TRAVEL | Belizean Dreams | Hopkins, Belize
In part one, I took you through our time in Ambergris Caye, part two we went into the jungle and now for the final post-- we head to Hopkins!
Hopkins is a small coastal village located in the Stann Creek District in Belize. Home to approximately 1000 villagers, it's a tiny yet vibrant town that was recently voted as the "friendliest village in Belize." As soon as you meet a local from Hopkins, you'll understand why this community is known for it's genuine hospitality and kindness. They are incredibly warm people and they are excited to welcome you into their village.
If you're the type of traveler who craves culture, I would highly recommend visiting Hopkins. It's known by many as the Garifuna cultural centre of Belize. Even though there are resorts in the village, it doesn't feel touristy or commercialized at all. Our time here we felt like we enjoyed an authentic and refreshing taste of their culture-- from the food, to the music to the pace of life. We were even lucky enough to get to listen to Garifuna drummers at the resort we stayed at!
When we arrived in Hopkins by taxi, it was incredible driving down the bumpy, winding, long... red dirt road to our resort. Along the way we passed gift shops, small bars and many kids on bikes! Bikes really are the most popular way to get around.
We booked our stay with Belizean Dreams knowing that it would be the very last week of our jam packed adventure in Belize. Prior to this, we'd jumped around quite a bit (trying to see as much as possible), and we were really excited to enjoy a full week here to relax! I was really grateful to stumble across this beautiful resort while doing research for our trip. They are one of the only all inclusive places in Belize and they offer a variety of day trip adventures with their packages. (Like island hoping & snorkeling!)
We wasted no time to kick back and relax with our welcome drink served upon check in.
Our week at Belizean Dreams was honestly one of the best weeks of my life. Their service is unlike anything I've experienced traveling before. Because they only have 9 villas (27 suites), the resort is actually quite small and not too crowded! So it's easy to find a quiet place by yourself if you want, or go to the tiki bar and chat with other guests if you want to socialize. Every single member of the staff knows your name, knows where you are from, what your favourite drinks or meals are etc. From the second we stepped onto the resort we felt humbled by their personalized service. It's easy to see why they've been voted a winner by Trip Advisor for "Traveler's Choice," and listed in the Top 10 Hotels in all of Belize for their incredible service!
During our stay, we loved discovering that this is one of the only resorts in the area that is Belizean owned and operated. Many of the resorts in Belize are actually owned by "foreigners" (i.e. North Americans). Why did this matter to us? Because it's nice knowing you're supporting the community you're visiting. They appreciate each and every guest and are physically there-- to ensure you have a great stay.
I know you're wondering....how was the food? The food was incredible. I've done plenty of all-inclusive resorts and as a vegetarian I was nervous if this would be a problem. Thankfully, not once did the staff make me feel bad, in fact if the scheduled meal was set to be meat, they'd have already chatted with the chef and be happy to offer me a personalized alternative!! It was unreal and I was so grateful. It's difficult to put into words how big their hearts are and it was very hard to say goodbye to the staff that treated us like family. There are so many incredible things I could say about them, but honestly just do yourself a favour and visit.
I've struggled with the finality of this last Belize Travel Guide post as our time in this beautiful country really struck a chord with me. If you ever get the chance to visit, you'll understand what I mean!
Since sharing many travel photos on our @kvbijou instagram, the most popular question I've received seems to be-- if you had to choose ONE place to return in Belize, where would you go? It's such a hard question to answer, especially since Belize is SUCH a diverse country I really would first of all recommend trying to see a variety of locations. Ambergris Caye-- felt like walking into a postcard, San Ignacio felt adventurous and like we were one of the locals, Hopkins-- felt like we were with family. Which place I'd recommend would depend on the type of traveler you are and what you appreciate. I will say this though... I am hoping to return to Belizean Dreams or their sister resort in the future! (Psst they have specials on right now.)
Let me know-- Have you been to Belize? Where did you visit? What's next on your personal travel bucket list?