checking out Orchid Bay

#1 22 June 2011 13:09:05

mwwin15
mwwin15
Bridgeton

checking out Orchid Bay

We are planning to do the Chill Weekend at Orchid Bay during the first week of July. 

Does anyone have any ideas on how much they use hightech, high pressure sales technics? 

I am also taking a couple more days to visit Corozal.

Thanks!  And Stay well to all.

John Huster

#2 22 June 2011 17:05:39

Caridust

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

I just went in June. I had already bought a small lot after much internet research.There are about 4 salespeople who accompany you thruout and answer your questions. They feed you and have lots of beer. Food is only OK. You'll spend all day at Orchid bay Sat. They give a brief and a tour and it seemed people eventually paired up with sales to walk around. Tho I already bought I got alot of attention and was very pleased. There are few builders living on site renting casita's. They say they've bought lots???? Suggest you talk to them and their spouses. 400$ pp is alot but its business. Like to hear about your experience when you return.

#3 22 June 2011 17:24:55

mwwin15
mwwin15
Bridgeton

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

I will let everyone know what we experience when we return.  I am hoping it is not toooooooo hard sell.  That would turn me off.   I will be going to Consejo Shores also. 

Will let everyone know with pictures and info. on my return.

Take care,

John

#4 24 June 2011 16:00:13

joemac
joemac
houston

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Yes
Please let us know. We have considered this your but were skeptical of high pressure sales. We prefer to have evrything explained to us so we can make an informed decision not "if you don't buy right now ........" Hope you have a good time.

#6 12 July 2011 20:12:23

mwwin15
mwwin15
Bridgeton

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Hi to all! 

We returned from our great trip on Sunday.  We did the Orchid Bay Chill weekend and then after a little problem with Tony's Inn in Corozal, (roaches) we decided to see Ambergris Caye for a few days.  We also had a nice visit with Bill Wildman, the owner of Consejo Shores.  As a matter of fact, when we were done with Orchid Bay and breakfast last Sunday at Tony's, Bill picked us up at Tony's and drove us through Corozal Town and out to his properties.  We spent the afternoon with him and looked at many of his available sites.  I can tell you more of both adventures if you want at my email address:   mwwin1599[at]yahoo.com.  I don't won't to make this so long that you all fall asleep with the details. 

I can tell you that by the time we left, we had a completely different view and further complicated plans since there are so many wonderful options, and avenues you can chose from to visit and/or purchase.  If you can get use to the 3rd world country atmosphere and get over being a little scared of walking down streets and not being afraid, then this place will work. 

The people really are quite friendly and more than willing to help you.  I did not meet one person trying to get anything from me.  I did not meet anyone that way not as nice as could be.  They do speak English and are just a happy and relaxed group of people.  Something to say about living that way.

I haven't seen that in a long while.  I live in a small South Jersey town.  Very low keyed, but not near as low and relaxed as the people of Belize are all the time and everywhere we traveled. Then you get off the plane and onto Rt. 95 and sit in traffic.  Then people cut you off to get to the next signal light just to sit there and you pull up behind them.  Then off they go again to the next stop light as fast as they can.  No wonder the gas companies charge what they do.  If you are willing to blow it out the tailpipe, then why not charge for it.

I then asked my wife, what are we doing here.  Then I looked at all the stuff we have in our home and ask why.  Do I really need it.

They have all our tv programs, internet, and great wonders in Belize without this ratrace.

We loved it and will be going back.  Now we know how to get around.  Tropic Air is the local airline and can take you just about anyway in no time and then you get the local cab or water taxi. 

So without boring you more.  Everyone should experience Belize.  Belize me it is something to see.

#7 14 July 2011 23:38:48

Finnorsk
Finnorsk
Sacramento Ca.

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

As we just begin the "voyage" of deciding whether Belize or Ecuador is the place to go, I'm overwhelmed with the notion that it "sounds too good to be true".  My high pressure job is something I will be glad to leave in about 6 years, but know buying property now, if we can afford it, is smart investing.

We plan on visiting Belize this Fall...and Ecuador next summer.

We appreciate any insight you wish to share.

