FAQ 2017-05-30T21:35:30+00:00

FAQ: OVERVIEW OF BELIZE

About Belize

Belize is located in the Western Caribbean just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Chetumal, the Capital of Quintana Roo is just over the Northern Border making access to this fine City easy from Corozal.  Guatemala borders Belize to the west and south. Corozal Town and Cerros Sands lies just South of Chetumal and the Northern Belize border.

Belize is approximately 8,866 square miles. Its mainland is approximately 180 miles long and up to 68 miles wide.

Belize law is similar to U.S. law and in fact Belize is an Independent British Commonwealth. The Government was modeled after the British Parliamentary System. Also, Belize is an English speaking country with a stable government and growing economy. Property is held in Fee Simple Title.

Easily, English is the National Language.

Bottled water is available throughout Belize. Major towns have chlorinated water. Small villages rely on rainwater or untreated well water for drinking; you should not. Do not drink water that has not been treated. Many shops and hotels will have bottled drinking water. Water from municipalities is chlorinated and aerated. We recommend that you buy purified bottled water in gallons, which can usually be refilled for about US$.50.

In Belize electricity is supplied at 110 volts, 60 Hz., which is the same as the standard U.S. service. As in most parts of the world, we recommend surge protectors and/or battery back-up units for sensitive equipment such as computers or TVs.

The people of Belize understand that tourism is a big part of the economy, so crimes against tourists are not common. But to be on the safe side, be cautious, do not leave your possessions alone, and do not walk alone or at night in unknown parts. Marijuana and hasher drugs that are a crime in the US are a crime in Belize, punishable with strict laws, prison terms and fines. If you read the news, you will find most crime takes place in one area of Belize City. It is unfortunate Belize decided to bring the cruise lines into Belize City, leaving a bad signal to the thousands of tourists that do not book tours to see the beauty of Belize and stay in the City.
They are working to move some on the cruise lines to other destinations.

It is illegal to take firearms into or out of Belize. Do not “accidentally” bring firearms or ammunition into Belize. You could easily find yourself in prison. Mexico, too, for that matter.

The Free Zones are areas near the borders where Mexican and Guatemalan visitors can buy products and take them back to their countries. There are also Casinos located in the Northern Free Zone near Corozal Town on the border with Mexico.

All the benefits of a Major City with Fine Dining, Shopping and Most Importantly, Excellent Medical Care! They are now expanding their International Airport.

Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Office Depot, Walmart, Liverpool, The Americana Mall with many outlet shops as well as Chedraui.  Everything you would expect in a large city. You can even find MacDonalds and Burger King if you need a fix! Applebee’s is now open as well.

Geography & Weather

Protected! Located, west of the Barrier Reef, the Yucatan Peninsula, Sarteneja, Warrie Bight and at Lowery Bight having 4 land bodies between us and the Caribbean Sea. Also to note we are only eight miles by water to Chetumal. Chetumal has excellent Medical Care and everything you would expect in a City.

Peaceful, no turtle grass or sand flies!

Very Comfortable Year Round with prevailing breeze from the East.

60 inches a year, much like Florida. Rains increases to 180 inches when you start heading south. Placencia gets 120 inches a year.

Normally, June – October, however more recently starting later and carrying on till January

No, storms traditionally stay further off-shore and enter land 200+ miles North near Cancun.

Yes, we will be installing a small weather system to track Weather at Cerros Sands

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Communications

Telecommunication services are available. Direct dialing, cellular telephone service, texting and paging are also available. Postal rates to the United States are BZ$0.60 for letters and BZ$0.30 for postcards. Postal rates to Europe are BZ$0.75 for letters and BZ$0.40 for postcards.
Postal rates are subject to change. Cerros Sands is working on providing high speed Internet access and telephony whether on land or sea. Currently we use BTL, Smart or Steller Links. Residents may bring their own PDAs or laptops and connect to the network. WiFi is available at many hotels and other facilities that cater to tourists.
To call the U.S., it costs about $1.50 per minute and after 10:00 PM it is about $1.00 per minute. You can reduce those rates considerably depending on when you call, and whether you “top-up” your cellphone balance on a special “double-up/triple-up” day (which occur once or twice a month). Avoid International Roaming charges or phone calls charged to your hotel room; those can be very expensive. You can also reduce the charge by using the 10-10-199 prefix.

501 is the international dialing code for Belize and numerous local codes in Belize (if you are dialing from a phone outside of Belize, the zero in not necessary). The country has all of the telecommunications services available. Calls from Belize can sometimes be cheaper than the same calls to Belize. Secluded tropical rain forest places will usually have radio communications hooked up to a cellular assistance to make an outgoing call. Getting a Belize phone card (BTL) is recommended for making national and international calls.

501 is the international dialing code for Belize and numerous local codes in Belize (if you are dialing from a phone outside of Belize, the zero in not necessary). The country has all of the telecommunications services available. Calls from Belize can sometimes be cheaper than the same calls to Belize. Secluded tropical rain forest places will usually have radio communications hooked up to a cellular assistance to make an outgoing call. Getting a Belize phone card (BTL) is recommended for making national and international calls.

501 is the international dialing code for Belize and numerous local codes in Belize (if you are dialing from a phone outside of Belize, the zero in not necessary). The country has all of the telecommunications services available. Calls from Belize can sometimes be cheaper than the same calls to Belize. Secluded tropical rain forest places will usually have radio communications hooked up to a cellular assistance to make an outgoing call. Getting a Belize phone card (BTL) is recommended for making national and international calls.

