Hopkins is located in the central part of Stann Creek District. Primarily inhabited by the Garifuna people, Hopkins is divided into two sections. To the north, the area of town is called Baila while to the south, the area of town is known as False Sittee. In between the two sections lies one of the most beautiful bays found anywhere in the country.
Only approximately 1,000 people live in Garifuna, most of whom still continue their traditional livelihoods of farming and fishing. But thanks to the lovely natural setting and the genuine hospitality of the locals, Hopkins is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination. Along with a small selection of bars, restaurants, and gift shops, visitors can also partake in Garifuna cultural experiences that include learning how to make traditional foods as well as dancing and music.
The Garifuna are an Afro-Caribbean people that first originated on Caribbean islands under the domain of the British when enslaved Africans intermarried with indigenous islanders. After an uprising against the British, the Garifuna were forced to flee westward, eventually landing on the shores of Belize more than 200 years ago. In Belize, every November 19 is Garifuna Settlement Day, a national holiday that celebrates the rich cultural legacy of the Garifuna people.
Hopkins is also the gateway to the southern portion of the Belize Barrier Reef. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Belize Barrier Reef is the second-largest of its kind. Containing more than 100 islands and atolls, the reef is home to world-class scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and fishing.
The area surrounding Hopkins village is a natural wonderland. A combination of marshes, wetlands, and coastal areas are a haven for birds, including the endangered Jabiru Stork. Other nearby attractions include canoeing on the Sittee River, touring the Marie Sharp factory (home to award-winning hot sauces), or touring wildlife reserves such as the Mayflower National Park and the Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve.
One of the most popular attractions inside Hopkins itself is sampling traditional Garifuna foods. A number of restaurants in the village serve cassava bread, mashed plantains, and hudut (a soup made from fish, coconut milk, and spices). For more traditional fare, the village also has restaurants serving up pizza, coconut encrusted fish, vegetarian food, and Indian food.
Cahal Pech Village Resort offers guided excursions to Hopkins and the surrounding region.