|I can’t Belize I’m here!|
Beautiful Belize in Central America is one of the youngest countries in the world. Formerly British Honduras, it gained its independence in 1981 and is making its mark as a gorgeously exotic holiday destination for discerning travellers from around the world. While it’s easy and quite cheap to get here from the US, it is less so from the UK. Flying to Cancun on a charter flight and then busing it is as cost effective as it gets so that is what we did. We then got the overnight ADO bus from Mexico to Belize City, and then another local bus on the James Line to the Hopkins junction. Finally we hailed a taxi to the Belizean Dreams Resort. It was quite a journey, about 30 hours in total!
|Hopkins Junction – even my case flaked out..|
Travelling on the buses in Belize is an adventure in itself, but it is a cheap and efficient way to get around if you’re not in any sort of hurry. The ADO cross border night bus is vigorously air conditioned so you need to wrap up warm for that bit of the trip, but the rest of the time it’s keeping cool that will be on your mind, as the weather here is hot all the year round and typically tropical, with the odd torrential downpour in the rainy season.
|Buses are big in Belize!|
We were welcomed at the Belizean Dreams Resort Tiki beach bar with a substantial cocktail of local rum and fresh mango, called a Mosquito Bite (the only acceptable kind) and we felt right at home straight away. In order to feel fully refreshed, we had to try a Rum Rita as well.
|Happy Hour again!|
Belizean people are very friendly and everyone speaks English as this is a former British colony. The staff at the hotel are easy going and super helpful, and call you by your first name throughout your stay. Folk here speak the mother tongue with a delightful Caribbean lilt that I could listen to all day. When Julian from the Belizean Dreams Resort stretches his vowels at you and says you’d better cover up from the sand flies or ‘you’ll look like a da-art bo-oard before you go home’, it sounds great! Unfortunately I was so badly bitten that I did indeed look like a dart board by the time I left, and it wasn’t great at all.
This charming hotel is of the small boutique variety and is right on the long sandy beach of Hopkins village in the Stann Creek area of Belize. It is the only locally owned and managed hotel in Hopkins, which is a less developed part of this Caribbean coastline than some of the Cayes further South. Cayes are small islands on the surface of a coral reef and the beautiful Belizean coastline is dotted with them. We had a lovely beach front suite with super air con and beautiful Mexican ceramic sinks and tiles in the bathroom.
|Enjoy your Belizean Dreams|
Dinner in the Woven Palms restaurant that night was a local dish called Hudut which is a kind of thick coconut soup with fish and vegetables in it. Unsurprisingly, lots of dishes here feature coconut and are quite delicious.
|Having some Hudut|
This part of Belize is right on the second longest barrier reef in the world, and is a very popular haunt for diving, snorkelling and fishing. Multiple little piers stretch out into the endless warm transparent blue waters teeming with aquatic life.
The hotel itself is at the end of quite a long unpaved road, so you can hire golf carts or bikes to get into the village for more exploring. It has only nine stand alone villas, and all are quite luxurious with some larger suites, and a stay is usually bookable on an all inclusive basis. We took a golf cart one morning for a village tour, and it was great fun whizzing around the little shops and colourful houses taking photos and checking out local life.
|It all happens in Hopkins|
We went back into the village another time by beach bike. These bikes have big fat tires which make them quite stable, but no brakes so you have to pedal backwards if you want to stop. We ate jack fish rice and beans and salsa for our meal which was very tasty, at a tiny local shack called Virge’s, and we were joined by Amber and KK the small daughters of the owner who kept us very amused. Amber chatted away about baby turtles and coconuts, mermaids and princesses – ‘that girl can talk’ said her mother.
|Amber and KK talk turtle|
Everything here is very laid back with a Caribbean style culture and The Belizean Dreams Resort welcomes everyone from singles, to families, friends and honeymooners. The staff can organise everything from a dive package to a wedding for you, and if you want to try an authentic piece of Belizean village life before everyone else discovers Hopkins, check out a stay at this stunning coastal location in the Belizean Dreams Resort There are special deals in the low season which make it a good time to travel, and less people too! I first saw Belize featured in pop video years ago and thought where is that? It looks amazing – I’d love to go there! I haven’t been disappointed.