Part eco-luxury oasis, part adventure base, the Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort in Hopkins, Belize is the perfect retreat for those who can’t just lie on the beach day in and day out, no matter how beautiful the scenery is. At Hamanasi, there is no need to choose between staying at a Belize jungle resort, Belize dive resort, or beach resort, because at this resort you are lucky to experience all three.
If you’re anything like me, part of the fun of traveling to a new destination is getting off the resort and exploring the surroundings from top to bottom. A fully ecologically and culturally-immersive experience is the type of travel that changes you, and is the best type of travel in my opinion. From the barrier reefs, to the jungles, to ancient Mayan ruins and caves, Hamanasi will introduce you to the best of Belize and will do it in style. The experiences Hamanasi provides both on and off the resort will leave you breathless in the best ways possible. Furthermore, their commitment to sustainability and the surrounding environment is of the top caliber, so you can feel good about vacationing while simultaneously doing your part to preserve the environment. Throw in those romantic Belizean sunrises and sunsets amidst the the resort’s private beach/jungle setting, and you have yourself a trip that is invigorating as much as it is rejuvenating. Hamanasi is destination within a destination that truly has it all.
Related: Ultimate Belize Itinerary
Where is Hamanasi and Hopkins, Belize?
Hamanasi can be found on the southern coastal region of Hopkins on the Belize mainland. The closest airport is Dangriga, and then it is about a 45 minute drive to Hamanasi from there (transportation is provided by the resort.) Once a small fishing village, Hopkins is now a cultural mecca thanks to Garifuna people, a culture of African-Caribbeans who settled on this area of Belize in the 1800’s after being expelled from Saint Vincent Island from where they originated. The Garifuna culture is alive and thriving in Hopkins, adding a unique twist to the naturally Latin and Maya communities. Many Hamanasi staff members are Garifuna, and are happy to teach and share about their beautiful culture, which is recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The location of the resort presents a unique ecological advantage as you are encompassed by a beautifully-biodiverse setting of the Maya mountains on one side and the jungle on the other, while the property sits beautifully on the pristine coastline. Hamanasi is the only resort in Belize where both the reef and the rainforest can be seen from one place, and therefore offers amazing reef and rainforest packages so you can experience the best of both. Hopkins is also home to the only jaguar preserve in the world, and with easy access to famous Mayan sites, Hopkins and Hamanasi makes for the perfect location to explore all of Belize’s main attractions.
But first, the Resort. Hamanasi is Equal Parts Belize Jungle Resort and Beach Resort so You can Experience the Best of Both.
Being the only resort in Belize where rooms are found in both the jungle and on the beach, you can have your pick of paradise while still being an arm’s reach from the other. Whether you choose a treehouse or beachfront room, you will be sure to find yourself in an eco-luxe paradise where you can disconnect from the world and connect with your surroundings. There is no WiFi in the rooms or TVs to be found (though my data worked just fine when needed), which encourages guests to get outdoors and experience the natural setting and all it has to offer. If you do wish to connect with the outside world, there is a library on site with wifi, a computer, a large TV, and as the name suggests, plenty of books to borrow.
My husband and I had the opportunity to stay in a Deluxe Treehouse room and could not have been more pleased with the beauty and serenity of our stay. Having a beach-front room is spectacular in its own right, but the unique opportunity to sleep in a luxury treehouse does not present itself as often. Surrounded by greenery and suspended 12 feet above ground, I felt like my childhood treehouse fantasy has manifested into its luxurious adult-form. The deluxe room came equipped with its own canopy style bed, a large bathroom and shower with his and hers shower heads, separate living and sleeping areas, and a large porch that housed a hammock and outdoor hot tub which brought forth an element of romance in such an already natural and primal setting. It is the perfect room and resort to have a unique honeymoon experience or romantic getaway in.
Just as the rooms are, the amenities at Hamanasi are immaculate, too. Where some resorts have a swimming pool area that is entirely separate from the beach, Hamanasi’s pool can be found right on the sand. This is something I love as it reminds me of the swimming pool beach bars in Bali. After a day full of adventure, cooling off in the pool with a rum punch as you watch the day turn to night over the ocean is my idea of a perfect ending. To add, Hamanasi’s bar offers daily happy hour specials from 4-6 with drink specials and appetizers, making it the ideal way to unwind before dinner.
Hamanasi offers options for all-inclusive packages that come with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is something I highly recommend because the food on the resort is some of the best in the area. Singanga, the restaurant at Hamanasi offers exceptional ocean-and-farm-to-table style dining, where seasonal produce grown right in the resort’s garden is incorporated in every meal. Tours of Hamanasi’s organic, on-site garden are offered to guests so you can learn about the local produce and see where your food comes from. At the restaurant, local Belizean cuisine is served as a mixture of Latin and Caribbean foods, in addition to a few other Western favorites such as pastas and burgers. The snapper burger is one of the best fish sandwiches you will ever eat and should definitely be given a try. Dining at Hamanasi is like having your own private chef. Everything on the menu can be modified, and every type of dietary restriction can be accommodated. You can even ask for half or extra portions of any dish. If there is something you crave that you can’t find on the menu, the chef will happily make it for you so long as they have the ingredients. Just ask! All the food is fresh and phenomenal, from breakfast (don’t forget to try the Belize speciality, stuffed fry jacks!), to lunch and dinner favorites such as ceviches, island curries, and various grilled entrees cooked to perfection.
