Exploring Belize’s Caves and Ancient History

belize mayan history tour with Hamanasi Xunantunich

Xunantunich temple

Every week our guests have an opportunity to see some of the best and most beautiful areas around Belize.  This past week we had some amazing guests who challenged Belize’s jungles, explored Belize’s caves and travelled back in time to an era older than most of the Americas recorded history.

waterfall repelling Belize

Waterfall repelling

Monday always starts with out option to visit the Mayflower waterfall.  This is a strenuous hike up to a ten story waterfall.  But did you know for the brave and adventurous you can descend from your hike a bit differently?  Thursday we had a truly adventurous family decide to do just that.  They booked their Waterfall Repelling tour and found out just how fast the water was flowing.

Belize cave exploration with Hamanasi

Lindsay working her way through Saint Herman’s cave.

If heights aren’t your thing then maybe you’ll enjoy what our guests did Wednesday. Belize guide Arnie took a small group of Hamanasi guests into the Saint Herman’s cave to explore through the darkness with only their head lamps.  In ancient Mayan culture caves were through to be a connection to the underworld and you truly begin to feel the connection yourself as you traverse around stalagmites as the eyes of the resident bats keep close watch.

Belize ancient Mayan history tour

Temple seen through the entry to the royal residence.

Of course the highlight for many of our guests is visiting the world famous ancient Mayan sites of Xunantunich and Cahal Pech.  What makes these sites so interesting is how different they are from each other.  Each site was used for a different purpose and as you watch through the reserves you’re transported back in time and can almost hear the priests giving their speeches to all the followers below the alter.

Belize Ancient Mayan history tour Hamanasi

Cahal Pech was first established around 1200 BC and was an active center for nearly 2000 years.

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ June 2012”

“We loved everything and we are going home relaxed with many memories!”

Jeannette Bustos and Gerome Segarra, Daly City, CA

“Hamanasi is not inexpensive but the value we received for our dollar was more than fair and i don’t begrudge a single cent we spent. You are more than a first class organization and all of you should be very proud of your product.”

Bob Amick and Family, Simpsonville, SC

“Keep doing what y’all are doing. I’ve never stayed at a hotel with friendlier or more hospitable employees.”

Juliet and Brandy Pierce, Colorado Springs, CO

“Everything was perfect! We had a dream wedding and my father-in-law said it was the best wedding he has ever been to!”

Sandy and Scott Fischer, Chicago, IL

“We thoroughly enjoyed all services and greatly appreciated the hospitality. Thank you Hamanasi staff!”

Daniel and Jamie Schaetz, Austin, TX

“My expectations were high to begin with given all the amazing reviews. Exceeding those expectations was truly a wonderful experience.”

Aaron Duncan, Pittsburg, TX

“Everything was excellent, so much attention to detail.”

Darcy and Brian Walsh, McLean, VA

“Hamanasi is a tropical paradise where everyone knows your name.”

Ed and Sue, Cary, NC

“Everything really was amazing even down to the smallest details. We will be back!”

Kristin and Ruth Phillips, Belmar, NJ

“Each staff member went above and beyond. Excellent staff and we love them all. Keep it the way it is – keep it small and do not expand to large. Do not want to lose the personal touch.”

Anita Roy and Harold Jenkins, Bronx, NY

“You are all beyond perfection!”

Lynne Patin and Irene Payne, Reno, NV





“October’s Hopkins Humane Society Clinic”



October  spay/neuter clinic for the Hopkins Belize Humane Society was a “doozy.”  It unfortunately started with one of the Mississippi Jungle Vet Team veterinary surgeon, Kathy Kvam, getting very ill the day they were scheduled to leave. She had a twisted bowel that required surgery, and was hospitalized for over a week! In a last minute scramble, the team called Dr. Linda Leavell, part of the Georgia Triplets Team, and she was able to drop everything and head to Belize for a week to help.  Dr. Leavell went straight from the airport to the clinic.  Surgery schedules were juggled and extended. Saturday the 23rd was a scheduled day off, but that was the day that  Hurricane Richard was heading to Belize. The next day…with the hurricane on the horizon…. they did half a day of surgery! Shortly after surgery ended, the power went out  and there was no clinic for 2 days due to power outage in the village.

