This is a much-discussed question on TA. The Belize 'experts' don't seem to agree, so you will hear other viewpoints. I usually advocate not renting a car because the best way to experience the best of Belize is with local tour companies. So when in Hopkins, you will want to visit local sites with a tour company, whether on land or by sea. Therefore your rental car will just sit there most of the time. And rental cars are expensive in Belize. You can fly to Dangriga from Belize City easy, and from there take a cab or bus to Hopkins.
That said, if you still wish to rent, a highly recommended company: www.crystal-belize.com
I agree, hiring a car is expensive and not needed. Getting around within Belize is by small plane, and once in Hopkins itself you can walk everywhere. Trips are better guided especially if it's your first time. Guides make the whole experience live, they are very knowledgable and guests always compliment them.
Rental cars here are ultra-expensive, and not worth it. A budget traveler would spend more on a rental car than lodging. Don't do it.
You can rent cars in Placencia, there is not a car rental in Dangrigia anymore,but, you can in Placencia and i recommend Car Rental of Placencia or JAGS, they are both good.
My wife & I are doing the opposite- arriving in late January- staying 4 nights near Hopkins, then dropping the ar back off in Belize city before A. Cay. We rented a car so that we can see / do tours on our own pace...the rental wasn't cheap- but adding up 3 or more tours for two , we are not spending that much more money...have fun!!
Its a beautiful drive from between Belize City and Hopkins and you can stop at the zoo and for cave tubing and zip line en route. You will be able to use your car for day trips to the Jaguar Preserve and Mayan sites in either Cayo or Toledo and hire guides on site. You should also drive to Placencia, less than 45 mins from Hopkins, to see another great beach area, quaint village and great dining there as well.
you might try budget.com/aarp if you are a member very good rates for a full size 4wd desiel 4door pickup i am renting in feb total was 581.00 usd. also i was told that tours without a car are pretty expensive, like we are driving from belize city to hopkins i looked for a transfer company they wanted $200.00. you have the freedom with a rental to do what you want i went for the rental also my rental was for 9 days
Thrifty has rentals for $430/week. We are renting this time. Last time we rented golf carts, did tours and rented a dirt bike. It was more expensive and a hassle. Renting a car is a good way to go unless you want to do a bunch of guided stuff. We prefer to do our own thing so this is a better option for some.
This really boils down to personal preference if you intend to go on tours since the price of tours for 2 is often about the same as a car rental if you spend 50% or more of your days 'touring' inland rather then sitting on the beach or enjoying water based activities. If you intend to be on the beach or on the water most of the time then a car will be, for the most part, a wasted expense albeit a nice convenience.
If you have more then 2 then financially renting your own car will work out better then paying for tours including transportation even if you decide to hire a guide locally once you arrive at your destination.
Almost anywhere you can take a tour you can drive yourself (4WD is still worthily in some areas) and if you ask around will typically be able to find a local guide in that area.
If you want to be able to go where and when you want and just wander at times down a lane to see what is there then renting a car is the way to go. If you are more comfortable with being on someone else's schedule but letting them deal with the logistics then use the money you would put into renting a car for organized tours instead.
Hopkins now has a car rental place that rents SUV. Hopkins car rental 661-9218. You can also rent golf carts, motorbikes and bicycles in Hopkins.