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Melisa Ayala of Grand Baymen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Grand Baymen oceanfront suites,  Ambergris Caye,  Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe best thing about living in Ambergris Caye is that it’s laid back and it’s very peaceful. At Gran Baymen, which is where I work, it is close to town but not as far off. It’s peaceful, yet convenient.
 
It’s also the worst thing in Ambergris Caye that we’re so laid back. As Belizeans we take days to get one thing done and that is one of the complaints that we receive from Americans. If you, for example, are trying to get a legal settlement or legal issue resolved that usually takes a month in the States, here, it takes 3 months. Being pretty laid back both an advantage and disadvantage.
 
I just heard recently that one of our tenants was complaining and saying, “Oh my God, you are not done with my paperwork yet.” And we said, “Yes, Belizeans are terribly laidback.” And he said, “Yeah, I understand that.” To get one paperwork done takes forever. So it’s a pro and a con at the same time.
 
(Grand Baymen oceanfront suites,  Ambergris Caye,  Belize, pictured.)
 
Josh Buettner of Ambergris Seaside Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I love being on the water,North Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living so for me, being close to the sea is a big part of living and retiring in Ambergris Caye. I like being able to get in a boat pretty much 350 days a year and drive around inside the reef where it is protected from really inclement weather, big waves, etc. So you could always find a place to go on a boat. That is an important factor for a lot of people here because In general people are buying smaller properties or smaller homes or smaller condos and this gives you the ability to change your backyard or your scenery pretty much instantaneously, with unlimited access to hundreds and hundreds of square miles of open water. That is a huge plus.
 
The number one thing for me about living here on Ambergris Caye are the people. The people here and in Belize in general, based on my experience, are just some of the friendliest and outgoing people I have seen. They have a really deep desire to enjoy life. Americans and Canadians are kind of taught that you should spend your life working as hard as you possibly can in order as much money as you can so that you can enjoy yourself in your retirement. The people here in Belize have a different view. They are going to enjoy themselves throughout their lives, and work when it is needed.
 
My least favorite thing about Ambergris Caye is probably the trash. The situation overall has improved greatly over the past 10 years or so and will continue to improve. You have to change an entire generation of people and that takes time, as we learned in the US in the 1970s, when all the clean-up campaigns started such as the one with the crying Indian.  We are at that stage here in Belize at the moment, and it is getting better, thanks to education and public awareness.  
 
(Realtor Josh Buettner with laptop and ball, showing property on the northside of Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)
David Drummond of Georgetown Trust – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Sattelite image of barrier reef of Ambergris Caye – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe best thing about retiring in Ambergris Caye is waking up every day to the roar of the sea crashing over the barrier reef that protects the island. Typically, we have a blue sky and you know that, if it is going to rain, it is going to be only for a period of time. You know every day the weather is always going to be as nice as the day before and you can predict when it is not going to be. You know that you can have nice fresh vegetables and fruits and you are not going to worry about where the produce is coming from.
 
The downside to being on the island is that it is kind of like being in a small town. That is a plus and a minus. You will know most of the people in the area where you live and you will wind up knowing pretty much everyone on the island, too. It is going to be almost too “small townish,” when you live in Ambergris Caye.
 
Then of course, you also have this problem with tourists. They make the normal five-minute golf cart ride to downtown ten or fifteen minutes. Ambergris Caye is still a vacation island, so there is way much karaoke on the island at night and there are way too many drinking tourists singing karaoke at night. You have that dynamic of being in place where there are people coming and going. They are here temporarily, having fun, and enjoying themselves.
 
Ambergris Caye is a fun little place. Belize is a laid-back Caribbean country and Ambergris Caye is a laid-back Caribbean island.
 
(A satellite image of the barrier reef along Ambergris Caye, pictured.)
Kate Corrigan  of Georgetown Trust – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Ambergris Caye sunrise over three piers – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe best thing about living and retiring in Ambergris Caye is the weather. It is always warm. Although it may be humid, it is always warm. There are times during the year when the bugs are out, but and if you are prone to getting bitten you really have to look after yourself and put on some bug spray. They are not really that pleasant if you are prone to getting bitten. After my five years of living here, though, they do not bite me anymore.
 
The water and the water sports is another best thing about living in Ambergris Caye. There are several communities here that will suit anybody. So whether you like water sports or you are an artist, you will find something in Ambergris Caye that is suitable for you.
 
Another good thing about living here in Ambergris Caye is the proximity to other places. If you are living in Ambergris Caye, you are only a 12-minute flight away from the mainland and from the mainland, you can take a 2-hour flight that can take you to Atlanta, Georgia, Houston, Texas, or Miami, Florida. You are never too far away from the main international airports that give you access to the rest of the world.
 
The island of Ambergris Caye is a real melting pot of people from all over the world. They are all here because they want to be here. So most people here are particularly happy. Even the local Belizeans who work here choose to be here, even if they have families on the mainland. In San Pedro Ambergris Caye traffic – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livinggeneral, people are happy here in Ambergris Caye.
 
As far as cons, there are cons to being on a small island. Everybody wants to know your business and they will talk sometimes, but I find that a comforting thing that everybody here looks out for each other and they are there to help you when you need it. If I cannot find my daughter one afternoon, I will just ask somebody or put it on Facebook and somebody would say, “Hey! I saw your daughter here.” It is quite comforting for me.
 
If, on the other hand, I don’t want to get involved with the community, I can stay at home and cook and do my own thing without everybody being in my business. I do not know if that is a pro or a con, but I do find it comforting for the most part to be living in a small island. I feel safe as well.  Safety is something that I very much value here in Ambergris Caye.  
 
The technology here is very good. Our Internet is improving all the time. Skype is a new thing over the last couple of years that Belize now offers. International business is now easy to conduct because of Internet connectivity.
 
Another very good plus of Belize is that we are in one of the safest financial jurisdictions in the world, so Belize if a nice place to keep your money.  
 
And again, everybody knows each other. If, for example, you are thinking of getting into the medical tourism industry, you just go ahead and see our town mayor, who will make an introduction and you might be having tea with the prime minister’s wife the following day because your business might be something that she is interested in, too. There is a real sense of community here.
 
I don’t have many bad things to say at all. If one day you cannot buy oranges in the store because they are not available, then you buy lemons or bananas and that is just a way of life here. Things are not as quick as you might like them, but that could be the reason why people move here to retire.

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