Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
The last time
we came to Belize we left by boat from
Livingston, Guatemala and
entered Belize from the southern city of
On this trip we enter by
land. Leaving Xcalak,
Mexico in the morning, we travel through Chetumal, cross the border and
reach our first stop at Corozal.
Corozal is left of
center at the top of this map
After one of the easiest
border crossings we have ever experienced, our entrance into Corozal had a bumpy beginning.
We had chosen a Hemingway type of hotel that
promised bay views, hot water, private bathrooms and Wifi connection. When we
arrived, the woman I spoke with at the desk told me there were no rooms
available at all. Then she told me there might be one, and quoted me a price double what we had expected to pay.
This last remaining room was
tiny, hot, had no private bath, no view and was generally a disappointment.
We decided to dump our bags
in the room, get something to eat and look for another place to stay. Upon our
return, we packed our bags and got ready to move to another location when Billy
unexpectedly met up with the owner of the hotel. Quinn apologized profusely, said we should
never have been taken to that room and then showed us the best room in the hotel.
Then he gave it to us at half the quoted price of the dumpy room.
What just happened?
Wifi connected bar with
Things were looking up. We
just had the best meal we had ever eaten in Belize at Patty's Bistro, and then had
gotten in to the best room of our hotel. Wifi was available at the bar or just
outside our room 24/7, and the water in our shower was steaming hot.
View from the hotel's
Life in Corozal is pretty
laid back and Belize is a simple county. We often joke that in Belize, you can eat
chicken with rice and beans or chicken with beans and rice.
The photo above shows the
view we had as we worked on our computers in the hotel bar. Delicious fresh brewed coffee
was available downstairs in the kitchen or you could grab a cold beer at Quinn's bar
on the honor system.
Corozal is the northernmost
town in Belize and was founded in 1848 by refugees from the Maya Indian uprising
against the Spanish in the neighboring Yucatan. Thousands of Mayans left the
massacre at Bacalar, Mexico and crossed the Rio Hondo, the river that now serves
as a boundary between Belize and Mexico.
Apartment building with
a bay view
Corozal itself was built
upon an ancient Maya city that dominated this area for more than 2,000 years.
Today the city has a
population of about 10,000 residents and is a great mixture of Maya, Chinese,
European and American expats, Meztizos, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, and
Everyone finds a place and
Private gated home with
Corozal is a convenient
base for day trips to Chetumal for shopping and the Mexican beaches of the
Yucatan Peninsula. There are numerous Maya ruin sites close by, wildlife sanctuaries and
Ambergris Caye - which is Belize's most popular destination for scuba divers and
snorkelers - is 15 minutes away by air from the Corozal airstrip.
It's easy living in
The town of Corozal is
pretty simple and easy going. Street traffic was minimal and you could probably
get around pretty well on just a bicycle like the one in this photo.
Small restaurants dot
People are friendly here
and this town is attractive to the expat population which numbers between
300-400 residents. Corozal is located between two rivers, the New River in the
Orange Walk district and the above mentioned Rio Hondo.
Menu items written on a
chalk board is standard
Most restaurants let you
know the daily specials by easy-to-see sandwich boards.
This photo also gives you a
closer view of the sidewalk and street. Remember, it's an easy, slow-go town.
The Chinese have a
strong presence here
Many people from
moved to Belize to make their futures. We saw stores, bars and restaurants all
owned and run by the Chinese. Some spoke English and yet, many didn't.
Notice the Chinese lettering above the blue and brown doors.
An afternoon snack
We had a couple of these
bean and cheese tacos with a large, sweet, fresh squeezed orange juice for $3.50BZD
Young Belizean boy takes
a peek at us
Walking around the quiet
streets of this town you will find several banks, a library, a small museum, a
couple of churches, some primary schools, a few shops and a small produce market
all within 10 minutes walking distance from each other. Any major shopping with
all the discount stores is done in Chetumal, Mexico which is nine miles away.
A meat shop lists what
If you enjoy bone fishing
or deep-sea fishing, the waters of Corozal Bay provide lots of opportunities
for anglers who want to avoid crowded shores. The largest tarpon in the country
swim through the northern lagoons, rivers and estuaries of Belize. Local fishing
guides are happy to take you out if you want to throw your line in.
Akaisha orders 2 coconut
ice cream cones
In the tropics, coconut ice
cream is very common, and if it is offered we almost always give it a try.
We like to take advantage of the healthy benefits that
coconut offers in any of the delicious forms it comes in! Coconut water right
from the freshly cut nut is not only refreshing, it is packed with electrolytes,
essential vitamins, is fat free, calms an upset stomach and is an energy source.
Then, when the coconut water is finished, the nut can be cut open and the sweet
and very moist coconut inside can be scraped out.
Coconut meat is rich in
lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal,
and boosts the immune system.
Town clock at the Main
Just like most plazas in
Central America, it is a place to hang out, relax in the shade and meet up with
friends. This is where we bought our coconut ice cream.
This clock is a proud town
Everything is within
walking distance in Corozal. Patty's was a 5 minute walk from our hotel.
Inside Patty's Bistro
We were told by taxi
drivers and locals on the street that Patty's Bistro had the best food in town.
They were right! It was probably the best food we ever had in Belize, and huge
plates for dinner ran $15BZD each. It was a great value.
Patty's dinner plate
Two chops, rice, salad,
fresh vegetables and a basket of bread was more than we could eat. Their fresh
watermelon juice was scrumptious.
Police station in
The police didn't look too
busy the days we were there. Nor does the building look very intimidating,
painted in Caribbean style colors.
Belizean bus schedule
This is the daily bus
schedule in and out of Corozal. We were headed to Orangewalk next, so we needed
to find out what time the bus left.
Mission Statement at the
We spoke with several
children on the street in Corozal, and they said they attended the Methodist
School. We walked around to see if we could find it, and it is located right on the
road that lines the bay.
School was just letting
Food carts line up at the
school's edge and when the kids get out, they often buy a snack. Their favorite?
Anything with sugar.
Our hotel is just past the
yellow and turquoise building in the center of this photo. The School is about 5
minutes walk from this location.
A beer and a view
The Chill & Grill is a
local Gringo hangout just down from the school and about a 6 minute walk from
our hotel. The first time we passed this place, there were 2 large macaws
sitting at the front table downstairs. The whole front of the bar -
upstairs and down - is open air and has a bay view.
Billy on the second
floor of the bar
Couldn't get much more
tropical than this.
We just had lunch, watched
the kids get out of school and caught a beer in the bar on the way back to the
Akaisha working the bar
We met Peter on our way out
the door. Having lived all over the world, he was a conversational delight with
a quick wit and an inquisitive mind. Coincidentally, he owns property in the
small beach town of Majahual just outside of
Xcalak and he
knew some of the same people we had just spent time with there in that tiny
Peter still has a strong
sense of adventure and travels like we do: if he likes a place he stays. If he
doesn't or if the weather pattern doesn't work for him, he goes. He would love a
travel partner... any takers?
Next we visit Orangewalk,
Belize where we stayed in the smallest, cleanest hotel room ever, and take a
fantastic boat ride to the ancient Maya ruins of
For more information,
stories and photos of Belize by
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha