I was born and raised in Belize. I grew up on Ambergris Caye. I grew up in a humble household with people who are kind. In a country so small and an island even smaller it’s difficult not to have a deep sense of community. As a Belizean being from such a young and developing country, I have had to learn to make the most of what little we had. My playground has been the Caribbean Sea and lush rainforests, not shopping malls and amusement parks. I love adventure. I take every opportunity to ‘seize the day’. Having traveled, I am constantly reminded how special this place is. I feel very lucky to be from Belize. So here are some things that may not be on your todo list. Things that will allow you to experience the country and decide where to potentially spend the next phase of your life. I’ve seen many people move to Belize and never truly embrace it. People move to another country and yet they try to live like wherever in the world they are from. I recommend living like a local. This way you will get the most out of your investment or vacation home.
If you are visiting for the first time I recommend the “Belize top 10 must-see”. It includes snorkeling at the barrier reef, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and Shark Ray Alley. Dive the Great Blue Hole. Visit Mayan ruins such as Altun Ha and Lamanai. The Belize Zoo and the Jaguar Reserve Nature Center are perfect for wildlife enthusiasts. This is definitely a great starting point. But if you’re looking for more keep reading!
Go deep-sea fishing. Deep-sea fishing is one of my favorite things to do. It may sound intimidating if you haven’t done it before. Each trip out is a new experience and a new adventure. There is so much to see. I’ve seen turtles, whales, sharks, huge pods of dolphins, and other majestic marine life. I go out into the deep blue sea with a group of friends, music playing, snacks, drinks, and lines out. I can be out all day. Some days are great and some days are not. After all, it’s called fishing not catching. But the moment you do hook that fish. The level of excitement you experience when you pull the fish into the boat makes everything worth it. It makes for memories, a story, and a great meal.
As I write this we are on lockdown, borders have just opened after 7 months but I have never gone hungry. Just the past few nights we’ve had freshly caught tuna, mahi-mahi, and wahoo steaks for dinner. My family and I cook the fresh fish however we want to. Then we sit together and retell the day’s adventures. It doesn’t get better than this.
Camping In The Cayes
Belize has 200 cayes (little islands) off its coast. This gives you a lot of places to visit. Some of the Cayes are privately owned and some are protected. With permission, there are quite a few that can be your private island for the weekend. Don’t worry, your Belizean friends will know who to contact. I like to go out and spend a couple of nights off the grid with family and friends. This is where we simply enjoy simplicity. Our favorite cayes have been in the Turneffe atolls. Stunning crystal clear waters as far as the eye can see. We catch fish right before every meal and prepare it differently each time. We take lots of veggies to make the freshest ceviches. Conch when it is in season is a treat. Remember, ice is gold! Click here to watch a video of one of our camping trips.
Enjoying a beach barbecue is something you can do any day and even just for the afternoon. We take out the coolers. Load it up with drinks and veggies. Hop in the boat, and head out to the reef where some of us snorkel. We relax while the spear-fishermen go catch lunch. When they come back with their catch, we find a nice spot on the beach to build a fire and prepare lunch. We stay here as long as we want, playing games, swimming and enjoying the beach. If you want to enjoy marvelous sunsets then head to the Westside of the island on the beach or to a sandbar at the end of the day. You can take prepared food and snacks for a picnic. Tents, tubes, and floaties are optional. You may decide to take nothing at all and just enjoy the beauty of the sunset.
One of my absolute favorite things is renting our own private catamaran and sailing the entire Belize Barrier Reef. Check out Belize Sailing Vacations, they are an amazing all-inclusive private sailing charter company that can take you out on a tour like no other. You have all the amenities of a luxury resort, on the boat! Your sailing adventure will be customized to you. With everything you want it to be. I highly recommend them. Ask for Captain Daniel!
We do things on land too! Belize has tons to see on land as well. You can venture West to the Cayo District, where you can explore the beautiful rainforest, several options for waterfalls, visit the Maya ruins, and visit amazing ATM caves. Cayo is one of my favorite places to explore. You can also venture south for scenery and culture. Drive down the Hummingbird Highway, the scenic route to get to places like Hopkins and Punta Gorda “The Culture Capital” of Belize. Exploring these parts of Belize is really like stepping into a history book. To really know and love Belize, I recommend that you visit these parts of the country.
Other things like eating out and doing all the typical touristy things are great, I enjoy them too. But so many of the best meals I’ve ever had have been right at home. Some say life in Belize is expensive, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can make friends with fishermen and buy straight from the source. Purchase all your fruits and veggies from the mom and pop stands instead of the supermarkets. A lot of what is expensive is what is imported. You don’t have to get all the imported stuff, there are a lot of great locally made organic products in Belize. We just make the most of what we have, and what we have is more than enough, You can live a fantastic life here. I hope this gives you an idea of what life in Belize is really like. In reality, is there is so much more.
I would gladly help you settle in, meet the right people, find the right home, and enjoy the best of Belize. Please feel free to reach out to me at Natasha@remaxislandrealestate.com whether you are looking for real estate or simply want tips on how to do any of the things mentioned. As a Belizean, it would be my honor to help.
Written by Natasha Stuart