With a warm climate and incredible wildlife, it is not surprising that Belize is a popular spot for those seeking a mixture of relaxation and adventure. There is so much to do in this vibrant country, and the small, unobtrusive town of Hopkins, Belize may make for the perfect base for your visit or at least a stop for a night or two.
Located on the southeastern Caribbean coast, Hopkins is known for its friendly people, beautiful beaches, and small-town vibe. Sitting in a wide bay, one of the best ways to spend the day is a simple stroll along the shore, stopping for a drink at an appealing bar or cafe, and generally soaking up the laid-back atmosphere.
Hopkins is a cultural hotspot known for its Garifuna culture, and you are bound to experience this in the food you’ll eat in town or in the drumming music you will hear if you stop for a drink at a beach bar.
While there aren’t too many things to do IN Hopkins, Belize, it makes up for this with things to do outside town. Next to both the ocean and the rainforest, there is plenty to experience!
Things to Do in Hopkins, Belize
I won’t lie to you, there’s really not much to do IN Hopkins! BUT this can still be a great and relaxing spot to base for some great adventures nearby. Here are the few things to actually do in town while you’re here…
Beach Bum (The Best and Almost Only Thing to Do in Hopkins!)
Hopkins Beach is so beautiful; there is no judgment here if all you want to do for the extent of your visit is laze on the sands. You will struggle to find a more picturesque spot to lay down a towel.
The beach is vast, unspoiled, and rarely crowded, so you will always find a spot for yourself, unlike some other Belize beaches. The swaying palm trees offer ample shade, and the views of the Maya Mountains are just the cherry on top.
Drink and Drum
As mentioned, Hopkins Belize is rich in culture, and there is no better way to immerse yourself in this culture than to take a drumming workshop. Professional Garifuna drummers run workshops at the Lebeha Center. Even if you feel like you don’t have any rhythm, we assure you the session will at least get your feet tapping. You will have a hard time staying still!
If you don’t want to take part yourself, that’s completely fine too. Many people prefer to simply sip their drinks and watch the students practice. Once you’ve enjoyed the drumming, spend some time exploring the many other bars around town that offer drinks and a place to relax or party, depending on your mood!
Where to Eat in Hopkins
This is really one of the main things to do in Hopkins, Belize and luckily, there are some great spots to have some delicious meals and good drinks—Most right on the beach! (As a PS – I literally didn’t have a bad meal in Belize—at all! And Hopkins was no exception)
- Semiti Giffiti – I don’t think you can get any more local than this spot! This place is nothing more than a small shack on the beach with a few tables, and it doesn’t even have a menu. The sweet woman running this spot makes what is fresh or what she feels like that day, although hudut is often on the menu. A traditional dish consisting of fish cooked in a coconut broth served with yams. Definitely order this if she is serving it up.
- Queen Bean – This spot is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and they are serving delicious hot and traditional food along with rasta vibes. They have everything from fluffy pancakes to perfectly fried fish, all while you listen to the waves lapping on the shore.
- The Coconut Husk Restaurant & Beach Bar – This is another delightful spot on the beach to grab a bite for breakfast or lunch. The fry jacks are perfectly puffed, the coffee is excellent, and they have mega-friendly staff. This was our go-to breakfast joint! (They have cute cabanas to stay in too)
- Nice Cream Hopkins – It might not be the best ice cream you’ve had in your life, but you’ll probably think so while eating it as it will be cooling you down from the brutal heat. Don’t melt while you’re here! Just grab some ice cream and keep on going.
- Rhum Shack – This is a restaurant with a Caribbean flair that’s attached to a resort but open for anyone to join and dine. Located at the end of the beach, it’s a serene spot to grab some food while your toes dig into the sand. They are serving up everything from land and sea and have some serious cocktails being shaken up here too.
Day Trips From Hopkins
As you’ve gathered by now, this is a quiet beach town, and there aren’t many things to do in Hopkins, Belize. But considering its prime location, you’ll find yourself with tons of things to do just outside of Hopkins.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve
Get off the beaten track and away from the tourist crowd on this tour to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve. The waterfall chaser within you will be satisfied with the cascades on this venture, as you’ll start with a trek to a hidden waterfall accompanied by a knowledgeable guide.
The best part of the trip has to be riding the natural water slides and relaxing on inner tubes as you float down the South Stand Creek River.
A delicious picnic lunch is included with an unbeatable backdrop, and if you are fortunate, you may be able to spot some of the wildlife that calls the sanctuary their home. The wildlife preserve is in place to protect some of the country’s endangered species.
Hidden in the trees is a menagerie of animals, including the revered jaguars. The reserve is home to the country’s largest number of these majestic cats, but we will be honest, your chance of spotting these crafty camouflagers is next to none.
You might have a better chance of spotting pumas, ocelots, jaguarundi, tapirs, armadillos, otters, and monkeys that live in the jungle, and that’s before even mentioning the hundreds of bird species!
St Herman Blue Hole
You may have been tubing before, but have you ever been tubing in a pitch-black cave? We didn’t think so! This tour allows you to immerse yourself under the earth in a cave system under the Maya Mountains. This adventure takes place in St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, known for the blue jungle pool where the park got its name.