Recreation

They are everywhere and easy to find as they cater to Tourists. Cerros Sands works with many rated charter services in Belize.
There is great fishing year round. You will find no better, whether on the east side of the barrier reef for bill fish, or in the intercoastal or river systems of Corozal for Bonefish or Tarpon.
The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest barrier reef in the world and the finest manifestation of a coral reef ecosystem in this Hemisphere for its size, unique variety of reef types and abundance of corals thriving in pristine conditions. Aesthetically and ecologically, its integrity is virtually unharmed. Forming a nearly continuous wall for 150 miles along the continental shelf edge, the Belize Barrier Reef provides life and security to the entire country. Immediately seaward are three oceanic atolls including Lighthouse Reef, which is unequalled in the Caribbean for its development, variety of reef types and biological diversity. The Belize Barrier Reef ecosystem has remained pristine because the small, subsistence-level population has not stressed it unduly, and because Belize has existed on the periphery of global commerce.

The dress code in Belize is shorts and t-shirts. Shoes are optional. Except for hiking into the thick jungle areas, the dress is casual, informal and light.
Leave expensive jewelry at home for you will not need them. Should you need a watch, bring one that is suitable for diving and hiking.

If you are visiting Cerros Sands at La Playa de Cerros, bring shorts, T-shirts, and bathing suits, along with comfortable shoes. The sun is more intense than what you are probably used to at home, so bring a hat to protect your head from the tropical sun and biodegradable sunscreen for the rest of your body. Do not forget to bring a pair of “polarized” sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and to remove the reflective glare from the water.

When exploring mainland Belize or hiking through the rain forest wear loose fitting, light colored cotton pants and shirts, along with a comfortable pair of hiking shoes or boots.

Frankly, we boat from Cerros to the Reef. Some of the best diving is right off Ambergris Caye. We are a short boat trip from many world renowned dive spots.

They are throughout the Mainland in Belize, some of the best in the North at Lamanai and Altun Ha. Cerros is right around the corner from Cerros Sands.

FAQ: TRAVEL

When Traveling Belize

Mid-November through May are the driest months of the year. The rainy season starts in June and ends in mid-November. But lately has been carrying over till January. High tourist season starts in December and continues through April. The rest of the year is less crowded. Belize has a subtropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 80 degrees. The temperature can reach the mid-90’s in the summer. Tradewinds flow through the coastal and island properties most of the year, keeping temperatures enjoyable even throughout the hottest months. Hurricanes occasionally occur in August and September. Water temperature averages between 79 and 83 degrees.

Rainfall is heavier in the jungles and southern Belize and light in the north and on the Islands. Please Note: Cerros Sands at La Playa de Cerros is NOT in the Rain Forest and therefore not subject to heavy rainfall.

 ·        New Years Day – January 1
·         Baron Bliss Day – March 9
·         Good Friday
·         Holy Saturday
·         Easter Sunday
·         Easter Monday
·         Labor Day – May 1
·         Commonwealth Day – May 24
·         St. George’s Caye Day – September 10
·         Independence Day – September 21
·         Columbus Day – October 12
·         Garifuna Settlement Day – November 19
·         Christmas Day – December 25
·         Boxing Day – December 26
When hiking, bring hiking boots or sneakers with good treads, long pants and long sleeves for evening hikes, short pants and cool cotton clothes, bathing suits and sun hats, sunglasses, prescription drugs, lightweight rain gear with a hood, scuba diving gear with certification card, dive log, snorkeling gear, fishing tackle (scuba diving gear as well as fishing tackle may be rented), sun screen, sun burn cream, insect repellent, binoculars, camera and film, batteries, a flashlight or headlamp for evening hikes or caving, and do not forget your passport or visa (if applicable), as well as cash, credit cards and/or travelers’ checks.

The dress code in Belize is shorts and t-shirts. Shoes are optional. Except for hiking into the thick jungle areas, the dress is casual, informal and light.
Leave expensive jewelry at home for you will not need them. Should you need a watch, bring one that is suitable for diving and hiking.

If you are visiting Cerros Sands at La Playa de Cerros, bring shorts, T-shirts, and bathing suits, along with comfortable shoes. The sun is more intense than what you are probably used to at home, so bring a hat to protect your head from the tropical sun and biodegradable sunscreen for the rest of your body. Do not forget to bring a pair of “polarized” sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and to remove the reflective glare from the water.

When exploring mainland Belize or hiking through the rain forest wear loose fitting, light colored cotton pants and shirts, along with a comfortable pair of hiking shoes or boots.

Hotels, restaurants and stores in the tourist areas accept all major credit cards. Smaller vendors and storekeepers in rural areas may accept only cash (US currency or Belize currency US$1 = BZ$2) or travelers’ checks. All major credit card companies may be contacted at all of the four commercial banks in Belize City. Travelers Checks are not very well accepted and suggest not using them.

