Don’t have or want a PayPal account? No problem…read on to learn how to complete the deposit for your stay!
After you make your reservation, you will be re-directed to the PayPal site.
Once You Get Redirected To PayPal:
Simply click on “Pay with a credit or debit card” or “Create an Account” — the screen you will see depends on your device–mobile or computer.
Enter your Credit Card info. Address, email & phone number may also be requested depending on your country.
You have the option to save your payment info and create a PayPal account, if you want, but you do not have to.
When you are done, click “CONTINUE”. –Again, this might look different, depending on your device.
You will return to the Funky Dodo site to complete your purchase. If everything is as you want it, just click “PAY NOW” and the payment will be processed. You will receive an emailed download link and receipt for your records.
Driving in Belize: Belize has long appealed to visitors who prefer exploring “off the beaten path”, who don’t want to rely on shuttle services or private transfers to get around. But driving in a new country can be intimidating.
Most people’s first question is: ‘how safe is it to drive in Belize?’ While driving here is mostly safe, there are some differences between highways in other places and in Belize that are worth knowing about before your trip. Read on!
What is the road quality like in Belize?
One safety concern in Belize is the condition of the roads. They are paved in some areas, but not all, especially in small villages and the access roads to them, so travel by road can make for a bumpy ride. The road is entirely paved between Belize City and Hopkins – plus, you’ll get to enjoy the Hummingbird Highway, Belize’s most famous (and scenic) road.
Note that the “Coastal Road” will show on most map apps, but it is not complete at this time, and not recommended unless you have a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle. It is mostly unpaved, and well nigh impassable after a rain. There is very little cell coverage, so if you do get stuck or brake down, be prepared for a long wait. Most rental companies expressly forbid driving on the coastal, and insurance will not cover any damage incurred.
Driving at night isn’t recommended in Belize. Potholes are difficult to see after dark, which won’t do your rental any favors. Also, Belize uses speed bumps, often unmarked, for speed control, and hitting one of those at speed is very dangerous. Many vehicles do not have working lights, so are invisible at night. Best stick to daytime driving when you can see exactly what you need to avoid!
Be aware that some drivers in Belize will pass you on blind turns and hills, at high speed. It is also a “rule” that if you are making a left hand turn and there is traffic behind you, you pull off to the right, let the traffic pass, and THEN make your turn. If you do not, vehicles may try to pass you on your left, honking their horn the entire time. Slow moving vehicles, such as agricultural tractors, large trucks, and small motorcycles, are everywhere.
Pedestrians in Belize
Jaywalking isn’t a crime in Belize, so you need to consider pedestrians on the road – people can appear out of nowhere. Accidents can easily happen.
Night-time is also more dangerous when it comes to pedestrians, as roads are often badly lit, making people virtually invisible. If you do need to drive at night, take your time and be aware of your surroundings to maximize safety.
Car rental in Belize
If you decide to rent a vehicle in Belize, you’ll need either a driver’s license or International Driver’s Permit and you must be at least 18 years old. Most cars are not “new”, and it is highly recommended that you make a close inspection of the vehicle and note any damage in the presence of the rental agent, else you might be asked to pay for damages when you drop the vehicle off. Take pictures to document.
One-way rentals are basically non-existent in Belize, you will have to drop off where you picked up.
Make sure you purchase a suitable insurance package, and check exactly what is covered, as you may be expected to pay upfront for damage caused by hitting a pothole, for example, or being struck by flying debris.
Check whether your rental company will send out a mechanic or replacement vehicle if you happen to break down. Most companies will, but some do not, and you don’t want to be stranded somewhere with no easy access to help.
Driving in Belize can be an exciting, worthwhile – and safe – experience, allowing you the freedom to explore as you like, when you like.
And the Funky Dodo makes the perfect home base from which to explore all of Belize! BOOK NOW!
Delicious Local Foods You Cannot Miss in Hopkins: Here are some traditional foods you can find in many local restaurants in Hopkins. I’ve listed them in no particular order, and this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Different places will have different dishes at different times, so just ask your server what’s on special today. Or, take a walk through the village to find street-side vendors!
