One of the questions I always have when we ponder a move to a new locale is how much does it cost to live there. Travel expenses and even accommodation aside, what is it going to cost me day to day to exist there. With that in mind here is a little primer and what we are finding the cost of living to be in and around San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. For convenience I have converted the costs into American dollars. This is simple to do here as the Belizian dollar is tied directly to the the US dollar at 2 to 1.
Transportation around the island is fairly basic. In town you can walk pretty well anywhere. If you are just outside of town some form of transportation does make your life a lot easier. There are an abundance of taxis around, but to take them over the toll bridge to the north we found they are not really a viable long term option. Golf carts rent for about $500US a week, not sure if you can get a better deal if you rent for longer. Gas costs $5.60US a gallon and luckily golf carts don’t burn that much fuel. I would strongly recommend bikes. We rented for a week from Maya House (about 1.5km north of the bridge) for $40US a week. We enjoyed them so much we went and bought our own. For a bike with the cheap basket (which does start rusting through in about a week) we paid $140US per bike. With the salt air everything starts rusting immediately.
Also, if you are tall beware the largest frame you can get is a 26inch frame. So don’t expect a proper fit to the bike. Even with the seat and handle bars fully extended I still feel like I am riding a kids bike. But I do love them. So easy and quick to get around with.
The cost of food is fairly consistent. But if you want the best deal you will need to do some shopping around. Our favourite food store is Richie’s Supermarket by the traffic circle in San Pedro. Locally owned and operated. The staff have always been very pleasant and super helpful when you have questions about what you may be looking for.
As I have mentioned in an earlier post, we prefer to get our fresh fruit and veg from the street vendors. But for some staples the stores are simply better. If you are not up to the adventure of drinking the tap water (I am having no problems with it) you can get water by the gallon for $1.50US or $2.50US for 5 gallons if you get the big jugs. (there is a $10US deposit on the bottle). Some of the food and prices I have included below. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. If I can answer them I will be happy to.