South America Journey, Part 3, Machu Picchu

Chris our guide….and The Jewel of Peru…Machu Picchu

The Sacred Valley turned out to be one of the best discoveries for us in our journey throughout Peru. The history of the Inca People, the temples, homes and fortresses they built so long ago, still standing today was “Wonder of the World” itself. Our Guide Chris set up our week with him, first visiting the Sacred Valley for a few days, mainly to get used to the high altitude. Cusco, Peru Altitude is over 10,000 feet, so taking it easy there, resting a lot and drinking mega water was the key.

Peru Rail Train to Aquas Caliente and Machu Picchu

And now we are off to Aquas Caliente, the small town at the foothills of Machu Picchu. We boarded out train, Peru Rail’s “Expedition Train”, in the small town of Ollantaytambo. The train enjoyed large glass windows on the side and the roof for observation. The trip lasted about three hours, and views of the river, mountains and glaciers were spectacular. I will say that we in fact wished we had the opportunity to stay that night in Ollantaytambo, which was beautiful, and train station close-by, instead of driving over an hour to it.

We arrived at the train station in Aquas Caliente and headed the 15 minute walk uphill to our awaiting hotel, the Jaya Machu Picchu. When I made the reservations, I had found good reviews on this hotel, but ya just never know, as they also called this little town a “tourist trap”. It is mainly used by tourists that come up by train, take bus up to Machu Picchu, and return to Cusco the same day by train.

I chose to stay two nights at the hotel, which gave me the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu twice if weather was bad the first morning, however, it wasn’t and we spent the next day exploring the town.

Machu Picchu Brewery……Lunch by the river

So after exploring the first afternoon in town, having a great lunch at the local “Beer Tavern”, and later dinner we enjoyed a good night sleep. We were up early the next morning to meet Chris our guide at the Bus at 6 AM for our journey up the mountain. We instantly realized why this time of year and time we boarded were so important, and advised by Chris. There was no line at the bus!

Bus and trail up the mountains.

The bus up to the parking lot at Machu Picchu Entrance was quite an experience, winding switchbacks, cliffs, and meeting busses coming down on the very narrow road. I will say that I am so happy we are not walking up the existing trails, a treat to us “older and experienced folk” πŸ™‚

Bus debarkation area, ticket booth and beginning of climb.

We finally reached the parking lot at base of entrance, and after presenting our tickets (purchased ahead by Chris our guide), begin the hike up about 300 stone steps placed by ancient Inca builders.I will say that the climb up these steps was well planned, and fairly easy to climb, as compared to other “ruins” we have climbed in the world. Wife Marsha had little or no issues climbing with her”climbing pole” with I suggest for anyone doing this, young and old.

Areas are setup for wheelchair access, and easy trails.

When we reached the top of the trail, Chris had us stop for what he said was “the money shot”, and was he ever right ! From this point and continuing with the entire climb and exploration of Machu Picchu, it was obvious to me that Machu Picchu is not just a beautiful example of the Inca Empire temples, buildings, walls, etc., although to some that is what they see. To me it became an extraordinary “Mystical Experience”. Every photo I took, with Inca buildings, walls, monuments, what I saw and captured was the “layers” of mountain ranges behind the photo, wispy fog, sunlight peeking through clouds and mountains. It was an eerie feeling of walking in footsteps of others long gone, and wondering if they looked at their surrounding as I did, mystified.

Getting on top of the mountain as early as we did, meant no crowds for the first hour or two (we were there about four hours), but that changed as we looked back along the trails and lines of visitors followed behind.

It’s Just frickin “Un-Belizable” πŸ™‚

At this point I would like to say one thing to those reading this and planning to visit Machu Picchu. The very best thing we did, and you should do, is hire a professional guide here in Peru. First off, they help plan you trip so you don’t end up ill with “altitude sickness”. They “pre-purchase” tickets for major attractions for you, like Machu Picchu, which in our case, were “sold out” when we were there. At all the sights we visited with Chris, we would never have known what we were looking at, or what things were built for, or history of them, had we not hired him. We would have missed out on so much, that was of so much importance to us to know. and he spoke perfect English!

You need to take many breaks, however you also need to stand up on those “rubber legs”.

As my wife Marsha had not to long before our trip, broken her ankle, which was pretty much now healed, I was concerned about the climbing ancient stone steps, un-even and along cliffs ! It doesn’t really matter young or old, anybody can trip, fall, and get very hurt. Walking sticks can help, but there’s nothing quite like a Guide that looks out for your safety.

I am so very proud of wife Marsha, for tackling this challenge, and all the others on this adventure.

Because you are on a mountain top, above the world, every photo is a new experience, and the Inca planned this community exactly for this reason. The various views over, around and through the structures they build express this.

Yup ! They served lunch πŸ™‚ Kidding….but there were Llama’s up there “free-ranging”

I actually climbed a specific peak alone, where then ancient Inca “Sundial” was constructed, obstructed by nothing. I could actually feel the presence early priests “checking the time of day”, or was that a “Shaman” or “Witch Doctor” ?

I climbed that tower to see the sundial at top, the builders did have to keep an eye on the time πŸ™‚

It was amazing the history and designs of the community by the Inca, as explained by Chris. The fortress built where it is, was totally backed by un-climbable walls for security of the people living there, with only one way up from below.

You always have to watch your step.

Specific areas were constructed for “The Royals”, the workers, the “Agriculture Specialists”, the guards and others. Much of the food supplies were brought up the mountain, as at this altitude, growing crops was difficult.

The Tree

It’s simply amazing to see all the structures, intact just as they were when build so long ago. The Inca builders and Architects knew exactly how to place every stone so it would not move, ever! They fit like a glove or like Marsha says, “Like they were laser cut” ? Possibly by “Aliens from another planet”?

Nice to see ancient builder kept to “code” with 7 inch rise to those steps.

Although there were areas with grass growing I only remember this one tree, that comes up inside a small “courtyard” on a hillside.

Of course, if you do any research on Machu Picchu, you will find that almost the entire hilltop of Machu Picchu was covered up by the jungle after the Inca people abandoned it. The reason they abandoned it was of the invasion of the Spaniard’s in the 16th century, who destroyed many Inca temples and building in Peru during their conquest.

