Life in Hopkins, Belize
Get the inside story of life here in Hopkins Village, Belize.
Hopkins is the finest vacation destination in the world. That’s the reason I used to give when friends asked me 7 months ago why I was uprooting my wife and two children from our home in Manhattan to take over Beaches and Dreams here in Hopkins, Belize. I felt like I had good reason to say it too. My wife and I had been looking nearly two years for the perfect spot to bring our family and Hopkins seemed to have it all.
I still believe Hopkins is a fantastic vacation destination, but not for the same reasons. Then I would have listed four things—beach, adventure, culture, and food. The beach was table stakes. There’s something about a beach vacation that just makes it a little extra special, and Hopkins has the largest white sand beach on the mainland of Belize. This is as true now as it was then.
As to adventure, from our beach our guests can travel to the Maya ruins; dive or snorkel the Belize Barrier Reef; troll, fly or reel fish the reef, the flats, or the Sittee River; and explore Belize’s jungles and caves via kayak, tube, zipline, horse, or ATV. Many beaches try to generate fun with slides or parasailing—in Hopkins it’s hard to pack it all in.
Many Caribbean destinations encourage their guests to stay on the resort—we provide free bikes to explore our village! In tiny Hopkins, we’ve got Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo, and Creole cultures all openly celebrating what makes their culture great. And the food! Our restaurants incorporate each of these cultures, along with some of the best comfort food and fine dining I’ve seen anywhere outside of the States.
These are the reasons we came to Hopkins, but they are not the reason we will stay. What Hopkins has that I never understood until starting a business here is community. Whether it’s celebrating Friday nights at Windchief’s or Easter at Ella’s Cool Spot, pulling together to pick up the garbage or raising money for the school, it’s the moments when I’ve found myself sitting next to a neighbor talking about how we can collectively make Hopkins great, that I’ve found what’s truly special about this village.
As a visitor, you may not have the opportunity to attend a council meeting or join the road committee. You may have to stick with exploring our beach, our adventures, our cultures, and our food. But even if you don’t live in the community—you’ll still feel it. And it’s that feeling of being in a place where neighbors still care about each other that, although it won’t show up in your pictures, will cause that little wince of pain as your plane lifts off and you look back at what has already begun to feel like home.