January 2023: the land of New Year’s Resolutions and hopeful promises. Year after year, “I vow to travel more!” gets tossed to the top of lists, but what if that also meant being more meaningful with where, how, and why you travel? A commitment to sustainable travel is a resolution that truly does keep on giving and it’s not uncommon that it asks for a bit of sacrifice on your part too. Or at least, that’s usually the case—until Belize. Here’s how one eco-resort of a small fishing village in Hopkins, Southern Belize became Green Globe Certified and a founding member of Regenerative Resorts, all without compromising its promise of comfort, luxury, and culture, or even your New Year’s resolution.
Belize: More Than Just A Pretty Face
Known for many things—think the world’s second-largest barrier reef, ancient Mayan ruins, the longest cave system in Central America, and one of the highest waterfalls in the region—Belize is also positioning itself to be the prime eco-travel destination, too. Besides the natural wealth of the tiny but mighty country, whose landmass is approximately 91% of the area of Maryland, its low-key adventures and (seemingly) effortless initiatives to reduce your ecological footprint pretty much seal the deal.
Belize is also improving sustainability metrics across the tourism industry with Green Globe Certified destinations and resorts and hotels that prioritize sustainable stays and experiences. With tourism bringing in more than 40% of GDP for the destination, that’s noteworthy.
A Beauty That’s Beyond Just Sustainable
Recognized as the first beach resort in Belize to be Green Globe Certified, Hamanasi is marketed as “nestled between the lush Maya Mountains and the turquoise Caribbean Sea.” However, it’s much more than that. It’s a community within Hopkins Village’s tight-knit community, with a goal of not only keeping things as green as they are (re: sustain) but actually leaving it better than they found it (re: regenerate). Beyond the staff, it’s something Hamanasi encourages in their guests as well.
Secluded, intimate, and boutique, the resort is located on the beach south of Hopkins with a breathtaking shore of the Caribbean Sea, “where the jungle meets the sea.” Jungle, or coastal forest actually, that was reforested…one native tree at a time; when Hamanasi expanded beyond its beachfront rooms, it added 13 treehouses nestled in its coastal forest.
“We believe that sustainable development is possible and can be a win for nature, guests, and the business,” said Dana Krauskopf, one of Hamanasi’s founders.
It’s just one of Hamanasi’s green initiatives under its belt: guests can adopt a tree, dine on delicious organic produce grown on the property at its farm-to-table 5-star rated Singanga Restaurant, or enjoy a big focus on reduction, upcycling, and recycling of waste. Beyond just environmental practices though, Hamanasi Resort hosts a monthly medical clinic for staff, a Backpack to School project through Pack For A Purpose, and works directly with local tourism stakeholders for authentic cultural tours. Again, community-oriented.
In 2023, go beyond “business as usual” for traveling and even further than staying sustainable. Resolve to be regenerative. After all, eco-resorts like Hamanasi in Hopkins, Belize makes it even easier to keep that New Year’s resolution.