Rice and beans. No Belize visit is complete without sampling Belize’s culinary staple.
BBQ. Every weekend you can find street-side pop-up barbeque with chicken, Italian sausage, or pork. Usually served with rice and beans and tortillas. Families often do these to raise funds for medical expenses.
Boil Up. Seasonal ingredients are tossed into boiling stock that can include veggies, eggs, bread dumplings, and fish, or chicken, or pork.
Bundigais a fish soup made with fresh seasonal fish, coconut milk, green bananas and okra. This dish can be served alone or with cassava bread or coconut white rice.
Panades are filled with fish, red, or black beans–or whatever the cook has to hand (known outside Belize as empanadas)
Hudut is a traditional Garifuna dish made with mashed plantains and fish in a coconut stew.
Ereba (Cassava bread) is made from grated cassava root and yucca. The bread is flat, hard and thin as a cracker. Cassava bread is very popular and accompanies many Garifuna dishes.
Darasa are banana tamales and are a traditional Garifuna snack. The tamales are made by grating slightly green banana with a mixture of coconut milk, lime juice, orange juice, and seasonings.
Salbutes are little fried tortillas topped with shredded onion, cabbage, chicken, tomato, cheese, and avocado.
Fry Jacks are fluffy bread pockets (think beignets) — a staple breakfast food across Belize. Often stuffed with cheese, beans, and/or meat to make a savory snack sold on street corners or served without filling as a side in restaurants.
Johnny Cakes are traditional Caribbean flatbread rolls, made with flour. Often made into sandwiches with ham, cheese, and/or egg (and waaaaay better than that breakfast sandwich you’re thinking about now).
Have a vehicle, and looking for something offbeat to see? The remains of the Serpon Sugar Mill are certainly worth a visit. The park is located in Sittee River village, just a few miles south of Hopkins. You can also bicycle there.
The Serpon Sugar Mill is Belize’s first designated historic site. Built in 1865 by Americans fleeing the Civil War, it revolutionized the country because it was the first steam-powered device of its kind in Belize. For more than 30 years the mill produced thousands of pounds of sugar a month, far outpacing traditional methods of extracting sugar from sugarcane manually.
The mill is no longer functional, but its enormous cast iron remains are still on display, including the crusher, boiler, and other components.
Why You Should Visit
For most of its history, Belize was an agricultural nation, and all the harvesting, processing, and manufacturing of sugarcane into sugar was done entirely by hand. The Serpon Sugar Mill marks a key milestone in Belize’s history as an industrial nation. Although the mill has not functioned for more than a century, its resistance to the elements stands as a monument to the industrial might of the steam age.
Best way to experience it
Entry to the preserve is BZ$10. There is a small information center at the entrance of the park where you can hire a guide. It is possible to explore this attraction without a guide. The main appeal of the park is seeing the incongruous remains of an enormous industrial apparatus sitting quietly in the middle of the jungle. Despite its extreme age, the sugar mill has resisted disintegration remarkably well.
If you want to explore these areas on your own, without a tour, using public transit, this can be done — well, sort of. Read on!
Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve: To get to the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve on your own: Take a bus — I recommend getting up early and catching the 7am bus — or — hitchhike to the highway junction. From there, take the first southbound bus 2 villages south to the village of Maya Center (itself worth a visit). In Maya Center, go to the women’s co-op to get your tickets for the park. Find a cab there, and negotiate a ride to the park (about BZ$40 each way) –it’s 5 miles/8km from the highway. You could hike in, but it is a long walk — the first two miles or so are through plantations, but then you get into the jungle, so you’d be under cover and in some shade. Alternately, you could try to hitchhike to the park. This will work in the busy season (October-June), less so in the off season. Do the same thing in reverse to get back to the Funky Dodo–negotiate a time for the cab to bring you back to Maya Center, bus north to Hopkins junction, hitchhike back into the village. There are no services in the park, so make sure you bring water, snacks, and plenty of bug spray.
