Where is Belize?
Belize is a former British colony located on the Caribbean coast between Mexico and Guatemala. Roughly the size of Wales, its population is less than 300,000 [view map]
Why consider a real estate investment in Belize?
- Real estate is highly affordable, making it an attractive to foreign buyers. Property prices in the most sought after parts of Belize have been increasing in value over the last 20 years, and independent local experts estimate that property prices are now growing by an average of 15% per year, and by as much as 30% on the coast. This trend has been encouraged by generous government incentives for local and foreign investors interested in developing resorts and supporting infrastructure and services so long as they comply with the country's strict environmental regulations.
- Foreigners have the same rights as locals to buy and own freehold property in Belize and there are no special permits required to own real estate.
- Belize has no capital gains or inheritance taxes therefore you or your beneficiaries will not suffer taxation upon the disposal of your Belizean real estate assets.
- Belize offers more than 300 miles of stunning Caribbean Sea coastline, including around 400 islands off the coast offering tranquil island living and the chance to explore numerous remote and uninhabited nearby islands. It is home to the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef providing the finest diving and snorkelling in the Northern Hemisphere. Underwater visibility can be an astonishing 60m (197ft).
- The flora, fauna, bird and wildlife are spectacular. You will find tropical pine forests, rainforest jungles, pristine waterfalls, caves with stalactites and stalagmites, jaguar reserves and butterfly farms to name but a few.
- Belize already has a significant niche in eco-tourism, with much to offer the visitor in the way of cultural and natural attractions. The pristine tropical rain forests, rivers and lagoons host an exotic and diverse array of flora and fauna, including endangered species such as Manatee and Jaguar. Trekking through the old growth jungle or hiking its mountains of up to 3,700 feet, provides the intrepid explorer with an opportunity to discover the caves and hidden temples of the ancient Mayan pyramids, and to visit or stay with indigenous local inhabitants.
- Belize is attracting an increasing number of tourists each year, particularly from North America, Europe and British Commonwealth countries whose visitors do not require visas. It is becoming a magnet for cruise ship visitors.
- The number of tourists visiting the country has risen from just over 100,000 visitors in 1993 to more than 1 million in 2004, three quarters of which are cruise-ship visitors. Although this rapid rise in the tourist levels is having a positive impact on employment and infrastructure development in Belize, it also presents a number of challenges to the country’s biodiversity and in particular the natural habitats of its mammals and birds. Thankfully, the general awareness among the population of the need to protect its environmental resources is reflected in the culture and practice in Belize and will be crucial to meeting the sustainability challenges presented by the rise in tourism.
How is the political situation?
A member of the British Commonwealth, formerly British Honduras, Belize is a unique English-speaking democracy. In terms of its culture, history and appearance, Belize has more in common with the Caribbean islands than with its more volatile Central American neighbours. This is reflected in its peaceful political culture.
Its citizens are a varied and harmonious blend of cultures and ethnicity that including Mestizo, Creole and Maya. This ethnic diversity has nurtured a climate of social harmony and political stability that is demonstrated by its coup-free past and the frequent peaceful transitions of power between the two main political parties since independence from Britain in 1981.
How do you fly to Belize?
Belize is about 2 hours and 15 minutes by air from Miami, Florida and Houston, Texas. Direct flights are also available from Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C and from Toronto, Canada. Direct flights are also available from the UK.
What language is spoken?
English is the official language and is widely spoken, as is Spanish. Other languages include Creole, German, Mayan and Garifuna.