Coleen

I live in Belize, Central America. I'm a blogger, graphic artist, and writer. Check out my personal website at: http://www.chlewney.com

Oct 062015
 

Last week I wrote about Restaurants in Belize, in the Cayo District, this week, I’m continuing with the “Best ‘little-known’ places to eat in Belize.” I’ll cover the Corozal District today. However, first I have to add a recommendation that I missed last week for the Cayo District.

Coffe in BelizeIf you are an early riser (I am, and I LOVE my morning coffee!), my thanks to Gordon Glenn for this recommendation of “Mike’s” in San Ignacio. Kitty corner from the San Ignacio farmers market, you’ll find “Mike’s” for breakfast. “If you are an early riser, Mike and Jackie are serving real brewed coffee as early as 5 am!” All I can say is “Ahhh – fresh BREWED COFFEE!”

Now, back up north to Corozal. There are quite a few good “little known” restaurants here in Corozal. I could name many, and I’m sure my friends in this area could add to my list. (Please leave a comment with YOUR favorite Corozal restaurants!) I’m going to start as if you were driving to Corozal from the south – entering Corozal heading north on the Northern Highway.

First along the route of little known restaurants in Belize, in Corozal, is my favorite Chinese Restaurant. I admit, I’m picky when it comes to Chinese food. I like “Authentic” Chinese food, and I hate to say it, but most Chinese restaurants in Belize serve just basic Chow Mien and Fried Rice. You can get that any where! As you enter Corozal, at the round-about, take the right-hand split (1st Avenue) and follow the coast-line. On the right-hand side of the road, about a half mile, you’ll see a large restaurant/pub right on the ocean-side; the “Jam-Rock” is a good place to eat, watch football games and socialize, but I’m talking about the restaurant directly across the street: the “Wood House Bistro” Chinese restaurant. If you want really good, authentic style Chinese food, you can’t go wrong, the food is great. When you ask for “Spicy Chicken” (their version of “General Tso’s Chicken”) – be sure to specify how spicy you want it – it can be SPICY! They also have some awesome hors-d’oeuvres that are SO spicy, you have to ask for them as “Mild” or you won’t be tasting anything for a week! However, as long as you like spicy – they will serve it up that way!

Keep following the shore-line – you’ll end up at another split where the Mirador Motel sits, go straight (on 4th Avenue) and drive north for another half mile or so. When you get to the Corozal Park (on the left) and see the St. Francis Xavier Church on the right, go one block (just over the large Pedestrian ramp) to CJ’s Shack on the right-hand side. I’ve been there for breakfast when I just couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted. CJ said he’d make me a veggie omelet – that omelet was TO DIE FOR! CJ’s has so much to offer, and if you don’t see it on the menu – ask! He’ll whip you up something special – guaranteed!

Next, we’re going to cut across town (see map) to a little-known literal “shack” that has some of the BEST hamburgers! Look, anyone can make a burger, right? Heck, when I go out to eat, I almost never order just a burger – I can make my own hamburgers that are better than anything you can get from any restaurants in Belize, with the possible exception of Habanero Grill. They are normally only open in the evenings – from 4:30 on, but if you don’t want to cook and are in the mood for a great Burger – check them out!

Buccaneer's Palapa Restaurant, Consejo BelizeNow back across town to 4th Avenue heading north. 4th Avenue turns into “Consejo Road.” Follow Consejo Road all the way north to Consejo Village. Consejo Village is the northern-most village in Belize, and it is only two miles across the Chetumal Bay to Chetumal, Mexico. As you enter the village of Consejo, the very first building on the left at the speed bump, is “Buccaneer’s Palapa Restaurant.” Buccaneer’s is a small, family run business with fantastic food, great people, cozy atmosphere and plenty of cervezas! If you are out in the Consejo area, stop by and say “Hello” to Maria, Karina, Lupe, Alicia and the rest of the family. Tell them “Coleen sent you, from Discovering Belize!”

I’m sure I’ve missed some really good, off the beaten path restaurants in Belize – Corozal area, but if you’ll leave a comment about your favorite place, I’ll include it in the next set.

And as always – Welcome to Belize!

*Note: If you have a restaurant you would like featured, please contact us at info@discoveringbelize.bz

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Sep 292015
 

Local Belizean Food

Great local Belizeian Food

A couple of weeks ago I asked our Facebook readers what topics they’d like to read about on my blog. Last week it was Condos in Corozal. I will be adding more information about Condos throughout Belize as I get it (if you would like to recommend a Condo for sale or rent in your area, please contact us at Discovering Belize. Today’s topic is near and dear to my…stomach! How about some Restaurants in Belize: Recommendations for “Best local food that you would not hear about from the hotels & resorts.”

I received so many great recommendations that I am going to have to break this down by district and write several different posts about all of the many great local Restaurants in Belize. First though I must give credit where credit is due. Today, I’m going to be writing about the Cayo District, and San Ignacio in particular. A big “Thank You” to Kathryn Epler, Bob Jones, Cheryl McConnaughey and Martha Scott. Your input and suggestions are much appreciated!

