You'll feel like you've arrived at Fantasy Island when the staff greets you on the dock of Cayo Espanto. Your very own house man will be there with your requested cocktail. Although the island is small, palm trees and landscaping seclude the six waterfront guest houses. All-inclusive Cayo Espanto is deliciously private and I often felt as if I had the island and surrounding aqua waters to myself. My house man and his assistant answered my every beck and call as if I were a princess. What's not to like?Take a photo tour of Cayo Espanto
Cayo Espanto: Guest Rooms
The two-bedroom, two-bathroom Casa Estrella was my home on Cayo Espanto. The guest house is well-designed and decorated with simple elegance. Because of the cooling ocean breezes I never used my air conditioning, instead opting to leave the doors open in the day and the Bahama shutter rolled open at night. It was a delight to sink into the cushy bedding surrounded by a mosquito net and drifting off to sleep hearing the ceiling fan's humming and the lapping of the water on my dock. Guest houses have roomy walk-in showers but no tubs.
Cayo Espanto: Restaurants
Meals and drinks are served by your house men in your guest house on Cayo Espanto. Chef Patrick Houghton consults with guests personally to create breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that both nourish and delight. I easily fell into the late afternoon cocktail and snack ritual, followed by my chat with the chef about my dinner that night. Guest houses are equipped with well-stocked mini refrigerators and snacks can be had at any time by calling a house man.
Cayo Espanto: Activities and Amenities
There's no shortage of places to lounge around your guest house, including a hammock and numerous lounging chairs. Use of kayaks and catamarans is complimentary on Cayo Espanto. I took out a kayak to explore the islands surrounding waters and get a better idea of the scope of the island. Although guests love their privacy, they tend to wave and say "hello" when you paddle past. After I got back from kayaking I took a soak in my plunge pool, which being in the shade of my guest house was extremely chilly.
Each guest house is equipped with Internet access. As I didn't bring my laptop I was glad they have one on hand for guests to borrow. I made the mistake of using a day with absolutely gorgeous weather to indulge in a massage on my covered patio rather than go snorkeling on Belize's world-famous barrier reef. Unfortunately it started storming that night and the cloudy skies, stiff winds and periodic downpours kept going through the remainder of my visit. My advice is to snorkel, dive, fish or take part in whatever good-weather activity you're interested in while you can.
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Cayo Espanto is located: A 15-minute boat ride from the San Pedro airstrip on Ambergris Cay, Belize.
Cayo Espanto, Belize
Phone: (910) 323-8355; Reservations: (888) 666-4282
Web site: Cayo Espanto