What’s the big draw to Belize, the country formerly known as British Honduras which lies between on the Caribbean coast between Mexico and Guatemala? You can start with the obvious amenities that are common to all Central American countries consistently warm weather, clear ocean water, affordable prices, relaxed lifestyle, and wonderful local residents. The bonus of Belize, an area slightly smaller than Massachusetts, is that it has shallow, inner coastal waters sheltered by a line of coral reefs and it is dotted with islets extending almost the entire length of the country.
Couple that intriguing coast with the Maya Mountains and the Cockscomb Range in the southern half of the country, the huge forests of the mainland, and the eco-tourism delights of the Cayo District and you have an inviting destination. Toss in attractive retirement incentives, no capital gains taxes or inheritance taxes and you begin to get a better idea of why second-home buyers are considering the country once labeled “too far south of Cancun” to be a good place to invest. U.S. dollars are readily accepted, but the official currency is the Belizean dollar (BZD). Two Belizean dollars equal one U.S. dollar, and the ratio has not changed. What to do at sentosa singapore
Bill Hollingsworth is a trauma surgeon in Columbus, Ohio, a chilly spot for at least six months of the year. He takes a break from the stress and the weather by visiting his second home in Belize. “I chose Belize for the people. Very nice, very friendly,” Hollingsworth said. “Also, because English is spoken in Belize. There is no language barrier. The contracts for home buying were simple and easy to understand.”
While English is the official language of Belize, English Creole is widely spoken and remains a distinctive part of everyday conversations for most Belizeans in the country’s six districts. Spanish is spoken by the majority of the people in the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts (north of the main district of Belize) and in the Cayo District in the west. In the southern Districts, Stann Creek and Toledo, there are people whose first language is Garifuna or Maya. Spanish is also common and is taught in primary and secondary schools in order to further develop bilingualism.
Belmopan, the capital, was built in the center of the country in 1970 following extensive damage caused by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 to the former capital, Belize City. Belmopan, located on higher ground, serves as a hurricane refuge for Belizeans and has the largest number of hurricane shelters in the country. However, Belize City still remains the hub of commercial activity and has the country’s largest airport.