The Great Mayan Prince Restaurant Bar & Grill in San Ignacio. “Prices are cheap and have great food.” They are located on Benque Viejo Road, off the Western Highway. They serve Breakfast, Brunch, Buffets, Burgers, Sandwiches, Seafood and Vegetarian. They take reservations, but walk-in’s are welcome. If you are in the San Ignacio area, give them a try. Local Phone number: 501-824-2588.

Bel Mex Restaurant on Bullet Tree Road. “Turn on the road that has the sign that says Car Wash (just 2 streets before/after the double street.) Bel-Mex is right across the street from the car wash…on the corner of Car Wash road and Bullet Tree Road.” “our FAVORITE spot! Great prices, great food and great service! Wife is from Mexico, Husband from Belize (hence, Bel-Mex). Tacos al Pastor to DIE for!” “ Great little place with excellent prices. Carlitos and his wife are super people. Great little place with excellent prices.”

Cenidas behind courts in San Ignacio. They have great local food and come highly recommended on Trip Adviser: “Good location, right behind the center of downtown, great food at very reasonable prices, Fresh juices, great service and atmosphere makes you feel like at home. Would go back anytime and definitely recommend it to locals and tourists!!“

Tolacca Smoke House in Santa Elena. The place is located just a wee bit up the Cristo Rey road – maybe a block – on the left side, just off the Western Highway. “Great food at a good price. I’ve brought groups here twice so can say that not only are the ribs delicious but so are the pork chops, the steak, and more! Bonus is that he’s got a great playlist – jazz, oldies, newies, etc. Note: if you plan on bringing a group, give him a ring and the heads up on the people and the order.” Click here to download their Menu. Local number 501-620-5787. “Lovely place & the staff is eager to see you happy.”

If you plan to be in the Cayo District in the San Ignacio area and are looking for a great place to eat, try one of these local restaurants, and tell them you saw it on “Discovering Belize.BZ” If you have any suggestions for restaurants in Belize, please comment below, or send us an email. We’d love to hear from you! Tell us what restaurants YOU love, and we’ll add them to our list!

Next week – I’ll cover the great local restaurants in the Corozal area. And as always: “Welcome to Belize!”

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Sep 212015
 

A few days ago I posted a request for “Topics” for this blog on our Discovering Belize Facebook page. I want to know what YOU want to know about! A friend from Canada asked me to write about Condos in Belize, so that’s what this blog post is about. First, she wanted to know specifically about Condo’s in Corozal. Okay, that’s pretty easy – I live in Corozal so getting info on Condo’s in this area is pretty easy and straight forward.

First, there are some nice Condo’s in Belize in Consejo Shores. The Condos at Playa Del Consejo are offered starting at $169,000 TO $599,000. They include:

  • Granite countertops
  • High end stainless steel appliances, including, microwave, dishwasher and stacked washer/dryer
  • AC in main bedroom and living area
  • High end fixtures and finishes throughout
  • Solid wood doors and cabinetry
  • Attractive and functional roll down hurricane rated shutters on every window
  • Elevator and stair access (upper units)
  • 18,000 Gallon rainwater cistern
  • Garages for all phase I units
  • Cabinets and storage galore

You can get a “feel” for these condos from the flyer, but to really appreciate them you need to see them – either in person, or via a video tour, which you can get through Consultants such as Corozal Belize Property.

Another set of Condos in Belize in the Corozal area are those at Tarpon Cove Estates, Four Mile Lagoon. They include:

  • Mahogany kitchen Cabinets
  • Mahogany Ceilings (vaulted Ceiling in Upper Plan)
  • Five Piece bathroom with a Tub
  • Mahogany Interior Doors, Trim & Windows Shutters
  • Mahogany Exterior Doors, Trim & Verandah Wooden Railings
  • Appliance Package Included
  • Fully Furnished with Mahogany Hardwood (optional)
  • Water, Power, Satellite T.V. and Internet in Every Condo
Route to Orchid Bay, Belize from Corozal, Belize

Route to Orchid Bay, Belize from Corozal, Belize

There are also some Condos planned at Orchid Bay, which is about 12 miles southeast of Corozal. Orchid Bay is a lovely area, and the planned condo’s look like they will be stunning. However, having both driven the route, and taken a boat, if you plan to live in Orchid bay, be prepared for possible access interruptions via the road. As in all rural properties outside of Corozal, road conditions may vary.

Again, the only way to really know what you are getting is to see them in person, or get a detailed Video tour.
 

For other Real Estate in the Corozal area check with Karen Wilkinson in Belize at 501-636-8400, US Skype 248-507-4969, kwinbelize@gmail.com, http://corozalbelizeproperties.com/ – although there really aren’t many Condos in this area of Belize, Karen will be able to let you know what properties are available.

And one again, “Welcome to Belize!”

What do you want to know about Belize? Please leave a comment and let us know what interests you, and we’ll be happy to cover it in an upcoming blog post. Next week: Local Restaurants you wouldn’t otherwise hear about. If you have a restaurant you’d like to suggest, please leave a comment!

