Our second stop in our Belize adventure was to the cultural center of Belize: Hopkins! We stayed at the amazing Belizean Dreams (sister property to our first (Laru Beya) and third stop (Coco Plum)). Here we explored a little bit more of what Belize had to offer, both on-land and on-sea as part of the included tours at Belizean Dreams. Located right on the beautiful Caribbean Sea, Belizean Dreams offered absolutely anything and everything I could ever want. Find out more at their website www.belizeandreams.com
Once in Belize, you can get to Hopkins from the International Airport in Belize City via a short 20-minute puddle-jumper flight to Dangriga. The packages don’t include airfare, but they DO include local transportation. So once you land in Dangriga (about 30-40 minutes away), they will pick you up from the airport and bring you to the resort. If you would prefer ground transfer, they can arrange a van to come and pick you up from Belize City for an additional cost. The other option is to take a local bus from Belize City that takes about 3.5 hours (the bus is similar to those used in US public schools). OR if you are staying at a sister resort (we were previously staying at Laru Beya), they can arrange transportation between the two!
Depending on what you want from your stay, there are different packages you can choose from (all including different things/highlighting certain activities and emotions). ALL PACKAGES INCLUDE ALL MEALS. So yes.. this is an all-inclusive resort. However, because they kept their size small enough that it is unlike any all-inclusive I have ever been to (in a great way!). There’s no “catering to the masses” here. Everything is personalized for each and every guest that comes, and I absolutely loved that.
Belizean Dreams offers 5 different package options. Or, if you’re indecisive like us, you can choose one package, but then pick and choose one or two add-ons or activities. We originally went with the Just Chillin’ package, but decided we wanted to go on a few trips and they were amazing with accommodating all of our wants and needs.
Their 5 packages are:
- Just Chillin’ (relaxing package)
- Mayan Jungle & Beach (adventure package)
- Romance and/or Honeymoon Package (romance package)
- Ultimate Diving Package (for the mermaids/mermans)
- Inland & Island Package (ultimate/everything package)
- We absolutely suggest doing this one. In case you didn’t know, they have a sister property on a close-by island that is absolutely GORGEOUS and rated in the TOP 2 MOST ROMANTIC HOTELS IN THE ENTIRE WORLD (see our review of Coco Plum Island here!) We stayed at both, and suggest doing any inland tours from here (Mayan Ruins, Zip-lining, etc) and doing the water tours (snorkeling, diving) from Coco Plum.
The packages are pretty similar, but a few things to point out. All packages include unlimited local alcoholic beverages except the Ultimate Diving Package (no drinking and diving!). All packages include all scheduled adventure tours (see Things to Do section) except the Just Chillin’ package. To see a more depth comparison, check out their comparison chart here.
Belizean Dreams is quite large. Each villa is in its own designated area with plenty of space (and beautiful landscape), but it is easy to get around once you orient yourself with the center where there is a fountain. This fountain is the meeting point each morning for any tours that day, and is only a short distance away from the restaurant and the pool!
Belizean Dreams is set up in an array of beautiful multi-floor villas. Depending on the size of your party and your wants you can either rent out the entire villa, or just a floor. Since it was just Tom and I we decided just a floor was enough.
The food was absolutely delicious. There was no buffet, but the wait was never long for your order. The breakfast, lunch, and bar snacks menu stay the same throughout the week, but the dinner menu changes slightly each day depending on the chef! You could order food sit down at the restaurant, by the pool, by the bar, from your room, and even from the beach!
Things to Do
The possibilities are endless for the activities offered. All packages include the use of the non-motorized watersports equipment they have including kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. Scheduled adventure tours are also included for all packages (except Just Chillin’) on weekdays only and can include:
- Snorkeling (in some beautiful waters I might add)
- Mayan Ruin Xunantunich
- Mayflower Waterfall Hiking Tour
- Cave Tubing and Canopy Zip-Lining Tour
We did the Cave Tubing and Zip-lining along with snorkeling and loved them both! The beach itself stretches in both direction for quite some time, so you can always go for a walk along the beach as well. There are also some paid (or sometimes included depending on your package) tours. Popular ones include fly and/or reef fishing, ATM Cave Tour, Inland Blue Hole and Belizean Zoo, Romantic River Cruise, and Scuba Diving!
We also had the chance to see some Garifuna drumming. Hopkins is considered the Cultural Capital of Belize and it’s filled with the energy and vibrant traditions of the Garifuna community, who originally settled in the southern Belize in the early 19th century from Africa. You can see drummings at a different location each night.
The town of Hopkins runs along one main road. You can take a golf cart out and explore for a few hours. (there’s a giant gift shop and a really good ice cream place just down the road). If you head the other way (away from town), you’ll end up by the beautiful marina. You’ll also end up here if you do any tours that require a boat (like snorkeling and/or diving!) Along the way you’ll see the vibrantly painted houses that I absolutely loved.
I definitely did not want to leave when we did, there was still so much to do and see! Over the course of almost a week, I felt extremely close to all the staff. So much so I almost cried saying goodbye to Nikki (if any of you go and see her there be sure to tell her Patricia says hi.. she’s the best bartender I’ve ever met. Ever. Absolutely loved her).
I was amazed with how organized and personal they were. The manager would walk around a few times a day and talk to EVERY SINGLE GUEST and not only make sure everything was perfect with them, but also was there to remind them about the next day’s activities. There was absolutely nothing you had to remember because they took care of everything, including your schedule (that was SO nice). I also loved that the resort is Belizean owned! Be sure to follow them on Instagram as they occasionally will post specials and deals (along with create some serious wanderlust).