Set on a tiny spit of land just off Ambergris Caye, Belize's largest island, Cayo Espanto is the ultimate off-grid private island retreat. There are only seven castaway-chic tropical villas strung along the palm-covered shores, each with a private plunge pool, jetty and huge wraparound terrace jutting out into the Caribbean Sea. For ultimate privacy, there is Casa Ventanas, which sits on stilts over the water at the end of a long wooden pontoon, while each villa comes with a dedicated butler. Days here take on a lazy rhythm; you're unlikely even to see another guest, and much of your time is spent on the water, paddle-boarding, kayaking, diving and snorkelling - both the magnificent Belize Barrier Reef and the famous collapsed limestone cave the Blue Hole are within easy reach.
The charming and attentive staff can arrange anything from in-villa spa treatments to deserted beach picnics, and if you fancy a change of scene, the buzzy little town of San Pedro, with its handful of excellent restaurants, is a smooth water taxi ride away. There is no dedicated bar or restaurant at Cayo Espanto - instead, meals are served anywhere and at any time - whether that's on your villa's private jetty, the candlelit terrace or even in a hammock strung up over the sand. All guests are sent a questionnaire before arrival to ascertain their likes and dislikes, and each day, the chef will devise a bespoke menu paired with an impressive selection of wine.
- In-villa spa treatments
- Watersports including sailing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and snorkelling
- Scuba diving
- Boat trips and excursions
Things to do nearby
- Snorkelling on the barrier reef
- Scuba diving including to the Great Blue Hole