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#92720 - 14 September 04 5:18 pm - America/Chicago More Rambles ... Hopkins
LanSluder Offline


Registered: 04 May 04
Posts: 8123
Loc: USA/Belize
It always makes me feel good to be back in Hopkins. Folks are so friendly, and there’s always something quirky or funny or engaging in the village to make you smile. The two big (well, big by Belize standards) resorts here, Jaguar Reef and Hamanasi, are both looking great. Hamanasi’s grounds are now nicely filled out with tropical plantings, and I like the way the new entrance is set up.

I’ve stayed at Jaguar Reef several times, but this trip we spent the night at Cocoplum Caye, (tel. 501-520-7040 or in the U.S. and Canada 800-289-5756, fax 501-520-7091; a 16-acre island which Bruce Foerster, head honcho at Jaguar Reef, leases from a prominent Belizean businessman. Cocoplum is about 35 or 40 minutes by boat from Jaguar Reef. Rates are US$346 per night, double, off-season and US$397 in-season on an all-inclusive basis (all meals, tours, boat transfers, taxes, tips and beer, liquor and soft drinks included). Dive packages are only a little more. There’s usually a three-day minimum.

We enjoyed our brief stay on Cocoplum. Meals are served in a thatch cabana at water’s edge -- delicious broiled lobster was the entree the night we were there. Snorkeling around the island is better than from the mainland shore, but for the best snorkeling and diving you still need to take a boat to the reef. The pastel-colored wood cottages, built before Jaguar Reef took over management of the island, are comfortable, and they have air-conditioning and nice views of the water from the verandahs. When the wind dies down, sand flies can be a nuisance. The A/C went off in the cottage where my kids were staying and, not thinking clearly, I suggested they open the windows. Bad idea. They woke up covered in bites, as the pesky critters are small enough to get in through screens, even though the cottages are up on pilings. My wife and I slept like babies though, with the A/C blowing out some of the coldest air in southern Belize.

Next door to Jaguar Reef is Belizean Dreams Villas. These are three-bedroom, three-bath condos, which sold out at US$300,000 to $440,000, according to Ron Forrester at Belize Development Company, formerly known as British American Cattle Company, which is selling lots in Sittee Point and elsewhere. You can rent units in these condos for US$150 to $340 a night; for information, call 800-456-7150. It’s hard for me to imagine what Hopkins residents think about all this. The village didn’t even get telephone service until the mid-1990s.

Speaking of lots, Ron Forrester must be a good salesman. Most of the beachfront lots marketed by his Belize Development Company have been sold. The few remaining beach lots in section 4 start at around US$85,000 for 75 feet of beachfront, with a few in section 2 for around US$55,000. That works out to a little over US$1,100 a front foot. Sittee river front lots start at around US$25,000. Lots with beach and canal frontage are around US$100,000. Some houses have been built, but it’s not yet what you’d call a heavily developed area!

--Lan Sluder

#92721 - 14 September 04 5:38 pm - America/Chicago Re: More Rambles ... Hopkins
Don Offline

Registered: 18 July 04
Posts: 30
Loc: Brownwood, Texas
The rich get richer,etc. etc. etc.
Don Glenn

#92722 - 14 September 04 6:21 pm - America/Chicago Re: More Rambles ... Hopkins
lea Offline

Registered: 08 August 00
Posts: 652
Loc: usa
What's happening with Pleasure Cove and Beaches and Dreams ? They are right in that area too.

#92723 - 15 September 04 2:39 am - America/Chicago Re: More Rambles ... Hopkins
belizelaw Offline


Registered: 05 April 04
Posts: 382
Loc: North Carolina
Nice, thanks Lan. After reading your reports, and doing some of my own limited traveling in Belize, it makes me wonder where, in the long run, will be the biggest gringo settlements. A.C. and Placencia are apparently near the top of the list right now, but these other places (Hopkins area, Consejo area) which are lowly populated could quite easily become gringo-majority enclaves if the developments are bought out by expats.

