Southwest Airlines now flies to Belize!

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES NOW FLIES TO BELIZE!

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Southwest Airlines now flies to Belize!

Tourism in Belize is skyrocketing. September and October are historically the slowest two months of the year for this tiny Central American/Western Caribbean country, but the Belize Tourism Board announced yesterday that September saw a 19.3% increase in over night arrivals in September alone!!!!! As reported by www.ambergristoday.com: September alone saw a 19.3% increase in overnight tourism and the new flight is expected to further increase this number. Travelers to Belize on the airline are excited about the “Southwest Effect”, as James Ashworth, Managing Director of Customer Support and Services at Southwest Airlines describes that when the airline enters a market they bring fares down by approximately 30%, they have no bag fees, no change fees and they provide world-class customer service. It is a great product to a great market.

southwest1As the broker for Belize Shores Realty I can contest to the fact that our inquiries are skyrocketing along with these numbers. It used to be common to receive 1-3 inquiries on Commercial properties per week but for the last few months we have averaged 2-5 inquires per day! Whether the reason for this is that Americans are getting continuously more restless with the government situation or just that Belize is so close and so economical to own property remains to be seen but whatever the reason, it certainly is welcomed!

The arrival of the first Southwest flight is sparking new energy in to all businesses that rely on tourism, real estate included. The biggest single complaint that Belize has received was that it was just expensive to travel. Our historical tourism didn’t equate to low fares like Cancun did, but now, especially after receiving the award for Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination 2015 is Ambergris Caye Belize deserves to be treated like the tourism and investment hot spot it is!

Check out our commercial properties for sale and see what we have to offer you.

 

The Great Blue Hole- One of Belize’s Wonders

great blue hole

Just off the coast of Belize there is an underwater sinkhole that many researchers believe is the largest of its kind. It gets its name “The Great Blue Hole” because it looks just like that- a circular hole in the ocean that is characterized by its rich blue color. The Great Blue Hole is over 300 meters (984 ft) across and 125 meters (410 ft) deep.

During a time where sea levels were much lower, the Great Blue Hole was originally a limestone cave. However, as the levels began to rise the cave flooded and collapsed. This makes it a popular site among divers, who come from all over to see this truly magical feat of nature.

Jacques Cousteau was one of these divers who made the location very popular back in 1971. He was able to investigate and explore the area and confirm how it was formed. There are even stalactites and stalagmites that can be seen below the surface. The Great Blue Hole is part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System.

While you are in the area you will most likely be greeted by some of the local fish species. These can include the Midnight Parrotfish, the Caribbean Reef Shark, among others. There are also many sharks like the bull sharks and hammerhead sharks, but they are not sighted as regularly as the fish.

Generally to get to the Great Blue Hole you would need to a take a day trip from one of the many coastal tourist communities in Belize. The next time you visit Belize, this is a trip that you should consider taking.
 

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Local Man Works to Save Belize’s Manatees

manatees

Even at a young age, Jamal knew that he wanted his life’s work to involve manatees. Now known as “the manatee man” Jamal Galves is the Belize Manatee Project Program Coordinator in his home village of Gales Point but in his own words he says that he is “just a kid trying to save manatees.” However now he has a lot more influence now than he did when he was a teenager.

There were many different threats that combined in order to make the manatees one of the most threatened marine mammals. At one point the people of the land hunted them, but now people have figured out other ways in order to harm them. One of the most common ways to harm a manatee comes from striking them with a boat. Many times they are able to hear the boat coming, but they are not able to swim away fast enough. This happens when people ignore the wake bans where there are manatee habitats.

The identification of the no-wake zones is poorly marked however, and people often don’tslow down, even if the areas are marked clear as day.

“A lot of it has to do with the peoples’ lack of understanding or appreciation for manatees,” Galves says. “They have no respect for wake zones or no reason to comply. To me, it seems like a small, easy thing for them to comply and just slow down.”

This issue along with the issues of pollution, loss of valuable coastal habitat (such as mangroves), and the continued threat of poaching, have been a cocktail for disaster in more recent years.