They remained under cover until 1911, when American Archeologist discovered them quite by accident. Bingham was actually looking for a nearby site when he mistakenly climbed the peak and discovered a few Inca buildings. He later returned clearing what is now “The Sacred City”, which after time has allowed millions of tourists to visit one of the worlds most famous “man made” wonders.

Yup…Paid Advertisement….Remember… πŸ˜‰

If you would like to know the statistics of exploring Machu Picchu, the entire mountaintop stretches over five miles of trails, with an impressive 3,000 stone steps within it. Believe me when you experience this, at the end of the day, you will know why the Peruvians love their “Pisco Sours”. πŸ™‚

If you plan to visit Machu Picchu I highly suggest doing as we did, spend two nights in Aquas Caliente, so you can take the first bus to the top, for both the cool temperature, small crowds and more importantly the spectacular sunrise.

There are two choices for visiting Machu Picchu, the way we did it, luxury train to Aquas caliente, and short bus to the site, or a 3-5 -day guided hike on Camino del Inca, or The Inca Trail.

They never tell you…No Banā on Machu Picchu…(bathroom).

Perhaps some 20 years ago when Marsha and I were adventurous (and fit), we would have done the Inca Trail experience. back then we actually descended the Grand Canyon and climbed back up in one day, something the signs there advised against.

Today and a bit older, the way we experienced Machu Picchu was exercise enough for us. In fact anyone of the older generations, or handicapped can and still should plan on visiting this wonderful destination. There is actually wheelchair access and ramps to viewing sites in Machu Picchu. Spouse and or family members can explore while you hang in the shade, watching them climb around, while still experiencing the wonders.

Drink lots of water and take frequent breaks because of high altitude.

All in all, Machu Picchu has exceeded my expectations on our month in South America, and is at this point, at the top for experiences throughout the world.

Well…for now…Chau ! (Goodbye).

However, that being said, we are not quite done here in Peru, as we head by the Expedition Train back down to Cusco for a few days exploring Cusco, before heading to Argentina and Brazil.

If you have not “Liked / Followed” my blog, please do so you won’t miss the next few blog posts about this trip, or next years October 2023 month-long experience in Southeast Asia.

Until then, I say… It’s time for a Pisco Sour with that Thanksgiving Turkey πŸ™‚

Gary ….The Pirate

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Part 2, South America Journey, Sacred Valley, Peru

A country of “un-expected pleasures”.

Map of Sacred Valley and towns leading to Machu Picchu

We checked out of the Doubletree in Iquitos on Thursday the 6 of October, headed to the local airport for our flights to Cusco, Peru. As there are no direct flights, we first flew to Lima, then connected with a flight to Cusco for one night. This was at the suggestion of the Peru Guide, Chris Condori Huanca, I had hired him for a week of guiding, both Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, and for altitude adjustment, he suggested first Sacred Valley, then Machu Picchu.

I had made reservations at the Antiqua Casona San Blas Hotel in Cusco, for one night as Chris would pick up up the next morning and transport us to a hotel in Urabamba, Sacred Vally for four days of exploring. I had also made reservations at the Antiqua Casona San Blas for Four days when we returned from Machu Picchu. When we checked in, I knew I had made the right choice, the hotel was beautiful, had an excellent spa and restaurant. It was located in the City Center near all the great spots we could walk to.

The “road” to our hotel in Cusco, and yes, it’s a “2 way street” πŸ™‚

After a long day of air travel, we enjoyed a spectacular dinner and hit the sack, knowing we had an early morning for breakfast, and would meet out guide Chris in the morning at the hotel.

Beef Osso Buco and Malbec, two things I have missed dearly in Belize.

The next morning after a delicious breakfast and two cups of Capachino from their “:Coffee Bar”, we met Chris in the lobby. I knew almost immediately I liked this guy, who had a super smile and spoke excellent english ! Chris loaded our bags in his vehicle and away we wend to the Sacred Valley.

Downing Cappuccino before breakfast

Special Note- As we had packed for a month, there was quite a bit of clothes and supplies that we had needed for the Amazon, and would need in Argentina, but not for the next week. Therefore we checked one large bag with the hotel, for when we returned in a week.

A little “Guinea Pig Condo”, that I learned was not for “pets”, but for food ???:)

We me these Alpaca’s and Llama’s, and later learned that “they do not taste like chicken” πŸ™‚

The plan today was to take it easy on way to the Tierra Viva Valley Sagrado Hotel / Resort in Urubamba in the Sacred Valley, Peru. On the beautiful drive there we would make a couple stops at an Rojchi Lookout, with stunning views of the Valley, and also the village of Chincher, a local village known as a “weavers town”.

Marsha learning how to “spin Alpaca”

Weaving Alpaca after it is died many colors.

The views go on forever

Snow capped mountains and glaciers are seen all over Peru

Finally arriving at our resort, again we were pleasantly thrilled with its location outside the town. The mountain views were spectacular, the room was well appointed, restaurant excellent, and we were located next to the “Spa”, which we both appreciated.

A very popular game found in Peru, and major competition, the Sapo Coin Toss Frog Game.

In the Village of Chincer after viewing Alpaca and Llama weaving, Chris introduced me to the Peru Game of Sapo, or “toss the coins into the frogs mouth from to far away”. This is a great “bar game” enjoyed there, one which I will attempt to introduce here in Belize. Chhris has already challenged me to a “re-match” when I return to Peru.

The next morning, Saturday Chris and his driver picked us up at our hotel, and off we went on a full day, exploring the Colonial Town of Maras, the Urubamba Mountain Range, and the Moray Salt Mines. I will tell you that I had no idea what the “salt mines” were, or any idea what we would find when we got there. Maybe a pit with salt in it and guys shoveling it up ?

As we ventured on winding roads over the mountains, we pulled over to the side of the road and got out to what Chris called “a good photo op”.

The winding dirt road to Salt Flats below. Nice “guard rails” ?;)

Looking down we could see what looked like a field of white patchwork in the valley below. I was more concentrating on the small winding road down, with cars and busses trying to pass each other, and little or no “guard rails”.

As we proceeded closer to the bottom and a “parking lot”, with many vehicles and lots of tourists, I figured this was more that a pit of white salt. My first closeup of these salt mines took my breath away. They were actually salt “ponds”, about 12 feet square, filled at various stages, from salt water to solid bleached white salt. There are more than 5,000 salt evaporation ponds, most owned and maintained by local families.

This is the small “Salt Spring” that supplies the salt water to over 6,000 ponds below.

