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Virginia Krohn of Villa Cayo Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Owner in his fruitstand in Cayo, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWe like living in Cayo because we don’t care about anything related to nightlife, which is something we don’t have much of anyways. What we do love is all the plants, flower, and the wildlife.  We want to live a physically active and healthy lifestyle which is easy here and much less expensive than in the states.  If you come here and you want to live like an American and eat like an American, then you’re going to pay American prices because all the American products are imported. For example, If you want to have an apple there is a very nice selection but each one will cost $1.25 Belize (around 65 cents US). You can also have imported romaine lettuce but it is going to be expensive and in my opinion the local lettuce is fresher and better tasting with less chemicals.  There are some shops that provide organic, pesticide-free, non-GMO produce. 
 
We also have grass-fed cattle here as well as chicken that is raised hormone free by the Mennonites. If you eat pork we have a producer that can fill that need.  We have a local farm here in San Ignacio that raises their own cows producing fresh raw milk, butter, yogurt and soft cheeses.  They make delicious granola, breads and other baked goods.  Overall, you can live a very healthy, and inexpensively Cayo if you choose to.
 
(Owner in his fruitstand in Cayo, Belize, pictured.)
Franklin Syrowatka of Better Homes Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The chickens of Franklin Vanilla Hills Lodge, Cayo, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingFor me, living in Cayo is a great adventure. It is a chance to completely broaden your horizon because living in Cayo will be different no matter where you come from. Since people are very friendly and welcoming, living here is heartwarming. You will learn that there is a lot beyond consumerism because it just doesn’t take place here. Living here means a simple but focused life because there is no exaggerated sophistication like in many urbanized areas of first world countries.
 
In addition to that, Cayo has a very nice climate, which I like. It is never really cold and rarely really hot. Nature is very beautiful and unspoiled. You have lots of room to roam around and if you don’t want to see your neighbor, you don’t need to.
 
For me, coming here was a very good decision. I have never regretted it, even if it was stressful at times. The first thing that you learn when you come here is patience. Everybody has all the time in the world. If you cannot take that hurdle then Belize is not for you. But once you accept that the things you thought are “ultra urgent” are very often not as urgent for Belizeans, life  slows you down to a certain degree and you automatically relax. It takes a while to get used to it but once you immerse and accept the concept, it is just a relief.
 
Also my wife and I live a much healthier lifestyle here in Cayo because we prepare all our food ourselves. We have chickens and lots of fruit trees and grow vegetables in a greenhouse. We eat no processed food anymore. 
 
Living in Cayo is simple, straightforward, and it is just beautiful. I like it.
 
(The chickens of Franklin Syrowatka's self-sufficient inn, Vanilla Hills Lodge, Cayo, Belize, pictured.)
Roberto Harrison of Chaa Creek – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Copa Airlines partying at Lodge at Chaa Creek, Cayo, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingLiving in the western district of Cayo is a mixture of excitement and relaxation all at the same time simply because the Cayo District is known to be the adventure hub of the country of Belize. There is a lot of tourism in our area and Belizeans are happy people. Many people here in Belize enjoy partying and drinking, mixing the Caribbean and Latin cultures. We also enjoy nature and a relaxing life with the amenities that you would find in a developing country.
 
(Copa Airlines employees enjoying The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Cayo, Belize, pictured.)
Wilana Oldham of Hot Mama's Belize Limited – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Housewarming party in Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI love living in the Cayo District. 
 
When my husband, Howard, and I thought about coming back from the US to Belize, we spent probably 6 months to a year during which time we kept coming down here to Belize every month and we traveled the entire country to get an understanding and a feel.
 
I was originally from Belize City and I had not really ventured too far into the country. When Howard and I started looking at moving to Belize, we had to figure out what would be the best place. So we drove around and met people and talked to people and the Cayo District was the area that we kept coming back to. It has rolling hills. We love it because of the people that we met and made friends with. We love the fact that most of the farming is done in this area so you can always get fresh produce. We love it because every year, from September to March, the temperature drops 20 degrees every night, so the days could be around 80 degrees but it’s around 60 degrees at night. It makes it  wonderful. 
 
