Warning! Don’t Make the Same Mistake About Belize That I Did!

My husband and I took a way-too-short trip to Belize last week just to check out the real estate market, and boy was that ever a mistake!  There is too much beauty there and way too many things to do to make the trip for just 3 days.

It was more spectacular than I could have imagined, and the people of Belize were wonderfully welcoming. I am now totally infatuated with learning more and going back as soon as I possibly can. Of course, the next trip will be for at least a week, and I will plan to do snorkeling, fishing, and lots of exploring and yes, check out more real estate.  It’s what I do, no matter where I go. Just can’t help myself.

The flight over from Miami was just 2 hours to Belize City on American Airways.  Then we hopped on a quick 20 minute flight from the mainland over to Ambergris Caye on Tropic Airways, the official airline of Belize. I don’t usually like the smaller planes and considered taking the water taxi instead, but once we got in the air, the scenery was breathtaking with turquoise waters, small islands, boats, and tile rooftops. I’m glad I didn’t chicken out. It was exciting and we took some great photos.

Upon landing on Ambergris Caye, and taking a shuttle one block to the dock, a water taxi took us to the resort of Belizean Shores. I was immediately astounded at the clarity of the water. It looked like Silver Springs, with sea grass flowing on the bottom.  After a short boat  ride we were at the dock of the resort. The boat captain radioed ahead and  the resort had a welcome committee of two, one with fresh rum punches for us and another to take our luggage. After being welcomed and escorted to our condo just a few feet up the beach, we were told to relax, unpack, and come to the front desk later to check in. Island Hospitality! I was liking it already.  Everyone was so casual and accommodating that we began to relax right away.

The condo complex is only two stories, just steps from the water, lush with palm trees loaded with coconuts and healthy green fronds rustling in the Caribbean breezes. We were in a true paradise.

After unpacking, we walked up to the office to register, and were greeted as Mr. Bob and Ms. Nancy.  We noticed the  expansive resort pool had a covered open air bar in the center accessible by a walkover bridge.  We made our first new friend, the bartender, William, and learned a lot about the favorite drinks of the tourists in Belize. Well, we were on a fact finding trip, right? A few other visitors had already discovered this treasure and were giving William lots of practice with exotic liquid treats.

Belizean Shores is one of the older complexes that are part of Ambergris Caye, built in 1998, but it had a very special charm, with  lots of mahogany trim and doors, a large covered front porch for enjoying al fresco dining. I found out later that mahogany is a great natural resource of Belize. The units are beautifully maintained and furnished with full kitchens, lots of tv channels, internet and phone service, and concierge.  You can have groceries delivered from a local grocery, or go into town by water taxi, or bicycle. (They have bikes and golf carts for rent on site.) We chose the latter, but waited until the next day. That pool bar was just way too inviting. We had dinner at the restaurant on site. It wasn’t very busy, but the food was absolutely wonderful. I found that lobster is another natural resource. I was liking this place more by the minute!  For whatever we wished  to do while we were there, the concierge  was at our beck and call to make it happen. There were also kayaks and paddle boards on site free for our use.

So the next morning we took the water taxi back into town for some supplies and some exploring. San Pedro looks like a typical small Mexican town, yet we were in Belize. The signs were all in English, and yet it looked just like Mexico. Tourists were mostly using golf carts to get around, so we did that the next day. In the afternoon we checked out the pool bar using the swim up stools. Now that is the way to go to the pool bar.

We felt that if we were going to find out more about the island than being a tourist, we needed wheels, so the next day we rented the golf cart. I must admit I was a bit afraid, as we were on a bumpy dirt road away from the resort, and it was a little remote. But we quickly came upon some homes under construction both on the bay side and the beach side, and other complexes also under construction, and other tourists and residents going back and forth.  It was a good choice to learn more about  the happenings. We explored the town, had breakfast at George’s kitchen, a local place, and stopped back by the Grand Caribe Condo Resort on the way back. That complex was newer, ( 2 ½ years old), and spectacular.  The doors were hand carved mahogany, the kitchens were really decked out with granite counter tops, and the floor plans were spacious. We looked at one 2 bedroom resale with an incredible ocean view for $480,000. They had only around 80 condos and they were building their 4th pool. They had a swim up pool bar restaurant, but not a dinner restaurant.  We were told there is one in the works.

The second evening we just walked down the beach to another resort for dinner, about a 5 minute walk. We met that afternoon with a RE/MAX broker at Coco Beach Resort just a short walk down the beach. He told us about Venezia Del Rico, the under construction project on the beach next to Belizean Shores. It is going to be absolutely incredible, and 60 out of the 85 condos are already sold. All of the resorts we checked out were only 70 to 85 units, and no buildings over 4 stories, which gives a nice feeling of no crowds anywhere, except maybe a little congestion on the narrow streets in town.

The last night we wanted a special dinner, so William (the bartender), recommended Mombo’s  and reservations were made for the restaurant’s water taxi to pick us up at the dock around 7. It was a great choice and quite romantic with tiki torches, exotic decor and music, and again a friendly staff. The rumor is that Madonna wrote her famous song, La Isla Bonita, from here and names the restaurant in the song.  And what did our host bartender do?  Well of course he played the song so we could enjoy it.

That cinched the deal.

I now want to live there, sell a few condos, and stop by the pool bar to chat with William each afternoon for a little perspective. We are definitely going back.

Easy Belize: How to Live, Retire, Work and Buy Property in Belize, the English Speaking Frost Free Paradise on the Caribbean Coast