If __ Wins the Election, I’m Moving To … Belize

Private islands, jaguars, lots of English and no zika

By The Editors
March 28, 2016 9:00 am

Tell your Facebook feed enough times that you’re leaving the country if that guy (or gal) gets elected and eventually, you’re going to have to put your passport where your mouth is. Well, you’re in luck: this is our new series on some of the world’s best expat destinations for dissatisfied Americans.

Country of honor: Belize

In brief: Known as “British Honduras” until 1973, Belize is now one of the safest countries in Central America as well as a top south-of-the-border tourist destination, with extensive Mayan ruins and one of the Western Hemisphere’s best diving destinations at the Great Blue Hole.

Official language: English. You can put down the Rosetta Stone.

Official Zika situation: So far, zero cases reported.

Shack up here: Your own private island comes with a three-bedroom villa, wifi and fishing equipment. It’s 20 minutes from the village of Placencia, but you’ll be too busy kayaking and snorkeling around the atoll and to nearby islands to want to leave.

Toast your new life here: Francis Ford Coppola loved Belize so much he married it, if by “married” we mean “bought a number of properties and developed them for commercial applications.” His Blancaneaux Lodge has no TVs (on purpose), so you’ll have to entertain yourself with your traveling companion(s), jungle hikes, stargazing or paging through the comp copies of Coppola’s literary journal, Zoetrope. Get the “Jungle Juice” at the Jaguar Bar, “a potent concoction of local craboo liqueur, aged rum and fresh pineapple juice.” Unexpected bar bonus: ceiling fans imported from the set of Apocalypse Now.

Immigration situation: Belize is visa-free for Americans for stays of up to 30 days. After that, you’ll need to obtain a visa and renew it monthly ($25) for up to six months; after that, the fee doubles to $50. Good news: If you like Belize, you can just keep renewing your tourist visa. Bad news: It doesn’t allow you to work. Good news: Who wants to work? Just be able to show you have enough cash on hand to get by: at $60US a day, you’ll need about $87K in the bank to make it through the next presidency.

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