Last Minute Vacation filter: Hopkins area of Belize
March 17, 2014 10:02 AM   Subscribe

We're trying to plan a last-minute vacation somewhere warm for the week before our daughter's second birthday, cost/availability has led us towards a condo in the Hopkins area of Belize. Snowflake details within!

We're trying to get a family vacation under our belt before we have to start paying for our daughter's airline ticket, and after running through the various VRBO options in Puerto Rico, the Keys, parts of Mexico, etc. we found a condo in the Hopkins area of Belize that fits what we're looking for.

So, questions:

1) Scuba diving is pretty much out for us, but we enjoyed snorkeling quite a bit in Greece before daughter was born. Obviously we'd have to take turns, but we're looking forward to it. Any suggestions for snorkeling boats/tours?

2) Yes, we're going to have to do a rush 2-week passport. We're in Chicago, so we can go down to the passport agency over lunch, but any tips to make the process go more smoothly?

3) Seems like we'll have to rent a car, what are the chances we'll be able to get one with an automatic? I've had pretty crap luck at this while traveling in the past, and am only barely competent with a manual.

4) Any other suggestions for attractions, places to eat, tours to go on (with a toddler) would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Oktober to Travel & Transportation around Hopkins, Belize (4 answers total)
Here is some information about driving from Belize City to Hopkins. Frankly, you lost me at dirt road. And I drive stick perfectly.

You may be an adventurous sort, but I wouldn't do this and certainly not with a toddler. I've heard NOTHING good about driving in Belize. There aren't an awful lot of choices in Hopkins, and from what I'm reading at Trip Advisor, restaurants are pretty expensive.

This place sounds WAY too remote for me to be comfortable taking a kiddo along.

Can you do Puerto Rico instead? You can get to a more tranquil part of the island than San Juan, rent a car and the bonus is, you don't need passports!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:23 PM on March 17, 2014

We just got back from Ambergris Caye Belize and it was very quiet and had a retirement vibe to it, all travel was golf cart. Belize City didn't seem like anywhere I would take a kid, and driving was not much asphalt after the city itself. We talked to folk who liked Placencia but its more of a retirement/quiet area too. For kiddos why not just do east coast US from SC to Fla.
posted by PJMoore at 3:10 PM on March 17, 2014

Or if you want to go somewhere more remote, how about Vieques, PR? San Juan's easy to get to, and Vieques isn't hugely hard to get to from there (we flew, but you might not want to go on a tiny Cessna with a baby, YMMV - there's also a ferry). It's super beautiful, accommodations were reasonable (we paid $125 a night for an apartment with a/c, full kitchen, and pool access), and considering the whole island is just beaches, I'm sure you can snorkel somewhere. No passport needed.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 3:15 PM on March 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ultimately the logistical issues involved in doing Belize on short notice (passports, cars, flights, etc) made it prohibitive. We're going to Vieques instead!
posted by Oktober at 11:38 AM on March 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

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