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Thursday, 01 September 2016

Heavenly Hamanasi in Belize - Page 2

Written by Jill Weinlein
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Each room is air conditioned and has ceiling fans above king- and queen-size comfortable Savvy Rest organic mattresses made with natural latex foam. This is the first resort outside of the United States to use these mattresses. The beautifully tiled bathrooms offer luxury beauty products in wooden containers that are refilled daily. Rooms have views of the Caribbean Sea or of a jungle filled with a variety of colorful birds. Some rooms are spacious, with a kitchenette and outdoor hammock and whirlpool spa tubs on the deck.

 

This is a resort for relaxing with no televisions or Wi-Fi in the rooms. There is a single television in the library room and one computer with Wi-Fi. After meals in the main lodge, guests congregate in the library to check their smart phone messages.

 

In 2014, the resort added the Singanga restaurant on the second floor of the main lodge. It offers indoor and alfresco dining overlooking the pool and beach. The menu features sustainable cuisine from the resort’s large and thriving garden.

 

The Activity Center offers daily excursions on the dive and snorkel boats to take guests to over 15 different sites. There are also all day excursions that include a picnic lunch prepared by the Hamanasi staff. The trips vary in levels of difficulty, and the staff emphasis safety to ensure that the guests are safe in the water, hiking, swimming in a waterfall stream or exploring caves by foot or inner tube.

 

We went on two snorkel trips on a Hamanasi boat with three staff members. Jacques Cousteau declared this as one of the top 10 diving sites in the world. On our first snorkel trip we saw colorful hard and soft coral formations teeming with small and large marine life. Highlights of our snorkel adventures include swimming above a nurse shark with a hitchhiker on her back, a variety of rays including a yellow spotted ray, a salt water manatee, large Moray eels, barracudas and green sea turtles grazing on the sea grass. The sea floor is dotted with sea cucumbers and Queen conch shells.

 

We also signed up for a few land excursions. The first was to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve. This preserve has the world's highest density of jaguar as well as puma, ocelot, margay and jaguarundi. We didn’t see any live jaguars, yet we learned about them at the small Education Center. Our Hamanasi guides, Axel and Kirk, took us on a trail filled with birds, flora and fauna. After exploring the area, we walked to a beautiful waterfall for a cooling swim in the jungle before lunch. All day excursions include a picnic lunch prepared by the Hamanasi staff.

 

On another adventure, we learned that within the last few decades, scientists have discovered some great archaeological finds throughout Belize. Monumental structures rise above the floor of the jungle. Excavators have discovered Mayan tombs, ceramics, and skeletons to learn more about the culture. Only a small percentage of these historical sites have been unearthed.

 Belize

The all day trip took us to San Ignacio to explore the Xunantunich structures bordering Guatemala. Next we climbed to the top of Cahal Pech built in 1200 BC. It’s known as one of the oldest Maya sites in Western Belize.

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Last modified on Thursday, 01 September 2016

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