The organic garden at Hamanasi is only a small part of the resort’s commitment to sustainability and eco-tourism. Hamanasi itself is built in a sustainable design, and is the only resort in Hopkins which does not cut down and clear trees — hence their unique and amazing jungle-beach landscape. The resort engages in several environmentally-friendly practices and encourages guests to do the same. Hamanasi aims to protect all parts of the natural and cultural environment with initiatives such as recycling, replacing plastics with reusable or biodegradable materials, energy resource management, and a green purchasing policy. They are also involved in initiatives that support wildlife and the local communities, and provide opportunities for guests to be involved and make an impact as well. Hamanasi is proudly partnered with Pack for a Purpose, which encourages travelers to bring with them school supplies and medications to donate to the local communities in need. To learn about Hamanasi’s many other environmental and community initiatives, click here.
All these initiatives cannot be made as impactful however, without the help of the amazing Hamanasi staff. Hamanasi employees truly go the extra mile to make sure you have the best stay possible. There is a warm and inviting atmosphere throughout the resort, and the staff quickly learns your name and treats you like family. Each and every person at Hamanasi from the reception desk, to the adventure center will make you feel welcome, and the hospitality on this resort is entirely unmatched by any other.
Adventures at Hamanasi: The Best Belize Dive Resort Offering the Perfect Mix of Inland and Island Adventures.
Hamanasi is a 5-star dive resort that offers various inland and island adventure packages that can be booked with your stay. From snorkeling or diving the Barrier Reef and the famous Blue Hole, to hiking the jungle to idyllic waterfalls, or tours of ancient Mayan temples, there is something here for everyone. Want to lie on the beach all day sipping rum punch? Not a problem, you can book a stay without any excursions, but to truly experience all that Belize offers, booking an all-inclusive Reef & Rainforest package will be sure to get you the most out of your trip.
The inland adventure I booked as part of my Reef and Rainforest package was the jungle canoe nature tour. With our trusted Hamanasi guides to lead us, we canoed down the river surrounded by the lush tropical rainforest as we learned about the the various types of birds, trees, and other species of the natural habitat. Our guide even pointed out a partially-hidden baby crocodile on the way — something we could never spot on our own. The entire experience was breath-taking and serene beyond words. The natural beauty found in Hamanasi’s own backyard is truly indescribable and something that should be experienced to believe. If hiking is your preferred type of adventure and exercise, you might want to give your legs a rest and consider canoeing for a change. It will give you a new perspective as you witness nature from a seated position, and is a great arm workout, too!
No trip to Hamanasi or Belize in general is complete without a reef adventure. For my off-land experience, I chose to go snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef. Much like with the canoeing trip, the snorkeling guides were fantastic and so knowledgable. Our guided tour of the reef was as fun and exciting as it was educational and eye-opening. On our tour, we learned about the threat of the invasive lionfish, a non-native fish with no known predators that is ruining the reef and underwater ecosystem in the Caribbean. If you choose to go on a scuba diving adventure, you can go spear-hunting the lionfish to help protect the reef and other species in danger.
Whether you are diving or snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef, you will be sure to see many amazing species of marine life. Our group was lucky to see sting rays, sharks, crustaceans, octopus, and many different types of colorful fish, coral, and other sea creatures. In contrast to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, which is the 1st largest in the world and is suffering the consequences of human mistreatment, the Belize Barrier Reef is in great condition due to the excellent protection initiatives placed by the Belize people. As a 5-star dive resort, I can’t think of a better way to experience the beautiful reef than with Hamanasi. It was definitely one of the most memorable underwater experiences I’ve had.
Adventure, Luxury, Sustainability. Hamanasi.
There are few locations in the world that offer a unique reef and rainforest experience, and Hamanasi is of the best of them. Sacrificing adventure, luxury, or sustainability is no feat at Hamanasi because it impressively provides all three. These aspects in combination with its uniquely biodiverse environment are among the top reasons for spending your Belize vacation at this incredible resort. Whether you are traveling to Belize with friends, family, solo, or your loved-one, Hamanasi will be sure to leave you breathless both by the beauty of its surroundings, and the exhilarating excursions you will experience. I can’t recommend Hamanasi enough and can’t wait to be back, because to me, Hamanasi feels like home.
Disclaimer: This post was kindly sponsored by Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort. All opinions are strictly my own.
Related: Ultimate Belize Itinerary
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