English-speaking and less than three hours’ flight from the southern United States, Belize can be a much-loved retirement haven and the ideal place for a second home. The long coastline embraced by the waters of the Caribbean is dotted with hundreds of small, sandy, low-lying islands (cayes) dotted with coves and perched atop coral reefs.
The largest caye in Belize and better known thanks to Madonna’s song “Isla Bonita” is Ambergris, 42 miles long and 1 mile wide, surrounded by turquoise waters and located on the eastern foot of the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Diving and fishing in the warm and life-rich waters of the region are world-class. Sunshine in the area is plentiful year-round, the locals are friendly and welcoming, and you can stay in and out of the country just as a tourist. trellising net
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Property prices in Ambergris fell 10% in 2020 as a result of travel restrictions, but this market looks set to recover quickly once the pandemic passes. You can buy a property in central Belize today for less than $100,000, but prices are higher in Ambergris. This wasn’t the budget target as it was a few decades ago, but it still has a bargain compared to the higher profile Caribbean markets.
Ambergris’ pre-pandemic short-term rental market was active with strong occupancy rates thanks to high levels of returning visitors. Property taxes in Belize are definitely low (tens of dollars a year), which helps increase investment rental returns.