Michael

#8 19 July 2011 22:03:35

Pica1
Pica1
Reno, Nevada

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

A Headsup for the Orchid Bay seekers.  We had a lovely time in Corozal last week (7/8 to 7/14), but because of the recent rains, encountered two-foot deep ruts in the roads and couldn't even make it to Orchid Bay.  A real disappointment for us.  I believe Jim Hardesty may have said that a road may be going in there, but it's not certain yet.  Same thing for Consejo Shores...the rumor is that a large golf-course with plans for a paved road is going in -- but not yet.  I'll probably be repeating this, as I blog about Belize, but I'm finding that road accesibility is one of the single most important factors in finding a good place to rent or buy in Belize. Something to realize about Belize:  As a country of only 300,000 with less than 1/10 of those being expats (with more $$ than many locals), the tax base does not support rapid change -- as in building good roads.  For sure, a good, strong Dodge manual shift, makes life easier.  We came with a rented Suzuki and can't tell you all the comical situations we found ourselves in. If you don't like really rocky and often muddy roads, getting to and from your paradise can be a little tricky. This seems to be the thing that most blogs, travel magazines and ex-pat writers leave out.  My husband and I are really enjoying learning about Belize as a possible permanent home, but we've learned that you can't learn everything you need in one short trip.  More later.

#9 19 July 2011 22:45:34

mwwin15
mwwin15
Bridgeton

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

A little more from our visit to Orchid Bay during July 1 - 3rd.  We were staying at Tony's Inn and left there by boat to get to Orchid Bay.  Boat ride was about 20 middles for Tony's to the tip of the land area into the bay where Orchid Bay is located.  I did overhear Jim & Elizabeth discussing the road was pretty bad to travel while we were there. I talked to one of the new home owners who was spending their first night in their new home and he had been going back and forth to Corozal for his furniture and stuff on that road.  He said the road was flooded in spots from the rain.  We found the water not as beautiful as it should be because of the big wind and rain storm they had the end of June.    So, I assume this is normal for July and August.  We did go by boat to the Mayan Ruins and back and forth to Tony's.   Not sure how long before the road will be fixed, but I think Orchid Bay is taking care of it.  Not Belize.  They also showed us the layout for an air strip that Tropic Air will use once it is done. Whenever some one from O.B. whats them to stop there to pick up or drop off.  That certainly will help.  That is planned within the next 2 1/2 years according the people we talked to.  The web site of O.B. has many pictures.  Most of the homes are not built yet and the condos are just corner surveyed right now.  Although, if you go on their Chill Weekend, you 10% off the price of a condos.  Consejo Shore just sold their last remaining water front property this week according to the letter I received from them.  They have many more cleared and wooded areas.  Actually cheaper than O.B. but the layout and overall community plans are quite different in their thinking.  Bill Wildman of Consejo Shores is a very nice man and has lot of stories to tell. 

We will probably be going back in April if not before.  We are also looking at Caye Caulker.

#10 20 July 2011 02:35:47

Pica1
Pica1
Reno, Nevada

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Great feedback about plans of Orchid Bay.  Thanks.  By the way, I wasn't "down" on Orchid Bay.  I think picking a new property is also about how much of a pioneer you are.  That's why so many new communities give you a discount if you sign up "pre-construction."  I'm just probably not as much of a pioneer as some people.  Another thought about the area near San Ignacio... Phil Hahn's Carmelita Gardens is quite beautiful, too.  Phil helped develop Orchid Bay and is very excited about creating a more self-sustaining community -- off the electrical grid and with ecologically responsible sewage and a community garden with really good produce. It also has that same feeling of a community of people with like interests.  I originally moved it lower on the list because I wasn't too excited about shopping in San Ignacio.  But we found the Bullet Tree drive to the Menonite area provides excellent food (and way fresher than San Ignacio) and truly beautiful landsdcape with healthy dogs and horses.

Did you like staying at Tony's?  I realized I left out Tony's as a nice place to eat.  Apologies to Tony's!

Love that comment about having a good feeling about OB, which makes the decision even more complicated!!  That's so true; We are one day back and I'm trying to write down all of my impressions so we don't go crazy.  Even though this is pretty complicated for us, the experiences have been good.  I think Belize may have the most beautiful and varied land anywhere in the world.  Cheers.

#11 20 July 2011 14:40:59

mwwin15
mwwin15
Bridgeton

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

I agree with you about Belize.  So there should be enough to keep anyone as busy as they personally want to be.  The pioneer spirit is something we must consider.  We are not what you call mountain climbers or hikers so we tend to be more about the water and sand and know that our own plans will have to include some of the "american" prices along with locals.  We were told about sand flies in San Pedro, but they were not a problem in July on the beach when we were there. Did not see any.  I am a boat lover, so running around in a boat taxi was fine for me.  I really think it just depends on what you want.  Belize has it all.  We should be careful..................  don't want everyone to know about this place.  I met a man who owns part of a new resort Coco Beach and this is what he calls his plan B.  As he said,"With the way things are headed in the US, I think my plan B will be much more profitable and enjoyable.  We are in trouble up there."

