Imagine waking up to the chatter of tropical birds and a sunrise that lights up the towering Mayan ruins of Xunantunich in the distance. Talk about peaceful. Before long, a farm fresh breakfast will be ready. Time for a cup of coffee that is not just roasted and ground here on the farm, it was grown here, too. And oh so good.
Welcome to Nabitunich, aka Hanna Stables.
We Airbnb’d our way around Belize for ten days and this four-hundred-acre working family farm just outside San Ignacio was most definitely one of the highlights of our time in this beautiful a country. Make sure you get this stay on your Belize itinerary.
Pulling into the farm you are greeted by smiling faces and nothing less than Belizean hospitality. We were shown to one of several charming little stone cottages that would be our home for the next few days. Open rafters, bright, simple, clean and comfortable.
Sustainable Organic Farming
We were drawn to Hanna Stables because of our interest in organic farming. Everywhere we visit, we find it fascinating to learn about different methods of growing food that are used around the world and Santiago Juan is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to sustainable farming techniques in Central America.
Sadly our stay was not during the height of the growing season. We are told October is a great time to visit to see Belizian gardens in full swing. Daniel Velazquez FILMS did a series of short documentary videos featuring Santiago Juan and Hanna Stables that you can view on Facebook to see a bit about what goes on in the gardens here.
Just outside San Ignacio, best city in Belize if you ask us.
Just ten miles from bustling San Ignacio town, Hanna Stables is the perfect launching point for exploring the Cayo district. More about San Ignacio in an upcoming post, be sure to follow us by email so you don’t miss it. But really, there is so much to be explored at Hanna’s, that you may never want to leave …unless it’s on horseback.
Join Santiago, Terry or another of Hanna Stables’ friendly guides for a horseback ride around the farm. Explore the scenery along the Mopan river, or take an afternoon to ride to the Xunantunich ruins. Xunantunich tours can include a stop at Benny’s Kitchen for lunch which we heard from folks in town is a local favorite place to grab a traditional Belizean bite. The only regret we have about our time at Hanna’s is not joining them on a horseback riding tour. We needed more time here and can’t wait to come back.
The View… Epic is an understatement.
We had read from the description that the ancient ruins of Xunantunich could be viewed from the farm but we were not expecting to be able to see it from our room. This place will take your breath away. Sunrises and sunsets over this piece of ancient Mayan history is an experience that will not soon be forgotten.
Hanna Stables, a nature lover’s paradise.
Soak up all that nature has to offer here by making sure you leave time to explore the farm during your stay. Trails will take you along the Mopan River for a nice stroll in the shade of the jungle canopy on a hot day. We found birds, lizards, orchids, vanilla vines, wild pineapple and more.
Tropical flowers and birds surround the dining area where they set out fresh fruit for the feathered guests.
Farm to table, Belizian style.
Whether it is the ladies at work in the kitchen for breakfast with their handmade tortillas and refreshing horchata, or Alex in the evening putting his unique twist on some amazing local dishes from the variety of food off the farm, the food at Hanna Stable’s kitchen will not disappoint. Breakfasts are included in the price of the room. Dinners are quite affordable, good portions, and well worth it at only $10BZ ($5US) per person.
We came home hooked on Horchata, a traditional latin American drink. We downed several glasses during our stay at various places around Belize, never refusing an offer. This stuff is especially refreshing in Belize’s Central American heat. We initially thought it was a milk based drink, but after enticing the recipe from one of the ladies in the kitchen here found that it is a simple recipe based on rice and cinnamon.
While the food is amazing, the company is even better.
We hope we didn’t take advantage of Santiago’s generous hospitality by keeping him up too late. The conversations around dinner are so interesting that time just slips by, and before you know it, evenings turn into late nights. Mornings come early on a working farm.
Santiago Juan is an invigorating and optimistic conversationalist, wise well beyond his years. Evenings spent sipping Belizian rum with our host and his other guests will long be remembered. This is one of our favorite things about traveling, the people you meet and their varying perspectives on the world… inspiring, challenging, and eye-opening. You can’t get this from just watching the Travel Channel.
Stay at Hanna Stables
A stay at Hanna Stables can be booked through Airbnb for just $60US per night (which is how we found it) or they offer a variety of options including all-inclusive packages through their beautiful website at HannaStables.com. Long-term options are available.
New to Airbnb?
If you are new to Airbnb, sign up through this link and you will get a $25 credit toward your first stay anywhere! By doing so, we also get a little travel credit which helps us share even more unique places like this!
View their Airbnb listings here…
OUR AIRBNB REVIEW
We loved this place! We Airbnb’d our way around Belize, but the stay at Santiago’s farm was one of the major highlights of our trip. We knew we would be able to see Xunantunich from the farm… but from our room?! Epic. The evening meals and breakfasts were from the farm, fresh, local and wholesome. Love the horchata (and even got the directions for making it from one of the ladies.) Even better than the food (which is hard to beat) were the conversations around dinner. Santiago is wise and seasoned and probably the most optimistic person we have ever met. We are Airbnb hosts on an Organic farm in Washington state and came home inspired with so many ideas. We definitely hope to return to this beautiful place someday.
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