Mayflower Bocawina National Park: I hate to say this, but there is no good way to get to Mayflower on your own. While a bus can get you to the road that leads to the park, there is no village, and thus no taxis there, so you would have to hitchhike or walk in. Hitchhiking is very iffy, as tour buses will not pick you up. Walking is really not recommended, as it is a very long, 6 mile/10km walk, all through plantations, so there will be no shade. Your best bet is to rent a vehicle or motorcycle, hire a driver or join a tour.
*If you are thinking you could bicycle to either park, think again: The only bikes available in Hopkins are single-speed, coaster brake beach cruisers. No mountain or terrain bikes are available to rent in the village.
Make sure you plan some time to visit at least one of these parks, and the Funky Dodo staff is ready to show our guests How to get to the national parks from the Funky Dodo, by whatever mode they choose. See you soon! Book your stay now!
A small village in Central America, Hopkins Belize is home to a fascinating mystery. It is said that Hopkins was founded when a woman named Sirrian and her two young daughters arrived from Uganda, Africa. Sirrian’s Uganda roots were the basis of Hopkins’ original name: Yugadan. It is anyone’s guess what happened to Sirrian or her daughters because they disappeared from the record. While Sirrian and her daughters may be part of Hopkins’ origin myth, what is irrefutable is the arrival of Garifuna people in the Hopkins area around 1937 when Black Caribs, the Garinagu, escaped persecution they were suffering at the hands of the people of Honduras. They settled here and founded the vibrant fishing village of Hopkins.
Over time, few things have changed with the Garifuna people living in the Hopkins area because they treasure their past, their customs and folkways.
In 1942, a name change was proposed. Area leaders chose the name Hopkins to pay tribute to Bishop Frederick Hopkins who drowned nearby.
Now a popular hub for both Garifuna residents and tourists coming to stay in the area, no visitor to Belize should miss spending some time among “the friendliest people” in the nation. And of course, the best place to stay is right in the middle of the village, at the Funky Dodo! BOOK NOW!
Ultimate Destination Guide to Hopkins – Top 3 Things to Do, See, and Eat. There is lots to see and do in and around Hopkins, and you can find more detailed information here. But here is a short list of my top 3 things you “must” do:
Find a restaurant serving Hudut. Hudut is a delicious stew that contains plantains, fish, and coconut, and a local specialty that is not to be missed.
Hike the Tiger Fern trail in the Cockscomb preserve. Tiger Fern Trail is a 5.5 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is accessible year-round.
Take a snorkel or dive trip to the Barrier reef. In 1996, the protected Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was designated a World Heritage site. Charles Darwin described it as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies” in 1842.
— Everybody raves about the sunrises to be seen in Hopkins — and, since the Caribbean is on the east side of the village, it’s pretty obvious why, even if you have to get up really early:
However, what I find even more spectacular are — the sunSET you can see in Hopkins Village!
If you head out on the main road toward the highway, get just outside of town, you can see spectacular sunsets over the wetlands, as the sun goes down behind the Maya mountains. A view many miss, but you should definitely take the time to catch this. Click here to see sunrise and sunset times in Hopkins, Belize so you can plan your photo moment.
— Best of all, from the Funky Dodo it’s only a short walk or bike ride to the perfect spot to see the sunset and get some amazing pictures. And if you like birds, you will see lots and lots of them as well.
Best local markets in Hopkins — Places to get what you need (shopping, groceries, gifts, souvenirs):
Even if Hopkins is a very small village, we have everything you need to make your stay enjoyable. Listed below are some of our favorite places to shop, but by no means are all the stores and gift shops listed here. Go for a wander, or get on one of our bikes and explore Hopkins! Get a feel for the Garifuna vibe, discover Garifuna, Mayan and Belizean culture.
There are also quite often pop up stands on the side of the road that sell a variety of items, from fruit and veg to barbeque chicken or pork.
Of course we are ready to answer any questions you might have, and help you to find whatever you might need. We hope to see you in Hopkins at the Funky Dodo soon!