Since “Pre-Inca Times” these salt ponds have been producing salt which starts from a small stream of salt water coming out above the ponds. The keepers of the family ponds regulate how much water enters each pond as the water evaporates, until it is pure bleached salt. Within days the flow is cut off, and salt is scraped and bagged and carried up the hill to awaiting trucks.

There are three qualities of salt produced, the first pink/white, sold as table salt and highest quality, the second is bulk salt and third brown used in industry.

You could take horses from town below to the salt pond, we did not, more about riding horses later.

The owners of the salt ponds must be members of the local community, as this is the major industry and “lifeblood” of the community and has been for centuries.

When salt is dry it is bagged in 50 lb sacks, carried up to top and awaiting trucks.

My wife Marsha and I returned to resort after a full day in the sun, along with much “climbing exercising”, which like Machu Picchu, included hundreds of steps down, and up again. The suggestions of visiting “The Spa” for a long needed massage and soak was definitely in order.

The next morning Chris and his driver picked us up at the hotel, for our 2nd day of Sacred Valley Expeditions, visiting the Pisaq Ruins and Ollantaytambo Town ( down your Pisco Sour, and say that three times fast ! πŸ™‚

The walk to ruins from parking lot

We first traveled to the Pisac Ruins in Sacred Valley, which as most places in Peru was extremely interesting. As are with most ruins, there were steps to climb, but if you take your time and stop to observe the beauty of this place, its not a bad climb. The nice thing about these ruins is that the are only about 9,000 feet above sea level, instead of the 11-12,000 feet like in Cusco, so climbing wasn’t as bad.

These Inca Ruins are believed to be one of the best preserved in all Peru, and you can find ancient residences, baths terraces and my favorite part, the largest Inca Cemetery in all of Peru.

The Inca Cemetery, known as Tankanamarka is hard to locate unless you have a experienced and knowledgable Guide like Chris. As we stood in ruins pretty high up, I was looking at the side of the next steep hillside, thinking, ” I wonder if those are Mining entrances in the side of it”? Chris pointed out the hundreds or thousands of little holes, that most people would think were bird nest holes. In actuality, they are graves dug in the side of the mountain, with the bigger ones being royalty.

If you look closely you can see the holes where Inca’s were buried.

There are so many areas of ruins to explore, from the Towers overlooking the town below, to walls of stone that fit together so well that they look “laser cut”. In fact, thats something we noticed in many Inca Ruins throughout Peru on out trip, “How did they get such precise angles on such mega stones, to fit so perfectly”?

Prospective of relationship of high mountain temples and living, above city below.

My answer…Aliens of course ! πŸ™‚

Our Guide Chris, attempting to “levitate”, as was accomplished by his past Inca relatives. :0

Next we journeyed on to the town of Ollantaytambo Town, which is the last stop for the journey to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. In fact, we will be coming back here tomorrow morning to catch our train to Aguas calientes and MP. I am so happy that we visited this town and didn’t just come here to catch the train.

The town has much to offer, surrounded by ancient terraces, snow capped mountain peaks, with small narrow stones streets dating back to the Inca days. The stone walls, many intact have been replenished on top to keep them intact, but you can see the difference from original on the bottom.

Most importantly in this town is the water supply from mountain streams above the town, still supplying drinkable water to the residences today as they did in the Inca times. The patchwork of homes on these streets all have stone canals in front of doorways, with fresh water rushing at all times for household use. Must be nice…no water bills.

Channels from mountain tops to the town with fresh drinkable water, to each house.

Ollantaytambo was built for the Inca “elite”, for both astronomical and worship in the temples rising up above the town below. There are massive rows of terraces carved in the hillside for agriculture to feed the masses. You just can’t comprehend the magnitude of this citadel, and how long it took to build it.

Today was our last in the Sacred Valley, and I felt it was well spent, exploring the ancient Inca ruins, preparing us for our journey to Machu Picchu, the “ultimate of all Inca ruins”. We have learned so much about the history of the Inca’s visiting and learning from Chris our guide. The past 3 day, by Chris’s design, have been spent here in the highest altitudes, conditioning us to the high altitudes, so Machu Picchu would not be a problem. We did learn however, that Machu Picchu isn’t as high as here in Sacred Valley, or Cusco, which is about 12,000 Feet in elevation.

Marsha at ancient Inca “drinking fountain”

Window into the soul.

Celebration of the Guinea Pig. This was in a town that produced the pig for Peru.

“Ok, lets see if this does taste like chicken” πŸ™‚

So you know, other than taking some “over the counter” altitude pills for a few days, drinking lots of water, and not getting wasted on Pisco Sours every day, we had very little effects from altitude. Well, Marsha did have some nausea, which might have been from high altitude. We actually did suffer a bit on our return from Machu Picchu to Cusco, where we were for 4 days. More about that later.

After a “hard day”, there we are, ready for that “Pisco Sour” or 5 πŸ™‚

Now its back to the resort to rest up for our journey tomorrow by train to Aguas Calientes, have dinner and possibly another massage !

See you next on the “Luxury Peru Rail Expedition Train” to Machu Picchu, Peru.

The third leg of this Blog Post will be our three hour trip on the train to Aquas Caliente, Peru, at the base of Machu Picchu. We will be staying at the Jaya Machu Picchu Hotel for two nites. I planned this in case on the first day there was rain and or fog on the mountain. This would give us a “back up” day.

Until then….please remember…we were excited to visit South America for many reasons, one being the food, especially “meat”.

So far we have had Llama, Alpaca and of course, the Guinea Pig. πŸ™‚

Gary…..The Pirate

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30 days, 5 Countries, 6 Destinations, South America 2022 Vacation.

The town of Iquitos, Peru, or “Tuk Tuk City” πŸ™‚

This will be a six blog endeavor to accurately and pleasurably take you on our journey to South America, this October of 2022. Our journey started with a flight to Miami, Florida from Belize, our home. You might ask, why Miami when we are destined for South America ?The answer is we can’t get there directly from Belize, nor many other places πŸ™‚

Marsha in Fontainebleau Lobby relaxing after “hurricane Flight”.

Things did get a bit “dicy” flying to Miami, as we flew in a hurricane ! Not the drink, but a real hurricane. We were the last flight into Miami because of it, just barely made it in, and realized this when the pilot came on and said “Everyone buckle up, we are in a dangerous situation, and flying in a hurricane, so stay in seats, and hang on” !

