There's a place for everybody in Belize. Some people want to be on the beach, in the mountains, or near the border.
Corozal is a small town with a lot of expats. A lot of people like Corozal because it's close to the Mexican border. They can easily cross the border and get to Chetumal, which is a bigger city with 400,000 to 500,000 people. Most of the people in Corozal like to go to Chetumal to buy their groceries and watch movies (there are no movie theaters in Belize), and because, for some things, Chetumal is a lot cheaper and they have a broader selection of products than in Belize.
Everything there is cheaper in Corozol because their wages are cheaper and Mexico imports in large quantities because of their large population. I love it. I have a real estate salesman who loves it and tells stories about why people love it there. They have expat groups that party and have a good time.
He talks about going over to Chetumal to watch movies because the movies are in English with Spanish subtitles underneath. He buys his groceries. It's crowded over there compared to where I am in the Cayo District. He likes living in Corozal and he likes going to Chetumal.
Ambergris Caye is where most of the expats are. It's a big time tourist spot. Everybody's on the beach and most of them are living in a condo. You would have a different tourist on the street every day because the tourists are coming and leaving. It costs a lot more to live on Ambergris Caye because everything has to be transported from the mainland. For example, we own a hot sauce company. We take our orders from Belize City. To get them to Ambergris Caye, we put them on a ship, which then has to be unloaded and taken to the different stores, which costs money. So these stores in Ambergris Caye sell my hot sauce for more than what it sells for on the mainland.
Placencia is also a hot spot for foreigners and expats and is cheaper than Ambergris Caye because they get everything for the same price as on the mainland because Placencia is a peninsula. Placencia is growing quite well with foreigners. There's the story that a hurricane that struck Ambergris Caye 12 years ago sparked the growth of Placencia. When Ambergris Caye lost its resorts and docks, they sent their clients to Placencia, and they loved it. They went crazy over Placencia and it has grown tremendously ever since.
Hopkins is a Garifuna fishing village right on the coast. The Garifunas/Caribs came here 300 years ago. They're great fishermen and they're really nice. Hopkins is just small town and it's not commercialized like Palencia. It's where my wife and I go to the beach and visit restaurants during the weekend. We love it there.
But as for me, I like living in the Cayo district because I’m a farmer and it’s where the fields and the mountains are located and the weather is better.
The weather is better in the Cayo district because the amount of rain is just right. Down south, they get about 150 inches of rain in a year. Up north where Corozal is, they get 50 inches of rain a year; and in the Cayo District, we get about 90 inches of rain a year, which is just about right.
The Cayo District also has the greatest temperature change in the country. Our average high temperature is 85 degrees year round. But in May, which is our hottest month, it can reach up to 100 degrees during the day and down to 68 to 70 degrees at night. So it gets cooler at night. But if you live at the beach in Belize, the temperature is more temperate because of the air coming from the Caribbean Sea. It may be 82 degrees all day but the temperature only drops at around 76 degrees at night. The change in temperature from day to night is not as great as what we have in the Cayo District.
Insects are a common problem in the beaches where the sand flies and mosquitoes thrive. But in the Cayo District, we don't have an insect problem. It's less likely that you're going to get bitten by insects here.
Overall, Cayo is just a better life for me.
(Hot Mama's Hot Sauce from the Cayo District, Belize in various travel sizes, pictured.)