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Living in Belize: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Belize | Expat Exchange
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Belize

Living in Belize

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Mar 08, 2024

Summary: The approximate population of Belize is 393,000 people. The largest cities in Belize are Belize City, San Ignacio, Orange Walk, and Belmopan. Expats love living in Belize for its laid-back lifestyle, friendly people, and beautiful beaches. Life in Belize is often described as relaxed and peaceful, with a slower pace of life than many other countries. Popular foods in Belize include rice and beans, tamales, fry jacks, and stewed chicken. The cons of living in Belize include a lack of infrastructure, limited job opportunities, and a high cost of living. The average cost of living for an expat is around $2,000 to $3,000 per month in US dollars. This includes rent, utilities, food, and other expenses.

William Russell
William Russell
William Russell
William Russell

What do I need to know about living in Belize?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Belize, they said:

"If you're interested in San Ignacio, I would suggest visiting Carmelita Gardens. It's a development about 7 miles from SI, just outside of Santa Familia. I'm not sure if you're looking to rent or buy, but you definitely want a place where you will feel welcome. So you're looking for a community. That's why I would recommend checking out Carmelita Gardens. There are rentals (short and long term) and lots (and a few homes) for purchase. It's a very welcoming community. Cheers," wrote one member in Carmelita Gardens.

"Do not leave your brain at the border- see this article here http://www.caribpro.com/Caribbean_Property_Magazine/index.php?pageid=767," remarked one expat who made the move to Cayo San Ignacio.

"I love Belize, I am from London UK, now in America and we have bought some land in Belize and will be building a home and emigrating soon. We did months of research prior to spending 20 days there and fell in love. Best part is that it is only a 20 minute flight to the Cayes. Scuba diving is a must, I will definitely do that again. And Mexico is so near to us (Corozal) it is just a 20 minute drive to get to the big department stores so a win win. I love the way of life there, only thing I would say is never expect the place you emigrate to, to be and have exactly what you already have. People who have emigrated there with no research have moved back out of Belize as they expected Walmart and Starbucks on every corner, and a good old American food. Research, choose a few places then spend a few days at least in both," explained one expat living in Corozal, Belize.

"Always travel to Belize first before you move here. Never try to make Belize just like it was for you back home... just accept Belize for what it is and enjoy it. It's an emerging third world country.... not the USA, so keep your expectations in check and go with the flow," said one expat in Belize City.

"Before retiring in Belize, expats should understand that the cost of living is high compared to other Central American countries, and they will need to budget accordingly. Additionally, they should research their medical options in Belize, and familiarize themselves with the visa and residency requirements in order to stay legally in the country. It's also important to research the language and culture of Belize, as these will likely be very different from those at home. Finally, expats should be aware that the tropical climate and hurricane season may affect living conditions," said one expat who made the move to Belize.

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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.

Belize

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