Now that my two months living as a digital nomad in Belize is almost up (sob) I thought I'd put together all the information you will need to create this lifestyle for yourself. So here is my 'how to be a digital nomad in Belize' post! My main piece of advice is JUST SAY YES you will never regret taking the steps to free yourself from the career treadmill that traps you in one place for no reason. Even if becoming a digital nomad in Belize is a temporary move, you will gain so much from it both personally and professionally and I can never overestimate how life-changing my time here in Belize has been.
Where is Belize?
Belize is on the east coast of mainland Central America with 240 miles of Caribbean coastline as well as over 400 islands in the Belize Barrier reef (which is the second biggest in the world). English is the first language and as well as white sandy beaches it also has lush tropical jungle.
How do I get there?
You can fly to Belize via Mexico or several transit points in the United States. All air traffic into Belize goes via Belize City airport and from there you can either drive or catch a shuttle flight to other parts of the country. Tropic Air and Maya Air run regular flights each day to a variety of places including San Pedro and Placencia. Land and ocean borders are now open too so you can also arrive via car, bus or boat.
Do I need a visa to work remotely in Belize?
Many nationalities including UK and USA can come and work remotely in Belize on a tourist visa as long as you aren't seeking employment here in the country itself. Your tourist visa lasts 30 days and you can extend it as many times as you plan to stay, costing $100 US dollars per extension. You extend by taking your passport to the local immigration office, they will ask you questions like where you are staying and how you are making money (they are checking you are not illegally working in Belize) but it is very quick and easy process. Here is a handy post on other tropical destinations offering a digital nomad visa.
What is the currency in Belize?
Belize has its own currency, the Belizean dollar but also accepts US dollars. The rough exchange rate is $1 US = $2 BZE
What Time Zone is Belize in?
Belize is in Central Standard Time and does not observe daylight saving so it stays consistent all year round. It is good for working with both the USA and UK as you aren't too far ahead or behind of either, there is plenty of crossovers. I found it easiest to do my UK based work in the morning, and then the afternoons I would spend doing more US orientated things.
Is the internet connection good enough?
Definitely check the WIFI speed where you are staying in advance, as it can be temperamental and not always reliable in some places. It is wise to get a Belize SIM for your phone so that you can hoteaspoonot if needed. International roaming in Belize is expensive for most people so definitely use the option of a Belie pay as you SIM rather than turning on roaming.
What are the Covid protocols in Belize?
Everyone entering Belize has to have a negative covid test taken within 3 days of arrival. They observe social distancing and there is a curfew at night. Masks are required everywhere unless you are sitting down eg to eat at a restaurant or lying on a sun lounger. The police are very diligent and will stop next to you on the street if you are not wearing one! All hotels and restaurants have to abide by strict cleaning protocols too. Their covid rates have been very low, they actually closed their borders for almost all of 2020 and only opened once they had put all of these protocols in place. You can find out more from the tourism website here.
Where to stay in Belize as a digital nomad?
Your options are an Air BnB or a resort, and for me personally, I wanted to feel like I was a part of a community with reliable internet so I am staying at Umaya Village. Umaya is a resort that now runs as a digital nomad community down in Placencia which is a stunning part of Belize on a peninsular between the Caribbean and a huge lagoon. They host guests in self-contained apartments that have incredible views of either the lagoon or the ocean and run workshops that help in professional development and regular excursions to see the country too. And our volleyball game became super strong! You can see a bit more of Umaya, my journey and my experiences on my YouTube channel or on my Instagram.
What is the food like?
Food in Belize is a mixture of all the different cultures you will find, so there is a lot of Caribbean and creole food, Mexican food, Mayan food and more! A typical breakfast would be refried beans, eggs and fry jacks (a sort of puffed up tortilla). Lunch might be grilled fish tacos (Umaya's restaurant does the best ones in my opinion!) and dinner could be pork tenderloin cooked in rum and lime juice. Veganism is a relatively new concept here but there are still lots of options.
What are the people like?
Simply put, the friendliest and warmest people I have ever met.
What else can I do there?
There are so many fun things to do in Belize, my weekends were full of snorkelling, caving, jungle hikes and exploring Mayan ruins! Here is my blog post on all my favourite activities in Belize so you know what to arrange for yourself.
IF YOU HAVE ANY HESITATION please get in touch with me. I'd love to share my experiences with you and answer any questions. Find me on Instagram here or comment below and I'll get back to you!