Planning a Trip to Belize. Here is what to do in Belize for a week including our stay at Hopkins Bay and the tours we took.
Thank you to Hopkins Bay Belize a Muy Ono Resort for hosting us.
We just returned from a magical trip to Belize. You can see all the highlilghts here. I hope our trip inspires you to explore Belize as well. Here are all the details of our trip.
Planning a Trip to Belize
- Fly to Belize. Belize has one International airport, Belize City (BZE). There are lots of direct flights to BZE from major hubs including Toronto, Calgary, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, LA, and Denver. We chose to fly from FLL to ATL to save money. Once you arrive in Belize City you will need to take a bus or small plane to the region you want to go to. When booking your international flight, please be aware of your landing time. For the Muy’Ono Explorer, they recommend arriving to Belize City no later than 1:30 pm for a bus ride. For commuter flights, they recommend arriving to Belize City no later than 3:45 pm, as the last flight departs at 5:00 pm. See more details below under Muy’Ono Explorer about how to get to the regions.
- Check into the Hotel
Hotels in Hopkins Belize
Hopkins Bay Belize a Muy Ono Resort
We stayed at Hopkins Bay Belize, a Muy Ono Resort in a 2 bedroom ocean view room. We loved the space we had in the villa. It had two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a full kitchen, a large dining table, and a sofa. We ate half of our meals in the villa since Slade still naps. We had a view of one of the two pools which was so nice in the morning when B got up
We stayed at Hopkins Bay Resort which is a Muy’Ono Property so they have Muy’ono Explorer which will transfer you to the resort.
A bus ride. Your exploration will start with an introduction to Belizean history and its cultures. The experienced tour guide will offer his suggestions on the best activities in the country and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. The experience will include a stop for local refreshments and dining at Green Hill Bar and Grill and a drive down the picturesque Hummingbird Highway. We were really impressed with the roads they were recently repaved and were an easy ride.
Just $150 USD per person, round trip!
MUY’ONO EXPLORER AMENITIES:
- 9 Cushioned Passenger Seats
- Welcome Drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
- Air Conditioning
- Luggage Storage
- Bathroom & Refreshment Break
- Dangriga – 2-hour travel time (Thatch Caye)
- Hopkins – 3-hour travel time (Hopkins Bay)
- Placencia – 3.5-hour travel time
Once arriving at Belize International Airport (BZE), guests can take a short commuter flight to their resort destination. Flight prices vary by destination:
- Dangriga – 15 minute, $195 US per person, round trip flight
- Hopkins – 1 hour, $270 US per person, round trip flight + transfer to the resort
- Placencia – 35 minutes, $265 US per person, round trip flight
Hotel day!!! Spend the day exploring the hotel. We love spending our first full day in a new place relaxing and exploring. We spend the day bouncing back and forth from one of the two pools, bike riding into the village, swinging at the Rhum shack restaurant, enjoying their World’s Famous Pina Coladas, and the beach, B and I took out a kayak and chilled in the hammocks.
We had a relaxing dinner at Rhum Shack. We love this restaurant because it has sand on the floor and is right next to the pool with a view of the ocean.
Thatch Caye Belize
We went to Thatch Caye, an All-Inclusive Private Island Resort. It has overwater bungalows and island cabanas on its own private island off the coast of Dangriga, Belize. See some of the highlights here. The resort only has 30 guests at a time guaranteeing a unique experience. You can book a day pass to go so you can experience this paradise. To get there from our hotel we took a 30-minute boat ride.
The island feels deserted in all the right ways. Thatch Caye is the perfect place to disconnect and recharge. When we arrived we went straight to their natural saltwater pool that had swings as well as a trampoline in the water. The kids were in heaven. Then we made our way over to the beach area where they offer complimentary water toys. Slade experienced a kayak for the first time and loved it. We took turns kayaking and snorkeling. We found lots of starfish. They were definitely a highlight of the day.
In the afternoon we relaxed back at the resort and had another yummy dinner at The Rhum Sack.
Tour to Xunantunich, Mayan ruins with J&D Tours with Jody Martinez. I cannot recommend Jody enough. He is a wealth of knowledge about all things Belize. He is a joy to spend time with. We booked a full-day tour with him to the Mayan ruins.
