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International Living Newsletter #54929
07/16/02 03:35 PM
07/16/02 03:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2
yukon Offline OP
yukon  Offline OP
-- Kathleen Peddicord, Waterford, Ireland

A reader contacted me last week to ask why we recommend Belize's Ambergris Cay. "It's a dump," she wrote.

To clarify: We don't recommend Ambergris Cay. We used to. A
dozen years ago as a travel destination...when it was a
sleepy fishing village...and more recently as an investment
opportunity, when the timing was right to buy and hold for appreciation. A lot of International Living readers have made a lot of money (maybe six or eight times their
investments) buying raw land and flipping it a few years

Today, no, I wouldn't recommend you plan a vacation to Ambergris. This island, particularly its former fishing town of San Pedro, has been overbuilt in the worst way. And
it's too late to invest in beachfront here, which sells
today for as much as $2,200 per front foot.

P.S. What about Belize beyond Ambergris? We're big fans. As
a friend in the country likes to say..."the news from
Belize is no news...and that's the way we like it." Not
much happens here, and not much has changed in the 12 years
since I first visited. Belize remains a wide-open frontier
with large tracts of undeveloped land in its interior...a
good place to disappear, if only for a couple of weeks. A rugged, undeveloped country, it attracts the world's misfits, contrarians, and most independent of spirit. Belizeans and the expats who've adopted Belize as their home don't like to be told what to do and don't tolerate much interference, from the government or anyone else. They
make their own way and solve their own problems.

Belize has worked for years to find a way to package itself
for the world's tourists. It has a lot to offer, after all--some of the world's best diving and snorkeling, Mayan ruins, rain forests, caves to explore, rivers to kayak...

Its marketing efforts, I fear, may finally be paying off.
My brother-in-law, a stock broker, told me recently that friends on his trading desk asked if he'd like to join them
for a quick weekend trip guessed it...Belize. Oh,
no, I thought...

Re: International Living Newsletter #54930
07/16/02 03:49 PM
07/16/02 03:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
Just keep in mind the source -- International Living newsletter is hardly more than an infomercial in print for real estate and offshore-business hucksters.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: International Living Newsletter #54931
07/16/02 04:00 PM
07/16/02 04:00 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 476
Indianapolis, IN, USA
ChrisW Offline
ChrisW  Offline
It is hard for me to take anything that lady says seriously. Most of her articles are thinly disguised advertisements or get rich quick schemes. She may be right sometimes, but I always question her motives.

I get the impression that the whole purpose of her articles is to get "investors" to book a trip with International Living. Maybe they will be organizing one to Belize in the near future.

Re: International Living Newsletter #54932
07/17/02 07:43 AM
07/17/02 07:43 AM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 266
Naples, FL
M-A Gaffney Offline
M-A Gaffney  Offline
You REALLY don't think that, in Belize terms, San Pedro has become over-built and over-priced??? Cho! I'm surprised at you. While Ambergris may be a big draw for first time visitors, I think the future of Belize tourism is on the Mainland, particularly down South.

Re: International Living Newsletter #54933
07/17/02 10:13 AM
07/17/02 10:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
The future of Belize tourism is down south?

In my opinion, only in the long term -- maybe 20 years. Now, if an international airport were to be built somewhere along the southern coast, the time frame would become much shorter, but I don't see an airport being built.

I've been covering Belize for 12 years, and every year I've talked with people who see this terrific future for tourism in Placencia or PG or Hopkins, and they explain why they are building or buying a little hotel there instead of "over-developed San Pedro." I always suggest they go look again at Ambergris Caye, which has been the leading tourism destination in Belize for more than two decades. Nope, they say, Ambergris Caye isn't for us, too developed, we're going south.

With only a few exceptions, such as Robert's Grove, Hamanasi and some others, two or three years later these people are ready to sell out and try to recoup some of their losses from low occupancy and weak seasonal demand. Whereas hotels in San Pedro keep chugging along, generating decent occupancies and acceptable profits for the owners.

Just my shilling's worth.

--Lan Sluder
Belize books and publications by Lan Sluder:
Belize First Magazine (
Fodor's Belize & Guatemala Guide (new 4th edition coming this summer)
Adapter Kit: Belize (the first and only comprehensive guide to living, retiring, working and investing in Belize -- a best-seller on
San Pedro Cool (the first and only visitor guide to Ambergris Caye)
Belize First Guide to Mainland Belize
UpClose Central America
Belize Book of Lists

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: International Living Newsletter #54934
07/17/02 11:17 AM
07/17/02 11:17 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 40
lakeway, texas usa
mango Offline
mango  Offline
Speaking of down south has anybody been to the new resort in PG El Pescador.


Re: International Living Newsletter #54935
07/17/02 11:21 AM
07/17/02 11:21 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
The Essene Way was developed by an Orlando health food supplements magnate and religious sect member as a religious retreat and "millennium escape." Things didn't work out in 2000 the way he apparently thought they would, nor did the retreat plans develop.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: International Living Newsletter #54936
07/18/02 12:01 PM
07/18/02 12:01 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 713
Fremont, CA, USA
susangg Offline
susangg  Offline
Lan is right, IL is solely for profit and while the occasional bit of unbiased info occasionally comes through the hype, the "recommendations" this zine makes are based on who is paying for them.
It is quite hypocritical of Peddicord to bad mouth AC for "overdevelopment" while hyping far worse "overdevelopment" projects in other places. For example, the zine gives big time hype to a levittown type project in Bocas del Toro Panama ("Isla Solarte") that gives true meaning to the word "overdevelopment" because they pay her to do it.
For a more unbiased and far more interesting source of expat oriented material, I suggest visiting the Escape from America web site. It too takes advertising and also has a lot of hype, but lots of good info not found elsewhere can be seen there if you take the time to look for it. As far as Belize is concerned, Lan's materials and this board are far more reliable sources of info as they are not advertising driven.

Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: [email protected]
Re: International Living Newsletter #54937
07/18/02 06:42 PM
07/18/02 06:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,049
Rockport, Maine
klcman Offline
klcman  Offline
well said Susan!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
Re: International Living Newsletter #54938
07/18/02 08:54 PM
07/18/02 08:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 734
Tres Cocos, Ambergris Caye
JmHanna Offline
JmHanna  Offline
Welcome back Susan
Once again I have to agree with you 100%
Jeesh, this is getting scary.
I saw the mighty vessel by Hustler Pier or Seven Seas--cant remember.
Looks in good shape considerng...
Where is it now?

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