How to get to the national parks from the Funky Dodo: The top two inland destinations in the Hopkins area are the COCKSCOMB BASIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY & JAGUAR PRESERVE and Mayflower Bocawina National Park.
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!