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Hello all,

I am making my first of several trips exploring retirement options abroad next summer. I have a long time still till retirement but I figure I can kill two birds so to speak with my yearly vacation and fact finding on this subject. I am intrigued by the Corozal area but am wondering how to get there? I can't seem to find any flights into Chetumal Mexico or Corozal itself and Belize City has a few but it's 2 1/2 hours to Corozal. How does a visitor/potential ex-pat get around and see the areas of interest on retiring. What's the barrier to car rental regarding license and availability? Any insight would be most most helpful. Peace.

I fly Interject into Chatumal, and take a taxi into Corozal.

From where? I'm in the States and do not see that airline

I fly out of TJ Mexico. Which is  a few miles from an Diego.

The main Barrier to cr rental is it is more expensive than thee US. the rental companies are at the Belize city airport, depending on the vehicle you want the average is likely to be in the 80 to 100$ per day. crystal my personal choice always had great service and never car problems. they also put in a free coolbox for use and a local Phone that you just add minutes to. If you have a current valid drivers license no barriers. Using credit card if Visa you have to take the addon  insurance(visa rules for car rental here) but Mastercard if you don't want it because of the insurance jncluded in your card agreement  its ok. At some point if you want to explore you will probably need a rental. No rental company allow you to take their vehicles on the "coastal Road" going south.  not surprising it is only a road because it is a line on the map, It  goes from the Western highway to the Bottom of the Hummingbird near Dangriga. cutting off the need to go through Belmopan to get on the Hummingbird.

The last time I was in Belize I rented a car in Corozal. I cannot remember the name of the dealer, but it is located near the city center of Corozal. We rented it for over night and it was expensive, if compared to the US. The car was very well maintained. If you fly into Corozal this is an option

Check the schedule for Tropic Air and Maya air

pwalters3:  We are doing the same thing...vacationing and doing research on where we want to retire.  If you haven't read it already, a great book with a ton of information is "Easy Belize: How to Live, Retire, Work and Buy Property in Belize" by Lan Sluder.  It was just updated in January 2016, and has been very helpful.

I was just in Belize for 3 weeks, also looking at possible places to live. We rented a car from the airport from Crystal Auto~ it is a local company and well worth the chose.  Yes cars are very expensive in Belize to rent, but there is no better way to get around and really take in the possible sites, locations etc.

I loved Belize, and have done much travel to third world countries~ sadly while we were there, there were many incidences of petty and violent crimes in Hopkins and the surrounding area.  I had wanted so much to live in Hopkins.  While in Hopkins, We spent a lot of time talking to locals and a few expats, and it seems that was once just petty crime has turned more violent over the last year. I don't want to live in an area solely with expats, but I may need to come back and look in that direction.

I have not given up on Belize, but I do have a few suggestions.  Don't leave your back windows open while traveling through any area if you have your belongings back there.  Keep doors locked while traveling, sadly this comes from incidents that happened to others not us while we were traveling.  And keep valuables and purses etc. close to your person and be wary of some around you.  In two days while in Hopkins, a woman who lives in Hopkins for over 20 years had her purse stolen from a dining table while eating with over 20 people at her table. And at Happy Frog's a woman was getting into her car and her purse was taken from her while entering her car.

There were 3 other very violent incidences in the 2 weeks there, very sad as I loved most of the people there, but never have I traveled~ and I have traveled a lot~ and felt so wary as I did driving through in Dangriga, Hopkins, and San Ignacio. I am a brave, happy traveler~ I was surprised.

Depending on where you live in the States, you can either:
1) get an international flight to a major city like Mexico City or Guadalajara, then a local Mexican flight to Chetumal.  It's just a short taxi ride to the border, through immigration and on to Corozal.

or

2) get an international flight to Cancun (lots of direct flights there for honeymooners, etc) and then take an ADO bus right to Chetumal (5 or so hours, comfy, cheap, get a first class bus; it's air-conditioned, good seats, etc.)  Then over the border by taxi.
There may even be ADO buses that take you all the way to Corozal from Cancun, I haven't done that myself so you'd have to check on that.

Jaguarwobyn - That's very sad to hear things are taking a turn in Hopkins, it seems the whole world is falling apart. Thank you for all your insight. I honestly have no idea what my end game is but I am starting in Belize the Cirozal district and going from there.

