It has been several weeks since we left Belizean Dreams. We have had a hard time (with the holidays and three kids) finding the time to write this review, but the entire staff at Belizean Dreams has been on our minds since we arrived home.
This trip was a combination birthday/15 year anniversary/honeymoon we never took trip, and we had been looking forward to Belize since May. To say the trip exceeded our expectations is an understatement. I have never had so much fun--and have never met better people. We found Belizean Dreams through the Groupon deal and went back and forth over the all inclusive option. We decided that rather than going all inclusive we would rent a car and have the freedom to roam. We are so glad we did. In hind site had we gone all inclusive we would have been just as happy with the trip, as the food and excursions were awesome.
We arrived in Belize City and drove three hours to Hopkins. The drive through the Maya Mountains was amazing. We stopped for lunch along the way (I think it was called Amigos) and had the best tacos we've ever eaten. Once we arrived in Hopkins the sun had set and we were a bit intimidated by the very bumpy Hopkins Rd, which seemed to go on and on. Once we made it to the village we were so excited to finally find Belizean Dreams. We were shown our beautiful room (I think it was 3A) and then taken to the bar, where we met Jose, the most fun person I have ever met. Jose made us feel like friends, not tourists.
We thought we wanted our trip to be mainly relaxing; however after Jose took us into Ziplining at Bocawina we wanted more adventure. The other things we did and would recommend: Xunatunich with Bernard, the snorkeling trip to Coco Plum, and the ATM Cave Tour. They were all amazing, but the ATM Cave Tour was the most physically demanding and rewarding. Felipe talked us into doing this tour, and we were so glad we did!
As for the resort...it is beautiful. It is small and relaxed, but everything was perfect. The restaurant was great. Chef Luis is very creative and every meal we had there was delicious. Arnol, Huestes, Charles and the rest of the staff could not have been more friendly and they bent over backwards to ensure we were happy. The beach is relaxing-we took two days to just hang out at the beach and at the bar. Mr. Charles was our bartender during the day, and Jose began his shift in the afternoon. His "Jose Coco" is delicious, and the atmosphere is just fun.
The very best part of the trip was the people we met, and we feel particularly blessed to have been able to spend a lot of time with the following people: Jose, Huestes, Stephen, Felipe, Luis, Edsel, Arnol, Mr. Charles, and many others. Jose took us to Bocawina and then to lunch at a nice spot in Silk Grass (wish I could remember the name); Huestes caught a ride with us to San Pedro and lucky for us he was there to help when we had a tire blow out on the Hummingbird Highway (along with a complete stranger who also helped us), He also took us on a short "tour" of Dangriga :) Luis took us on a speedy tour of the Blue Hole (off Hummingbird Hwy) and Belize City, and made sure we found the Belize National Team jersey we wanted for our son. The conversations we had with everyone there, especially Stephen and Edsel, were special.
We also really enjoyed Hopkins Village. We ate breakfast at Iris' Sunnyside Up and Thongs and had pizza at Driftwood. One morning we went to Caitlin's Bakery in Hopkins--very good muffins. Also, make sure to visit Alex, who is a local artist. He has his jewelry and other items set up across from Sunnyside Up. We had dinner at Barracuda Bar and Grill and Chef Robs--both were delicious.
I would not change a thing about this trip, other than stay 2 weeks instead of 1. I hope to stay at Belizean Dreams again in the near future, and will always remember the people we met.