Why Belize?

   Beachfront Property For Sale on St. George's Caye, Belize   

Why Belize?

  1. Because you can. At first glance, this might sound silly, but it is very difficult, expensive, and even risky to purchase beachfront property in many other countries in this area. In fact, it is actually illegal to own beachfront property in many countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and Honduras without taking on a local "partner" in the case of Costa Rica or marrying a Mexican national in the case of Mexico.

  2. Belize is an English speaking country. True this would not be much of an advantage if you did not speak English yourself. However, the vast majority of those who now visit Belize speak English and this has been true for a very long time.

  3. Belize is a country of laws which are based on English common law. Since the country has in place a reasonably complete set of laws, it is possible to ascertain what can and cannot not be done legally. The property taxes and income taxes one pays as a foreigner are the same as those that are paid by those who are native born.

  4. Air access to Belize is very easy. One can fly non-stop to Belize from Houston, Miami, and Charlotte, N.C. Flying to Belize from most anywhere in the U.S. is easily achieved in one day. From Europe, flights are most frequently routed through Miami.

  5. Ground transportation within Belize is readily available. There are numerous busses and several car rental agencies.

  6. Fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant. Within Belize City there are several produce markets and additional markets exist throughout the country. There is an old (since 1957) and well established Mennonite community that provides chickens, eggs, and vegetables as well as a community primarily comprised of Salvadoranian refugees in Valley of Peace that grows fresh produce.

  7. The weather is a joy. True, the humidity is quite a bit higher than one encounters in most parts of America. However, one soon acclimates to this. If one has any questions in this regard, please feel free to visit the weather page of this site frequently comparing your weather with that which Belize is enjoying on any particular day. On the islands, in particular, the trade winds eliminate most all concerns with humidity. Here, the weather, coupled with amazing ocean views, provides a most enjoyable environment.

  8. Hurricanes. Do hurricanes ever hit Belize? Yes, hurricanes do hit Belize, however they are few and far between.

Once Belize has been selected, Why Saint George's Caye?

  1. As with virtually all real estate decisions, the answer is Location!!!!! As any real estate specialist will tell you, all real estate decisions come down to "location, location, location." The early settlers of Belize chose to live on Saint George's Caye and in fact established it as the first capital of the country.

  2. A quick glance at the above map reveals several of the locational advantages that Saint George's Caye offers.

    The trip to Belize City is less than eight nautical miles.

    • This is critically important, particularly in the case of a resort, should it be necessary to quickly get a guest to the hospital or simply to a safe location should hurricanes threaten.

    • While perhaps not "critical," it is still quite desirable to be able to make a quick run to Belize City should one need supplies on short notice.

  3. Privacy!!! There are only about 120 building lots available on Saint George's Caye. The total land mass is about one half square mile or 320 acres. There is no landing strip on the island. Access is only by boat. At this time there are no roads or cars on the island, not even a golf cart...

  4. There is No Police presence. There is no police station on the island, nor has one ever seemed to have been needed.

  5. Easy access to the reef for fishing and diving. The largest natural opening in the entire 100 mile extent of the Belize barrier reef lies within a mile of Saint George's Caye. In fact, this opening is 1.75 miles wide. Depending on the speed of your boat, you can leave the island and be fishing or diving in less than 15 minutes.

  6. Easy access to Belize City. When hurricanes have been predicted it is sometimes deemed prudent to seek shelter on the mainland. In that Saint George's Caye is protected by the barrier reef, it is possible to safely reach Belize City under most any weather conditions. The atolls, which are of course not protected by the barrier reef, do not enjoy this important advantage.

  7. Protected from high waves. The reef which lies to the east and northeast of Saint George's Caye provides outstanding protection from the high waves that are normally associated with storms.

Why was Saint George's Caye one of the very first areas of Belize to be populated, when the country was first founded?

  1. The primary reason was that the opening in the barrier reef in front of Saint George's Caye is the widest in its entire 100 mile length. This was important in the early days because supplies for what was then British Honduras came by sea from England. The other side of the trade in those days was lumber which was loaded behind Saint George's Caye onto ships that then sailed to England.

