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I made my way from Caye Caulker to Hopkins by water taxi and public bus.
I got the Axios at a discounted rate of US$32 / night but a 9% tax and fixed US$15 Cleaning Fee where added to the base price. The result was US$40 / night.
I was thinking of staying on Caye Caulker for a couple of weeks. I took one look at it on my day of arrival and decided that 3 nights was going to be enough.
It was time to move on to Hopkins en route to Guatemala …
CAYE CAULKER TO HOPKINS:
At Dangriga, you have several choices:
- Catch another bus from Dangriga to Hopkins (10:30am or 5:00pm)
- Catch a taxi to Hopkins (about US$50)
- Stay on the James bus and get off at the Hopkins Junction (an extra BZ$4)
- The junction is 5 miles from Hopkins
- There are, usually taxis waiting (BZ$20)
- Or you can try and hitchhike
Hopkins is considered by some Belizeans to be the cultural center of the Garifuna population in Belize.
Hopkins is surrounded by the Maya Mountains and the Cockscomb Range inland, and the Caribbean Sea on its shore. The village was created in 1942 to replace the village of Newtown, which was devastated by a hurricane further up the coast.
Today Hopkins is a small but vibrant community of approximately 1,000 villagers. The people live mostly by farming and fishing, and more recently many have found work in the growing tourist industry.
The residents are known for their friendliness and genuine hospitality, and welcome visitors. Hopkins was recently voted “The Friendliest Village in Belize” by Belize First Magazine.
My hotel (see below) was 500m south of where the main road enters town. From there, I walked the beach heading north, through town center, and back home.
WHERE TO STAY IN HOPKINS:
I booked Hopkins the day before my arrival.
MY HOPKINS ACCOMMODATION:
I booked 3 nights in the Windschief. I booked directly on their website.
Bicycles are available for rent (but I’m not sure where you would go).
EAT & DRINK:
If you budget BZ$10 average per meal, you will be eating as cheaply as possible; any less than that, you will not be getting a balanced diet. Even at BZ$10, that would be debatable.
YOUR HEALTH & SAFETY:
There is no reason to feel unsafe here. But, as always, exercise normal levels of caution … don’t make yourself an obvious target.
Hopkins has mosquitos and sandflies. Bring suitable repellents.
WHEN TO GO:
The rainy season is June through October.
The high season is December through June as these are the months with the most temperate and driest weather.
High Season prices generally ‘kick in’ on 1st December; some earlier. The place starts filling up from Thanksgiving onwards. Christmas, New Year, March and April are particularly busy (and expensive).
HOPKINS TO PUNTA GORDA:
From Hopkins, you catch a taxi (BZ$20) back to the southern highway and flag down a passing James Bus. During the week, they pass the Hopkins Junction at 7:30am, 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, and 5:00pm.
A search of the internet revealed that there were 2 boats each week from Punta Gorda to Livingston, Guatemala: Tuesday and Friday.
I walked down the pier to discover that boats left for Livingston every day. The St Charles were kind enough to cancel my second night (at no charge) and I took the boat to Livingston the next day: Monday.
Hopkins is not a ‘pictureque’ town. It is rustic. The beach is very average. But what it lacks in that respect it makes up for with its friendly people.
Punta Gorda has very little to offer. You only go there if you are in transit.