Local currency is the Belize dollar. One U.S. dollar (US$1.00) is equivalent two Belize dollars (BZ$2.00). U.S. dollars are accepted countrywide. Major credit cards accepted at hotels and shops.
There are many banks and branches throughout Belize. There are four commercial banks in Belize: Atlantic Bank Ltd, Belize Bank Ltd, First Caribbean Bank, and Scotiabank. All have branches including ATMs located in the towns in Belize, with ATMs. You won’t find any in the villages.Banking hours are usually Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. Your credit/debit cards are accepted.
If you have a car, a great way to experience the country is driving yourself. Always keep in mind not to leave valuables in view in the vehicle, keep the doors locked, keep the gas tank filled, do not pick up hitchhikers and try not to drive at night. Belize is only 68 miles wide and 180 miles long, so it is not to far to get anywhere.
The main highways in Belize are:

· The Northern Highway from Belize City to Corozal and the Mexican Border.
· The Western Highway from Belize City to San Ignacio and the Guatemalan Border.
· The Hummingbird Highway from Belmopan to Dangriga.
· The Southern Highway from Dangriga to Punta Gorda.
· The Manatee Highway from Belize City to Dangriga.

To rent a car or a golf cart in the Cayes, a valid driver license is required. Driving laws are like the rest of the world. Driving is on the right side of the road. Also, to ride a bike at night, you must have a bright white light on it. But if you are driving at night, do not assume that bicycles will have those (or any) lights.

Gas costs vary, but around US$4.00 per gallon..

Travelers flying into the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City may connect to various destinations within Belize including: Corozal, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, Dangriga, Big Creek, Ambergris Caye, Placencia and Punta Gorda.

Airlines serving destinations within Belize:
Tropic Air: (800) 422-3435 (from U.S.) or 011-501-226-2012 email Email. Belize International, Belize Municipal, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, Corozal, Placencia, Punta Gorda, Flores (Guatemala).
Maya Island Air: 011-501-226-2435. Belize International, Belize Municipal, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Corozal.
Tropic, Maya, and Javier’s Flying Service Ltd., 011-501-223-5360, for private charters.
All major Charters will pick you up from anywhere there is an approved airstrip.

Travelers on a budget can vacation for as little as $50 a day on mainland Belize. Transportation will be extra. Room and board in upscale jungle lodges and good hotels can run from $100 to $150 a day. Outfitted group adventure trips at upscale all-inclusive lodges range from $100 to $150 a day. Reservations are always a good idea. Do not forget to ask about group discounts everywhere they are available.

Yes, Belize has a General Sales Tax (GST)of 12%. It is levied on almost all goods and services except hotel accommodations, where there is a 9% tax. These taxes are subject to change.

Tips of 10-15% are acceptable, with more for outstanding service.

 There are local fish, conch and shrimp, chicken, pork, fruit and vegetables just about everywhere. Rice and beans with a meat are the regular diet for locals. Good beef is a bit harder to find unless you are in a tourist resort catering to visitors. Other foods and manufactured goods are usually imported and sold through small stores and supermarkets. Just keep in mind that certain products cannot leave the country, such as unprocessed coral, turtle shells, pre-Columbian artifacts and fish (unless permission is granted).

You have to be in the country for at least three days before you can apply for a marriage license, with one day notice. You must have proof of citizenship such as a certified copy of a birth certificate, notarized, with father’s name, proof of divorce, if necessary, certified copy or original of divorce certificate and a copy of the death certificate for widow or widower, if necessary. You can be married by either a Justice of the Peace or Registrar General (Phone 501-227-7377) in Belize City. Special plans can also be arranged by companies specializing in this service. So if you wish to be married on the beautiful waters of Belize, or atop a Mayan Pyramid, this dream can be fulfilled.

911 is the emergency number to connect you to the local police, who will be able to assist you. The fire department or ambulance can be reached through this number also. The Belize Telephone Directory would have a list of doctors, and very serious medical problems are cared for in Belize City at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital or Belize Medical Associates. If you are in the North there are hospitals in Corozal Town and Orange Walk. Chetumal, Mexico has excellent medical care and an International Airport with connection to Mexico City and the United States.

Entering & Departing Belize

A valid passport, good for at least six months past departure date is required along with proof of return for everyone in your party. You may bring up to $5000.00 US into Belize without any issues. If you bring a dollar more than this amount you must declare it. Failure to do so may result in stiff penalties and delays.
Citizens of the United States, British Commonwealth Nations, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and Canada do not require a visa. Citizens from other countries should inquire about visa requirements at their local Belizean Consulate or Embassy. Immigration can grant a stay of up to 30 days. Tourists can go to San Pedro or Belize City and apply for an extension, and get their stay extended for up to to six months, at 30 day increments by paying a small fee.

Shots are not required to enter the country. However, one may consider having a gamma globulin for Hepatitis A, Booster for Typhoid, as well as Tetanus. On occasion Malaria has been found in Belize and can be prevented or cured with Chloro-quine. Chloro-quine can cause liver damage when used for a prolonged time period. Often travelers on long visits choose to carry mosquito repellent while in the jungle in lieu of taking Chloro-quine for a prolonged period. For professional advice, consult your local Health Department or family physician. Oh, don’t forget the sun tan lotion.

After getting off the plane have your passport and travel documents available to go through customs. The officer may ask you to open your bag. Your personal items are allowed in Belize. There is an import allowance of 200 cigarettes or 1/2 pound of tobacco goods, 20 ounces of alcohol and one bottle of personal perfume.

