Staying busy in Belize

Vacationers we encounter are often curious about our expat life. After finding out that we live in this tropical paradise full time they usually ask us, “Well what do you do? What do you DO down here all day?” and we usually joke that we do a whole lot of nothing or that we’re beach bums or bar flies or we’re retired. The truth is there is PLENTY to do down here besides laying on the beach drinking rum punch… but if you MADE me, I could totally do just that.


We have our Guesthouse of course, but even when we’re not hosting I find I can stay busier with house work here than you would ever imagine. It’s the tropics so maintenance is a constant battle, material has to fight the climate and elements but its often a losing battle.

It seems like we’re ALWAYS replacing decking!

And its DUSTY! Dusty like you wouldn’t believe! I could mop my floors every day, hose my window screens weekly, polish the furniture every hour on the hour! Or laundry, my gawd don’t get me started on the laundry. It’s hot here so it appears that we hardly wear any clothes most of the time, but SOMEHOW there’s always laundry to wash. And after the housework you’ll need to run your errands. I quite like this change in lifestyle though- we shop almost every day. And it’s not a one-stop-shop either: you’ll hit the vegetable stand, one of the grocery stores, the pharmacy if you need, the fish co-op if you like, maybe the tortilleria for chips or taco shells.

Besides chores and errands there’s loads of fun stuff to do too.

The Rotary Club puts on a weekly bingo night at local bar, The Flying Pig. The Flying Pig also has Name-That-Tune trivia on Monday nights and a shuffleboard league. Shuffleboard not your game? What about bowling? The peninsula boasts Belize’s only bowling alley- Jaguar Lanes! They have 4 lanes and a bar, great pizza and snacks, and they’re so nice they accommodate children’s birthday parties on request. (You know what makes a terrifying afternoon? Giving a bunch of preschoolers unrestricted access to heavy balls and cupcakes)

While we’re throwing heavy objects… how about horseshoes? Every Saturday at Barefoot you can jump in to the horseshoes tournament. You can also play trivia (we called it Quizzo in Philadelphia) at several different locations: Yoli’s over da water bar hosts trivia on Saturdays at 3pm, The Green Parrot in Maya Beach hosts trivia Wednesday nights at 6:30, and The Pickled Parrot has theirs on Thursday nights at 6. Maybe you’re looking to get a bit more active than bar leagues; the peninsula has several yoga classes to choose from and 2 different gyms in the village. We’re also seeing more and more organized races; the big ones being the Splash Dive Half Marathon and Half Marathon Relay in September or October and the End of the World Marathon in December.


You can get involved with a charitable organization. Our heavy hitters are Rotary and the Placencia Humane Society but we also have kids running clubs (I help out with these as often as I can), a volunteer fire company, literacy organizations like the public library in Siene Bight or Placencia’s Little Free Libraries, the Crocodile Research Coalition takes volunteers for wildlife and environmental surveys and they organize community beach clean-ups.

community outreach volunteers educate about conservation and climate change; here they illustrate the importance of mangroves with an interactive display for kids

Keep your ears open for special events like monthly themed Full Moon parties at Barefoot, one-time fundraiser events, or Paint Nights at Omar’s.


Don’t forget to shine like the star you are at karaoke- Tipsy Tuna has it Thursday nights and J- Dees hosts it on Sunday nights. Musicians can bring their instruments or borrow what’s there to join the Wednesday night Jam Sessions at Barefoot

What do you stay busy with or would stay busy with if you lived here? I’d love to hear! Drop a comment below.

About the author

Megan Rodden

never met a vacation she didn't like. Megan is a self-centered, snarky, unambitious derelict... like most of her peers.

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© 2014 Megan Rodden and Phil Nagengast.