Me in Miami Beach after flying in the Hurricane πŸ™‚

We did land ok, buy with lots of turbulence, and checked into the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach South. I know, kind of “ritzy”but I did get a good rate. Fact is, the city, beach and hotel were deserted because of the hurricane, except later tons of residents from West Coast Florida were checking in because of evacuation orders. The good thing, we got great seats at the restaurant for Sushi :).

After two days in Miami we flew on American Airlines, directly into Lima, Peru, then on to Iquitos, Peru. Iquitos is the port to the Amazon River, where we would embark on a five day “Luxury River Cruise” on the Amazon River. Let me say that we highly enjoyed and suggest others making this trip to also stay a couple days in Iquitos as well for two reasons. The first is “shit happens”, with flights, weather, etc., and giving yourself an extra day to be sure you make the cruise can be key. After all, you wouldn’t want the ship leaving without you.

Ramp down to loading area for boat to Island Restaurant.

The second reason is Iquitos is more than just a “tourist trap” as you will read in internet posts and articles. I call bullshit to that. Yes it has bunches of shops selling junk, but it also has some nice views of the waterfront, good restaurants to experience Peruvian food and cocktails, especially the countries favorite drink, the “Pisco Sour”.

Marsha enjoying her first ( of many) Pisco Sours.

We stayed at the Doubletree By Hilton in Iquitos, which I found to be perfect, room, view, restaurant and service. As we were to stay there two nights, then be picked up by cruise line and return after cruise, we asked to keep large luggage in storage while gone. No problem.

Me enjoying the first of very many Pisco Sours.

While in Iquitos, we tried some of the local food and checked out some shops. One highly recommended restaurant was the “Island Restaurant” you need to take a boat to. It’s a two level restaurant in the bay, that includes a swimming pool. This was where we enjoyed our first “Pisco Sour”.

My new favorite beer, Cusquena, from South America.

One thing about Iquitos, more so than anywhere else in Peru, is the Tuk-Tuks πŸ™‚ There are thousands of them here, racing around the village. Its the main mode of transportation here, including from the airport. As we had a lot of luggage that wouldn’t fit in a Tuk-tuk, we were lucky to find a “taxi”, which was a sedan held together by tape πŸ™‚

As this entire blog project about our month in South America will be an honest attempt at the various segments, so others can make an “informed decision”, I will start with the Luxury Amazon Cruise with Rainforest Cruises. We never really got any “itinerary” for the cruise and what we would be doing each of the five days. That being said, we had no idea what time we would be picked up at the hotel for the one hour trip to the port where the ship awaited us. I had been told that the hotel would know this, but when I asked the front desk, they looked at me with a blank stare. When I told them it was with Rainforest Cruises…..same blank stare. They had no idea who this was.


Luckily we met another U.S. couple also going that had the same experience, but finally was contacted that the bus would pick us up at 10:00 AM at hotel. Actually, before ten the bus showed up, and guides as well as a “Lab Tech” showed up. Yup…thats right, nose swabs for … you got it, Covid !

We all “passed” and boarded a really nice bus for the ride to the cruise ship. On board the bus, the guides introduced themselves, and talked about the cruise ship and things we would be doing. After about 45 minutes they announced that we would be taking a “bathroom break” in a local village. This I will tell you was quite an “experience” for most of the bus. As I have spent quite a bit of time in Asia, I was not surprised but would have expected better from a “Luxury Cruise Line”. The “stop” was a small, and I mean small store, and we walked to a back room with a curtain in front of two “non-plumbed” toilets. There was a barrel of water and a dirty “bucket” to dump after done. All in all, very “stinky”, but, oh well, welcome to “rural Peru”.

*** I will not be including a photo of toilet ! πŸ™‚

We finally reached to “port”, which was end of a dirt road, and a treacherous walkway down to the boarding vessels which would take us to the awaiting cruise ship. Bright orange life preservers awaited us, and as we took off from shore, everyone was excited as we headed to the vessel. It was easy boarding the River Vessel with many helping hands. I will say that this was the case every day, as we left and returned from excursion. In fact we had not only some elderly cruisers, but also one gentleman with advanced issues, and the crew took excellent care with him.

Climb down to small craft was “interesting”.

Room Key aboard the Zafiro

I was extremely pleased with our “upgraded” suite, the “Master Suite”, located on the 2nd floor, with enjoyed a sweeping front glass window so we could enjoy watching where we were going.

Our suite and awesome view.

Exploring the ship, the dining / entertainment area was well appointed, fancy and had an awesome bar. There was also a large open area at the front of the boat with another bar and a hot tub, tables, loungers, etc.

During the cruise, we were taken to different areas of the Amazon, and divided up into two smaller craft to explore areas and tributaries, searching for wildlife, day and night. The guides worked hard to spot the different birds, sloths, and other wildlife for 5 days. They did succeed to some extent, however, the two of my “bucket list” creatures of the night, we never found, the Anaconda and the Cayman. I will say they really tried at night to find Anaconda, because at this time of year, they are giving birth, and usually plentiful.

The guides explained that the Amazon River was extremely low, and that they couldn’t go deeper into the Amazon because the ship couldn’t make it. We actually got an example of this one day while enjoying lunch, as we felt the ship ground out in the middle of the Amazon River. It took the Captain multiple attempts to “un-ground” us.

Speaking of lunch and food, I will say the meals were excellent on-board. Lunch was always a buffet, but a tasty one with many choices. Dinners always served table side, and both meals enjoyed bottomless wine, or cocktails at your expense, plus coffee, tea, etc.

We enjoyed an evening onboard with a visit from a local Shaman who explained via an interpreter her role in the health and well being of the eight communities she was responsible for. I found this fascinating, as she explained that the Amazon Villages used her services for illnesses as well as a “midwife” during births. When we asked how she handled the Covid issue, she explained many developed symptoms, and she treated all of them with local herbs and Shaman methods, and had no serious issues or deaths in her eight communities. Another “interesting” fact we heard about was that there were still “Witch Doctors” in the Amazon Region, still used today. They are still used for “spells” and other “methods” to “eliminate” any village people harmful to others in the village. Where the Shaman gets a “calling” to become one, Witch Doctors can just decide to be one, and based on that I believe they are just bad guys, who wanted to become “hit men”, and did.