On the above Google Earth image one can see how perfectly situated Saint George's Caye was for early settlement.

  1. The "X" marker indicates the eastern boundary of the property that is for sale on Saint George's Caye.

  2. The "Y" marker denotes the northern end of the opening through the barrier reef that lies to the southeast of Saint George's Caye.

    • The distance from "X" to "Y" is 1.55 miles.

  3. The "Z" marker denotes the southern end of the opening through the barrier reef that lies to the southeast of Saint George's Caye.

    • From "Y" to "Z" the opening is 1.75 miles.

    • It is possible for small boats to safely pass through this opening at any point between "Y" and "Z". This opening is by far the largest such opening in the entire extent of the reef's 100 mile formation.

  4. The "1" marker is located at the western boundary of the property that is for sale.

  5. The "2" marker is located .33 miles to the west of "1". The route indicated showns how boats, departing from the western side of the property, would normally reach Belize City.

  6. From "2" to "3" (the second leg of the route that is nomally employed in reaching Belize City from Saint George's Caye) is 5.11 miles.

  7. From "3" to "4" is the third leg of this trip and is .78 miles.

  8. From "4" to "5" is the fourth leg of the trip and is .61 miles.

  9. The final leg runs from "5" to "6" and is 2.16 miles.

  10. The total trip from Saint George's Caye to Belize City is 8.99 land miles (7.816 nautical miles).
  Land Miles Nautical Miles
1 to 2 .33 .287
2 to 3 5.11 4.443
3 to 4 .78 .678
4 to 5 .61 .530
5 to 6  2.16  1.878
Totals 8.99 7.816
One nautical mile = 1.15 land miles

Please note: The tradewinds most always blow out of the east or northeast in Belize. Saint George's is very well protected in that direction by the reef.

Why does St. George's Caye's location still matter?

  1. While it is true that the opening in the reef that lies in front of Saint George's sees precious little commercial traffic these days (because the ships that now visit Belize draw 20 plus feet, rather than the seven or eight feet the early ships needed.), the carry over effect of trade having started here is that Belize City today is still the center of trade for the entire country. Thus, if one wants to build a house, virtually all materials needed will come from, or through, Belize City. The vast majority of all labor also arrives from, or through, Belize City. The fact that Saint George's Caye is just 8 nautical miles from Belize City means that the cost of the fuel required to reach Saint George's is half of what it costs to reach Caye Caulker and a quarter of what it costs to reach Ambergris Caye, Truneffe Atoll, or the Placencia area.

  2. It is quite important that, being so close, it is relatively easy and not cost prohibitive to reach Belize City to pick up anything that might not have been available on the day of your scheduled supplies run, which is not the case for those who are located much further away.

  3. Being island based, one needs to be quite self sufficient. This means that one might well need to provide ones power, water, food, and fuel. In one way this might be considered a negative because there is more to think about and to plan for. However, this situation can also provide some very real advantages. Saint George's Lodge generated its own power from 1977 until the present day and experienced far fewer power outages than Belize City in that period of time. Belize provides some of the most expensive electricity in the world. (The Belize Electricity Board now charges 24.5 cents per kilowartt hour.) Fuel and water are also quite expensive. With no public power available on Saint George's you are not required to purchase electricity from a quasi-government agency and are free to generate your own.

  4. Security continues to be an ever increasing concern worldwide. A British Army Center has been located on Saint George's since the 1970's. Although, the primary mission of this center is not to provide security for the islands inhabitants, whenever security concerns have arisen the staff of this center has always been there to assist.

  5. There are about thirty houses on Saint George's Caye, one hotel, and one full time diving resort, Saint George's Lodge. Yet, most days the population of the island is rarely more than 15 people, not counting the lodge and army staffs and guests. So, while there might be a fair number of structures on the island, there are seldom many people present. While this might not sound appealing to everyone, to those who do find this desirable, Saint George's offers considerable peace and quiet and is simply a wonderful refuge.


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Undercurrent Article
June 3, 2009

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