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. I spent two wonderful months working on my food blog from Belize and I loved every second.
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 hotspot 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! The restaurants are great and the staff are always so friendly. A typical breakfast would be refried beans and dinner could be Belizean Stewed Chicken. 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!
Great article. I've wanted to travel to Belize for so long. I think I'm going to just do it like you said and book myself for January!
Rosanna Stevens says
Hi Kim, thanks for reading! Belize is just so amazing, I'm sure you'll love it and January is the perfect time to go in my opinion
Angelica Rivera says
Hello, I am going to Caye Caulker. I just wanted to clarify that in order to work for a US company in Belize I don't have to pay $1000 for a Belizean work permit. Does this apply if the company I work for online is in Belize?
Rosanna Stevens says
Hi Angelica, you cannot work for a Belizean company in Belize without a work permit!
S Martin says
Thank you for sharing!
I am currently looking into join the Noma Collective for a month in Belize at Umaya. I am concerned about the WiFi connection especially during hurricane season, and not to mention the cost to do this. I am curious to know your thoughts.
And, are people actually able to focus and get work done? Or do people work considerably less since there is so much to do?
Thanks for your help!
Rosanna Stevens says
Hi! So when I was at Umaya we all worked really well as everyone is there for the same reason. We then had a great time together in the evenings and weekends! WiFi occasionally went down but in those instances we used local SIM cards in our phones and tethered laptops to the 4g network that way so there was always a back up. Obviously there is no way to predict how bad hurricane season will be but Belize has always been pretty well protected most years due to the reef
Thank you for all of the valuable information! I am wondering if you know what - if any- tax issues may arise for the company I work for if I stay (already here and loving it!) for an extended period of time? I work for a global remote first company and maintain an Oregon address, however I have been here 3 months and plan to stay up to 1 year on my tourist visa (i.e. getting it stamped every month in Belmopan). I haven't found any issues this may cause the company I work for from my research (they are headquartered in California)- thought I would see if you knew of any?
Thank you for any insight!
Rosanna Stevens says
Hi Vikki, so glad you’re loving it there! Sadly I can’t offer any insights as I’m
British and unsure of the US tax system - but aren’t taxes there based on citizenship rather than where you live? I’d speak to a local authority perhaps and they might be able to help