Normally, the  clinics are so well organized and scheduled…. but this trip because of the weather and rescheduling of vets, it seemed like they had clinic almost every day.

All in all, a lot of work was done, despite the set backs. 26 surgeries were performed, and dozens of animals were treated and medications dispensed.  Thanks to the guests that offered some of their time to clinic and big thanks to Clara Lee and her team for the continued support  and interest in the Hopkins Belize Humane Society.  They all did a fantastic job even with hurricane Richard passover!


Hamanasi Tour Guides Explore Mayan Ruins with Archeologist Dr. Jaime Awe

Hamanasi tour guides joined a training opportunity with the Director of the Belize Institute of Archeology, Dr. Jaime Awe.   An evening of classroom studies and a day of in-the-field training with Dr. Awe was filled with new and exciting information about the Mayan ruins of Cahal Pech and Xunantunich.  Hamanasi tours both sites twice a week as part of their regularly scheduled Reef & Rainforest Pacakge tours!

Belize Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve in the Press

Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Created in 1986, after renowned wildlife biologist Dr. Alan Rabinowitz observed an unprecedented population of jaguars, Cockscomb Basin is the world’s first sanctuary for the Americas’ largest cat. From a modest 3,600 acres, the reserve has expanded to 128,000 acres (200 square miles) — a mosaic of river-fed habitats that also support four other feline species (puma, ocelot, jaguarundi and margay), as well as tapir, coatimundi, kinkajou and peccary. This is serious jungle: You may want to keep an eye out for boa constrictors and the highly venomous fer-de-lance snake. In the early morning, it’s possible to see hundreds of different birds, including scarlet macaws and keel-billed motmots; evening is the best time to see mammals as they begin to make their rounds. The banks of South Stann Creek are often pocked with their tracks.

“This sanctuary is a testament to Belize’s commitment to conservation,” says Anna Hoare, executive director of the Belize Audubon Society. “I love to just be awed by the majestic views from Ben’s Bluff Trail.”

Actun Tunichil Muknal Mayan Cave Adventure

ATM Cave Entrance

As guests returned from the ATM cave yesterday, they shared amazing photos!  This tour is quickly becoming a “must do” for many adventurers.

You travel back in time and follow pathways used by the Maya to discover lost worlds that have been hidden deep within the jungle for centuries!  Going back over 2,000 years in history and viewing the burial chambers, you can see calcified remains and ceremonial vessels.

Unparalleled adventure!

Skull in ATM Cave

Hamanasi’s New Custom 45′ Dive Boat Arrives

IT’S HERE!  “Hopkins Divers”, Hamanasi’s in-house PADI Dive Center, just received a new custom-built 45′ dive boat!  This boat is equipped with three 200 hp 4-stroke Suzuki engines and will be an exciting addition to the Hamanasi fleet!  The arrival is  a great kick-off for the 2010 Whale Shark season, as well as our daily Barrier Reef dives and the beautiful Belizean Atolls! 

Hopkins Divers 45'

Birding Paradise in Belize

[flickrset id=”72157623581277400″ thumbnail=”square” overlay=”true” size=”medium”]

Click any of these great birding photos to enlarge!

With over 500 species of birds in vast tracks of wild land, Belize is a birder’s paradise!  From the coast to the savanna to the riverbanks to the mountainous rainforest, Hamanasi’s unique mainland location makes these diverse habitats easily accessible to serious and novice birders alike!  Enjoy tropical birding with our experienced guides and see the rare and the colorful!   A special “thank you” to Peter Hawrylyshyn for these amazing photos.  Are you tempted?

Birds at Red Bank Belize!

Red Legged Honeycreeper

Birders on the way to see the Scarlet Macaws this morning were fortunate to see the Red Legged Honeycreeper while on their early morning trek through the village of Red Bank!

Tropical Birding Site Reopens in Belize Vacation Paradise

The historical site, Serpon Sugar Mill, has recently reopened to the public! This is great news to all tropical bird lovers, and to those who have yet to discover the beauty of tropical birding in Belize. The Sugar Mill is home to many species of birds and is a favorite locale for Hamanasi’s guides. You’ll want to add this to your “to do” list when planning your Belize vacation with Hamanasi Resort!