Where: Cayo Espanto in Belize
Exactly: Cayo Espanto is located on its own private 4-acre island, 7-minutes by boat from San Pedro. After arrival in San Pedro, prepare to live your private island fantasy, whether it looks a little like Tom Hanks in Castaway or Giselle and Tom Bradys honeymoon. Step off the plane to be greeted by an employee of Cayo Espanto bearing a sign with your name on it, to escort you to your dream getaway. Once you have arrived be prepared to be greeted by the whole staff lined up at the dock to welcome and introduce you.
The Island: Cayo Espanto is a paradise unlike any other: It’s transporting. Everywhere you look, you can’t help but be in awe — this is the resort of your dreams you didn’t even know to dream of. It’s a place that you didn’t know could exist in real life. Everything is almost too perfect. It isn’t over crowded and is serenely quiet all the time, creating a romantic, relaxed vibe throughout the whole island. The island has only 7 villas.
The Villas: Each spacious villa is intricately designed in a beautiful modern-island-bungalow theme, and features its own private villa pool, which makes a divine setting for your long, relaxing island days. The doors that surround the villa are created so you can either enjoy the privacy of your own room, or open the peripheral doors so you can be one with the outdoors. Outside our villa was our own plunge infinity pool dropping into endless shades of blue horizon. Equipped with two showers, one indoors, or get back to nature with an outdoor rain shower over looking the beach (but don’t worry, the cottages are so secluded you won’t be caught unaware!)
The Service: The attentive, yet unobtrusive service is unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. The staff seems to anticipate your every need before you even have a chance to ask for it. They’re graciously at your beck and call for anything and everything you should want or need while on the island, and if you do need them, they are only a walkie talky away. I had a little too much fun with this, one day I found myself on the walkie talky saying “hello handsome men, can I make a request?”
The staff strives to ensure you enjoy the island as if it’s your own private island, but with all the amenities that make it your perfect trip.The whole thing feels a little like heaven, and you’ll have to pinch yourself every so often to convince yourself it isn’t just a dream. I had a lot of pinch marks after this stay. LOL.
The Food: The food at Cayo Espanto, was the best I had in my two weeks Belize, but let’s face it, how could it not be? Before your trip their concierge reaches out to you to find out any of your food allergies/restrictions and preferences – and your favorite dishes – so the kitchen is prepared for your arrival. Everyday around 3 pm, the chef comes to present you the menu, and tell you what your choices are for your entree for dinner that evening as part of your four course meal. One night our “houseman” asked us if we liked Spanish music. Expecting him to turn on the music on our bluetooth in our villa, we said “of course!” Instead, we were surprised by the arrival of a live musician! He brought out his guitar and played us tunes we didn’t know, as well as my request for “Guantanamera.” All meals are served in your private villa, but should you want to dine outside on your patio, or private dock, they are there to make any of your dining dreams come true, and make it happen. I found myself eating lunch in the pool one day, because why not? Also should you want a snack, again just use the walkie talky, and it will be there right away. If they have the ingredients they will make your culinary wish come true (and this is coming from a picky eater, like me). I indulged in afternoon snacks of perfectly steamed broccoli ???? many afternoons. (Don’t knock it til you try it).
The Activities: Prior to arrival, or upon arrival there is an array of activities at your disposal that can be arranged for you to engage in. Included in your stay are all non motorized water sports – Jump on a paddle board, or go sailing! Or if you’re looking for more of an adventure go snorkeling at the barrier reef, or go swimming in shark alley with the nurse sharks. I opted for this excursion and whew- how exhilarating! While the guide was feeding the sharks sardines – I jumped in to swim alongside them and take an ‘epic’ photo surrounded by ‘danger.’ But just as a shark turned to approach me I panicked and screamed and swam like a bat out of hell back to the boat. Sounds like it was pretty funny for everyone on the boat. I sure wasn’t laughing (at the time) but the adrenaline rush definitely made it a trip I won’t forget!
All in all, Cayo Espanto, exceeded my expectations on all fronts. Of all the hotels and resorts I’ve stayed at I can honestly say that Cayo Espanto is by far my favorite, and the only one where I basically teared up having to leave. I can’t wait to visit again.
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