"I used to watch the sunset on the Empire State Building. Now I watch the sunrise over the Caribbean, on the bay of Corozal,” says Nancy Naftchi-Medoro, 46. For Nancy and her husband Tony, 68, the move has changed their lives for the better.
Before moving to Belize, 66-year-old Steve Gustat, from Tampa, Florida, hadn’t even considered opening a restaurant. “I had no experience in the restaurant business,” he says of his decision to open the Blue Iguana, the popular restaurant he now operates with his Belizean partner, Shantel, in Corozal, in northern Belize near the Mexican border. “But that has not been a problem. Business principles are the same in any business.”
Imagine living on a bay where you can feel sea breezes blowing in from the Caribbean year-round. Every day, you enjoy fishing and sailing on a sparkling, emerald green seascape, within a short distance of your home. You’re living the laidback retirement you always dreamed about. And your comfortable, Caribbean getaway cost you less than $220,000.
I am happy. I don’t worry about car insurance, driving for hours, or trafﬁc. I don’t have to put on a pair of heels and a business suit. Flip-ﬂops and a great pair of shorts or sundress are my normal attire now,” says Marlene Houghton, who owns Marbucks, her dream coffee shop on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize.
For many North Americans, winter is the time to batten down the hatches and brace for an onslaught of wind, snow, and rain. But not so for Bob and Lonni Skrentner. On the Belizean island of Ambergris Caye, this couple has found the perfect winter retreat. Here they can spend their days scuba diving in the Caribbean Sea, socializing, and relaxing by the beach, while friends back home are confined indoors by the cold.
Keith Morrison loves the great sailing and Caribbean lifestyle in Placencia. Keith Morrison, 58, scoured two continents for the perfect place to start his coffee shop: an English-speaking country with a laidback, affordable lifestyle, warm weather, good sailing, and low taxes. He found all these in Placencia, on Belize’s southern coast. Now he enjoys a terriﬁc Caribbean lifestyle when he’s not overseeing operations at his Above Grounds Coffee House.
Tango music fills the air as a couple performs a sultry tango dance beneath a 200-year-old ficus tree. Around them, stylish patrons chat with gusto. This is the good life, sitting outdoors at a chic café, sipping a strong cortado (espresso cut with a little milk) and nibbling a toasted sandwich as you watch the world go by…
The dazzling Caribbean island of Roatán offers much more than spectacular sugarsand beaches and cozy, inviting bays. You’ll also find mountainous terrain lush with vibrant tropical flowers. Head up any of the many hills that form the interior to be awestruck by the surrounding Caribbean Sea, its surface sparkling in the sun, its depths tinged with aquamarine, topaz, and soft green hues.
You gaze out from your veranda each morning onto a sea often as smooth as glass, shimmering as sunrays dance upon its surface. As far as the eye can see, north and south, are miles of gorgeous beaches, peppered with inviting, thatched-roof palapas at the end of docks. Red, yellow, and other brightly colored kayaks sit above the surf line, ready for the next joy ride.
Every morning Barbara Wastart rises to another glorious tranquil day, surrounded by fruit trees, coconut palms, and exotic tropical birds. As she looks out from her hilltop home, she takes in the spectacular view of the turquoise Caribbean bay below. A fleet of kayaks, and a pontoon boat, are tied to her private dock. A quick paddle through the mangrove forest and she can tie up to a private buoy near the barrier reef, and snorkel in the crystal clear waters abundant with fish, rays, and coral.