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Retire in Belize City Guide

Retire in Belize City with confidence, armed with the knowledge from our extensive guide. It covers critical considerations for retirees, from the cost of living and climate to housing, healthcare, and residency choices in Belize City. We also delve into the social and cultural scene, volunteering options, public transportation facilities, and the city's walkability, helping you make an informed decision.
|-Retire in Belize City Guide

Belize City, is a popular retirement destination for international retirees seeking a laid-back lifestyle in a tropical paradise. The city offers a unique blend of Caribbean charm, rich history, and natural beauty, making it an ideal place for those looking to enjoy their golden years in a vibrant and welcoming community. However, like any other place, retiring in Belize City comes with its own set of advantages and challenges.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Belize City is relatively low compared to many North American and European cities. Housing, groceries, and utilities are generally affordable, allowing retirees to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. However, imported goods can be expensive due to import duties and taxes. Therefore, it’s advisable for retirees to adapt to a local lifestyle and consume locally produced goods and services.


Belize City enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year. The city experiences a wet season from June to November and a dry season from February to May. The average temperature ranges from 75°F in the cooler months to 85°F in the warmer months. This warm and sunny weather is perfect for retirees who enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and exploring the city’s beautiful natural surroundings.


Belize City is home to several private clinics and the largest public hospital in the country, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. While the healthcare system in Belize is generally adequate for routine check-ups and minor illnesses, serious medical conditions may require evacuation to a country with more advanced medical facilities. Therefore, it’s essential for retirees to have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical evacuation.

Public Healthcare System

While Belize has a public healthcare system, it’s primarily designed for Belizean citizens. International retirees can access public healthcare services, but they are usually required to pay out-of-pocket. Many retirees opt for private healthcare or international health insurance to ensure they receive the best possible care.

Residency Options for Retirees

Belize offers a Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program that allows international retirees to live in the country tax-free. To qualify for this program, retirees must be at least 45 years old and have a guaranteed income of at least $2,000 per month from a pension or other source.

Parks and Recreational Activities

Belize City offers a variety of parks and recreational activities for retirees. The city is home to several beautiful parks, including BTL Park and Memorial Park, where retirees can enjoy leisurely walks, picnics, and outdoor concerts. For those interested in history and culture, the Museum of Belize and the Belize City House of Culture are must-visit destinations.


Retirees in Belize City can enjoy a variety of local and international cuisines. Popular local restaurants include Bird’s Isle, where you can enjoy traditional Belizean dishes, and Celebrity Restaurant, known for its delicious seafood. For those craving international flavors, Guilt Trip offers a variety of American and European dishes.

Learning the Language

English is the official language of Belize, making it easy for English-speaking retirees to communicate with locals. However, learning Spanish or Creole can enhance your experience and help you connect with the local community. The Belize Language School offers Spanish and Creole classes for those interested in learning a new language.

What Locals are Like

Belizeans are known for their friendliness and hospitality. They are generally welcoming to international retirees and are always ready to lend a helping hand. The local culture is a unique blend of Maya, Mestizo, Creole, and Garifuna influences, creating a vibrant and diverse community.

Meeting People and Volunteer Opportunities

Meeting people in Belize City is easy, thanks to the city’s friendly and welcoming community. Joining local clubs, participating in community events, and volunteering are great ways to meet locals and other retirees. Organizations like the Belize Red Cross and the Belize Audubon Society offer volunteer opportunities for those looking to give back to the community.

Housing Options

Retirees in Belize City have a variety of housing options to choose from, including apartments, condos, and houses. Many retirees choose to live in the city’s quieter neighborhoods, such as Buttonwood Bay and Belama, which offer a peaceful environment and easy access to amenities. However, those who prefer a more urban lifestyle may opt for downtown Belize City, which is bustling with activity.


Belize City has a reliable public transportation system, and most places are within walking distance, making it possible to live without a car. However, having a car can be convenient for exploring the city and the surrounding areas at your own pace.

Retiring in Belize City, Belize, offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle in a tropical paradise. With its affordable cost of living, friendly locals, and diverse recreational activities, it’s no wonder that more and more international retirees are choosing to call this vibrant city home.

Retirees Talk about Retiring in Belize City

“Belize city is usually used by people just passing thru. For those of us who live here, there is a night life, a cultural center, casino, theatre, gyms etc. The expats are here, and we all eventually find each other, drinking at the British barracks, or local bars and wine clubs. There is an international woman’s group, but I do not attend,” commented an expat living in Belize City.

“Same as living in your own country. Learning to adjust to living with each other 24/7. They say downsizing is good but as prices of properties are so good we went from owning a 3 bedroom in Scotland, to an 8 bedroom in Belize. It’s nice to have that much space, our own space.,” said one expat living in Belize City.

“Getting used to the laid back culture…. You learn fast how to chill.. Relax. Being part of an emerging economy and watching it grow, with many opportunities should you wish to take them up. Low blood pressure. Great food, all natural and unprocessed! A chance to make a difference by sharing your expertise which is always well received and appreciated,” commented an expat living in Belize City.

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.

Additional Information:

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