It is odd that there is a general minimum cost for most of the coast land whether it is Corozal or Caye Caulker.  Google maps show many areas that are for sale and no roads yet to the land.

I think you have to take the jump and hope for the best.  I also found the people to be great on the main land and or the Cayes. 

Tony's Inn needs someone to help them get back on course.  The rooms are 1 star and full of bugs.  Roaches.  Sorry Tony's is that way.  The food, atmosphere, and grounds are great.  I will not be staying there again. 

To anyone reading and getting ready to go.  You will want to go back.

#12 20 July 2011 15:18:19

mwwin15
mwwin15
Bridgeton

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Does anyone know how to attach pictures to these blogs?  I think it would help everyone.

Thanks and good luck to all!

John & Jackie

#13 20 July 2011 15:50:04

Caridust

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

I also am concerned about roads as you need to get to the market. I haven't seen any mention of 4 wheel ATV's or motorbikes in any forums I've read.  They're not listed on the duty/tax list for vehicles.  That would be the choice for me, at least til I could afford a Jeep.  Does anyone know, are they legal, do they sell ATV's there?  Can you bring them in?
Thxs

Carrie

#14 20 July 2011 18:18:08

Wealthships
Wealthships
Placencia

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Hey guys - as someone who actually lives in Belize, I really feel like I need to jump in here.  First, Caridust, yes they sell 4 wheel drive vehicles here all over the place. Don't see ATV's as much, but you can get them here as well (duty is the same as any vehicle I believe).

But this is the thing - I've never had to put my truck in 4 wheel drive mode the whole time I've lived here. The roads are not as bad as people make them out to be if you live in the already developed parts of Belize.  If you are looking to buy property that is under development or hasn't been built yet, then yes, the roads are horrible because more than likely they've not built them yet.

In addition, the Belize government has very little money, so they almost never pay for the roads - the developer or residents need to do that, and usually it's the dead last thing that gets done.

If you're gonna buy farm land and work it, I could see how an ATV would be nice, or if you live up north on the island of Ambergris Caye, where the roads do get flooded in the rainy season, it would come in handy. But last year when I lived on the island we managed with our golf cart just fine - never got stuck.

Get a reliable Toyota 4runner w/ 4 wheel drive option and you will be set anywhere in Belize. If you don't plan on buying in a new development, you'll definitely be fine.

Also, Mwwin15, jumping and hoping for the best is not a good idea in Belize.  You should take it very slow, visit several times, move and live here for 6 months to a year to make sure you like it, and only then would I recommend buying anything here.  I hope my perspective helps.

Sharon Hiebing

#15 20 July 2011 23:16:08

mwwin15
mwwin15
Bridgeton

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Thanks Sharon,

Yes, we plan to go back for more exploring of ideas.  We do have some more ideas as we happened to open some of the realtor web sites and now we are constantly being emails with the questions and of course each one is the very best experienced person in the country.  So we will go back and do some more research.  Seem like the more we know or find out the more confused as to where we should end up buying.  But, the northern part of the country does have our interest with Mexico and the Caye.

As I mentioned before.....................  does anyone know how to download pictures to the blog site.  I really think it would help all of us.  I have our member picture, but was wondering about posting more.

Thanks,
John

#16 20 July 2011 23:51:01

SusieL
SusieL
laguna beach, ca

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

As to putting images in the post, I believe if you have the images on a website like flickr, you can click the image above (forth from the right) and link to the photos that way. :)

#17 29 October 2012 15:41:08

teed62
teed62
Consejo

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

I realize this thread is a little dated but wanted to add something re Ecuador vs Belize.

We've been to Belize and Ecuador several times and love them both.  We have decided to set our sights on Belize for one main reason and that is the property laws.  I know there are no guarantees that these will remain as they are but at least I'm starting with confidence that I will own title and keep it.

We are heading down to Corozal this winter to check out the area some more, you can never get enough information.

Happy exPating everyone!

