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Hopkin Bay Resort 2018
It was a short four night, three day trip to another Belizean resort - this one being Hopkins Bay. To begin with, it's simply not an easy, nor inexpensive place to get to. We commonly fly to Belize City and then either take a short boat ride to a resort - or hop on the Tropic Air shuttle plane to San Pedro where lots of options exist.
To get to Hopkins there's a flight from Belize City to Dangriga followed by what we feel is an almost egrigiously priced cab ride to the resort itself. To begin with the flight to Dangriga currently runs $170 per person. Added to that is the resort's taxi service at a cost of $75 per person round trip from the airport. That's per person. A family of four would have to pay $300 just for the cab ride.
In retrospect, a better option is to simply rent a car at the airport in Belize City and motor down the coastal highways to Hopkins (apparently it's a two hour or so drive). But for a newbie visitor to this place, there's no way of knowing how to go about this, nor whether the roads are even drivable.
OK. Enough of the negative stuff. The resort itself is very nice. See photo above. All the accommodations are in three unit villas - one on the upper level and two on ground level. We had an upper one which provides better views of the sea and more privacy as well. Layouts in the apartments were fine as were the furnishings. The wi-fi service was by far the best we've found at any other resort in the world.
For what it's worth this is a "condotel" type of operation where all he individual units are separately owned, and the resort itself has a common management company.
Here's a very brief video with a few clips of the resort itself:
Amenities were pretty much standard for setups like this in Belize. There were two pools, kayaks, SUPs, bicycles, a volleyball court, and a very nice sandy ocean beach. Especially appreciated was the Rhum Shack restaurant. Its output was what we'd describe as great comfort food, well prepared and presented, and reasonably priced. Compared to any of the local eateries in Hopkins village, this restaurant was a ten plus.
Staff at the resort were outstanding - universally friendly and accommodating. While there were a couple of glitches with plumbing fixtures, overall there's really nothing to complain about. Had it not been for some limitations with the fishing, we'd certainly consider another trip here again.
If anyone reading this report has read about any of our other trips, you'll understand that we are strictly DIY fisher people. Having had a couple of negative guided experiences in the past, we've found that we can be reasonably successful fishing on our own wherever we go. So here's our story about Hopkins. We thought we might have some chances at bones in the ocean along the lengthy shore here. Added to that was the opportunity to use kayaks to explore the lagoon behind the resort which purportedly contains snook, tarpn, jacks, and several other species.
The ocean side fishing was a complete bust. There's no underwater vegetation of any sort and thus no likelihood of game fish in the area. The lagoon itself was large enough to spend weeks exploring, but given that we were two people in a small, low riding kayak, casting toward the mangroves was pretty much out of the question. We did catch a couple of decent jacks and Sue played a very large barracuda while trolling, but that was about it for the lagoon.
Where we found the best fishing was at the mouth of the lagoon where it entered the ocean. While we didn't encounter any larger fish moving to or from the sea, we did catch loads of smaller yellowtail snappers and a variety of decent sized jacks. So the fly fishing was not a disaster.........but for us something not worth repeating.
This short video will pretty much detail what we found here:
If a reader is interested in trying the fishing (as we did) at Hopkins, here are some simple suggestions. A five or six weight rod is ample to fish the mouth of the lagoon where it enters the ocean. Sink tip line would be preferred to get the fly nearer the bottom. Very small clousers or deceivers in green over white coloration worked best. Early morning was better than later in the day, and a neutral tide situation was better than either an ebb or a flow.
To fish in the lagoon at least an eight weight rod would be advisable. There reportedly are some very large specimens in that water.
And that's about it for us from this trip to Belize.
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