Unfortunately, it seems to affect the youngest the most. “If a mother and her calf are feeding and a boat comes, the mother’s first instinct is to run. They communicate using chirps at a low volume, and it’s very difficult for them to get back together [after they’ve been separated].”

This is when Galves comes in to help out. When they see an abandoned manatee calf or hear of such an incidence, then they spring into action. They collect the baby manatee that by then is generally in poor health.

This is when they rehabilitate the animal back to health with bottled milk and they help to reintroduce the manatee into the wild. However the costs get to be so high (one milk bottle costs from $14 to $17 American dollars, and they need to be fed a bottle every two hours), so Galves uses fundraising to fund his passions.

Go here to see the original article, and check out this link to donate to their cause.

 

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Next Month’s BETEX Event Showcases Belize Tourism

Belize is a relatively small country, only slightly larger than the state of Massachusetts and with a population of around 330,000. One advantage of this is a well-organized tourism community that bolsters Belize’s position as a popular attraction to visitors from all over the world.

At the forefront of the movement is the Belize Tourism Industry Association, or BTIA. The organization lobbies for issues that help its members and the tourism industry as a whole. For example, the BTIA fights for laws and policies that are likely to promote and benefit tourism, a major component of the Belizean economy. Next month, the BTIA will host the bi-annual Belize Tourism Expo, otherwise known as BETEX.

BETEX was started in 1996 as a way for the Belizean tourism industry to market themselves to the international community. It is a major tool of the BTIA in uniting and promoting tourism across the country, now attracting over 300 parties. This year, the Expo will be held right in Belize City from Wednesday, May 7 to Monday, May 12. Participants must register in advance.

As is always the case at BETEX, there are sure to be plenty of representatives from commercial destinations, lodgings, and tour companies, as well as a healthy amount of press attention. The idea is to attract and impress those who make travel decisions, like agents and event planners. The international community can meet and negotiate with the local exhibitors while also learning about our corner of the planet.

For more information on BETEX, or to register for the event, head on over to their website. The event is a fantastic example of the health and vibrancy of Belize’s lucrative tourism industry. 

 

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Ambergris Caye: Best Island in the World

Ambergris CayeThose who invest in Belize real estate and businesses keep an eye on popular “Best Of” lists that often highlight the beautiful country and display its wonders for the world to see. We’re proud to point out that Ambergris Caye, the most popular island in Belize, has once again put Belize at the top of a prestigious and competitive list. It recently won Trip Advisor’s 2014 Traveler’s Choice Award for Best Island in the World for the second year in a row.

With its turquoise, Caribbean waters and stunning views, there is no doubt visitors will find the caye to be a beautiful place to get away from the stresses of everyday life, to relax and refresh yourself, and to witness the spectacle of some very interesting antiquity.

Whether you are interested in fishing, sky diving (which is particularly popular during the winter months), snorkeling and deep sea diving, walking around San Pedro Town—the only town on the caye—or simply lounging, there is something for everyone on Ambergris Caye. The caye is especially known for its Belize Barrier Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world – second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – and for its pristine, white sandy beaches. There are  also a number of resorts and hotels on Ambergris Caye, some of which may be available for investment right here at Belize Shores Realty.

A community of Maya lived on Ambergris Caye in Pre-Columbian times, and they made highly polished red ceramics, some of which can still be found on the island. The Mayan civilization’s presence in Belize is of particular interest to historians, both professional and amateur, and there are relics to be seen here that will fascinate the most ardent enthusiast.

Ambergris Caye has a lot to offer, and if you can imagine watching a breathtaking sunset over the Caribbean while sipping a glass of wine, you can imagine the special beauty of Ambergris Caye. The people are always friendly and welcoming, there is always something close by to delight your senses.

For more information on Belize and opportunities to invest in the wildly popular tourist destination, visit Belize Shores Realty today.

 

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Romantic Belize: The Perfect Place for Couples and Honeymooners

Belize RomanticWith Valentine’s Day nearing, love is in the air. Of course, those who own property in the most romantic places in the world seize the opportunity to market their locations as ideal romantic getaways. Real estate and hotel owners in Belize have no problem explaining the lovely surroundings. Belize makes it easy!

