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  • Dave Philbrick


Belize header image of palm trees

Reasons to go

Largest coral reef in the western hemisphere, only Central or South American country for which English is the national language, houses on stilts, friendly locals, treehouses, Mayan ruins.

hot tips

We discovered the most amazing place that we are so happy to share that will give you an exotic and interesting National Geographic-type vacation, but in safety and total comfort. The Hamanasi Resort is an incredibly special place with much to offer. It caught our attention first for its luxury treehouses which were thrilling for us and our kids. It’s charming walking through the trees holding different treehouses, stepping into the foot basin beside the stairs to efficiently get rid of the sand to preserve its handsome wooden decks (why did we not know about that trick before?), and lying in a hammock on your sunny balcony above the canopy while tropical birds visit. Despite the resort’s small size, it’s a destination diving center so it has an extensive supply of equipment and a great location on the beach where you can walk onto its dock and head out to scuba dive or snorkel the world famous reef. While it has a pool, it also has a wonderful location on one end of the beach, away from the concentration of large hotels and with pretty and natural shade trees growing among the sand.

Lounger view of the Hamanasi pool!
Lounger view of the Hamanasi pool!

Did we mention the luxury treehouses? They have air conditioning which is a must in the tropics so you can sleep in comfort and have an insect-free retreat. They also have spacious balconies with jacuzzis, although watch out for tiny tropical frogs coming out of the jets when you first turn it on! Although they come with full kitchens, you will want to go to the restaurant every night. Elaine and Dave’s picky children loved the food as did the adult foodies, and we all enjoyed the authentically friendly Garifuna servers. The Garifuna people have the reputation as being the friendliest people in Belize, and smile easily and sincerely. They are deeply religious and have great dignity. Their history is fascinating as a mix of Carib Native Americans and African shipwrecked or escaped slaves.

Included in the price of your stay is your choice of several adventure activities. Our favorites were cave tubing, zip lining as it’s a notably great one, and climbing Mayan pyramids.

Your Itinerary


People boarding a small air plane
Maya Island Air

Catch flight to Belize City, and from there hop Mayan Air to Dangriga which is an adventure in itself! In the small plane you will have a great view of landing and taking off on tiny airstrips next to the water.

The resort driver will meet you in an air-conditioned van, and the drive through Stann Creek neighborhoods of houses on stilts is fascinating. Check into your treehouse home for the next week and enjoy the fresh flower welcome decorating your beds.

treehouse in the jungle
Our Treehouse

SATURDAY After a great breakfast on the balcony overlooking the pool and beach, sign up for the adventure activities you want. Heard good things about waterfall rapelling although we didn’t do it, but can’t recommend the canoe trip on the jungle river which was just hard work and nothing to see. Spend the day relaxing at the wonderful resort. The beach is only okay – Atlantic so not as good as the Caribbean Ocean, a little granular not a pure white ‘sugar’, and there is lots of eel grass which is great for fish but not as pleasant for swimming.

women lying on a massage table on the beach
Hamanasi’s idyllic palm-tree studded beach

jacuzzi on the deck of a treehouse in the jungle
Treehouse jacuzzi

SUNDAY After breakfast go cave tubing at the incredible Nooch Chen Caves Branch Archeological Reserve, which will be a life highlight. Everyone wears miner’s hats while sitting in an inner tube as the current takes you through the extensive caves. The water is crystal clear and comfortably cool not cold, the ceiling is high with bats only in a few locations, and you can have fun with the white silicon mud as a skin treatment or modeling clay. There will be buses there sending out loud groups of a dozen tubes, and you will appreciate being with just the Hamanasi guide and your group of a few people so you can enjoy the timeless atmosphere.

family with water intertubes outside a cave
Ready to go cave tubing!
cave tubing entrance
Cave Tubing Entrance

Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool.

dad and son on the beach reading a book
Lounging by the pool near the dive dock

MONDAY After breakfast your Hamanasi guide will take you in an air-conditioned van to go zip-lining in Mayflower Bocawina National Park, which has the longest zip line in Belize at 2.5 miles, with the last zip a half mile long! There are three traverses that are over 2,300 feet high, so it’s a truly exciting world-class zip. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the resort.

Family getting ready to go ziplining
Ziplining Survival Photo

TUESDAY After breakfast ride the comfortable van to Mayan pyramids where you are allowed to climb the ruins, while looking for toucans or “flying bananas” which are common in that area. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the resort.

young boy sitting by a hammock on a treehouse balcony
Treehouse balcony gives your jacuzzi sun and privacy!

WEDNESDAY After breakfast walk onto the dive boat docked at the resort and explore Belize’s famous coral reef which Darwin wrote was a wonder of the world. There will be an incredible variety of fish, including the invasive but dramatic appearing lionfish. They have proliferated so much that locals are paid to kill them, and they will frequently be on the menu of the resort which also offers their fins in jewelry. Lionfish earrings make a great souvenir and helps the environment! Spend your last afternoon relaxing at the resort, or take a short walk or bike ride on the dusty road to the local town which is safe and experience authentic Garifuna culture.

THURSDAY After breakfast say goodbye to the serene and beautiful surroundings. The Hamanasi van will take you to the airport for your trip back home. In the warm Hamanasi hospitality bubble, Belize is all pleasure with no difficult or uncomfortable situations despite your exotic location.

photo gallery

Rooftop view of Hamanasi’s leafy beach property
Rooftop view of Hamanasi’s leafy beach property

Walkway to the treehouse
Walkway to the treehouse
View from the treehouse canopy
View from the treehouse canopy

Treehouse Master Bedroom
Treehouse Master Bedroom
Kids treehouse bedroom
Kids treehouse bedroom

Treehouse bathroom
Treehouse bathroom

Tropical bird watching from our treehouse
Tropical bird watching from our treehouse
Tropical bird sighting from our treehouse window
Tropical bird sighting from our treehouse window

Young boy standing by a Mayan 'Tiki'
Mayan 'Tiki'!

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