The Shaman we met was a female, very, very rare in the Amazon, and she is well respected in her communities. I in fact was so impressed by her that I asked her to give me a blessing on a Amazon Village necklace I purchased, and she smiled and blessed it and me.

We were informed that the next day we would start with a expedition to the shore of one of the villages that the Shaman looked over, to plant trees and give back to the Amazon. It was a great experience and we all enjoyed planting one for each couple. The Shaman was there and blessed all the seedlings.

Who knows, I may return some day to a large budding tree πŸ™‚

Our special tree that we planted in the Amazon Jungle.

We also had the experience of visiting one of the Amazon Communities, watching them prepare food, visiting their school, meeting the local children, having a song sung to us, and we sand a song for them. We also get to meet up close the cutest monkey. Lastly we got to experience how they make their local alcoholic beverage ! Ladies of the village chew a local vine, and spit the juices into a bowl, which is allowed to ferment into a “fine booze”. I did not partake in the process, nor the beverage.

One of the excursions in small craft, was to an area known for abundance of Piranha, where were were given the opportunity to fish for the Piranha with polls and “meat baited hooks”. I think we all caught one, which was quite exciting. Locals eat them, we passed. Later in a different location, we were invited to Kayak and or swim in the Amazon waters. We had learned from the Shaman that the reason most Amazon families have anywhere from 6-10 children, is because 20% of the children die each year from infections gotten from Amazon waters.

We passed on swimming and instead headed to the ships bar.

Lunch served on the small boats

Our final evening adventure in small vessels up a tributary we discovered in the distance, a Sloth in a tree, something our guide really tried to locate in days past. We then proceeded to an area against the bank to observe a fantastic sunset over the Amazon River. The guides tied the two boats together, and proceeded to serve us Champagne Mimosas on the boat to celebrate our voyage.

It was quite special.

The next day we packed up and headed to the small boats to head to shore and the awaiting bus. We had gotten to know the small crew, the Cruise Director, the Spa lady, Bartenders, Guides and Crew, and gave them a warm farewell. Ten off to shore where I had my final big surprise !

A well deserved Mimosa (re-filled 3 times) at a perfect sunset.

Boarding the bus we embarked on a three hour trip back to Iquitos or the airport. However, they made an un-expected stop at a “Manatee Recovery Center” that we had not expected. Although they did have a few Manatee in tanks recovering from injuries, they also made us tour a bunch of other enclosures with other animals. At various points, the “zookeeper” told us not to attempt to touch any animals, and that “tourists always try and don’t listen”. Maybe it was just me, but I didn’t like the tone or way that he talked about “tourists”, especially at it was obviously all about us giving him donations.

Enjoying a “Stella”, the 1st of many in South America.

We boarded the bus finally, and headed back to Iquitos, where we checked back into the Doubletree overnight before heading to Lima, Peru, the next day.

Ahhhh…Lima. Peru, where they eat these guys, and we did too πŸ™‚

My final thoughts based on this experience are both positive and negative. Although I had a quite enjoyable five days in the amazon, I would have planned differently, even though all my research made me plan this way. We didn’t get to explore deeper into the Amazon because its waters we to shallow, at this time of year. I figured that the “rainy season” would bring more issues, but instead it left us pretty much “high and dry”. We didn’t get to experience many things I had expected to, mainly because we couldn’t go “in deep”. However, many on the cruise were excited about the adventures. In hindsight, after discussing the experience with my wife Marsha, we came to a conclusion.

Maybe if we lived somewhere like L.A. or New Your City, we would be feeling different now. We live in Central America, Belize, where we enjoy Jungle Rainforest Adventures, Tropical weather, Parrots, monkeys, Iguana’s and other exotic creatures. It’s hard to impress us with the Amazon, when we live in a country much like it.

So I say, if its on your “list”, experience it for yourself. Take our experience and make yours even better. After all, we only have one life to live, so experience life.

Experience new things, places and cultures, because at some point, you won’t be able to anymore.

Please “Like” my blog, and look for the next five adventures:

Sacred Valley, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Mendoza Wine Country, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Iguazu Falls, Argentina / Brazil

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The “Key” to successful Real Real Estate Transactions in Belize is… Patience !

How many times have I heard a “Buyer or Seller” complaining that they can’t believe it’s taking so long for their property to “close”, or “where’s My Money”!

Anyone that buys land or a house in Belize and decides to sell it and move away, should know…

Belize is not the United States or Canada, or anywhere else for that matter. Things don’t happen quickly here in Belize. Contracts and moneys are held up by the Tax Departments, Banks and Central Bank Authority. Where it used to take a couple months, things can now take 3-6 months to finish and close.

One of the main reasons is because of people like the “developers” of Sanctuary Belize / The Reserve. They being the largest “scam” in U.S. History, involved the Belizean “system”, and actually caused the demise of the Atlantic International Bank ! Belize is looked at under serious microscopes, and a “money laundering country”, a “Real Estate Scammers paradise”.

Before any moneys can leave the Belize banking system, necessary “checks and balances” have to be done. You as a Seller or Buyer can do nothing to speed things up. It’s out of your control. As a Seller, if a good professional Attorney is involved for you and or your buyer, they will do whatever they can to move things along. However, the Belize “Powers that be” can be very trying on your patience.

Another problem comes when a Seller has put his holdings/Real Estate in a LLC. This just adds another problem to moving moneys up North out of Belize.

Blaming your Belize Bank for delays is nonsense, as they are restricted on time and money transfers by Central Bank. Blaming Central Bank will get you nowhere, because they control everything, and if you bother them to much. you file could somehow end up on the bottom of the pile.

Blaming your Realtor or Real Estate Office is one of the dumbest thing you can do in Belize, or anywhere else in the world for that mater. After a contract if signed off, inspections done and monies deposited, they have nothing to do with your receiving funds. If they did, don’t you think they would do it ??? After all, they don’t get paid until after the deal closes.

You just need patience, pretty much with anything in Belize. Whether it’s licensing a vehicle, getting a license plate, QRP, Residency or anything else.

I read people on Social Media complaining about “the wait”, and “can someone help me or tell me who to contact ?”. In some cases, yes they can give advise, lord knows everyone on Facebook is an “expert”.

But in all things Real Estate, unless they are an Attorney, or work in Lands Dept., Central Bank, they don’t know crap.

Anyone that complains that Real Estate transaction were better in the states, and why is it so bad here should know, that in the states, Realtors turned over the contracts ti a “Title Company”, who did everything from Titles, legal paperwork, money transfers, and finally the closing of escrow.