The following airlines serve Belize: 
    1. United Airlines, 800-864-8331, direct flights from Houston and from Los Angeles during high season. 
    2. American Airlines, 800-433-7300, direct flights from Miami and Dallas.
    3. Taca/Avianca, 800-400-8222, direct flights from Texas and San Salvador, El Salvador
    4. Delta Airlines, 800-221-1212, direct flights from Atlanta, and now, a direct non-stop flight from/to Los Angeles on Saturdays.
    5. Southwest, direct flights from Hobby, Texas.
From Europe most travelers go through either Miami with an overnight stay, or through Cuba. Many visitors will save money on both flights and rental car by flying into Cancun and renting a car there. Be sure to tell them you want to drive the car in Belize also. The road is very good from Cancun to Belize.
Within Belize there are two airlines, Maya Island Air 800-225-6732 or 011-501-223-1140, or Tropic Air 800-422-3435 or 011-501-2012.
Chetumal, Mexico has an International Airport that is being expanded. Interjet is currently servicing this airport though Mexico City.

Yes, private aircraft must enter Belize through Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City. Permission from the Chief Civil Aviation Officer 48 hours prior to arrival must be obtained. Documents will be inspected and a normal flight plan must be filed. Landing and parking fees are also charged.

Going through rough roads will take three to six days from Texas. Driving is on the right side of the street. Make sure to bring your driver’s permit or license and vehicle registration certificate. To cross the Mexican border, you will need a Temporary Import Permit for your car, which you can get from Belize Customs Officials. Do not speed. In addition, liability or third party insurance in required. When you get to Belize, you will need a temporary driving permit if you have a foreign license. These permits are obtained from the Chief Licensing Officer in Belize City. If you have an international driving license you do not have to get the temporary permit. Overnight parking in a public place is not allowed.

Boats must clear Customs and enter at Belize City, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Big Creek and San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye.

You may ship by air, sea, or post office. The airport is Phillip S.W. Goldson International Airport, P.O. Box 367, Belize City and is actually about ten miles from Belize City. Phone: 011-501-225-2013/2014.
The two main seaports of entry into the country are the Belize Port Authority, Belize City, and Big Creek in the south.
Other ports of entry are Corozal Town, Dangriga, Punta Gorda Town, and San Pedro. The requirements for a boat are the boat’s official documentation, clearance from the last port of call, three copies of the crew and passenger manifesto, three copies of stores used or a list of cargo on board.
The main seaport of entry into the country is the Belize Port Authority, Belize City. Other seaports of entry are Corozal Town, Dangriga, Punta Gorda Town, and San Pedro. The requirements of a boat are the boat’s official documentation, clearance from the last port of call, three copies of the crew and passenger manifesto, three copies of stores used or a list of cargo on board (if there are not any, an imballast manifesto).
Airlines that ship to Belize are: United, American Airlines from Miami, Dallas, Houston, and Taca Airlines.
Numerous Belize independents also pick up in the US and ship to Belize.
Ocean Carriers that ship are NedLloyd from Europe, Hyde from Miami, Harrison from Europe, Hapag-Lloyd from Europe, Hamilton Brothers from Tampa, Carol from the Caribbean and Europe, Nexos Line from Tampa, Tropical Shipping Service from New York, Houston and West Palm Beach.
Freight Forwarding Agents – Importer/Exporter
Custom House Broker
Ernesto Perera
#7B Neal Pen Rd.
Belize City, Belize, C.A.
Phone: 011-501-227-3112
Home Phone: 011-501-225-2211
Cell: 011-501-614-9367
Bradley Herbert
117 Albert St, Belize City
Phone: 011-501-227-0702
Speed Cargo Service
6480 Mahogany St, Belize City
Phone: 011-501-222-4722
Valdes Billy
160 North Front St, Belize City
Phone: 011-501-227-7436

U.S. residents are permitted a $400 per person (or $1,100 per family) duty-free tax exemption upon returning to the U.S., and can also bring back one quart of alcohol and 200 cigarettes duty-free.

A tax is charged when leaving Belize (payable in cash or travelers’ check, credit cards are not accepted for this tax). This tax is not for those who have been in the country less than 24 hours. There is a visa charge of to enter Guatemala through the western border. To leave Belize through this western border, to see Tikal, for instance, there is a charge to depart. This charge is subtracted from the US departure tax when finally departing the country at the Airport.

FAQ: PROJECT INFORMATION

Cerros Sands in Belize

Numerous Options to Cerros Sands in Belize.

  • Vehicle from the Northern Highway from either Belize City, Orange Walk or Corozal Town.
  • From Belize City drive North to the 1st Roundabout just as you reach Orange Walk and take a right hand turn and head to the village of San Estevan. Staying on this road you will next enter the village of Progresso, following on to the village of Copper Bank.
  • Once you reach Copper Bank follow the signs to Cerros Sands. It will take you past the turnoff to The Cerros Maya archaeological site. We are on the Eastern side of the Cerros peninsula.
  • From the Northern Border, enter into Corozal Town. From Corozal Town you take the turnoff to Tony’s Inn, big monument on the highway. Drive past Tony’s Inn to the next intersection and make a right. Then you take your next left which is Ferry Road.
  • Follow along Ferry Road, board the Ferry (which travels a few hundred feet) disembark and take this road to the next intersection where is a “T”.
  • At this intersection make a left to Copper Bank, if you make a right you will be going the wrong way and you will wind up in Progresso.
  • Once you reach Copper Bank follow the signs to Cerros Sands. It will take you past the turnoff to The Cerros Maya archaeological site. We are on the Eastern side of the Cerros peninsula.
  • Plane or Water Taxi from San Pedro, Ambergris Cay or arrange for a pickup in Corozal.
  • Plane to Corozal and arrange for a pickup.
  • Vehicle from Cancun to the Northern Border and follow the directions above.

