Top 10 Reasons to Plan Your Snowbird Vacation with Us

There comes a time in late summer in North America where dusk starts noticeably sooner, the breeze seems a little cooler, and the sun no longer commands the highest part of the sky even at noon. How does it happen so soon? It’s like summer is stored in some sort of strong elastic pouch. It takes months to pry it open to let the warmth out, yet it snaps closed in a heartbeat.

Thankfully there are options. The entire Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea are available to sun-starved Canadians and Americans, and the short direct flights are quite affordable. Of course, you don’t need to wait until the darkest days of winter to get your fill of the blue oceans and bright sand. It’s available year ‘round and it’s beautiful year ‘round. That’s why Bret and I came to Belize in the first place. It’s why we set up a beach house business here, and it’s why we think you should come down and spend some time with us.

Welcome to Coastal Breezes!

If case you need more convincing, here’s our top-ten list: Top ten reasons to plan your snowbird vacation at Coastal Breezes in Belize:

1. The weather. Guaranteed to be hot and sunny.

Even though it does rain here, the rainy season is basically June to October, and even then, the rain showers are sporadic and short. You just don’t get those gloomy grey, rainy days. You will always experience beautiful warmth and brilliant sunlight whenever you come by.

Sunrise over our pier.

2. Non commercialized. No McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s or Walmart!

Belize has worked hard to keep itself pristine. Ambergris Caye, where we are located, is a perfect example of that. The buildings are solid and safe, but the businesses retain that great beach feel – lots of wood and bamboo, nothing garish, and certainly no fast food/fast coffee franchises. Great food, great drinks and great people.

Wayos one of the many wonderful places to grab a meal and a drink.

3. You get to drive around in a golf cart.

The pace of island life is matched by our mode of transport – golf carts. No big highways and high speeds. What’s the rush?

This is how we get around. Walking is great too!

4. Super friendly Belizean people.

The people of Belize are friendly, relaxed and interesting to talk to. It’s part of the culture and part of the environment. It’s truly an eye-opening moment to discover how nice we can be to each other when we strip away the stresses of North American life. Belizeans and are happy to talk to you and help you enjoy yourself.

Everybody’s welcome.

5. Charlie the super friendly Belizean dog.

Charlie is our canine property manager. He’s a rescue who has found his forever home with us. He’s very friendly, he knows everything there is to know about Coastal Breezes and is an expert on the topic of napping in the sun. He should teach classes on it!

6. Your own personal onsite caretaker to assist with questions about the local area.

We have a small number of beach houses which means you are always looked after with extra close attention. You’re not just one of hundreds or thousands like a big hotel or cruise ship. Francisco, our personal onsite caretaker takes care of more than just the facilities. He’s there to take care of our guest, providing helpful and interesting information about the area, and things to do.

Francisco makes sure everything is shipshape.

7. Secret Beach – have an adult beverage while sitting in the sea.

Secret beach is a secluded and beautiful beach located on the leeward side of the island which means calm shallow waters and beautiful sunsets. It has grown over the years but has still managed to maintain its rustic island charm. It’s a must see – a perfect destination for enjoying a tropical drink at picnic tables that are actually in the water. I have written about Secret Beach in a previous post here: https://blog.coastalbreezes.bz/2019/07/14/the-not-so-secret-beach/

Table service at Secret Beach. Photo courtesy of SanPedroScoop.

8. Fry Jacks – traditional Belizean cuisine.

Oh! Fry Jacks! OK, so they might not be as healthy as mangoes or “apple bananas,” but think of the endorphins! A signature dish of Belize life, Fry jacks are pieces of fried dough, made puffy by using plenty of baking powder. But they are so good as partners in both savory and sweet dishes. Check out my earlier blog on some of the great food you can enjoy here: https://blog.coastalbreezes.bz/2019/07/11/breakfast-in-belize-what-would-you-like/

Fry Jacks. Image courtesy of ImmaculateBites.com

9. Barrier reef and the Blue Hole.

Once you get out on the water, you have the largest coral reef in the world, right beneath you. A marvelous place to snorkel or dive, it’s an underwater marvel with fish and marine life all around, made even more beautiful by the bright blue waters.

