The Ugly Side of Belize

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I think we are all familiar with the good (sunshine, beautiful scenery, diving etc.) and the bad (costly internet, hurricanes) when it comes to Belize but what you don't see anywhere out there is the downright ugly.

Don't worry, even the downright ugly isn't all that bad and can usually be overcome with a little effort.

You know I hate to do this but someone has to... Okay here it is, my list of unpleasant surprises:

  • Where are the beaches? All the ads and travel websites show pictures of beautiful beaches right? Well those photos can be very deceiving. Ambergris Caye has beauty beyond your wildest imagination don't get me wrong but there really isn't a public beach area or any ideal swimming spots (that we have found yet). The "beach" that runs along pretty much the entire length of town is very nice however it is a very narrow strip and mostly runs along resorts, restaurants and private homes. It is more of a walking/biking path. Although the water is a beautiful aqua green it is scattered with sea grass which is great for the ecosystem, just not the greatest for swimming. *(If wide expanses of pristine sandy beaches is what you are hoping for then Placencia is more the place for you.)

  • The bugs! Okay, everyone knows that Belize is known as "The Mosquito Coast" but seriously?? It's not just mosquitoes, there are sand fleas, sand flies, no-see-ums and the most stealthy little black mosquitoes in the world! You dont' hear then buzzing around you like you do at home, you don't feel them land on you like you do at home (giving you time to swat) but rather they swoop in, unseen and bite several times before you can feel the itch. It isn't until a short while after being attacked that you begin to feel the itch creeping up. Of course by then it's too late; you're covered in bites that will drive you mad for days. 

  • Rats! No, seriously... rats! In the condo. We are staying in a decent resort/condo complex (not going to say which one) and discovered that we have a rat problem. Several neighbors filled us in shortly after we moved in (perfect timing!) Our property manager suggested filling in all gaps around plumbing etc. with expanding foam and putting out poison. Well... filling gaps, fine but I don't recommend the poison. I awoke one morning last week to find a medium sized rat in the middle of the floor, gasping for air and struggling to make his way across the room. It was just heartbreaking. As much as I don't want vermin for housemates it broke my heart to watch it die slowly (it took a few hrs.) I have heard that this is a common problem here but will need to hear directly from those who have experience with it before I will say for certain whether is this an island wide issue or specific to our location.

  • Bad hair day... every day. No one tells you that the salty, humid sea air here will turn your hair and skin into that of a sea hag. I find that I have to scrub my skin several times a day with an exfoliant to keep it from developing a grimy feel. I can't begin to tell you what it's done to my hair! Needless to say, I've had it wrapped in a bun 99% of the time. No feeling attractive here, nope.

  •  Stray Animals... everywhere. I was warned before I arrived here but it still doesn't prepare you for the sight of mangy looking stray dogs in the streets, in restaurants, even in grocery stores! They just run loose everywhere and for the most part get fed here and there but the worst is the fighting. Witnessing a dog fight can be a harrowing experience. We had the unfortunate opportunity to stand helplessly by as one of the strays in town literally killed another dog. I can't describe the feeling... and having to help the kids through it, well that's another post!
3 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    This is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.

    Brief but very accurate information… Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!
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  2. Nita Says:

    Thank ou for this post! I'm seriously considering a move to Belie but I need a weel rounded view. I don't want to only hear about the beautiful beaches, etc. If I'm going to live there, I really need to know ALL about it.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Belize is a dump. The streets are filled with mangy dogs.
    the other half people hustling to rip you off on land deals. Dont try and open a business the belizian workers are so LAZY they wont show up but still wantnto get paid.
    I never met such a useless bunch of degenerates.
    most people who move here end up going back.
    you cant get good labour unless u hire guatemalans or el salvadorans. price of electric, gas and food is the highest in central america , roads and hospitals are garbage.
    Belize doesnt have a poverty problem as much as a laziness problem

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