, scuba diving expeditions, paved lanes lined with golf carts, and an airport for puddle jumper flights from the mainland (an international airport is also being built on the north end). We summoned a golf cart taxi and miraculously managed to squeeze everything inside!
We stayed at a fantastic hotel with modern amenities, an oceanfront infinity pool, and was only 10 feet from the beach. If I had to choose a retirement home, I would choose this one. Of course, the actual cost of purchasing this house was… A little out of our budget range.
Ambergris Caye was unquestionably where we were going. So, in order to purchase stuff on this island, we had to think outside the box. When we met, Dennis Kay, a representative from Belize Island Real Estate, was present. He had a plot of property by the sea in mind for us if we were “adventurous enough.” It was located on the island’s deserted west side.
Ambergris Caye’s Property Treasure Hunt
Dennis advised us that the golf cart ride would be difficult because the roads on that side of the island had not yet been paved. Furthermore, the energy cables were not far away. This suddenly seemed like a true adventure. Fortunately, as we bounced up the road to the property, we could see that power was on its way, with poles sprouting up like slender palm palms all along the sandy walkways. Nobody knew how long it would take to travel all the way to the northwest end.
On Ambergris Caye, this beachfront property is known as “Secret Beach.” Who wouldn’t want to live in a paradise like Secret Beach? But it was a closely guarded secret at the time. Only locals and a few hippies who lived off the grid in the area were aware of this practically desolate beach.
A Prediction for the Future
Secret Beach expanded in 2019, adding bars, restaurants, boutique hotels, a beach club, and a spa. It’s simply amazing. Examine it out!