Picture a pristine, sandy beach running into clear turquoise waters. Imagine beautiful and stunning Mayan ruins and a tropical forest that you can explore – just the two of you. Welcome to Belize, a magnificent journey into ancient times, soft sands, and charming inns nestled in the jungle.

Belize is a magical destination for couples and honeymooners. It boasts magnificent scenery, majestic views, and friendly people. You will be well cared for in Belize.  English is the official language, you can spend American dollars there, and all the services are provided in a very friendly and courteous manner.

And there is nowhere more romantic. Accommodations are often secluded and as private as you want or need them to be. It’s up to you how much socializing you do in Belize. Even though the temperatures can get up in to hundreds, there are cool sea breezes, and plenty of time to stay cool and luxuriate in one of the many beautiful pools attached to the inns, or one of the nearby rivers or the sea.

The dining is first-class as well. According to Lyn and Arthur Dobrin, wrting for About.com, “The beer lover amongst us declared the local brew – a Pilsner – as very good, particularly on tap. The fish lover feasted on shrimp, lobster, grouper and snapper.” And the service is first-rate. Your honeymoon will seem like the most special thing to all the staff, and you will be treated like royalty.

Walks in the jungle, a tour of the ancient and majestic Mayan ruins, and your time in Belize is complete. The gorgeous wildlife – the national bird is the Toucan – and the breathtaking scenery and views, as seen from just about anywhere, are more than romantic. They are sumptuous. And so is Belize. Fine food and drink, welcoming people, a stunning setting. That is Belize, where romance thrives.

If you’re looking for a romantic place to retire to, or to seize the opportunity to capitalize on a wonderful honeymoon vacation spot, contact Belize Shores Realty for commercial Real Estate in Belize.

 

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What Are The Rules For Visiting Belize?

rules for visiting belizeThinking about visiting Belize?

Whether you’re planning a vacation to explore Belize’s many natural wonders and cultural treasures, or you’re looking to invest in Belize through real estate or a commercial business, you’ll need to make yourself familiar with the country’s immigration policy. While it’s true that Belize is incredibly accessible and hospitable to foreigners, it is still a sovereign country with its own laws that you will need to follow.

Fortunately, Belize’s immigration policy is simple and straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need to know before embarking on your exciting journey.

First of all, guests of Belize must arrive with a passport that will be valid for at least another three months. You must also prove that you possess a ticket for the eventual trip home, as well as enough cash to get through the duration of your stay. This means at least $60 US per day. While only a one-month stay will be granted at first, you may apply for an extension with the Immigration Department if you wish to stay longer. The first 6 months will cost $25 each, and every month after that $50.

Failure to keep your passport up to date and stamped by the Immigration Department will cost you a fine of $500 or more. Regardless, when you leave Belize as a visitor or non-citizen, you’ll be charged an exit fee of $39.25, but this is usually included in US airline fare.

Is a visa required to enter Belize? Not if you’re a citizen of any of the following countries:

  • United States and its territories
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom and its territories
  • European Union
  • Caribbean and Central American Countries

If you’re travelling with little ones, whether they’re human or not, you’ll need proper documentation. For children, that means a birth certificate or passport. If only one parent is present, you’ll also need a notarized signature of authorization from the other. For pets, you’ll need a veterinary certificate as well as an import permit from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority.

Other stipulations exist. For example, if you enter on a cruise ship, you’ll only be charged $7, whether you get off the ship or not. If you’re traveling over land borders, you’ll also pay less, $15 for a stay of less than 24 hours and $18.75 otherwise.

For more information on visiting or investing in Belize, visit BelizeShoresRealty.com. We offer commercial properties and other great opportunities for you to begin exploring today.

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Explore Maya Ruins in Belize

While Belize is attracting a great deal of modern investment and development, it is also a country rich in ancient history. It’s recognized as part of the southern Maya lowlands, with archaeological sites dating back as many as 4,000 years. Most of these sites were abandoned after the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century.

Belize is also facing a clash between development and historical preservation. Earlier this year, a construction company faced harsh criticism when they destroyed a Maya pyramid to extract rock to build roads.