There are no “Title Companies” in Belize. Remember, your selling or buying in the “Wild West of Real Estate” here in Belize.

So, sit back, pop open a cold one, and have patience Grasshopper, everything will happen in its own time. After all, our “motto” in Belize is “Go Slow”, “No Worries”.

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Real Estate Confusion & Understanding “how things really work” in Belize

I can clearly remember seven years ago, when I was seriously looking at the Real Estate Market here on the Placencia Peninsula. When I heard it was the “Wild Wild West of Real Estate”, I wasn’t clear what that meant, but quickly learned, and over the years, it appears to be even worse.

Vitamin “Sea” cures everything πŸ™‚

You might remember that I came from a Real Estate Background, many years as a Realtor with top agencies, and then as a Real Estate Broker / Owner with my own business. In Oregon, I constantly took classes, and learned everything in “Contract Law”. In fact, I took the same courses as Attorneys, as well as the same “final exam” in Real Estate law.

Then came Belize, where they have no “Real Estate Agency”, no “overseeing” the conduct, integrity, legality or “right/wrong” of agents. While a couple Belize Real Estate companies are “International” established agencies, with offices here in Belize, where their are certain “standards”, many agents are still “cowboys and cowgirls” so to speak.

In the U.S. you have to go to a Real Estate School, take tests, pass an intense Real Estate Exam to work as a Realtor. Here in Belize, you don’t need any kind of training, or have worked in sales, or have an education, or any customer service. Heck, most Realtors here have no clue how to write a sales contract, or understand their offices contracts.

And then there is the fact that there is no “MLS”, Multiple Listing Agency, where all listing have to be entered, so Realtors have access and info on “listed properties”. In Belize there is no such thing. While there are very few that will only advertise their actual “contracted” “Exclusive Listings” on their office websites, many offices copy / paste info of the actual Listing Agents “exclusive listings” and put them on their pages, even though not theirs.

Thus the confusion of buyers searching online for homes and land. Different Real Estate Offices have those other agents listings on their pages, but don’t “update” them when the actual listing agent makes changes. You can find a property advertised on different Realty sites, all with different info / Listing Prices. The only way you find out that it’s not their listing, is when you arrive here to look at the property, and the agent says “Let me contact the listing Realtor to see if we can view it”!

You will also find a lot of “listings” on Real Estate Office websites that either already sold, or are off the market, again, because they don’t “update” like the Listing Agent will do.

Surprise ???!

In the past two years, in spite of “The Pandemic”, the Real Estate market has been on fire ! The house and land inventory for sale has dwindled, especially waterfront properties. Average price of land and homes is up about $100,000 U.S. in most cases, at least, with some offices raising list price even more than that. Because of the decline in available properties, more a more “exclusive listings” are showing up on other offices websites, because they have very few “exclusive listings” or any that are in popular locations.

Homes selling like crazy

So, I highly suggest that if looking for a property, when you contact any office, ask them if all the properties listed on their webpage are their “exclusive listings” or not. If they are honest, they will check with the Listing Agent for any update, and get back to you. Most will not tell you that they only advertise their own “exclusive listings”, although there is at least one that does in Belize. If interested to know who…..just comment πŸ™‚

Although things are getting pretty “slim” here on the Placencia Peninsula, it appears that Ambergris Caye is getting busy expanding their market and land/homes. The Northern “Secret Beach” is growing and offering pretty cheap building lots, small, but for a “vacation rental”, perfect. Their beaches are fantastic, beach bars and restaurants growing. Regretfully, some National Chain Hotels are popping up there in San Pedro, but for now, we are keeping them away from our peninsula. Even Caye Caulker is now getting “hi rise condo’s” on the northern split, sad but true.

So, there’s still deals to be had here in Belize. With a little extra “due diligence”, you can have a good experience buying or building a home here in Belize.

Something like this can be in your future

Good Luck and remember

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Has Belize become the “New Great Escape” ?

The past five years I have watched as the Placencia Peninsula and North have “been found”! Yes, North Americans from Canada and the United States have been purchasing properties here for years, and the majority of them utilized those properties as “Snowbirds”, coming down up to six months a year. Some would only come down for a couple weeks a year, and rent their homes the rest of the year as an investment.

However, for the past two years that has changed dramatically. As “conditions” in North America have morphed, more and more people started coming to Belize on vacations, but also to look for deals on houses and buildable property, especially beach properties.

Luckily for those people, at the same time, the aging population of home owners here decided it was time to sell their properties, and lifestyle. As they put their homes on the market, they were told by the qualified and knowledgable Realtors, that it could take 2-5 years to sell their homes.

And then the flood gates opened up, and we started seeing beachfront homes and building lots sell in some cases within months.

Yup…That’s my Harley Davidson πŸ™‚

The fact is, the large majority of people looking to relocate here are seeking Caribbean beachfront property, because….why wouldn’t they ? Very quickly the numbers of homes on the market declined as they were being sold. Expats living here started complaining about all the Real Estate signs on the main road of the peninsula. These quickly changed to “under contract”, then “Sold”.

At the same time the many buildable lots for sale on the beach side as well as Lagoon-front started selling, and very quickly local builders started building homes on them. In fact, at this time, all the quality builders on the Peninsula are not even accepting new builds for 2-3 years, because they are that busy building. As one of those builders told me recently, up to two years ago he would be building one house, and have an order to build his next”on the back burner”. Today he is actively building 10+ houses, and not accepting new clients.

I think I found an “affordable home” honey πŸ™‚

This past year has also introduced a new situation for the Real Estate market here, buyers buying homes and land “unseen” other than “virtually”. Yes, it’s true, and I personally know someone that saw a beach home online, then viewed an Aerial Drone Video, the wired $1,000,000 U.S. to belize to purchase it !

So, the past year has seen the virtual depletion of beach houses for sale, as well a building lots on the sea. Yes there are a couple houses on the market, and a handful of building lots, but, owners and Realtors are smart, and realize that as the available properties become few, the few are worth more. Case in point, a year ago the average building lot sold at about $225-240,000 U.S. The remaining beachfront building lots here in Maya Beach are now listed between $325-400,000 U.S.

You may ask, is “the rush” subsiding? The answer is a big “NO”. Not only are buyers and investors from the Americas still making appointments with Realtors, but we are seeing more arriving rom other countries as well, because Belize has been found. Recent expat/investors are seen buying 3-6 or more properties, because they know its a smart investment.

