Hopkins Village is a quiet Garifuna community on the shore just south of Dangriga, but tourism experts say over the next decade it is expected to flourish into one of the most visited towns in Belize. For now, though, it remains a sleepy fishing village where tourists come to hide away from the hustle and bustle of busy cities elsewhere. The town is so small that you can't fly direct, and cars are not necessary, but there are ways around both if this is a problem for you.
There are several options when it comes to traveling to Hopkins. You can fly to nearby Dangriga and drive about a half an hour over to Hopkins, you can sail directly to the town's coast, you can cruise to Belize City and make a day trip to visit, or you can drive your personal vehicle. Most people fly, but it is up to you which option you feel most comfortable with.
The small size of Hopkins means you can get around town on foot with no trouble at all. Some choose to rent bicycles to have a set of wheels on hand, but you can use more traditional methods like rental cars and taxis if you are so inclined.
There are a few extra steps to take when you want to fly to Hopkins, thanks to the fact that there is no airport in the town. Tourists will first have to fly into Belize City, with a connection from Guatemala, El Salvador, Miami, Raleigh, Houston, or New Orleans. Then, they will transfer from the larger commercial jet to a small domestic plane that will take them on a 15 to 30 minute flight to the town of Dangriga. is the nearest airstrip to Hopkins, and from there tourists can rent a car and drive, or hire a taxi for around $100(USD) to get them into the small town. Click here to read a more detailed account of what it takes to fly to Hopkins.
As a fishing village, there are plenty of places for tourists to anchor their private boats if they choose to make an adventure out of their vacation and sail to the small town. Because this is not an official port of entry, you'll have to either stop in Belize City, Punta Gorda, Ambergris Caye, or Port of Big Creek to clear customs or pay to have a customs official travel to meet you in Hopkins. However you choose to do it, you'll have to present the official with four copies of your ship's stores, crew list, and paperwork for your boat. Once the paperwork has been pushed through, a process that takes about 45 minutes, you'll be able to sail about local waters for 90 days.
Over two million people cruise the Caribbean each year, and Belize is a tremendously popular destination. During the height of tourist season between four and six cruise ships dock inBelize City each week. Unfortunately, cruises do not make their way down to Hopkins, but you can make plans for a trip while you're on shore.
Not a lot of people make it to Hopkins by car because the journey is long, but it can be done. From the United States/Mexico border you'll drive for one full day before you reach Belize. From Belize City, which is near the border, you'll drive west on the Western Highway until you reach Belmopan, then go south on Hummingbird Highway. Just before you reach Dangrigs, the road will connect with Southern Highway, which you will take for about 13 miles before reaching Hopkins. Back at the border, you'll need to provide border patrol with proof of ownership, lease, or rental of the vehicle you're driving, register the vehicle in your passport, and purchase both Belize Liability Insurance and a one month importation permit.
Thanks to the small size of Hopkins, a rental car is not necessary to get around town, but many tourists rent one because of the commute they have to make from the airport in Dangriga. If you decide to keep the vehicle for the length of your stay, you can use it to your advantage and strike out further than those who decide not to.
The cost of a rental is anywhere from $60 to $140(USD) a day, depending on the type of vehicle you rent. It is recommended that you pay for the extra insurance, especially if you're visiting during the summer, because roads are not very well maintained, and during a rainstorm they are often washed away or turn into mud traps. Drivers are also aggressive here, so you want to be protected in the event that you get into an accident. Take the time to learn all you can about renting a car in Hopkins, as well as what it is like to drive there when you .
...discuss the fare with your driver...
Finding Taxi Companies in Hopkins can be a little tricky, and you might have to call for a taxi from another town, such as the nearby area of Dangriga.
If you need to take a taxi in Hopkins, your best bet will be to call a company and arrange for a driver to pick you up at a prearranged place and time. Hopkins is small, and it will likely be hard to find a taxi on the streets. When the taxi does arrive, you may notice it is not the bright yellow cab of the cities in the U.S., but a regular car with a green license plate. Always check that the plate is in fact green because this is how you tell that it is a legally licensed taxi.
When the driver picks you up, make sure to discuss the fare with your driver before taking off. Because there are no meters, you'll need to settle on a price so you don't end up surprised when you arrive at your destination – it will differ with each driver.
If you want to find out more about taxis, your best bet is to head over to our Dangriga Taxi Guide.
The thing that is unique about buses in Belize is that they do not run in towns and metropolitan areas. Instead, they serve as a way to connect one city to the next. Buses stop through Hopkins several times a day, carrying passengers to and from Placencia, Dangriga, Belmopan, and Belize City. Fare is dependent on where you are traveling to.
is the one ferry dock in the area. If you want more information, you can call them at (501) 522-0062; you'll find the dock in Dangriga, just to the north-northeast of Hopkins. However, ferry service in this part of Belize is rather limited -- last time we checked you could only go to the Puerto Cortez Ferry Docks in Honduras.
This is just the start of your vacation planning, and it should be one of the easiest parts because most people have an idea of how they want to travel. Still, it helps to take some time and review your options, because you never know if there's a mode of transportation available that you'll want to use instead.
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