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Hannah Weber – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Shops in San Ignacio, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn general, living in Belize is much more personal and there is much more communication involved. In the US or in Austria, when you see a store, you already know from the outside what things you can buy there. You can easily tell if it’s a hardware store, a furniture store, or if it’s a grocery and you just decide where to go. Here in Belize, you could go to a store that sells tires and when you go in, you’d see that they are also selling some kitchen equipment. You never know.
 
So you have to check out the store and you have to talk to people so you would know where to find things. It is for this purpose that we have a Facebook group called “Cayo Finds”. In case you need something, you just post it there. If somebody finds something that is rare or hard to find, they take a picture of it and post it on that page.
 
Shopping in Cayo is just like shopping in Austria 60 years ago. The shops here are smaller, the variety of goods is not that big, and the quality is not what we are used to from a 1st world country.
 
When it comes to shopping for other things like clothing, there is also a big difference. My problem is that I am too tall for the clothing here in Belize. I am 5’8”. The average Belizean woman is much smaller than I am so I cannot find clothing and shoes here. Whenever I need things like that, I either buy in Austria when I travel there or I buy it in the States. You can also purchase everything you like in one of the online stores in the States and have it shipped down here. We have forwarding companies so you can order anything from the US via Amazon and other online sites and have it shipped to the warehouses and then they will bring it down here. They do the shipping once a month on average.
 
(Shops in San Ignacio, Belize, pictured.)
Roberto Harrison of Chaa Creek – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
hammock – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere’s not a lot of big shopping in Cayo. You will be able to find most of the things that you need in the stores and shops here in Cayo but if you are looking for a specific brand, then you might have some difficulty finding it here because nobody imports the brand or maybe the price is not too affordable for the people here in Cayo.
 
Expats in Cayo usually buy their favorite brands when they go back to their home countries and they bring them down here. There are some items that you will not be able to source in Cayo but you will find in other districts like Belize City, for example, where there are more options. Belize City is an hour and a half away from San Ignacio. Here in San Ignacio, we do have strip malls but we don’t have huge malls like the ones that you will find in other countries.
 
If you want to go to a mall, you could go to Chetumal in Mexico, which 3 hours away from San Ignacio. Chetumal is on the northern border of Belize and it has a huge shopping mall. Other than that, you could also go to Guatemala City, which is a 6-hour drive away on a private vehicle. If you are going to take a public transport, it would take about 8 hours. You could take an hour and a half plane ride to Guatemala from Belize but it would tend to be a pricey.
 
(Hammocks are favorite souvenirs from Belize, pictured.)
Jaseth Bassaragh of The Alpha & Omega Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Mayan clothing – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn the Cayo District in Belize, you will find a lot of artwork, a lot of handmade items, household goods, and furniture.  You’ll find locally made furniture because Belize is noted for its lumber; furniture from mahogany, teak, rosewood--beautiful!
 
The gift shops are divine. You’ll find jewelry, t-shirts, and household items. When I go to Belize and I want to pick a gift item, locally made top-of-the-line Cayo is where I go.
 
There are individual shops based on whatever you need, so you're not going to find clothing and you would find items you would find in an American mall. You're going to find local clothing that’s printed, tie-dyed; handmade stuff based on the Mayan culture, mostly. You’ll also find a flare for Caribbean styles, so you’ll find very bright colorful clothing.
 
If you want items made in the US, of course, you'll have to shop online. But I can tell you that the best cotton I find comes from Guatemala, so you could just go to Guatemala and a lot of the items you could buy you would find later in the US. In fact, if you read the label on many of your shirts you will see “Made in Mexico,” or, “Made in Guatemala.” So, you could get good quality clothing, but it's not going to be in a mall setting where you have food and drinks and you walk in an air conditioned building. You're going to be outdoor shopping. 
 
(Beautiful woven clothing based on Mayan designs, pictured.)

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