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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Benque Viejo del Carmen 2024
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7 Tips for Living in Benque Viejo del Carmen

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Advice for people moving to Benque Viejo del Carmen or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Benque Viejo del Carmen or thinking about moving there.

Benque Viejo del Carmen, is a charming town nestled in the foothills of the Maya Mountains. It's a popular destination for expats and digital nomads, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and a relaxed lifestyle. Here are seven key tips to help you make the most of your time in this delightful corner of the world.

1. Embrace the Local Culture

Benque Viejo del Carmen is a melting pot of cultures, with a strong influence from the Maya, Mestizo, and Garifuna communities. The town is known for its vibrant festivals, such as the annual Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen. Participating in these local traditions is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and make lasting connections with the locals. Don't be shy to join in the dances, sample the traditional foods, or even learn a few phrases in the local languages.

2. Explore the Natural Beauty

Benque Viejo del Carmen is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, from the lush rainforests of the Maya Mountains to the crystal-clear waters of the Mopan River. Take advantage of the numerous hiking trails, go bird-watching, or enjoy a refreshing swim in the river. The nearby Xunantunich Mayan Ruins and the Noj Kaax Meen Elijio Panti National Park are must-visit spots for nature and history enthusiasts.

3. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Benque Viejo del Carmen offers a variety of dining options that cater to different tastes and budgets. For a taste of local Belizean cuisine, head to Benny's Kitchen, known for its delicious rice and beans, stew chicken, and tamales. If you're in the mood for international cuisine, Pop's Restaurant offers a range of dishes from around the world. Remember, trying the local food is not just about satisfying your taste buds, but also about understanding the culture and traditions of the place.

4. Find Your Ideal Neighborhood

Benque Viejo del Carmen is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. The town center is bustling with activity, with shops, restaurants, and the beautiful Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. The Hillview and Riverside neighborhoods offer a quieter lifestyle, with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Take the time to explore the different areas and find the one that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

5. Stay Connected

As a digital nomad, staying connected is crucial. While Belize's internet infrastructure may not be as advanced as in some other countries, it's generally reliable in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Many cafes and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi, and you can also get a local SIM card for mobile data. The town's library is another good spot for free internet access.

6. Get Involved in the Community

Getting involved in the local community is a rewarding way to feel more at home in your new surroundings. There are numerous opportunities to volunteer, depending on your interests and skills. Whether it's helping out at a local school, participating in environmental conservation efforts, or lending a hand at community events, your contributions will be greatly appreciated. Plus, it's a great way to meet locals and fellow expats.

7. Be Prepared for the Climate

Benque Viejo del Carmen has a tropical climate, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. It's important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun. During the rainy season, from June to November, be prepared for sudden downpours and potential flooding. On the plus side, this is also the time when the surrounding landscapes are at their most lush and beautiful.

Living in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize, is an adventure filled with new experiences, friendships, and discoveries. By embracing the local culture, exploring the natural beauty, enjoying the local cuisine, finding your ideal neighborhood, staying connected, getting involved in the community, and being prepared for the climate, you'll be well on your way to making the most of your time in this charming town.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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