Xunantunich (Mayan pronunciation: [ʃunanˈtunitʃ]) is an Ancient Maya archaeological site in western Belize, about 70 miles (110 km) west of Belize City, in the Cayo District. It is about a three-hour drive from Hopkins Bay. It is located atop a ridge above the Mopan River. We took a cool hand crank ferry to cross the river. The site served as a Maya civic ceremonial center to the Belize Valley region in the Late and Terminal Classic periods. At that time, when the region was at its peak, nearly 200,000 people lived in the Belize Valley.
There are still excavating the site today. It was really cool that we had a chance to meet archeologists who had just found an alter from around 770 AD.
All 5 of us climbed to the top of the ruins, all 130′. I have a fear of heights so I am still shocked I made it up to the top. The view was totally worth it. It was so cool to be able to see Guatemala from the top.
On the way back we stopped by St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park. The National Park boasts two main attractions within its 575 acres:
- The St. Herman’s Cave
- The Blue Hole
The St. Herman’s Cave and the Blue hotel are connected by an underground stream. We did a swim in the crystal blue water of the blue hole. The water is super cold and there are lots of bugs so I recommend bringing a warm change of clothes and bug spray. The Blue Hole, formed from the collapse of an underground limestone cave. The river that ran through the original cavern still flows through the cave system to form a sapphire-colored pool at the bottom of the cenote.
The Country Barn
The Country Barn is a great stop on Hummingbird Highway on the way back to Hopkins Bay. It is a dairy farm and our family enjoyed yummy ice cream there.
Family Photoshoot with Hopkins UnCut
Other Ideas: These are some ideas we want to do on our next trip based on talking to friends we met at the resort.
- Bread and Butter Caye is about 5 miles from Hopkins and is like a private little park. It makes a great spot to go snorkeling, do some fishing, grill up any fish you might have caught, break out your picnic lunch, relax, and take a nap in a hammock. You can book a character that includes snorkeling and lunch at Bread and Butter Caye.
- Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve & Mayan Chocolate Farm – We met another family that did this tour. While you will not see Jaguars during the day since they are nocturnal it is a beautiful hike and the chocolate is amazing.
Where is Hopkins Belize Located
Hopkins is a small Garifuna village on the coast of the Stann Creek District in Belize, known as the “coast with the most” in Belize. The village lies south of the town of Dangriga, where the closest airstrip is located. It is considered by some Belizeans to be the cultural center of the Garifuna population in Belize.
Hopkins welcomes visitors with warm hospitality and a safe environment. Hopkins was recently voted “The Friendliest Village in Belize” by Belize’s First Magazine. The village boasts a rustic local beach vibe with many mom-and-pop restaurants, small bars, and gift shops. Over 1000 residents live in Hopkins and work in fishing, farming, and the booming hospitality industry.
Hopkins Village is separated into two main transects; the Northside (Baila) and the Southside (False Sittee). It is surrounded by the Maya Mountains and the Cockscomb Range inland, and the Caribbean Sea on its shore.
EVENTS IN HOPKINS, BELIZE:
- Mango Fest – each summer, exact dates TBA
- Lobster Season – June 15 – February 15, annually
- Belize Independence Day – September 21
- Conch Season – October 1 – June 30, annually
- Garifuna Settlement Day – November 19
Hopkins Bay Belize Map
Is Belize City Worth Visiting?
I say it is absolutely worth the trip to Belize. In fact, we are all excited to go back again to explore the rest of the country.
Can you bring food into Belize?
All food items are regulated by law in Belize and must be accompanied by a valid import permit. Therefore if you bring food or products of animal or plant origin in your luggage you must declare them upon arrival to Belize. 3. Declare all food and plants and animal products to the Quarantine Officer.
Is Belize Expensive to Visit / How much does a trip to Belize cost?
Belize is a developing country so we had expected that it may be a more affordable trip. We were shocked that the pricing for lodging, tours and food were similar to pricing we see in Florida.
Belize Mask Mandates
Effective July 12, 2022, The Belize Tourism Board advises that the Government of Belize has decided to remove all public health measures at the points of entry in Belize (land and sea). There were mask mandates at the airport, but they were enforced and we were shocked at just how few people wore masks.
Can you drive in Belize?
Yes, the highway was recently rebuilt and is easy to navigate. We did not rent a car, but if we went back we would do 4 days in Hopkins and then rent a car and go to the jungle.
Time in Belize Now
Belize is Central time. Click here to find out what time it is now.