While we don’t recommend retiring in Belize City due to the high crime rate, what if you retire in Ladyville, Belize – just 8 miles to the north? This mainland community of about 5,000 consists of many expats who want to be close to the big city, but not actually in it. There are some gorgeous homes and properties in the area, including some spectacular man-made beach front lots. Most of the local people living in Ladyville are professionals who commute into the city for work.
The Goldson International Airport is in Ladyville and is the nation’s main airport. Nine airlines fly in and out to other cities in Central America and to the US. Ladyville is a 3 hour flight out of Dallas, Texas.
The weather ranges from an average high of 81F in January to 88F in July, August, and September. They get 76 inches of rain per year and the climate is considered “tropical Monsoon”.
Belize City is a city of about 60,000 people with a very high crime rate. It used to be the capital until Hurricane Hattie in 1961 when the city was nearly destroyed and the government moved to Belmopan – quite a bit inland. There are several major banks in the city as well as shopping centers. There is a charming seaport and several historical homes and buildings in the older part of town. The streets are pretty narrow. The visitor web page advises “Heed advice from your tour operators and hoteliers about where to go in the city. Be sure to apply the same common sense, care and attention as you would to stay safe at home or in any city environment.” Major cruise ships pull into Belize City, so the tourist areas are pretty safe.
There are lots of things to do in the area and guides to take you. Mayan temples, riverboat cruises, canopy tours, cave tubing, wildlife sanctuaries, distilleries, and all manner of watersports. This is a haven for scuba divers.
Warning: Rentals in Ladyville are very reasonable. We easily found two bedroom homes in the $700 a month range in a secured neighborhood. You can buy property here, but we recommend against it unless you plan to live here full time. Many owners have returned from the States to find extensive vandalism and theft.
The Belize City area is a double edged sword. Gorgeous landscape and amazing beaches on one side with crime and possible hurricanes on the other. We think its a great place to visit or retire for awhile!