Why You Have to Visit Hopkins Belize on Your Vacation
Often ranked as the friendliest village in Belize, Hopkins is in the center of the Garifuna culture, a unique people with both African and Caribbean roots who migrated to the country in the 18th century. With a laidback, easygoing atmosphere, the village is a popular destination for visitors interested in learning to play Garifuna drums, sampling Garifuna cuisine, learning more about traditional fishing culture, and as a jumping off point for the nearby Belize Barrier Reef.
Where in Belize Is It Located?
Hopkins is a quaint Garifuna village on the Caribbean coast in the southeastern Stann Creek District of Belize. Hopkins is located eight miles south of Dangriga and approximately 90 miles south of Belize City.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Hopkins Belize
With a mild climate all-year round, almost any time of year is a good time to visit Hopkins, keeping in mind that the rainy season runs from approximately May to November. The hugely popular Garifuna Settlement Day is held every year on November 19 to commemorate the arrival of the Garifuna people in Belize in the 18th century.
Best way to Get to Hopkins Belize
From Dangriga, Hopkins is only a short eight-mile journey further south on the Southern Highway and exits for the village are well-marked. There are multiple bus connections from Dangriga to Hopkins.
From Belize City, take the Western Highway towards Belmopan for 52 miles before heading south on the Hummingbird Highway which then merges with the Southern Highway. After about 10 miles, well-marked exits for Hopkins will appear.
Although Hopkins is located on the coast, there are no commercial water taxi routes currently connecting the village to other ports of call.
Best way to Experience Hopkins Belize
Often billed as a village where “time moves like a turtle”, the unhurried and easygoing pace of traditional life in Hopkins is best experienced by adopting an open-minded, relaxed attitude. Stretching approximately five miles around the perimeter of a small inlet, this fishing and farming village is a great place to experience Garifuna culture, including their unique group drumming, home-brewed Punta music, and working alongside with traditional craftsmen.
Don’t miss Garifuna Settlement Day every November 19 when the town and surrounding area play home to a large festival complete with music, food, dancing, artistic exhibitions, and a dramatic re-enactment of the first landing of Garifuna on the shores of Belize in large canoes.