When Will and I first started coming to Hopkins, there was no ATM machine, nor did anyone take credit cards. Now, we have one ATM in Hopkins Village and many restaurants and shops that take credit cards. However, some do charge a processing fee, typically around five percent.
The Hopkins ATM is with the Belize Bank. The maximum it allows you to take out is two transactions of $500BZ. You may (or may not) know that the Hopkins ATM is not accepting cards with chips, like it has in the past. For people with cards without a chip, it usually works. There are times that the Hopkins ATM runs out of cash, but the bank is typically good at refilling it the next day.
*Update* International travelers are no longer able to get cash out of a Belize Bank ATM. Therefore, you should get cash BEFORE coming to Hopkins.
To save money on fees, I recommend getting a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. Finding a credit card with no foreign transaction fees used to be a challenge, but now there are several (Chase, Capital One, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, etc.)
Scotia and Atlantic Banks have had no problems getting cash to those with or without chips and they allow you to get $1kBZ out in one transaction. These banks are located all over Belize, just not in Hopkins. You may want to get cash before arriving in the village. Where to find their locations? The ATM locations for Scotia Bank: http://www.scotiabank.com/bz/en/0,,3019,00.html and for the Atlantic Bank locations: http://www.atlanticibl.com/about-us/branches/
The closest branches—Scotia and Heritage, from Hopkins are in Dangriga. It is 20- minutes from Hopkins. Taxis are $45US/$90BZ one way. Bus fare is $2.50US/$5BZ one way. We are hearing from many Canadians that the Heritage Bank ATM is “swallowing” their cards. However, that does not happen with our card, but to be cautious, I recommend going to the Scotia bank in Dangriga.
As an alternative to making a trip to Dangriga, the Happy and Dong Lee Supermarkets in Hopkins allow you to access money but charge an 8% fee.
Now, several restaurants take credit cards, although many prefer cash and some of the more local ones only transact in cash.