Yes, many purchasers will have boats and to meet the demand, moorings will be strategically placed and numbered for use by parcel owners. They may be purchased or leased on a yearly basis. The moorings will be placed in areas so as to not disturb the marine habitats.

There is deep water access for boats. It is important to understand that Cerros Sands is situated directly west of Ambergris Caye and the Barrier Reef. The waters in this area range from 5  to 35 feet. The waters are generally flat, rarely having waves or chop over two feet.

Copper Bank and Chunox Villages, Corozal and Orange Walk Town and Chetumal. Mexico.

Copper Bank and Chunox have primary schools. Chunox and Corozal Town have high schools and there is also a Community College in Corozal Town and well as Orange walk.

Construction

Of Course you can build on your property. Designs of any building will be subject to Cerros Sands Architectural review and approval, which are in place to protect the integrity of the development for all. Designs should be submitted before going forward on the plans. Most times the review will incorporate “Belize” in your design better use of your home.

Belize now requires a full set of building plans done by an Licensed Architect in Belize. The Central Building Authority is the agency for this building permit. Health, engineering and electrical sign-offs are also required. Approval of plans takes about 30 days.

The Architectural Committee meets every two weeks to review building plans. Special arrangements can be made for an expedited approval if necessary. All owners will be assured an expeditious process of approval not to take more than 30 days, providing all conditions are met.

This can vary from $80 – $100 US per square foot, depending on the quality of the home you desire.

Not at this time. This item has received a lot of discussion. If this is changed you are grandfathered in based on your purchase contract date. If you choose to build the only requirements placed on your property is that the construction is in conformance with our Architectural Guidelines. By conforming to the Guidelines all property owners will be assured that the pristine beauty of the area shall be maintained, that the natural habitats will remain intact, as well as maintaining property values.

We can arrange for you to park your motor home on land near the site while you are building your home, but not on the site itself. This avoids the problem in case someone should run into long construction delays and the motor home could become an issue with other owners.

There is a minimum square footage requirement based upon lot size and neighborhood location, To read more about building guidelines, please visit the Architectural Guidelines section of our website.

Please see our Architectural Guidelines.

Yes, you may purchase more than one parcel to build a larger home. You may use the total square footage of all parcels if you purchase multiple parcels in calculating the dwelling size as long as the parcels are contiguous.

Yes, you may select your own builder to build a dwelling for you.

Yes, there are deed restrictions on the parcels. They are the registered. CC&R’s are on this website. We have established these Guidelines in order to maintain the pristine beauty of the peninsula, keep its natural habitats intact, as well as maintain property values.

Yes, we can prepare your building site for construction. We have construction supervisors who coordinate site clearing and filling.

Incentives, Investment & Retirement

Right now you may purchase the property as an investment and not build. However, this is been a subject of much discussion. If this changes our purchase contract will reflect any change. What you see and sign in our contract, CC&R’s and Architectural is what you get After investigating property pricing in Belize, you will find our pricing is currently very competitive with the Belize market. One should expect that our pricing will rise as the development progresses. You do not have to build on your property, however, if you are purchasing property to eventually sell for profit at a later date, please note that our Deed restrictions must be followed by any and all future purchasers.

Some of the incentives to relocating a business to Belize include:
·         No capital gains tax in Belize
·         Very low property taxes
·         Many retirement incentives
·         We may help finance your purchase and construction costs
For Businesses, Trade Zones and Economic Concessions are available for an enterprise that will be a benefit to the economy of Belize. Manufacturing and large resorts are businesses that may want to consider applying for these “Tax Holidays”.

You can retire to Belize and there are many retirement incentives. These are handled by BTB, The Belize Tourism Bureau. We can direct you to their offices in Belize. The cost of living in Belize is less than in the U.S., but may depend on the standard that you are accustomed to.

The Belize Retirement Program is created especially for people who wish to live in Belize and can prove permanent and consistent income from investment (abroad and in Belize), pension or other retirement benefits.

The Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) allows folks with an income of $2000.00 US Dollars a month retire to Belize with most if not all of their personal property coming into Belize Duty Free. This is handled by the Belize Tourism Bureau.

A Permanent Residency program is available as well. This program basically requires 12 months in the country of Belize, with no more than 14 days outside of Belize in your first year in Belize. You are required to have your passport stamped each 30 days at the local Immigration office and pay a fee of $50 (US) per person.

Anyone forty-five years and older from the United States of America, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada and Belize can qualify for this program. A person who qualifies can also include his or her dependants in the program. Dependants included spouses and children under the age of eighteen. However, it can include a person under the age of twenty-three if enrolled in a university.
More Benefits of Retiring in Belize:

· Tax breaks
· Peaceful nation
· English speaking
· Good educational system
· Sub-tropical climate all year round
· Easy access to land for development and construction of a retirement home
· Close proximity to the United States and Mexico
· Strong and stable Belize Dollar
· Abundance of natural resources
· Friendly People
· Breathtakingly beautiful

The Application Process Each application for the Retirement Program will be processed by the Belize Tourism Board and forwarded to the Immigration Department. Persons interested in the program must submit completed applications to the Belize Tourism Board with the following supporting documentation.

