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Dive Review of Hamanasi in
Belize

Hamanasi, May, 2013,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 78 reports with 44 Helpful votes). Report 6980.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was my second visit to Hamanasi in the past 6 months. I timed this trip specifically for the spawning of the snapper and grouper and the subsequent arrival of the whale sharks. All of the action normally occurs a few days after the April full moon. Well, the large aggregation of snapper arrived, but it was consistently too deep (120’) so the spawn was not occurring during my 4 dives at Gladden Spit. As a result, we had no whale shark encounters. It is my understanding that during this period, there were not dive operators out of either Palencia or Hopkins that encountered any whale sharks. The locals surmise that perhaps the behemoths cruised on up to Isla Mujeres this year bypassing Belize.

Just like my first visit in October, 2012, the Hamanasi Resort is a first-class place for water-related activities (SCUBA & snorkeling), many topside activities or just doing some serious lounging by the pool or beach. The accommodations are spacious and well maintained; the food is quite good with lunch and dinner ordered off a changing menu that offers a variety of choices including several Belizean dishes. The breakfast is buffet and could be improved if a made-to-order egg/pancake station was included. The bar offers a friendly atmosphere with a nice variety of libations.

Essentially all of my activity was spent diving. The dive operation has a very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff. The dive boats are well maintained and offer water, juice, fruit, cookies and towels on each 2-tank trip. Trips to Glover’s Atoll and Gladden Spit include lunch. The operation seemed to have an issue with the Nitrox fills—the % ranged from 35% to less than 30%. Also, the tank pressure was consistently below 3000 psi. With the increased # of divers at the resort for the no-show whale sharks, the dive staff seemed a bit taxed with the level of activity. These were more nuisances rather than any serious issues.

The highlights of the diving included a great dolphin encounter at the end of a dive at Glover’s. Luckily, I was still in the water with my SCUBA gear so that provided the opportunity for some good video. Also, the dive staff was spearing lionfish and feeding the local marine life. A rather large great barracuda devoured 3 of them in a matter of minutes. Even better video. The encounters with the eagle rays and hawksbill & loggerhead turtles will also make the highlight reel.

The one topside activity that I did really enjoy was the Bocawina zip line. It is the longest zip line in Belize. It is well maintained with an emphasis on safety. It is a blast!

Like my first visit to Hamanasi, the biting insects will make a meal out of you. Be sure to bring heavy-duty DEET and use it liberally.


Websites Hamanasi   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Solomon Islands, PNG, GBR, Vanuatu, Palau, Philippines,
Indonesia, Yap, Kosrae, Truk, Fiji, Socorros, All over the Caribbean.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco; 50-60 minute dives; no deeper than 80'at Gladden Spit
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments The dive boat were better equipped to handle several cameras with strobe arms. The boat had a large rinse tank for this purpose.
There is no camera rinse at the dive shop. I used the shower at the pool to further rinse my camera gear.

Most of the photo ops for marine life were of intermediate-sized critters, such as, turtles, barracudas, eels, groupers and jacks. There was also the occasional encounter with dolphins and eagle rays. The smaller reef creatures did not seem that prolific.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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