#18 29 October 2012 16:55:35

Wealthships
Wealthships
Placencia

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Just make sure you get a reputable realtor who can make sure you have a proper title search done so you are sure you have clear title. Title scams are a big problem in Belize. Working directly with a seller is not advisable, in my opinion.

#19 29 October 2012 18:26:03

Pica1
Pica1
Reno, Nevada

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Greetings Teed62...and hello Sharon!

Hubby and I visited Belize twice and for now won't be moving there (outside issues).  But, boy is it gorgeous and the folks are terrific.  We did not get to Orchid Bay when we were staying in Corozal, though.  We had been in communication with them and had a go-see appt., but the week we were there in July,2011, it  had rained and the car we'd rented couldn't make the trip on the not-completed roads.  My understanding is that those roads should have been completed by now.  Yes, do get an SUV or little truck to make sure you can handle any of the roads.  And yes, do take Sharon's advice.  We met with her and spoke several times while there with many email follow-ups.  She's extremely knowledgable and fun. She's located in San Ignacio, which we think is the most beautiful part of Belize (further inland and more south).  Hope all's well, Sharon.  Writing this makes me wish we were in Belize right now!!  Toni

#20 29 October 2012 18:36:07

Wealthships
Wealthships
Placencia

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Hi Toni!!  Nice to hear from you. Thanks for all the kind words. Sorry you won't be calling Belize home any time soon, but hope we can stay in touch and all is well. Take care, Sharon

#21 30 October 2012 09:25:56

Caridust

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

I was in Belize in Mid August, just after the torrential rains in Corozal area.  The road from Corozal was flooded so I drove to Orchid bay the back way, east at Orange Walk, thru Little Belize, (the turn off to Progresso Shores was under water), thru Chunox, thru sugar cane and corn fields, over rutted roads, potholes galore and overflowing streams. Quite the adventure, pretty scenic and little scary, but I just went slow in a 4wd Suzuki Jimmy. So its doable.

#22 30 October 2012 17:01:50

corozal dave
corozal dave
near Corozal

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

I've driven to Orchid Bay as well, from Corozal, the last time was in late August. The road to the crank ferry was as bad as I've ever seen it.  I own a 4x4 SUV and at spots was very concerned about getting stuck as others were.  Going the long way through Orange Walk and Progresso, just didn't make sense as it makes it a very long trip.  There is a reason they take all potential customers bye boat, the roads and two crank ferries to get there could be a "turn off" to them.
They have done a very good job at the development, it's nicely laid out and there are quite a few homes built.  With a really nice bar and restaurant, along with a nice waterfront common area.
It wouldn't be for me if I was in the market (already own a home), as I don't mind being secluded, I actually enjoy it, but being isolated does not appeal to me.  It could be an all day event just to go to Corozal Town and shop.  With more and more people with cars the crank ferry line up gets to be a long wait.  I've waited up to 2 hours.  But to each their own, some will find it to be the answer to their dream of paradise.

#23 07 November 2012 04:26:18

wanttotravelmore
wanttotravelmore
Beamsville

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Hello.  I was at Orchid Bay for the past 2 weeks and the small ferry was broken and no cars were allowed to pass.  Because of this we went shopping in Orange Walk and I have discovered that it doesn't take that much longer to get there (50 - 60 minutes) and the shopping was quite a bit better than Corozal.  I was at the market, the grocery store, paint, pool, tile and hardware store.  I believe this will be where I will shop from now on. Orchid Bay is not for everyone and it can be a challenge to get to at times, but I love being there with the calm waters, the pool, the bar and restaurant  - very relaxing.

#24 07 November 2012 05:07:14

Caridust

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

That's good to know for as much as I'm looking to be somewhat remote I do like to shop and I have to eat (and drink beer).  Like you said, its  not a bad drive and its good there is an alternative way to OB.  Wonder how shopping is in Sarteneja.  That's probably same distance as Orange walk.

#25 07 November 2012 15:02:56

wanttotravelmore
wanttotravelmore
Beamsville

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Hi Caridust - Beer truck comes every Tuesday morning and the Coca Cola truck also come once a week, you just have to let them know to swing by your house.  I would also like to try to get some Mennonites to stop by with their fruits and vegtables.  Maybe I will see you there in the future!

#26 08 November 2012 10:38:24

Caridust

Re: checking out Orchid Bay

Beer deliveries right to my door? Sounds like paradise! 
I'm hoping to move down in April, depending on my QRP being approved. I'm building the house in Ceiba horse field. Drop by. I'm buying first few rounds.

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