#92724 - 15 September 04 8:03 am - America/Chicago Re: More Rambles ... Hopkins
TexasRon Offline


Registered: 25 October 01
Posts: 626
Loc: Texas
Lan, thank you for all the kind words. I am not really a great salesman, but any success is due to the fact that I do work harder than most people and I am lucky to have good people at Sittee Point to work with. Hopkins is still the friendlest village in the entire country.

Lea, Sharon is sill owns and operates Beaches and Dreams. She does have it on the market for around $350K. Considering current sales comps and replacement costs, that is certainly a fair price.
It is my understanding thatThe Pleasure Cove has been leased out with an option to purchase. It is currently closed until the new owner takes over the management.

#92725 - 15 September 04 9:57 am - America/Chicago Re: More Rambles ... Hopkins
Don Offline

Registered: 18 July 04
Posts: 30
Loc: Brownwood, Texas
Ron---I am, indeed a devoute capitalist. I do disapprove of excess profits, and it makes me sad to think that the tax base may be raised so that the locals cannot afford to pay the taxes on their own property that they have lived on for years. We North Americans are sometimes good at destroying the very thing that was attractive in the first place. And don't misunderstand, I am a 100% America lover.
Don Glenn

#92726 - 15 September 04 10:11 am - America/Chicago Re: More Rambles ... Hopkins
SartenejaSJA Offline

Registered: 25 June 04
Posts: 121
Loc: gone
Don -
I firmly agree with your comments here. Not dissimilar to mine at;f=4;t=001246

#92727 - 15 September 04 10:31 am - America/Chicago Re: More Rambles ... Hopkins
LanSluder Offline


Registered: 04 May 04
Posts: 8123
Loc: USA/Belize

With a few exceptions (large undeveloped tracts held for speculation, for example) property taxes are still very, very low in Belize and likely will remain so, as politically it would be suicide for either party to raise property taxes on Belizeans.

With the Belize government strapped for cash they may go up some, but the situation in Belize is quite different from the U.S. as regards property taxes.

Most Belizeans, probably 90-some percent, pay no income taxes and the average property tax paid by Belizeans is probably under US$50 a year. I'm just guessing on that, but it couldn't be much.

Ordinary Belizeans do suffer from the regressive national sales tax, however. I would be more concerned about that than about property taxes. And those who are lucky enough to make enough money to pay income taxes are subject to a ton of red tape and scrutiny.

But at least at the present time in my opinion the foreign concept of real property tax base, constantly rising with property values, isn't really applicable in Belize.

--Lan Sluder

#92728 - 15 September 04 2:09 pm - America/Chicago Re: More Rambles ... Hopkins
belizeriver Offline

Registered: 01 September 04
Posts: 159
Loc: ladyville
don, excess profits, if they do not leave the economy of belize , do not matter. It is when they do leave that that you could say americans are good at destroying what they love.

#92729 - 15 September 04 2:59 pm - America/Chicago Re: More Rambles ... Hopkins
CND Offline


Registered: 16 September 02
Posts: 932
Loc: California - Sittee
Back on topic...

Just A couple of things to add, we were just down last week still no activity at Pleasure Cove. We met someone who called himself “the buyer” of Beaches & Dreams & Sharon was back in Canada not sure if this is rock solid but that is what we were told.

Three of our favorite places to stay in the area were not mentioned
The Hopkins Inn nice modern cabanas right in the beach fruit juice & baked goods for breakfast. Warm shower (yes that’s right a warm shower) & not just an electric shower head.
Tipple tree beya also right on the beach with a variety of accommodations. We stayed in the Mennonite house in front which gives you the feeling of being part of the village life.
Toucan Sittee (our favorite) it just missing one thing… The beach…
But it makes up for it in charm, the quit of the river, & quit possibly the best food in the area you just have to let them know early if you are planning to have dinner with them. Everything is handmade & slow cooked. The hosts are awesome Neville, Yoli & Yolita, who brings the food right to your room with a big smile, They even packed us a great picnic lunch for our hike up at Mayflower.
2 Bedroom beach house w. extra lot 100 ft of beach

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