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Our trip to Belize was for a wedding in Hopkins, but we went a few days early to go scuba diving on the barrier reef in the Northern Cayes. We also went scuba diving on the southern barrier reef the day before the wedding.
We stayed 3 nights on Caye Caulker and 3 nights in Hopkins. Check out our reviews as most of them have photos.
We are scuba divers and wanted to dive on the barrier reef. Instead of Ambergris Caye, we decided to stay on Caye Caulker. It is described as less touristy and more laid back than Ambergris Caye. We usually try to stay a little off the beaten path when we travel.
The inhabited part of Caye Caulker is relatively small. You could walk around the whole island very easily. Most people walk, ride bikes, or drive golf carts. The main roads are Front Street, Middle Street, and Back Street.
There are lots of vendors selling stuff and day trips, so you can easily find stuff to do. You don't have to necessarily plan ahead. We only had 2 full days though and we knew what we wanted to do...snorkel and dive the reef!
Everyone is very friendly on Caye Caulker and it's a very laid back place. We loved it and wished we could have stayed longer. That just means we have to go back!
Read my review. Overall, we loved our stay here. The hotel is in a great location with a pool and free wi-fi.
Read my Review. We took a full day snorkel trip out to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. We left about 10:30am and got back about 5pm. There are 3 stops, Coral Gardens, Shark-Ray Alley, and the Hol Chan Reserve. For lunch, you can chose a fish or chicken sandwich. Lots of watermelon and pineapple are served after snorkeling. Rum punch and ceviche are served on the sail back.
OVERALL, I had a great time on this trip, although I preferred the diving on the coral the next day. I loved that we were sailing instead of using a lot of gas to get out there and back. It was very relaxing and I recommend the tour.
Read my review. They happened to be going to Hol Chan Reserve also, but we really wanted to scuba dive. I chose them since they were on the PADI website and had good reviews from other divers.
OVERALL, Our dive master Jose was very friendly and helpful and made me feel comfortable. I would definitely dive with them again.
Read my review. Great fresh fish dinners. A little more expensive than other places, like Syd's, but delicious! We ate here twice.
Read my review. The food is ok, the service is friendly and the prices are pretty inexpensive. A great place for dinner if on a budget.
Read my review. Great place for breakfast. Good food, delicious cinnamon rolls and fresh squeezed OJ. The prices are pretty inexpensive also.
Read my review. Although the food wasn't anything special, the coffee is delicious.
The drive along the Hummingbird Highway is beautiful. Lots of lush green areas and the Maya Mountains.
We rented a car from the airport and drove to Hopkins for our friend's wedding. We started off on the Western Highway and stopped at the Belize Zoo and a place called Amigo's for lunch.
We then got on the Hummingbird Highway outside of Belmopan and stopped at the Blue Hole National Park to swim in the Blue Hole.
Driving in Belize was pretty easy. We didn't have any problems. There are random police check points set up and we had to stop at two during our trip. The first one on they way to Hopkins checked my husband's drivers license and asked how long we'd be in the country. The second stop on the way back to the airport waved us by without questioning us.
There are lots of people that walk and bike along the road and lots of buses. It's all 2 lane and paved pretty well. There was a bridge out along the way and we had to drive on a rough dirt road to go around and the road into Hopkins is unpaved and rough. But, we had a four wheel rental from Avis.
Review has photos. We stopped here on our drive from Belize City to Hopkins. We only took an hour to run through and check it out. Our guide book said it was a must see, but I don't think so necessarily. It was cool seeing some native animals and how they have them in natural compounds. However, the natural setting made it hard to see some of the animals.
We stopped off at the Blue Hole national park to swim in the blue hole. It's very pretty. You can only go down to it when a warden is there from 830am to 430pm. We paid an entrance fee of 8BZ ($4 US) each. There is a changing room for you to get into your swimsuit and then we walked down some steps to the blue hole. It is a sinkhole that is about 100 feet deep. The water is nice and cold! Definitely worth stopping by if driving the Hummingbird Highway.
Hopkins is a nice, friendly little town. We stayed at the Almond Beach Resort a little down the road from the town, but we went into town to eat at Innie's a couple of times. We also went to Newton's Bar as a group to karaoke. I wished we could have stayed at one of the smaller places in Hopkins instead.
There is a lot of development going on south of Hopkins down to the Sitee River. These are huge fancy homes. In 10 years, or less, this area is going to look totally different.
Read my review. This place is ridiculously nice for a developing country. It's a resort, so if that's what you like, it's a very nice place. We stayed here, because it was where our friends wedding was held. You can purchase a meal plan with the resort, but we opted not to and enjoying trying different places in the area.
Read my review. This restaurant is run by a friendly family. We had lunch and breakfast here during our stay. The food was delicious, especially the cultural dishes we tried. They were on the dinner menu, but they let us order them for lunch.
Read my review. This place is a little expensive for Belize, but the food is really good! It's a nice place on the beach for a nice and/or romantic dinner.
Read my review. We didn't stay here, we just went diving with them. They are the only diving service in the area, so we didn't have much choice and we really wanted to go diving to check out the southern barrier reef. The southern barrier reef is beautiful and fuller than the northern one. We didn't see as much live, but it was beautiful. We were unfortunate to have an unprofessional dive master guiding us. If you are comfortable with diving, it may not matter to you, but I'm still new and I'm into safety!