After spending some time on the off-shore islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Cay (at the top right part of the map), we wanted to experience what life was like along the mainland coast of Belize. Hopkins seemed to fit the bill nicely so, once we were finished with our tropical forest adventures in the area of capital city Belmopan (red star), we took the road that cuts through the eastern edge of the 'green' swath of forests covering the Maya Mountains. Although this map does not indicate it, Hopkins is actually connected to the main highway by a direct road off-shoot from the 'red' highway that is shown bypassing the village. Hopkins was created to replace New Town, another village half-way up the coast to Dangriga, which was destroyed by an un-named 1942 hurricane.
We had a rental vehicle for this 3-day section of our trip but had already used up a day exploring around Belmopan. As a result, we made only a single excursion from Hopkins, back-tracking to the larger town of 'Dangriga' along the coast, before we booted our way back up to the International Airport outside Belize City the next day (see my 'Transportation' tips for the details). Because Belize is actually not a very large country, we were able to make the trip from Hopkins to the airport in only about 2 hours.
Favorite thing: Since I don't bother with owning a cellular phone, I find that it is always handy to have a local phone card to avoid the hassles of having the correct change on hand should you need to make a call for some reason. Not knowing how often we would use the card, while on Caye Caulker, I bought the lowest denomination possible (BZ$5 or US$2.50) and, in the end, we actually used it up and bought another one which ended being half-used. They are the typical scratch the back strip and use the PIN on the card in conjunction with an '800' number. The cards can be purchased at various convenient places anywhere in Belize and, since the whole country is in the same area code, there are no long distance charges. The cards came in handy a number of times, including calling from Belmopan to Hopkins as we unsuccessfully tried to arrange for accommodations there before we arrived. I also used it from one of the street phone booths in Hopkins to call the Bird's Eye View Lodge in Crooked Tree, to confirm our airport pickup after we dropped our rental vehicle off at the airport.
How can you co to a beautiful sandy beach with gentle waves and lush palms without cutting open a coconut and enjoying a drink.
One of these will give you far more than you can drink in one sitting and are said to have medicinal effects.
Definitely, the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve was my favorite thing in the Hopkins area. If you go, bring your bathing suit and hike to one of the waterfalls or rent an innertube and float down the river. Admission to the reserve is $10 BD ($5 USD) and Innertubes rent at the visitor center for $5 DBD ($2.50 USD).
See my Must See Activities tip for more into.