Buying now makes sense!
1. Without doubt, Cayo is the most beautiful of all the districts. All of the other habitable areas (apart from small villages) are on the coast or cayes (islands) which are flat and boring. Cayo has mountains, hills, rivers, jungles, exotic plant and wildlife, and amazing Maya ruins.
2. I have spent time in towns and villages on the coast or cayes when, in the evening, you have to retire inside because of the bugs. Mosquitoes can be annoying but sand flies can make life miserable and these are generally evident when the breeze drops down. We do have a few mosquitoes in Cayo of course, after all this is the tropics, but nothing like the amount evident in other districts, and no sand flies.
3. Cayo contains Belmopan, the capital city of Belize and also San Ignacio, a happy, bustling, tourist town. Apart from Belize City, these locations have the most and best in amenities and entertainment. Belmopan also contains the Belize government buildings and the British and American Embassies; plus many other embassies and consulates.
4. In Cayo we have thousands of ex-pats who have settled down to make a good life for themselves and their families but you will not find any particular “Gringo hang-outs“ where North Americans congregate. In Cayo, the ex-pats are happily integrated into the local social life. I find that different in coastal and caye towns where ex-pats like to hang out together.
5. Spanish Lookout is a very developed and modern Mennonite Community which is located between Belmopan and San Ignacio. Apart from having a very large supermarket, they also supply most of the tyres, furniture, timber, windows, roofing, farm supplies, hardware, meat, fruit & vegetables, etc., in the country. A convenient place to shop.
6. Belmopan, the capital of Belize, was intentionally built at the geographical centre of the country and travel from Cayo to any part of the country, or to Mexico and Guatemala, is simple and easy, by car or bus. In contrast to this, Placencia is isolated far at the end of a long, narrow peninsula and, of course, the cayes are only accessible by plane or boat.
7. My garden is full of fruit trees and has a beautiful lawn. The Cayo soil is very good for growing trees, flowers and vegetables whereas the soil on the coast and cayes is very sandy and does not encourage gardening or landscaping.
8. Belmopan and San Ignacio have good schools for all levels of education. This is in contrast to some of the coastal and caye villages and towns where educational standards may be limited. The University of Belize is located in Belmopan and there is a private university near San Ignacio.
9. Belize City has almost a third of the country’s population and, logically enough, that is where you will find the best medical treatment, government or private. But Belize City is not an attractive place to live and very few ex-pats are there. Following Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio have the best medical facilities, and are also close to Belize City for more serious matters.
10. I have spent two years living on a caye and, although it is nice to have the sea at your back door, you can get fed up with the constant sand and sea; especially the accompanying mosquitoes and sand flies. Cayo has many tourist attractions and activities and far more diversity of things to do and places to visit to make life interesting and, of course, it is only a short trip if you want to spend a day on a beach or a weekend on the cayes.
11. As an afterthought, I should perhaps add the fact that Cayo is also the safest part of the country to live in. When there is a hurricane heading towards Belize, which is rare, everybody living on the cayes or coast comes to Cayo to find temporary accommodation with friends or family, in hotels, bed & breakfast, schools, community centres, etc. I don’t recall Cayo ever experiencing any really bad effects of a hurricane, except increased wind and rainfall.