1. Birth Certificate – A copy of a certificate for the applicant and each dependent.
2. Marriage Certificate (if married and spouse is a dependent).
3. Authentic Police Record – An authentic police record from the applicants last place of residency issued within one month prior to this application.
4. Passport – Copies of complete passport (including all blank pages) of applicant and all dependents that have been certified by a Notary Public. The copies must have the passport number, name of principal, number of pages and the seal or stamp of the Notary Public.
5. Proof of Income (Either a or b)
a. An official statement from a bank or financial institution certifying that the applicant is the recipient of a pension or annuity of a minimum of One Thousand United States Dollars (US $1,000) per month.
b. A Financial Statement from a financial institution, bank, credit union, or building society in Belize certifying that the applicant has $2,000) per month or the equivalent of Twenty Four Thousand United States Dollars (US $24,000) per year.
6. Medical Examination – Applicants should undergo a complete medical examination including an AIDS test. A copy of the medical certificate must be attached to the application.
7. Photos – Four front and four-side passport size photographs that have been taken recently of applicant and dependents.

1. Qualified Retired Persons may be allowed to seek employment or work for pay while in this program or in Belize.
2. Qualified Retired Persons within this program must inform the Belize Tourism Board regarding any changes stated on the application form. Failure to do so may result in the revocation of applicant’s status.
3. Qualified Retired Persons must adhere to all existing laws of Belize, in addition to the Retired Persons (Incentives) Act.
4. All benefits provided by this program will be exclusively used by the Qualified Retirement Persons and his or her dependents.
5. The Belize Tourism Board has the authority to carry out any investigation with respect to the validity of any document provided by the applicant under this program.
6. Participants within this program must inform the Belize Tourism Board prior to leaving the country indefinitely so that the assets received under this program can be liquidated.
7. All documents presented to the Belize Tourism Board become the property of the Board.
8. The applicant must not have any criminal matters with the law at the time of application.
9. Applicants must present a listing with all the necessary information with regards to his or her dependents. If the applicant has a dependent over eighteen and in school, then he or she must present a proof of enrollment from that institution.
10. Qualified Retired Persons must submit a yearly bank statement showing compliance with the financial requirements of the program.
Income from Pension or Other Source

1. Retired Pensioner
A Retired pensioner is that person who qualifies under the program and receives a monthly income not less than US $1,000.00 through a pension or annuity that has been generated outside of Belize.
2. Certification
a. When a company grants a pension that company has to prove that it has been in operation for at least 20 years by submitting proof of registration.
b. The company that grants the pension shall certify that the pension of on less than US $1,000.00 per month will be forwarded to a reputable financial institution within Belize. This letter must be signed by the manager, president, or by a legal representative of the company.
c. Certification by Certified Public Accountant independent of the company:
· Stating the date the company was established
· Verifying the authenticity of the above mentioned letter
· Certifying that the obligation signed in favor of the beneficiary is of no less than US $1,000.00 per month.
d. The applicant must present two (2) bank references from the company that is sending the pension.
e. The company granting the pension must present a document outlining its pension scheme.
f. Requirements 2,3,4 could be omitted where the company sending the pension is considered to be a Fortune Five Hundred Company.
3. Background Check

All applicants are subject to a background check to be carried out by the Ministry of National Security.
Incentives

All persons who have been designated a Qualified Retired Person shall be entitled, on first entering Belize, to import his or her personal effects and an approved means of transportation free of all import duties and taxes.

A Qualified Retire Person shall be exempt from the payment of all taxes and levies on all income or receipts, which accrue to him or her from a source outside of Belize whether that income is generated from work performed or from an investment.

Regulations
All privileges, exemptions and regulations herein included are governed by the Retired Persons (Incentives) Act, 1999, No.11 and the ACT will serve as the basis for all purposes of interpretation.
a. Personal Household Effects
Qualified Retired Persons under the program can qualify for duty and tax exemptions not exceeding US $15,000 on new and used personal and household effects admitted as such by the Product Development Officer in charge of the program. A list of all items with corresponding values that will be imported must be submitted with the application.
b. Transportation (motor vehicle, boat, aircraft)
a. Motor Vehicle
Applicants are encouraged to import new motor vehicles under the program; however, motor-vehicles three years and under will be accepted. Qualified Retired Persons may procure vehicles in country.
c. Light Aircraft
A Qualified Retired Person is entitled to import a light aircraft less than 17,000 kg. A Qualified Retired Person is required to have a valid Private Pilot license to fly in Belize. This license can be obtained by passing the requirements set by the Civil Aviation. However, if the participant has a valid pilot’s license, that license only has to be validated by Civil Aviation Department in Belize.
d. Boat
Any vessel that is used for personal purposes and for pleasure will be accepted under this program.
2. Disposal of Duty Free Items
If for whatever reason a qualified retired person decides to sell, give away, lease, or otherwise dispose of the approved means of transportation or personal effects to any person or entity within Belize, all duties and taxes must be paid by that person or entity to the proper authorities.
Qualified Retired Persons must note that only after 5 years and upon proof that the transportation that was previously imported to Belize was adequately disposed of, will another concession be granted to import another mode of transportation.

1. Offenses and Penalties
Any person who knowingly makes any false declaration or entry in order to qualify for or retain any exemption or privilege granted under the Retired Persons Act, 1999 commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.
2. Fee Structure
a. A non-refundable application fee in the sum of US $100.00 payable to the Belize Tourism Board must be submitted with the application.
b. A program fee in the sum of US $500.00 payable to the Belize Tourism Board must be submitted upon acceptance into the program.
c. On first entering the country, a fee of US $100.00 must be paid to the Immigration Department that will entitle the applicant to receive a Qualified Retired Person Status.
d. A BZE $10.00 stamp must be attached to each application that is submitted to the Belize Tourism Board for processing.
Please call 011-501-223-1913 or 1-800-624-0686 for more information.

The is NO capital gains tax in Belize.

Yes and offered by numerous Institutions.

Due to the uniqueness of our development much international attention is expected. Given the area’s location directly across from Corozal, Chetumal and proximity to Ambergris Caye, as the project matures over the next few years, we would like to see values comparable with San Pedro. We have Architectural Regulations and CC&R’s which will ensure and protect property values.

Environment/Preservation/Self-Sustainability

Cerros Sands has a Compliance Agreement with the Department of the Environment and is meeting all items set forth in the EIA, including the approval to develop off the Grid. We also preformed an Archeological Assessment as we are within the Cerros Maya Archeological Area.

As with most areas in the Caribbean, water is harvested off roofs and stored in cisterns. We also have numerous purification systems for individual use, which will further purify water inexpensively for fresh drinking water. Each home will be independent with solar, wind and back-up generator, or any combination of these systems. Specially designed septic systems are installed to treat human waste and composting bins will be used for compostable materials. Recyclables such as glass, metals and plastics will be picked up and disposed of properly.

There are plans for a total of 4 Phases. All development will be under a “finite” plan to assure appreciation of investment. We will be preserving approximately 10-12% of the entire area not including the channels. We are working towards a fully Sustainable Community.

The country of Belize requires approximately 10% be preserved. We expect to exceed that threshold.

Yes. We are a gated community that gives you the freedom for taking extended Holidays, Vacations or only living at Cerros Sands on a part-time basis

Yes. We are a gated community that gives you the freedom for taking extended Holidays, Vacations or only living at Cerros Sands on a part-time basis

Yes, domestic animals are permitted. However they too must follow the rules of responsible behavior. If you are planning on bringing in your pets there is a Government process for this.

We surely hope there is enough interest.

FAQ: REAL ESTATE

Purchasing Property

An emphatic Yes! Foreigners may purchase property in Belize and hold Fee Simple Title.

Yes, it is very easy to purchase property abroad. The Government of Belize allows foreigners outside their country to own property in Belize. Visit the Purchasing Instructions section and then fill out the Purchase Agreement noting the parcel(s) of your choice, we will then confirm your parcel selection(s) and walk you through the process. All titles are fee simple and title transfer is registered with the Government of Belize. We can also finance your purchase. Purchasers qualify for financing as long as down payment requirements are met.

Yes, this is what we recommend. You are more than welcome to visit the area and view the properties at any time before purchasing. Please email us or phone us to coordinate your trip so we may make arrangements to have someone show you the area

Please visit the Parcels/Prices section and click on the thumbnails you wish to view. Each rendering will show parcel size, square footage and price. They are roughly 1/4 of an acre.
YES, you may reserve a parcel and place a 10% reservation/deposit on the parcel you wish to purchase. However, a 30 day time period is required to visit the property. As more homes are built, our pricing likely be raised to the bank appraisal prices.
Yes, you can have confidence and peace of mind when purchasing property in Belize.
If you are looking for a relevant Government office in Belize, please contact the Belize Government Ministry of Lands, located in Belmopan (the Capital of Belize) at 011-501-822-2331. All records are public information and are easily accessible. When referring to the development, please be sure to refer to it as Cerros Sands, development in Corozal. In addition, you may get further feedback from the Department of the Environment in Belmopan at 011-501-822-2816 and the Land Utilization Authority in Belmopan at 011-501-822-3419.
Both offices are familiar with our project.
Yes, there are deed restrictions on the parcels. They are the registered. CC&R’s are on this website. We have established these Guidelines in order to maintain the pristine beauty of the peninsula, keep its natural habitats intact, as well as maintain property values.

Yes, you obtain clear title to the property. You shall receive fee simple title to the property you purchase. The Government of Belize is part of the British Commonwealth and as such maintains a parliamentary style democracy.

Normally a visit, however you may purchase without a site visit. We keep it simple.

For current availability simply contact us either by email or phone.

You may purchase as many parcels as you would like. There is no regulation limiting the number of parcels purchased.

Deposit is the amount to hold a parcel until the total amount of the down-payment is required.

We accept Wire Transfers, Cashier’s Checks or Certified Checks as forms of payment for deposits or down payments. Sorry, we cannot accept credit cards as a deposit or down payment for a parcel. Monthly mortgage payments, if applicable, may be made with a personal check.

Parcel deposits will be held in escrow.

The Purchase Agreement does not have to be notarized. Only closing documents need to be notarized by a Justice of the Peace in Belize.

Approximately 90 -120 days after closing. If you are mortgaging will receive a copy of the original Certificate of Title, a copy of the survey and a copy of your Mortgage instrument recorded with the Government of Belize Land Registry.

Yes, you may take title to a parcel in a corporate name. We have purchasers that want to buy through corporations for various reasons. In some cases it was to shelter an investment overseas, to achieve anonymity personally, to shelter corporate profits or as an investment through a corporation, which would eventually be transferred to an individual. Belize is a tax shelter haven and offers anonymity and incentives for investments in their country.