If you have been “sitting on the fence” waiting for a good time to find a “good deal” here in Belize, you may have missed the boat. Can you still find a good deal? Yes in some cases, but not on the beach. Buyers even today are out looking at “internal lots and homes”. Those are the properties not on the sea, not on the lagoon, but in between, and still “walkable” to beach access

I will tell you, as someone who had his own Real Estate Brokerage in Oregon, is “retired sort of” here, and has a wife who decided a couple years ago to open a Real Estate Office here in Maya Beach, it has been crazy! The past two years Marsha has become so busy that I need an appointment to see her. When she finally gets home at night, she is toast. As one of the top and busiest and most knowledgable Realtors here on the mainland, if you have any questions I suggest you contact her. I would if I was looking to buy here in Belize.

We recently visited San Pedro and “Secret Beach”, on business and pleasure…Appointment needed πŸ™‚

But…you know I already did πŸ™‚

I hope I didn’t totally depress you, but fear not, there is still time and properties.

Be safe and make good decisions,


Just in case πŸ™‚

Marsha Peterson…. Keller Williams Real Estate, Placencia, Maya Beach, North and Cayes.


WhatsApp- 1-501-610-5608

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Is Belize experiencing a “Turn of the Worm”

During years and times past, Belize has always been considered a great place to vacation, from the U.S., Canada, Europe and the world. After all, english speaking country, U.S. dollar, lots of sunshine and beaches. Not only are there awesome resorts, but since the boom of AirBnB, and other sites, tones of rental homes purchased and owned by Expats, who visited a few weeks a year, and gained rental income the rest of the year.

What most are looking for, beach property

It just seemed the thing to do as an Expat “Investor”.

Well, as I have watched the Placencia peninsula over the past eight years or so, I have seen a change. Some may say it’s the “8 year cycle”, time to move on by many Expats who are putting their houses on the market. If you have seen the Realty Sign’s go up, and “SOLD” signs quickly follow, there were just as many people coming down to buy homes, then ones selling here to move elsewhere.

One very interesting thing I have watched, is many of those homes that were owned as investment rentals by “absentee owners”, and owners who just came down 2-4 weeks per year, are now being purchased by North Americans that are selling homes up North, packing everything, and moving here full time. Established houses in the Maya Beach and North locations are being purchased and moved into permanently.

This “trend” appears to be continuing, and we are quickly running out of established homes for sale.

When I came down to the peninsula some 9 years ago looking for a building lot on the sea, between Placencia Village and Plantation, I had a list of over 35 buildable lots to choose from on the beach. As of today, just in Maya Beach, there are only two available, for now for sale. Drive up or down the peninsula, and you will see almost every lot has a “under contact or SOLD” sign on it. Many are already being built on.

And I suspect many of these are being built by new homeowners, to live in.

I also suspect that days ahead will be occupied by the resorts upgrading and preparing for the comeback of the tourist industry, in many cases replacing the AirBnB’s and such. Although the Condo’s, especially on the Placencia Peninsula have not been a major influence, or in buyers “scopes” very often, they may soon become an important part of the vacation rental pool.

Condo’s be coming πŸ™‚

All I can say, is that over the past six years or so, I have watched the Maya Beach Community change from a “part time” neighborhood, to a full-time residential neighborhood. Everybody and I mean everybody knows everybody. The new “kids on the block” to the “old timers”. And as far as “new kids”, that’s another interesting trend. The average age of couples and singles moving here has changed, fro the 60+ down to the late 40’s-early 50’s. They all say they are “looking for something better”, and as those of us that already moved here know,

Belize Cane Be That Place.

Of course, I will say, this is all my opinion, based on my observation. Of course, looking “over the shoulder” of one of the busiest Realtors on the Placencia peninsula influenced me a bit, I do keep my eyes and ears open from time to time.

Cheers my friends,

Gary”The Pirate”

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Making the decision to Re-locate to Belize, Central America

Buy an existing home or by land and build your new home

Todays world, no matter where in the world you live is becoming more challenging by the day. It doesn’t matter if you live in Europe, South Africa, the United States or elsewhere, you are probably thinking it’s time for something else.

The Caribbean and Central American Countries offer in most cases an attractive alternative, with better weather, sandy beaches and a more relaxed lifestyle. Depending on what your “New Lifestyle” will be, generally based on your source of income, your choices may vary.

Listing # 6451, listed at only $645,000 U.S.

If you choose to purchase a existing home it is generally a “target rich environment” becasue over the past years new home starts have jumped. With the turnover of people who built homes say 7-10 years ago or more are selling and moving on. “Snow birds” too are deciding as they progress in years, it’s time to move “home” to be near family.

The problem with many of these homes is the amount of money that has been put into them, and expected to be gotten from the sale. Prices can range from $400,000 to $1,000,000 or more U.S. If you have that much available to you, you probably will find something that works. However, if your plan is to think smaller, more moderate in your build, to match your budget, you need to be looking more at land and building something.

Here on the mainland in Southern Belize, Placencia Peninsula, you can still find reasonable building lots for sale. There are still Caribbean Sea front building lots reasonably priced from $230,000 to $400,000 to build your home. Building lots on or near the Placencia Lagoon can range from $20,000 to $100,000, many with Sea Access.

Many visitors from other countries, especially the U.S. and Canada come to Belize to look at buying land or a home, and are under the impression that they can get a home or building loan. This is a misconception, because there really isn’t a bank that offers foreigners loans. However, many times, building lot owners will offer owner terms with a substantial down payment.

Lot # L6456 Lusted at only $220,000 U.S.

So, that being said, it may be a good idea to invest in a building lot, and build a home of your choice now, or at some time in the future.

To purchase my newly released book, just click on “Buy on Amazon. You will be able to choose between downloading the eBook to your computer, iPad, Tablet or Smartphone,

or Buy the paperback book and it will be delivered to your door in a few days.

Lot # 6462 Maya Beach, on Main Road, backed by Canal with access to lagoon and open Sea. $89,000 U.S.-3 lots available

Is it time to start taking action, for you and your family? Probably a good idea to start looking at possibilities seriously. You don’t want to be caught saying,

If only I πŸ™‚

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My long awaited book, “Building your new in Belize, the Good, Bad and Ugly” is Published!

