Many people are initially attracted to Belize because of the pristine nature, balmy temperatures, and delicious food but soon learn to appreciate the finer things thanks to a very affordable cost of living. The local currency, called the Belize Dollar (BZD), is permanently pegged to the US Dollar at 2:1, making it easy and simple to calculate costs without having to worry about fluctuations.
While Belize is far more affordable than similar nations in the region, the most important factor to consider when determining a monthly budget is the amount that you will pay for rent or a mortgage. The offshore islands, including the tourist hotspot of Ambergris Caye, have a limited number of available properties. Beachfront rentals can be $1,000 or more in top areas like Ambergris Caye and Placencia, but it is much easier to find more affordable locations elsewhere in Belize.
International Living Magazine published a comprehensive breakdown of average costs in Belize, estimating that expats who own their home can live very well on just $1,500 per month. Other important factors to consider include the type and quality of food you eat. Locally-grown fresh produce like tropical fruits, cashew, and cacao is far cheaper than in the United States or Canada while imported produce like apples and manufactured goods are often between 2-5 times as expensive in Belize. Residents of Belize living close to Mexico can take advantage of NAFTA and other regulations that make food, retail goods, and other manufactured items very affordable.
The good news for homeowners in Belize is that property taxes are very low. Even million dollar homes rarely garner more than a four-figure property tax, and the government of Belize assesses no taxes on income derived outside of the country. Imported items like gasoline are more expensive (the average price is around $5/gallon) but hiring housekeepers and other services rarely cost more than $15-20 per day.
Traveling in Belize is relatively inexpensive, and the entrance fees for national parks, reserves, and ancient Maya sites is usually $10 or less. Home internet is usually very affordable at around $25-50 per month, but mobile internet can sometimes be as pricey as in the United States. Utilities are generally quite affordable with the exception of electricity, which is also imported.
Cerros Sands is a gated, master-planned community located in Belize’s northern Corozal District near the border with Mexico. An ideal community for individuals looking to retire, live in, and invest in property, Cerros Sands has completed homes and waterfront lots starting at $25,000.
What’s the Cost of Living in Corozal?
Corozal is the northernmost district (equivalent to a state or province) in Belize. It is located on the border with Mexico and just across the bay from the island of Ambergris Caye. Thanks to its superb location, abundance of wildlife and pristine nature, and proximity to top attractions in Belize, it is rapidly becoming the top choice for retirees and expat investors.
Life in Corozal is surprisingly affordable. Many retirees find that their monthly checks are more than enough to cover all of their needs in Belize. While beach rentals can go for $1,000 USD a month in Ambergris Caye, the prices are far lower in Corozal.
The biggest variable when determining the cost of living in Belize is food. Locally grown foods such as fish, seafood, cashews, chocolate, and tropical fruits are very inexpensive. Imported foods are more expensive, but discount retailers like Walmart and Sam’s Club in Mexico offer familiar foods at very affordable prices. There is also a Free Trade Zone in Corozal that offers goods at substantial discounts for individuals who can pay in American dollars or Mexican pesos.
Living in Belize is also more affordable because of the low rate of taxation. Property owners are taxed at just 1-1.5% of the value of the undeveloped real estate, and there are no capital gains taxes in Belize. Furthermore, income earned outside of Belize is also not taxed. And the QRP residency program allows you to import all of your personal goods (including vehicles) completely duty-free.
One of the best places to live in Corozal is the community of Cerros Sands. Built as a true “community in the country,” Cerros Sands is a master-planned, gated neighborhood that is entirely “off the grid.” When you live in Cerros Sands, you never have to worry about utility bills as the community has been designed from the ground up to be entirely self-sufficient.
Cerros Sands has both completed homes and undeveloped lots for sale. Waterfront parcels start at $27,700, and there are many options available, including beachfront lots, seaview lots, and lots with deep water channel access to the bay. Cerros Sands has prime locations available that are perfect for either building the home of your dreams or establishing a thriving local business.
Cerros Sands provides financing at very generous rates. There are also substantial discounts available for buyers who pay in cash.
If you’ve ever considered living abroad or simply want to enjoy life in a tropical paradise, contact Cerros Sands today for more information.