Scarletibis- I am looking at the Cancun flight then the ADO, I have read they go all the way into Corozal. I'm in Chicago so International flights into Mexico isn't an issue. I will have to explore my option to see where I get the best bang for buck. Booking in January for a mid June trip

You are very welcome.  I am not done traveling and looking at Belize.  I have not yet visited the Toledo area or Corazol up near Chetumal. I have been to Chetumal and enjoyed myself~ I am looking for my new home as well.  I really liked the village of San Antonio, it is up near the Mountain Pine Ridge area, and close to San Ignacio~ there are rivers near by, but I am an ocean girl, and really want to be near the ocean, or live close to a river or good source of water.  Time will reveal more.  I also visited the Orange Walk district and loved Indian Church village near Lamanaii, I am still seeking like I said.  I hope to visit Ecuador soon to check it out.  So I wish you good luck.  It is easy to drive in Belize, just know that it is not wise to drive at night when it is late, there are many accidents and no real efficient medical response team, as well as crime at night is a real thing. Again please know that I love to travel, have 35 years of experience in 3rd world countries and this is the only place aside from Guatemala that i heeded great awareness to honor the cautions I read and had stated to me when i arrived by those willing to really share what is happening now.

I think the above post is overly negative so I would suggest Googling some other Belize expats sites and getting their perspective and when you're down there look up some expats of have lived there for an extended. Of time and ask them what they think

Jaguarwombyn,
I too have traveled through most of Belize looking for a possible place to settle down. A couple years ago my wife and I bought a piece of property near the village of San Antoino. We love this area for all the plants and wildlife, plus San Antoino is only a couple miles away for basic supplies. San Ignacio is about a 15 drive away for better shopping and restaurants if needed.  We have met many locals and expats in the area who are all very helpful and friendly.   Of course we are still getting the property ready to build a house on and have not actually lived there yet, we feel confident we will love it and fit in comfortably. We currently live near the beach in Mexico where we used to run a generator for the house before power was available and to this day we still have to have our water trucked in. Living in Mexico has taught us that if something doesn't get done when they say it will don't worry about it. If something is not available don't worry. If business are closed for a holiday you didn't know about don't worry. Everything will usually work out in a day or so. Keep exploring all areas and you will know when that one place speaks to you like it did to us.

San Antonio was founded after the u.s. Civil War by Confederate expats

I am sorry that you feel my post to be negative, I can see why you would feel this way but people have the right to be well informed.  I shared from an honest and well informed viewpoint.  I spent 3 weeks in Belize, and I have to say that I made incredible contact with both local and long term expats while I was there. And long term expats, I mean over 10 years.  Everyone I made contact with I loved.

Sadly, my experience left me wary and uncertain.  I spent 6 months reading books both pro and con regarding Belize.  I wanted nothing more than to fall in love and want to move there.  And again I am not done adventuring and fact finding, but I experienced the uncertainty first hand of watching young boys in Hopkins that hang out in gangs and watch like vultures for the unsuspecting~ and these boys will only growup and get older.  3 women my age have been raped there in the last 2 years, and one of them was murdered. 

While I was there, A local restaurant owner who has been in Belize a long time, awoke in the middle of the night to hear a small gang of men attempting to break into his place.  He drove to the police station, they did not respond at first and then he honked and honked his horn and was told to shut up and go home.  He was never offered any help. and 2 women had there purses snatched, and one of these women is a long time resident.

I witnessed too many times lone individuals hang in the shadows, behind trees, sit upon their bikes just watching~ these individuals did not feel like the community members, but still they are there.  I am incredibly sensitive and my intuition hardly steers me wrong. It saddened me that I did not feel safe, and felt the need to stay on alert. I have never felt this way in all my 35 years of travel.

Please be aware of all the people I met, I am only speaking of a few in comparison to all the good, but it seemed to be enough that I know that for now Hopkins is not a place I would live in Belize.  I am not sheltered in my awareness that danger lurks in the world, and that unsavory people lurk everywhere~ but Hopkins is a small community, and I know that Dangriga is not an option. 

So, I am not interested in living in a gated community. I don't want to be surrounded by just expats.  I want to live in a village community where I can feel safe as I grow older. I am a village person~ i travel to villages, stay with the people, learn their customs, dress in the traditional clothes, eat their food, and offer my services.  I want to find my village~ that is all, and along the way this forum is an opportunity to share openly.

I met a woman who lived in Hopkins for 11years, she left because she stated frankly, "I love the people, but there are drifters who are here now and they make it very unsafe now.  I choose to live on the islands instead~ i am one of the fortunate who are here.  My friend was raped and murdered in Hopkins, and she is our age~ she was here for 20 years and did only good for the community."

So please know that we all have something to offer each other, and I am open to finding my place, but I will not apologize for stating the truth even if others believe it to be negative.  It may be helpful long the way to let another have greater awareness and stay safe.  That was the intention of my sharing

I loved San Antonio, I will be back in 6  months to revisit and see what it feels like to me then.  I will stay in touch thanks so much.  PS~ I also read the book "Sastun" over 30 years ago and reread it while I was there.  I am a healer and would love to live in an area with a wealth of natural diversity and plant medicine.  thank you for your feedback.

We don't need to get into a pissing match on the internet there are plenty of expats there that have lived there for years and years and years and they can tell you what's going on

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