Belize has often been dubbed “the world’s best kept secret” and rightfully so. From the spectacular beaches of the Placencia Peninsula and abundance of small islands or cayes, the incomparable diving of the world’s second largest barrier reef commonly referred to as Belize’s “garden in the sea”, to the cascading waterfalls, sparkling emerald toned rivers, and breathtaking scenery of inland Belize, it is easy to understand why this ecological paradise is fast becoming one of the world’s premier vacation and retirement destinations.
Undoubtedly, Belize possesses a wealth of attractions to suit every lifestyle. The laid back individual can choose to relax in a hammock while basking in the refreshing Caribbean breeze, take a leisurely canoe trip on the intriguing waters of the historic Belize River, or simply enjoy a thirst quenching beer at one of the numerous local “watering holes”. The more adventurous individual has a host of outdoor activities to indulge in including white-water rafting, horseback riding, hiking through the mystifying nature trails that traverse the country’s largely unspoiled rainforest, diving, fly-fishing and much much more.
Aside from its endless natural attractions, Belize has a host of other alluring features to entice foreign visitors and retirees to its unspoiled shores. Belize is the only English speaking country in Latin America which provides a source of comfort to most visitors knowing that they will not have to breach a communication barrier especially in the case of an emergency. Belize is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society that comprises a vibrant mixture of Mestizos, Creoles, Indigenous Maya, Garifuna, East Indians, various Oriental groups, and Mennonite settlers all of whom wholeheartedly welcome and embrace foreign visitors.
The political climate is assuringly stable. As a former British colony, Belize is a member of the Commonwealth and adheres to the Westminster style of government. The country has a tradition of democracy and free elections are held every five years. The balance of power regularly shifts between the two major political parties. Guatemala has long made claim to Belize’s sovereignty but has never made any serious threat. Disputes are largely restricted to the settlement of Guatemalan villagers along Belize’s international boundary.
Low cost medical care is widely available at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, and in the major district hospitals. More costly private medical service is available in the newly established state-of-the-art Belize Medical Services Hospital in Belize City. Smaller health clinics and dentist offices can be found in most towns and villages. Belize is privileged to host an abundance of highly trained medical professionals, the majority being Cuban, Nigerian, and Central American nationals.
Electricity and sanitation facilities are available in all locations with the exception of the most remote areas. Belize City and San Pedro have their own water systems while the remainder of the country utilizes private septic systems. The telephone service is one of the best in the region with two major phone companies now offering a variety of convenient digital cellular service packages. High speed internet service is also wide spread with most of the nation making the gradual shift from dial-up to more reliable DSL connections.
Undoubtedly, one of Belize’s most enticing benefits has to be its stable year round climate. The average temperature is approximately 79 F. Occasional cold fronts do sweep down from North American during the months of December and January that can cause temperatures to drop as low as 60 F while in the hot humid months from May to September; temperatures can sore in excess of 100 F. The average sea temperature is 85 F. Hurricane season runs from June to November.
Clearly, its unparalleled beauty and omnipresent atmosphere of relaxation combined with the empowering hospitality and vitality of its people make Belize both a secure and inviting place to visit.