CLOSING COSTS DUE FROM BUYER IN US DOLLARS: Pro rations effective as of 30 days from Contract Date.

Document Preparation, Processing, Recording Fee and Mailing Costs: $700.00
Cerros Sands Property Management Ltd. (CSPM) $500.00 US per year: $1.37 per day
Belize Property Taxes*  Less than $5.00 per month
Belize Government Transfer Stamp Duty: 5%
Belize Government Mortgage Stamp Duty: $15.00 per $1000.00
*Any balance will be charged or credited to your CSPM Account, due annually April 1st.

Business Opportunities & Commercial Parcels

For the most part, there may be any type of business on a commercial parcel as long as it is within Belize law and is in harmony with the development theme.

There are commercial properties available for job opportunities. We are fully cooperative and are really pushing to elevate the economic status of our Belizean hosts. Cerros Sands at La Playa de Cerros commercial elements are intended to provide all the necessary support systems, as well as many commercial opportunities.

Work permits are available for foreign labor. Cerros Sands has obtained a few for “specialists”. A specialist is a person who is needed to perform a service that you can not readily find in Belize. There is an application process and the employer is involved in the application process, so don’t feel you are out on your own. There is a Permit Fee based on your specialization, ie: classification, however once you receive your work permit you do not have to have your passport stamped or pay the monthly visitor fee

Yes, providing you purchase a C-BB Parcel, which is a Commercial Bed and Breakfast Parcel and get a work permit.

You receive fee simple title and you may rent or lease your dwelling. Many purchasers will be doing this to offset their investment costs or the mortgage payments and operating expenses. Cerros Sands Ltd. may offer to place your property in a rental pool on a shared earnings basis. That leaves all the basic work to a qualified team.

Residential parcel owners may not conduct commercial business from their parcel. These parcels may be used as residences only. They may be rented or leased out for all or part of the year.

Commercial parcels may be used as residences as well as for commercial purposes. Some examples include: eco or dive resort, bed & breakfast, eco-tour operator, market, bar, restaurant, fishing charter, boat rental (kayak, canoe, sailboat, rowboat, etc.), glass bottom boat tours, t-shirt & novelty shop, contractor, tool rental, etc. Please contact us if you are interested in specific business opportunities and/or commercial property.

You should expect to pay a 5% land transfer tax to the Government of Belize for transferring parcel ownership from us to you, standard escrow and recording fees. Do keep in mind there are NO capital gains taxes.

CLOSING COSTS DUE FROM BUYER IN US DOLLARS:

  • Pro rations effective as of 30 days from Contract Date.
  • Belize Government Transfer Stamp Duty is 5% of the purchase price.
  • Belize Government Mortgage Stamp Duty: $15.00 per $1000.00, if there is no mortgage there is no fee.
  • Belize Property Taxes are less than $5.00 per month.*
  • Complete Document Preparation, Processing, Recording Fee and Mailing Costs is $700.00
  • Cerros Sands Property Management Ltd. (CSPM) $500.00 US per year prorated at $1.37 per day
  • Property Taxes are pro-rated and any balance will be charged or credited to your CSPM Account, due annually January 1st. We will continue to collect your property tax and pay it for you each year seeing that you receive confirmation of your tax payment. You may of course handle this yourself for any following years.

Property taxes should be approximately 1% of the purchase price of your parcel. However this is not the case. Property taxes are currently $50 Belize or $25 US a year.

Cerros Sands Property Management is offering to take care of seeing this paid each year on your behalf. This amount can be billed with the annual fees. Otherwise, a cashier’s check made payable to the Government of Belize in the amount per your tax bill should sent via registered mail to:

Department of Lands and Surveys
Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment
Market Square
Belmopan, Belize, C.A.

If you have additional questions or if you have not received a tax bill, you may wish to call or fax the Department of Lands and Surveys at:

Phone: 011-501-822-2598, or
Phone: 011-501-822-0736, or
Fax: 011-501-822-0592

Please be sure to reference your parcel number, as well as the following information:

District:   Corozal
Location:   Cerros Sands (Block #)

Property taxes should be approximately 1% of the purchase price of your parcel. However this is not the case. Property taxes are currently $50 Belize or $25 US a year.

Cerros Sands Property Management is offering to take care of seeing this paid each year on your behalf. This amount can be billed with the annual fees. Otherwise, a cashier’s check made payable to the Government of Belize in the amount per your tax bill should sent via registered mail to:

Department of Lands and Surveys
Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment
Market Square
Belmopan, Belize, C.A.

If you have additional questions or if you have not received a tax bill, you may wish to call or fax the Department of Lands and Surveys at:

Phone: 011-501-822-2598, or
Phone: 011-501-822-0736, or
Fax: 011-501-822-0592

Please be sure to reference your parcel number, as well as the following information:

District:   Corozal
Location:   Cerros Sands (Block #)

Financing

Yes
Land Financing
Down-payment: Twenty percent (20%) is our minimum down-payment.
Term: Up to Fifteen (15) years.
· Annual Percentage Rate: 6.99 – 8.99% depending on the down-payment
· No Prepayment Penalty.
· Developer will subordinate for construction.

Special requests may be arranged.

Sufficient Down-Payment and Closing Costs.

·         Atlantic Bank
·         First Caribbean International Bank
·         Belize Bank 
·         Atlantic International Bank
·         Caye International Bank
·         Heritage International Bank