It took 2+ years down the bumpy road to get our house here in Belize built to completion. It seems like it took that long to get this book published!

The editing on this book was quite a challenge, as I wasn’t writing from scratch, rather taking an existing blog and converting it to a book form. In addition to that, I was adding more info and photo’s. In order to do this, I had to buy a new software program called “Pressbooks”, learn it, and by “trial and error”, convert it to Amazon/Kindle format so I could publish it! Not as easy as they said.

Spending weeks just getting it together, converted and now published, resulted in a good book, i believe. The program wasn’t absolutely perfect, as somehow, even after multiple edits and “reviews”, a couple sections were repeated, and one “deleted” found its way back into the finished product. But, that being said, I believe the book will accomplish what I started out to do,

Help people make the decision to build, choose wisely, and not make all the mistakes and bad decisions I did.

Its available on Amazon, both in a “download” instantly to your smartphone, iPad, or computer, or to purchase as a hard copy. Once you order the hard copy you should recieve it at your door in 2-3 days.

As It’s a new release, having reviews is important for position on Amazon. Therefore, I make you this “special offer”. If you order my book, please post a honest “good” review, and bang me off a email that you did (to:, and I will send you a suprise ro your email “inbox”.

Also, if you have any questions, send them the same.

I hope my book can help some people out during their process, as it could have helped me πŸ™‚

Good Luck,



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Belize Real Estate, In My Opinion :)


Back when I was a Cowboy, Riding my horse “Cowboy”, and a Realtor selling Ranches in Oregon.


Everyone knows that I am a Travel Writer, have been traveling to Belize for many years, finally purchased a piece of property and built a beach home. When we finally decided to purchase our property, I spend a good amount of time researching Real Estate Offices, their Broker/Owner, and their Real Estate agents. I talked to locals who used different companies and agents and kept a “running file” in my head, and on paper about the reviews, I had gotten. I believe I made a well-informed decision when I picked 1st Choice RE/MAX in Placencia Village.

What I had been told over and over, was that the Broker, David was an upstanding and honest Real Estate Broker, was proficient in Real Estate Law and Contracts, and worked for his clients, professionally, honestly, and with integrity.

Now let me just say that after hearing and reading about how Real Estate in Belize is like the “wild west”, where anyone can be a gunfighter and sell property and houses, I was wary. Yes, as I soon found out, just about anyone can sell Real Estate, but not everyone is attached to an Internationally recognized Real Estate Group. Here in Belize, we do have Real Estate Offices owned/ operated and sometimes in the Brokers name. However, we also have “named brands, like Cauldwell Bankers, C-21, RE/MAX, Engel & Volkers, etc. These International Realties do seem to walk a tighter drum, keeping to the standards of their main home corporations, in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. I’m not saying you should only look at these offices because another office might do you right, but just be careful.

Now, let me interrupt your train of thought here, by interjecting a fact that not many people I know here in Belize are aware of.

I was a Real Estate Broker for many years back in the United States. I was associated with a few of the top International Brokerages as well, Better Homes and Gardens Realty, Prudential Realty and Century 21. In my final years in Real Estate, I was a Broker/Owner on my own.

When I really got serious in my search for the best of the best in Real Estate Offices, then agent, after hearing many recommendations, I then turned to my criteria. How many years had the office been open, how long had the Broker been the owner, how qualified were the Real Estate Agents in his office, and how long had they all worked there. How much clerical staff did the office employ, how long had they worked there?

Other very important questions for myself, which should be for you too. Do they show buyers only their own “in-house” listings, or do they show buyers all available listing that matches what they are looking for?

This is a very important question for you to ask, and track while you are looking at properties. There are offices and Realtors that will only show their own listings because they will make more commission if they have both buyers and sellers. But, keep in mind that you might have to make a decision on a property when there were actually other agencies listing that you would have liked better, and bought! So, as you are being shown properties by your chosen agent, if you have noticed or drive by a property that you like, ask to see it. Before you even come to Belize, print listing you found online that look interesting, and give to the Realtor for viewing. If he or she says “it’s not available”, or “you won’t like it”, tell them you still want to see it. You will know if they are trying to “steer you” around it, and your answer should be…

“Your Fired”!

Another thing as a buyer you should be aware of is, you should never use multiple Real Estate Agents at the same time. Research and find the best Β Belize RealtorΒ you can, one with experience, a good personality, and with experience in sales. That being said, if you do find you made a mistake, you can always tell the agent you are not happy and will be working with another agent. This is a prime example of the above paragraph, where the agent was not showing you all Realty listings in the area.

Also, beware of newly opened Real Estate Offices without a “track record”. It’s also easy in Belize for someone to get some experience as a Realtor and decide to go out on their own, starting a business in Realty/Property Management, etc. There is a major difference between being a Realtor, and becoming a Real Estate Broker. In the U.S., I had to take formal classes for a year and pass a three hour monitored Real Estate Agency Exam to become a Broker. That’s not the case here in Belize, at all, in fact, many will work out of their homes.

Finally, I will say a word or two about “Scams”, yes they do happen here in Belize, often.

I actually was involved with a very infamous one in my first couple of years looking at relocating to Belize. Does the name “Sanctuary Belize” or “The Reserve” sound familiar? It should, because the FCC investigated it, and shut it down after naming it the largest Real Estate Scam they had ever investigated. We were very lucky to only lose the price of a new SUV on the property we had invested in, with plans to move.

If you are looking at any new development, houses, condo’s, etc., I highly suggest that you don’t invest a dime, until the entire infrastructure is done, and building actually happening. Talk to anyone you can about the development, like Expats who live there, anyone who has already bought into the development, and your attorney before signing anything. Of course, your attorney from outside Belize can’t perform here in Belize, but a contract is a contract, and paying $1000 for attorney opinion, is better than losing everything.

Lastly, I will just use a term I have been aware of for many years, “location, location, location”! Be sure to research locations before you purchase anything. Ask your Realtor specific questions about the different areas you are looking at. Sign up for local Facebook pages about community “Neighborhood Watches”, Crime Pages, Belize on-line news Facebook Pages, etc. Visit local Expat hangouts, and ask about the area you are interested in purchasing in.

Be an informed buyer. Then, if everything looks and feels right, buy and enjoy.

I do hope this post helps anyone looking to move to Belize. Actually, it is a great guide no matter where in the world you are looking to move to.



Gary……The Pirate





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