A little further along is a wondrous site, the Great Blue Hole, basically a sinkhole in the ocean floor whose depth makes the water appear a darker shade of blue. It’s a must see for any diver and has attracted some of the world’s best known divers and marine scientists, like Jacques Cousteau. You can read more about the barrier reef and the Great Blue Hole here: https://blog.coastalbreezes.bz/2019/07/20/into-the-water/

The Great Blue Hole – one of the best photos, courtesy the US Geological Survey (USGS) that includes pleasure craft for scale.

10. Mayan Ruins archeological sites.

Once you have dried off and got back on land, there’s much more to see inland, including magnificent Mayan ruins. Belize is full of ancient history. People have been living here and traveling here for thousands of years, and the ruins bring it back with excitement and clarity.

Mayan ruins in Belize. Image courtesy Wikipedia..

So come on by!

Belize, and especially Ambergris Caye, where our Coastal Breezes beach houses are, are marvelously unspoiled, friendly and relaxing places, That’s why so many Snowbirds come back again and again. But if it’s your first time, and you’re wondering about the risk of visiting a place you know nothing about, just drop us a line! We’ll chat. We’ll get to know each other. So that when you come down you will feel like you are being greeted and hosted by friends. And that’s a great way to start a love affair with our beautiful island.

How We Built Your/Our Private Paradise

There are few things more pleasurable in life than a private paradise. Especially given the cold spring that we Canadians suffered through this year (2019) and the never-ending troubles that seem to be the norm, both locally and internationally. It’s something that we all hope to find. In the back of our minds, we picture that place – somewhere we can retreat to in order to regroup, refresh, and confirm that there is still beauty in life and it is indeed attainable.

That’s what Bret and I set out to establish when we created Coastal Breezes on Ambergris Caye, an island just off the coast of Belize – the one Madonna sang about in “La Isla Bonita.”

For years now, we have been the owners and proprietors of a small collection of executive rental suites just outside of Toronto. These are fully furnished homes for business travelers or others who seek a tidy and convenient place to stay for periods usually longer than a month without the over-the top cost of hotels. We recognized early on that a large negative part of travel is the unknown. After spending hours in an airport and a car, the first thing you need is a place to rest, and the last thing you want is disappointment.

So over the years, we accumulated a few properties and made sure they were the type of place that we ourselves would feel happy staying in, from the very first moment of arrival all the way through a multi-week residence.

Approaching the island – photo taken by one of our guests

But we are also snowbirds. We craved the blue skies, the swaying palms and impossibly blue oceans of the Caribbean, and we started venturing south. We wanted to go a little further south than most of our compatriots, for whom the coast of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, or the easily accessible islands of the Bahamas were convenient destinations.

We decided to visit Belize, a country that we had known growing up as British Honduras. Once we got there, we knew we had to come back, and so we did. And after a few return visits, we realized we had to do more than just stay on the beach as tourists. This was a place, we realized, that could become an extension of our executive homes business – a place where people could come fully confident of a pleasant stay with well-kept amenities and a personal, Canadian touch.

It’s a beautiful and historic place. Not just the island, but the whole country. The waters are a haven for snorkeling and diving, with the world-famous Barrier Reef just minutes away, and the intriguing Great Blue Hole – a marine sinkhole located inside an atoll. On land, there are Mayan ruins and enormous biodiversity, making everyday an adventure no matter which direction you head off in.

Being a small island, only accessible by plane, the pace of life is a little more relaxed as well. In fact the preferred method of transport is by golf cart which suits us fine.

Rush hour on Ambergris Caye

This blog series will seek to show off some of the most intriguing and compelling reasons why a vacation in Belize makes so much sense for Canadians, not least of which is just how easy it is to get here. From late October through to April, WestJet and Air Canada both fly direct to Belize City, and from there, it’s just a quick hop across to the island.

So I hope you will keep in touch. Follow us on social media (Twitter and Instagram), and join our quarterly mailing list here. Maybe it’s time for your great adventure to a personal paradise. Let us help you find your place in the warm tropical sun, welcomed by our friendly and attentive staff. We really are much closer than you might think.

For more information about our beach house properties, please visit us at coastalbreezes.bz, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.