There are not a whole lot of insects in Cayo as opposed to when you are on the beach. On the beach, there are doctor flies, mosquitoes, and sandflies. A doctor fly is a very large fly. When it bites you, you don’t even know that you have been bitten until afterwards. It is really horrible. It draws blood and it itches like the dickens. When you are at the beach, you have to be conscious of what’s happening around you because you might get bitten by a doctor fly. In this area of Belize, there are much fewer of those insects, which makes the experience of living here so much more enjoyable. 
 
My lifestyle here in the Cayo District may not be the same as others because I have a business, so I start very early in the morning. I usually get up about 5 AM.  I arrive at the office at around 6:30 AM. So I am up early, I work early, and go to lunch between 12 PM and 1 PM, and go home by 5 PM.
 
I do a little grocery shopping during the week.  On the weekends, we go to the open market in San Ignacio (the largest town in the Cayo district). Everybody here stays busy and they have their own things to do. I tend to run over to the Spanish Lookout (about six miles away) to get supplies, go to the bank, do some shopping, go for lunch, etc.
 
There is a happy hour at the Pig and Parrot on Wednesday evenings, so we may run over to Belmopan to have a few drinks in that area. We have friends in Belmopan, in Spanish Lookout and in San Ignacio, and we get together once in a while. We play games and have parties. We used to be in Rotary and were very active but because of the demands of running my business, I had just to step away.
 
(Housewarming party in Belize, pictured.)
Penny James – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
farmer's market Cayo District, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe Cayo District is, by far, the most diverse and interesting place in Belize to live – whether you are a retiree, an adventure junkie, an amateur hobbyist, a rootless world traveler, an avid parent, or a kid with energy to burn, there really is “something for everyone” in Cayo. It’s a fun, engaging and interesting place to hang one’s hat. There are no major industries that pollute here, no skyscrapers, no “big box stores.” Traffic can get a little congested on market day around the San Ignacio Farmers’ Market, but a traffic jam in Cayo usually consists of a cow blocking the road. 
 
With a combined population of about 25,000 people, Santa Elena/San Ignacio are large towns by Belize standards. As Belize’s second largest city, San Ignacio is always bustling with activity, as it is a center for commerce and eco-tourism in Belize. Many businesses and banks are based here. Atlantic Bank is located on Burns Avenue along with its international banking arm, Atlantic International Bank Limited; Belize Bank, Heritage Bank Belize, Scotiabank Belize and St. Martin’s Credit Union also form a banking presence in San Ignacio. Convenient ATM machines can be found throughout the town. 
 
San Ignacio has a very buoyant nightlife including the Princess Casino at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. There’s plenty of adventure and attractions in Cayo – outstanding jungle spas, Shaman healers, soccer matches, funky festivals, archeological digs, marching bands, and more. Cayo residents love to march to the beat of a different drummer! It’s also the place that people flock to if there is a hurricane evacuation alert on the coast! 
 
For those with school-age children, there is a good selection of primary and secondary schools in Cayo. Galen University is also located in San Ignacio. 
 
Remember the movie “Curse of the Ixtabi”? No? Well, it was filmed here. There are so many incredible attractions within Cayo’s 2,000 square-mile breadth. 1,000’ Falls that are actually 1600’ Falls. Botanical gardens. Butterfly farms. Cave tubing. Cooking lessons. Farm tours. Horseback riding. Jungle Tours. Mayan midwives and medicine healers. Mayan pyramids. Outdoor art parks. Pottery making. Rainforest ecovillages. Sacred grottoes. Spelunking. Volcanic therapy rocks. World-renowned slate carvers. Yoga ashrams. Ziplining. 
 
Cayo is a great place to raise a family. People are friendly here. You’ll find certain courtesies in place that don’t exist back home – wherever that may be. There are a lot of smiling faces here. And there’s laughter in the air underscoring Belize’s ranking as The 4th Happiest Country on the Planet.   
 
(Bananas on display at the farmer's market in the Cayo District, Belize, pictured.)

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