I just returned from a ten day vacation to Hamanasi with my wife and two children, ages 14 and 16. We stayed in a 2 room family suite. It took me a day or two to get into vacation mode -- to stop thinking about my email and my iPhone and the myriad number of things on my desk back home. Once I made the transition, I found my experience at Hamanasi very relaxing.
Prior to leaving on vacation, we had just completed our PADI diving certification and were looking forward to our first official dive trip as a family. We had no idea how good the diving would be in Belize. We soon learned that the dive operation at Hamanasi was absolutely first class, the dive masters were skilled and knowledgeable, and the dive sites were second to none. Our dive with whale sharks was amazing. After the dive each day, I would settle into a hammock and read and take an afternoon snooze under a palm tree in a cool afternoon breeze.
The food at Hamanasi was delicious and the service was excellent. The house salad was delightful and the red snapper was a family favorite. We often ordered four different items off the menu and shared them so we could have taste of everything. I did gain a few pounds on the trip and am doing the necessary penance now.
We went on two inland excursions and both were amazing. The first one was to Mayflower falls. That was a strenuous hike which led up to a beautiful waterfall emptying into a refreshing pond surrounded by tropical plants and trees. We swam and played under the waterfall and then had a nice lunch provided by Hamanasi. All in all, a great excursion.
Our second day trip was the ATM Cave Tour. Whatever you do, if you go to Hamanasi, do not miss this one. You'll need a good pair of water shoes and an extra pair of socks. You first hike about 45 minutes to the cave entrance where you'll sit at the edge of a nice pond and have a lunch provided by the resort. You can swim if you like. You then don a lighted helmut and begin your sojourn swimming into the cave. The group swims in single file for some time behind the guide. You then traverse over rocks and boulders and through narrow passage ways, all the while seeing beautiful stalagmites and stalagtite formations. You then come across pots and vases that have survived untouched in this cave since the time of the ancient Mayans. As you progress further into the cave, you begin to see skeletal remains of people who were sacrificed by Mayan Priests centuries ago. You will go through portions of the cave which are cathedral like in their grandeur. For this one, if you have an Indiana Jones hat and whip -- why not bring it with? This is the closest you'll probably ever come to a true Indiana Jones experience.
At the end of your day diving or snorkeling or after an inland excursion or a day just hanging poolside, most people gather around the bar and share their experiences of the day. We met many people on the trip and are now communicating by email and sharing are pictures from the trip.
Last, the people who work at Hamanasi and live in the local village of Hopkins are wonderful. We found everyone friendly and gracious. The native language in Belize is English. Many people in Hopkins speak four languages fluently; English, Garifuna, Spanish and Creole.
If you are looking for a resort that offers personalized service, in a relaxed setting, with comfortable rooms and delicious food -- I highly recommend Hamanasi. If you are a diver, know that you will be going to one of the world's best dive sites. If you want authentic excursions and surroundings -- this is the place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the best of Belize on and offshore! Hamanasi is a secluded, casually elegant eco-resort. Unwind in spacious tree houses, beach front rooms and suites with AC, private porches and gorgeous hardwood furnishings. On property has a full service restaurant, bar, pool, lush gardens and a Gold Palm 5 star PADI dive facility. Onshore, explore Mayan ruins, Jaguar Preserve, caves, jungle rivers and rain forest waterfalls. All inclusive packages, Honeymoon and romance packages available. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Hamanasi Adventure And Dive Hotel Hopkins
- Hamanasi Adventure And Dive Resort Belize/Hopkins