Belize’s most famous Maya site is Caracol, a 65 square mile, expertly planned site located in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Cerros also stands out as the only Maya site in Belize right on the country’s coast, and Lamanai features a mask of a Maya ruler wearing a crocodile headdress.

Check out the infographic below for more examples of the breathtaking Maya ruins in Belize, major tourist attractions that rival any destination in the world. For information on investing in Belize, visit Belize Shores Realty and get closer to experiencing its rich historical landscape.

 

A Guide to the Maya Temples of Belize

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

 

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Common Myths about Belize Debunked

For those who have invested in Belize real estate and businesses, the little country is one of the best-kept secrets of the world. Upon returning to the U.S. mainland, it can be amazing to hear the impressions that some folks have of Belize. So to clear up some of the common misconceptions, here are a few things that many people are wrong about.

 

1. You’ll have to learn Spanish.

Many people believe that, even though Belize is an officially English speaking country, they’ll need to learn Spanish in order to get along with the native population. This is actually the opposite of the truth. In fact, Belizean children are typically taught English in school. Spanish speakers coming from neighboring countries usually end up learning English to fit in rather than the other way around.

 

2. Belize is a Caribbean island.

Take a look at a map! When you mention Belize to friends who have never been to the region, many will undoubtedly state the belief that it’s located in the Caribbean. Of course, anyone remotely familiar with the geography of Belize knows that it’s a part of the Central American mainland. There are, however, a great deal of Belizean islands off the coast of the country.

 

3. Belize has bad infrastructure.

Many people somehow have the impression that living in Belize is like returning to the Stone Age. This is absolutely not true. While there are occasional power outages, authorities usually fix problems very quickly. The power grid is laid out the same way as the United States, so you won’t need to bring adaptors for all of your devices. Even though internet is a bit overpriced, it’s quite reliable, and cellular phone service is solid and improving as well.

 

4. It’s always scorching hot in Belize.

For those who don’t handle the extreme heat well, moving so far south can sound like a nightmare. And while others might actually be disappointed to hear this, the weather is actually cooler than you might think. Average temperatures range from about 75 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. It even drops into the 60s on winter nights, but not so much that you’ll ever be nearly as cold as you were back home.

 

The only way to get a 100% accurate impression of what Belize is actually like is to visit. Now is the perfect time to explore investment opportunities in Belize at Belize Shores Realty today.

 

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Five Amazing Places to Visit in Belize

Amazing Places in BelizeIt’s not just the beautiful tropical weather and ease of doing business in Belize that’s attracting investment in the tourism industry. One of a kind features in the natural landscape, historically significant remnants of the ancient Mayan civilization, and attractive island cultural features of Belize all make for some can’t-miss landmarks for the adventurous vacationer. Here are five places to put on your list when visiting or looking to invest in the world treasure of Belize.

 

Caracol

Belize was once part of the southern Maya lowlands, and Caracol was a major political center of this area. Located near the Guatemalan border, Caracol includes thousands of archeological structures, including Mesoamerican pyramids. Caracol once housed twice as many people as the modern Belize City does today.

 

Belize Barrier Reef

The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest coral reef system in the world. While it is a popular spot for diving or snorkeling, 90% of the Belize Barrier Reef is unexplored. This, along with the incredible biodiversity of the reef, makes it a focus of scientific rese arch and environmental protection.

 

Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker is a small island made of limestone coral, about 20 miles away from Belize City. While the island is only accessible by boat or plane, its popularity with tourists, starting with groups of hippies in the 1960s and 70s, has led to the creation of small-scale dining, shopping and lodging options.

 

Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye is another island in Belize, although it’s much larger than Caye Caulker. Traditionally a trading hub for the country, it is now one of the hottest tourist destinations in the region and a popular place for investment. San Pedro is the only town on Ambergris Caye, serving as a popular launching point for diving trips at the Belize Barrier Reef.

 

Great Blue Hole

While the Great Blue Hole is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef, it deserves its own mention as a wonderful scuba diving and snorkeling location. Visitors to the 125 meter-deep, circular sinkhole will witness with their own eyes what the Discovery Channel called the first “most amazing place on Earth”. 

 

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