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Sep 102015
 

Hello World! if you know me, and follow me on Facebook, I start out every morning with a bright and happy “Good Morning World” post. What does this have to do with a Belize Work Permit Application?

coatimundiErm…absolutely nothing! Except, I thought I’d say “Hello” since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted on the blog. Sorry about that, I honestly have been very busy! I have been writing as a part-time “Contributor” for itcher.com/mag/ – check out my latest article on the movie “Seven Pounds.” I have also been trying to compile the full Belize Work Permit Application.

So there we have it – I have finally finished the full six page document, so you can freely download it here: Belize Work Permit Application. Also, don’t forget to get a copy of the Work Permit Requirements and follow the instructions completely!

Just a note – you can purchase the Belize Work Permit Application form from The Angelus Press, but they charge for it. Just so you are all aware, I am offering the Application for free. However, if I am required to pay the Dept. of Labour for posting a copy of the Work Permit Application, I will then have to start charging for it. Hopefully, that will not be an issue.

If you find this useful, please share it and “Like” us on Facebook: Discovering Belize – Facebook Page

And once again…”Welcome to Belize!”

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Aug 252015
 

Hello World! Last week I wrote an update about Work Permits, I hope it was helpful to anyone who is thinking of moving to Belize or living in Belize. Today however, I was thinking about what to bring to Belize when moving here. Whether you apply for Permanent Residency, or retire as a Qualified Retired Person, there are some things that you don’t want to be without, and you’ll need to bring them with you. There are many, many things that you can get here, and it actually costs more to bring them with you (unless you come down on the QRP program.) There also many things that you either just can’t get here, or can’t get good quality products.

First let’s talk about things that you absolutely MUST have! What are the bare necessities to survive – not just here in Belize, but anywhere? No, sorry your smart phone doesn’t count! Don’t get me wrong, you can bring your cell/smart phone and it will work just fine here, but contrary to popular belief, it isn’t absolutely necessary!

So what IS necessary? What kinds of things should you bring with you, and what can you get here? The truth is that you can get many “necessary” things here. Some things aren’t always as good quality as some tings you can get in the States, Canada or Europe, but for your typical kitchen “necessities” most of it you can get here. Such as: blenders, coffee makers, toasters, crock pots, – I even got a waffle maker! However, some of these items aren’t the exact kind that I’d prefer to have.

Take coffee makers (anyone who knows me knows how much I love my morning coffee) but it isn’t easy to find a really good brand coffee maker here, except… I found my coffee maker at Brodie’s in Belize City. However, you can’t always find exactly what you’re looking for, so if you absolutely MUST have a certain brand of coffee maker, blender, mixer, food processor, crock pot or other kitchen appliance, it’s best to bring it with you or have it shipped down.

One thing I will recommend – if you don’t like opening cans by hand, bring an electric can opener! Okay, nowadays, most canned goods come with a pull-top so you don’t usually need an electric can opener, but when yo have something like a big can of coffee that yo want to open – a GOOD electric can opener is a necessity!

Other things to bring with you: Linens, light-weight blankets, good quality towels, and high-quality pots and pans. You can get decent non-stick pots and pans, in both Belize City and Chetumal, but if you want your heavy-duty, high quality Ceramic Cookware, bring them with you! Also, if you want a crookpot (I use mine all the time for easy meals) that is NOT a heavy-duty ceramic crockpot, bring the kind you want with you. I looked everywhere for one like this Slow Cooker that I had in the states, and unfortunately, I was never able to find what I wanted.

Other items I wish I had brought with me: A good mop! Don’t get me wrong, you can get good mops in the major cities (Belize City, Belmopan) but in some of the smaller areas and on the cayes, finding a good mop that doesn’t rust out or fall apart quickly is a chore!

I recently had to go back to the states for medical reasons (more on that in another post), and I picked up a few things while I was there. A ”Swiffer” dust mop. You can easily find the refills for it in Chetumal (I’m sure you can in Belize City as well), but I looked everywhere in the North and could not find one – not even in Chetumal! So I brought one back.

Other things to bring with you: TV’s, Computers, Stereo’s, DVD/Blue Ray players. Don’t forget about things like gardening tools, garage tools, and the like. Although you can get almost all of these items in Belize, sometimes finding exactly what you are looking for can be a treasure hunt.

For example; I wanted a hoe for use in my garden. I went to several of the “farm” stores in the area. I went to Posser’s, Farmer’s Supply and several other areas in Corozal and Orange Walk. When I asked for a garden hoe – well guess what they all thought I was asking for? Yep! When I drew a picture of what I wanted, the nice gentleman at Farmer’s Supply finally understood what I was asking for and I was able to get one. However, I must admit, it rusted out in about six months!

My point is that although you can get many things you want herein Belize, some things just aren’t the same quality as many of the same items you’d get in the states or Canada. So if you MUST have it- bring it! Just remember, almost ALL of the items that you bring with you will be subject to import fees and taxes. You can find information about most importation rates at the Belize Customs website. Taxes are a standard 12.5% BZD so keep this in mind when packing your crate for Belize.

What else do YOU consider essential? Leave a comment and let us know what you have found that you just can’t live without. What would you consider essential to bring to Belize when moving here?

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