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Cockscomb Basin Hike – Hopkins, Belize

Cockscomb Basin Hike – Hopkins, Belize

While in Hopkins we heard or some hiking close to the village we wanted to checkout. Most of the tours were pretty pricy, especially for just two of us, and all they are is pretty much a ride to the park. So we decided to get a car a drive ourselves. Plus we like the freedoms of doing a few things in the area.

cc basin sign

First off, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is a must, the entrance is only about 3 miles from the highway outside Hopkins, but before you get the park check in you have about 10 miles of roads that a determined to break your vehicle’s suspension.

cc basin hike us

We were excited when we hopped out of our rental, the village is very chill, and probably even more so in low season when we were there so we needed a little excitement, so of course we signed ourselves up for a 2 km “Strenuous” hike, the tiger fern trail.

Tiger Fern Trail

cc basin trail signcc basin hike hannah

We are a little ways into the hike and we come across a park bench labeled #1. We joked about it, who would need a bench to rest at already, it’s been pretty easy so far.

cc basin hike hannah 2

We passed 3 or 4 more benches, all well before we need a rest. About 20-25 minutes into the hike we made what would be one of the highest points of the trek. With the height came some great views of the valleys around us.

At the top reads the sign “Strenuous Decent Ahead” and it couldn’t have been more right.

After we took all the pictures we wanted, I go to view some of the shots I just snapped. And nothing… The camera we just bought for our trip, one week in… dead. Seriously?

It was a sign, we should have turned around right then.

That sign up there was not kidding, it was a tough decent on some very slippery rocks, with steep drops down to the river we were following.

And then it happens… Right between Hannah and I, a bright red object comes between us on the path, Hannah about 10 feet ahead of me. A red, yellow, and black snake! And I know there are two kinds of snakes that have this coloring, and there is some stupid saying to remember which one is the bad one. In the moment when it’s on the path glaring at me, I try to remember but it only plays in my head as “something, something, yellow, black, your dead jack, something, something….” Needless to say, we just left it do its snake thing, and after what felt like a 5-minute standoff, he was gone a so were we.

coral snake

Photo from Wiki commons –

Now we are on hyper snake patrol, and a very difficult part of the hike.

The reward at the end of the hike: Here is where I would love to share some pictures of the waterfalls at the end of a tough hike….. but our brand new camera let us down! I guess you will have to go see them yourself.

A beautiful set of waterfalls and one hell of a workout. Total trek time was about 1:30, if we had picture’s it would look like we went swimming in the waterfalls, but we didn’t it was just that hard of a hike.

If you want to challenge some challenging hikes, I would recommend renting a car. It’s cheaper and a very interesting ride. We rented from a local shop located one block behind (away from the sea) from Ina’s restaurant on the south part of the village.


Monday 8th of September 2014

Cockscomb is one of the top nature reserves in Belize.


Monday 29th of September 2014

It's at the top for a reason, its AWESOME!


Tuesday 8th of April 2014

I lived in the Maya Center for a couple of months.Its the village at the entrance of the Cockscomb. I went in a couple of times , and the road is harsh especially during rainy season. Over all I enjoyed the tubing after a long hike.


Wednesday 9th of April 2014

That had to be a fun experience living there. I can imagine it would be bad during rainy season.

Ted Mckoy Hopkins Belize Guide

Thursday 28th of November 2013

Like this article about Hopkins Belize - Nice


Wednesday 9th of April 2014

Thanks! We miss Belize, think 2015 is calling us back...