The journey starts in the rainforest as you head to the caves with your guide. Listen carefully, as you will learn a thing or two about the area’s geology on route.
It is then time to don your headlamps and head underground. You will be in the cave system for around 2 hours, which may seem like a long time, but it will fly by.
You won’t have to worry about a thing on this tour, as it does pick-ups from all the hotels in Hopkins, and all gear is included, so all you have to do is show up and be ready for adventure.
Snorkeling The Barrier Reef
Snorkeling the barrier reef near Hopkins has to be one of the most incredible snorkeling experiences in the world. The Belize Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site rich with diverse wildlife. More than 500 species of fish call the colorful coral their home, and on this half-day trip, you will be taken out to meet them.
No experience is needed, and they will provide all the equipment for you. Experienced guides will accompany you, as they know where to find the best spots and the most wildlife. If you have ever dreamed of swimming with turtles, dolphins, nurse sharks, or eagle rays, this tour is for you.
Mayflower Bocawina National Park
The two tours below are in Mayflower Bocawina National Park, which is rich in flora and fauna. The National Park covers a vast 7,000 acres, so you will get your nature fix no matter what type of activity you choose to enjoy. No transport is included with these tours, so you will have to make your way there, but you can grab a taxi and head there directly from Hopkins easily.
Waterfall Rappelling and Ziplining
For an action-packed adventure near Hopkins Belize that you will remember forever, take a tour combining waterfall rappelling and ziplining in one incredible trip.
The day starts with a bang as you zipline for 2.5 miles through the jungle, the longest zipline in the country. After a delicious lunch, it is time to hike through the rainforest for about 20 minutes to Bocawina Falls, where the second part of the tour begins. Rappel down these beautiful falls for 100 feet, and once you reach the bottom, you’ll be rewarded with a refreshing dip in the water.
Although this may sound challenging, it is more of a family-friendly adventure with smaller thrills but is still a fantastic way to spend the day.
Ziplining in Bocawina
If you still want a bit of adrenaline rush but don’t have time for the whole adventure, then just ziplining is also an option.
Take in the views of the incredible Bocawina Rainforest as you soar through the air for 2.5 miles of the course. The course comprises 12 platforms and eight runs, so you have plenty of time to build up your confidence and enjoy the thrill. The longest run is 2300 feet, so it will seem like you are flying forever across the lush Belizian rainforest.
Tours are available throughout the day, so you can pick a time that fits in with your other adventures, and all safety gear is included in the tour price, along with knowledgeable guides.
How to Get to Hopkins, Belize
There are several ways to reach Hopkins, depending on your starting point and preferred mode of transportation.
You can take a shuttle or taxi from the airport to Hopkins, which is about a 2.5-hour drive. I’d recommend just taking a shuttle! You can easily book a shuttle here.
If you prefer to drive, Hopkins is located on the Southern Highway, which runs from Belize City to Punta Gorda. The drive from Belize City to Hopkins takes about 2.5 hours, and the road is well-paved and easy to navigate. You can rent a car from the airport or in Belize City.
Renting a car is what we did, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s incredibly chill and easy to drive around Belize, and the main roads are maintained. Check here for rental cars.
Another option is to take a bus from Belize City to Dangriga and then transfer to another bus to Hopkins. The bus ride takes about 3-4 hours and is a more affordable option than renting a car or taking a shuttle. But it will also be the slowest and least comfortable option.
If you’re looking for bus or boat tickets around Central America and Mexico, you can easily book them online! Check Availability
Where to Stay in Hopkins, Belize
Welcome to Muy-Ono Resort, your ultimate seaside sanctuary in beautiful Hopkins, Belize! This hidden gem offers a mix of tropical cabanas and spacious suites, each designed with comfort and style in mind.
Picture yourself sipping a fruity cocktail by the pool, enjoying mouthwatering Belizean cuisine, and strolling along the powdery sand beaches. With breathtaking ocean views and a friendly staff ready to make your stay unforgettable, Muy-Ono Resort is your passport to relaxation and adventure in paradise!
Coconut Row Resort Hotel
Calling all beach lovers! Coconut Row Resort Hotel in Hopkins Village is a vibrant and colorful oasis where Caribbean dreams come true. Stay in charming beachfront cabins, complete with private verandas perfect for savoring sunset views.
Dive into the crystal-clear waters, soak up the sun on the pristine sandy beach, and savor delicious local flavors at the resort’s restaurant (some of the best food in town!). Immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere, make new friends, and discover the authentic charm of Hopkins, Belize at Coconut Row Resort Hotel.
The Funky Dodo Backpackers
Get ready to experience the vibrant and lively atmosphere of The Funky Dodo Backpackers, the coolest hostel in Hopkins! This funky and fun-filled accommodation is perfect for adventurous travelers looking to connect with like-minded individuals from around the globe.
Stay in cozy and affordable dorms or private rooms, and enjoy a range of amenities, including a communal kitchen and a laid-back common area where friendships are made. Join in on the activities and tours organized by the friendly staff, and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Hopkins is a gem of a town to visit while you’re visiting Belize, I hope this helped you plan your trip!
Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad since 2011 and blogging on Where in the World is Nina? for nearly as long. Nina helps people like you move around the world while making money. She loves talking about how to work abroad and online to travel longer!