If you’ve built an impressive reputation for sleuthing out small, little-known but idyllic destinations in places off the beaten path, add Hopkins Belize to your list. But keep it to yourself so this little corner of the earth isn’t overrun by humanity, forcing you to begin your search for tranquility anew! Since the village is only a three mile stretch, you’ve myriad transportation options: Rent ATVs, motorbikes, golf courses or just walk everywhere.
Where to Stay in Hopkins
Everything from pricey resorts to humble hostels are available in Hopkins, so see what fits your lifestyle. Tuck into Hopkins Bay Resort for amenities like cable TV and a kitchenette, book accommodations at the All Seasons Guest House (one mile south) if a nicely appointed theme room (Jungle, Bamboo, Butterfly or Orchid) strikes your fancy or repair to an eco-resort–the Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort—located within a nature reserve one mile south of Hopkins. If you’re loaded with everything but cash, the Funky Backpackers Hostel will do nicely. The Villa Verano and Caribbean Shores offers private luxury villas, so if this is your idea of Nirvana, bring the plastic.
Other top places to check out: Almond Beach Resort, Hopkins Inn, Jungle Jeanie, Siere Del Mar, Coconut Row Hotel, Jaguar Reef, Belizean Dreams and Parrot Cove.
Where to Eat in Hopkins
Even a foodie will rave about Hopkins’ restaurant scene. Sample hudut, a traditional soup of coconut milk, onions, snapper and spices and served with a side of mashed plantains. Belize classics, hudut and tapado, are specialties of Ella’s Cool Spot, where both are cooked to order and require advance notice! Driftwood Pizza puts a Belize spin on this Italian classic and you’ll be entertained by local drummers deserving a tip while your pie bakes. Sample ethnic Garifuna cooking at Yugadah or patronize Taste of India where vegetarian dishes are plentiful. Stop at Innies, famous for coconut-crusted fish and prices so low, it could be your frequent dining spot. The Frog’s Point and Thongs Cafés are pricey but worth a stop, too.
Things to Do & See in Hopkins
For a small town, Hopkins is a true hot bed of activity! Dive at Glover’s Atoll (the cheapest place to get certified in Belize), windsurf, snorkel, kayak, canoe, go birding, hike, visit local wildlife havens or do absolutely nothing. That said, hardly anybody leaves Hopkins without taking drumming lessons at LeBeha Drumming Center, a cultural landmark that’s tons of fun. Pack a month’s worth of thrills into a day by going to Mayflower Bocawina National Park where swimming, ziplining, Mayan ruins and more are available from dawn to dusk. Don’t forget to shop for souvenirs at stops like Garimaya Gift Shop and Gallery, where hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind treasures await.
How to Get to Hopkins
Hopkins is located four miles east of the Southern Highway at the Mile 10 Exit. If you must rely on public transport, catch a bus to Placencia and walk to Hopkins or arrange for Untame Belize to pick you up and transport you to this beautiful and charming village. If your point of origin is more distant, fly into Dangriga, the closest airport to Hopkins, and arrange with Untame Belize to pick you up from there. Plenty of people hitchhike here, but traffic is sparse and you could be schlepping luggage, so if you’re impatient and don’t want to resemble a Bedouin, book your transportation and shuttles with Untame Belize!