In a nutshell, Hamanasi is the quintessential boutique dive resort, which executes service and hospitality with 5 stars. I had been hearing about Hamanasi and Belize for some time and was very happy to spend some time there discovering their corner of paradise. Hamanasi is located in central Belize right on the coast of the Caribbean in the small town of Hopkins. They are ideally located for not only scuba diving, but also for a great variety of inland adventures, among them, Canoeing & Kayaking on the Sittee River, hiking the jungle to the Mayflower Waterfall , Tropical Birding, exploring the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve, and visiting historic and ancient Mayan ruins. Hamanasi’s own guides will accompany you on each of these adventures, and they do a wonderful job of imparting their knowledge of their countries rich history, its diverse cultures, and exotic flora and fauna.
This small resort has only 23 rooms, 12 beachfront rooms and 11 treehouse rooms, and they are all very well kept and maintained. I stayed several nights in a treehouse and in a beachfront room, and personally preferred the solitude and privacy and bit of extra space of the treehouse. For a couples getaway, the treehouse is a sure bet. You can walk anywhere in the resort within one minute.
The pool area overlooks the expansive beach and ocean and is an ideal spot to lounge, cool off and have an afternoon beverage or snack. The dining is unexpected and surprising, because the quality of the food is fantastic and a true culinary experience. One of my lunch favorites was the fish Snapper burger, simply the tastiest you will ever have. Any foodie will not be disappointed, especially with the variety offered at evening meals, which had a standard menu available but also had a variety or rotating menu of special dishes prepared each evening. All were exquisite dining experiences with attention detail and outstanding service.
It’s a 25 – 30 minute boat ride out to the barrier reef in their very fast dive boats. This area does not get much dive traffic and the reefs are very healthy with a large variety of fish and coral species. There is an abundance is small and medium schooling fish, many eels, eagle rays and southern stingrays. Most of the diving is in a very large offshore area and just within view of Belize’s beautiful atolls. The divers receive a personalized service, and typically have a divemaster for every 4 divers. In between dives a visit is made to one of the island atolls for refreshments and a small snack. You could spend a month here and not visit the same dive site twice or see another resorts dive boats. You almost have the whole ocean reef to yourself and your group.
Visit Hamanasi and you will want to return again and again. I know I will very soon.
Written by Michael O’Meara