Stay at Cayo Espanto
Palms sway softly on a Caribbean breeze. You recline on a private wooden jetty. Turquoise waters are all around. It’s paradise here, wonderfully silent and secluded, quite simply the most premium place to stay in Belize. Welcome to an island with just seven villas, a barefooted disconnection with reality. Cayo Espanto is a dreamy little place where privacy is paramount, where every villa has a private pool and beach. So remove your shoes, indulge in the Caribbean vistas, and expect to spend your time doing nothing in the sun.
This small island feels cast adrift in the Caribbean, although it is only ten minutes by boat from Ambergris Caye, which in turn is a 15-minute flight from the country’s main international airport. Arrive at your private jetty and don’t expect to see any of the other guests for the duration of your stay. While the experience is mostly about doing nothing, Cayo Espanto is only 30 minutes by boat from Hol Chan Marine Reserve. It also has its own helipad.
With their wraparound verandas and wooden frames, the seven villas are bohemian and spacious, continuing the remote island fantasy. While they do come with plenty of modern amenities, the style is rustic chic rather than contemporary, almost like the ultimate in beach shack living. All seven villas have private pools, and delightful outdoor showers.
Who is it for
This is a couple’s retreat. Every villa comes with two housemen, who will arrange almost any kind of romantic extra, or simply a day trip to a nearby reef. There’s little to do here so we don’t recommend it for children.
Facilities & activities
It’s all about lounging in the sun here, in your own pool, in a hammock, on your private piece of white sand. Kayaks and paddleboards can be taken into the shallows, but it doesn’t take long to paddle around the island. Cayo Espanto is part of the world’s second-largest barrier reef system so day trips usually involve diving and snorkelling. There’s also a complimentary water taxi to Ambergris Caye island if the disconnect becomes too much.