Operated by the Muy’Ono Resorts group, the Hopkins Bay Resort is ideally situated in the Garifuna village of Hopkins. It’s the perfect setting for an adventure-filled Belize dive vacation, with ancient Mayan cities and jungle rivers also waiting to be explored.
The resort features just 18 beach houses scattered across the sands, all of which are just a stone’s throw from the Caribbean Sea. The extensive Belize Barrier Reef lies a short boat ride away, with the PADI 5-Star team at Belize Underwater offering daily dive trips to suit all experience levels.
Each of the One Bedroom beach houses at Hopkins Bay Resort features a king-size bed and futon, as well as a private balcony offering Caribbean Sea views. They’re ideal for couples, with air-conditioning and flatscreen televisions among the amenities.
The Two Bedroom beach houses feature a master bedroom with a king-size bed and futon, as well as an additional room with a queen-size bed. There are two private bathrooms, as well as a shared living space and kitchen equipped with a coffee maker, dishwasher, microwave, blender, and stove. Air conditioning and flatscreen televisions are also provided, as are views towards the sea from your private balcony.
Encompassing more than 2,500 square feet across two floors, the Three Bedroom beach houses are ideal for families or groups of friends travelling together. There are three private bathrooms with tubs, shared living space and a well-equipped kitchen for preparing meals. Each of the bedrooms boasts a private balcony for soaking up the beachfront views.
The Hopkins Bay Resort nestles in tropical gardens, with two swimming pools where you can relax in between dives. Complimentary Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property while the resort concierge can organize a range of day excursions and activities.
Recreational amenities at this Belize dive resort include a bocce court and giant Jenga, with paddleboards, kayaks, and bicycles free to rent. If you want to indulge, you can book in for a treatment at the Hopkins Bay Resort’s spa. On Saturdays, local Garifuna drummers perform during cultural nights, with live reggae music on Sunday evenings.
Meals are available throughout the day at the Rhum Shack, a breezy beachside restaurant specializing in Caribbean-inspired cuisine. It’s renowned for its fresh seafood, jerk chicken and Pina Coladas, with all of the ingredients harvested from the village and its surrounding farms. The resort is also within walking distance of numerous restaurants in the village of Hopkins or private Garifuna chefs can be booked for those staying in the two and three-bedroom beach houses.
In addition to the Rhum Shack, the Hopkins Bay Resort is also home to the poolside Drum Bar where authentic tacos are served. Happy hours are held here daily, with karaoke nights each Friday.
Daily two-tank dive trips with the team from Belize Underwater can be organized to explore the Belize Barrier Reef, which lies a short boat ride off the coast. It’s the second-longest barrier reef system in the world, with sites that are suited to both novice and experienced divers. The majority are drift dives, with mild currents slowly propelling you along as you explore coral-covered walls and steep ridges teeming with marine life.
If you want to venture further afield, you can opt for a three-tank full-day trip to the Turneffe Islands or head to Jacques Cousteau’s famous Great Blue Hole and the Lighthouse Reef. Keep in mind that the Great Blue Hole is a deep dive and only suitable to those with at least 25 logged dives and Advanced certification (Belize Underwater offers a Deep Dive course for Open Water certified dives eager to visit here). Alternatively, you can head to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Glover’s Reef Atoll for a full day of remote diving.
Belize Underwater is a PADI 5-Star operator and uses a fleet of boats designed for up to 22 divers. Each has a toilet and freshwater shower, as well as two dive ladders on the stern for easy accessibility. Their divemasters and instructors are all highly experienced and have extensive knowledge of the barrier reef’s dive sites and marine life.
Aside from their daily dive trips, this Belize dive operator also offers a range of PADI courses, including Discover SCUBA for those who are new to diving and Open Water certifications. Equipment and all learning materials are included in these courses.
Diving in Belize is best between March and December when water conditions and marine life are at their optimal. If you want to escape the crowds, avoid the peak tourism months of April and June. You can expect water temperatures to remain fairly constant throughout the year, ranging anywhere from 79 to 84°F (26 to 29°C). Most divers are comfortable in a 3mm shorty or full-length wetsuit and there’s a range of rental equipment available at Belize Underwater if you don’t want to bring your own.
Non-divers have plenty to keep them entertained at this Belize dive resort, with everything from lazing in hammocks to zip-lining through the jungle canopy on offer. Snorkelers are welcome to join the dive boats for accessing the Belize Barrier Reef, with two separate snorkel sessions accompanied by experienced guides offered on each trip.
Away from the water, the team at the Hopkins Bay Resort can organize excursions to the world’s only jaguar preserve at Cockscomb Basin and the Mayan Xocolatl cacao farm, as well as horseback riding experiences along the Sittee River. Hike to the ancient Mayan archaeological site of the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave or zip high above the South Stann Creek River and its surrounding rainforest canopy.
If you’re interested in the local Garifuna culture, you can participate in a culinary and drumming workshop. Anglers are also well catered for at the Hopkins Bay Resort during fly fishing trips or reef and deep-sea fishing charters.