Belize it or not: My Own Private Island


OK, something about Belize compels one to awful puns. At least I don’t own a “You Better Belize It” t-shirt… anymore. Tied to Wisconsin this summer with a couple of guidebook projects, I am forced to do a bit of reminiscing in the blog.


I just received an email from one of the best places I have ever stayed. Cayo Espanto is a private island just off the coast of San Pedro the town on Caye Ambergris, Belize. This is some serious luxury. I was there on assignment (hotel reviews in Belize) and was fortunate to spend the night there in one of the six villas.

Mine was Casa Estrella, a two-story, two-bedroom beachhouse with an open-air design, an infinity edge plunge pool, and a 180-degree view of the sea. Practically IN the sea in fact.

The photos tell the story…

Often there are more staff here than guests and when I arrived the whole lot of them greeted me at the dock. The guy to the far left is the important one. Mr. Welcome Cocktail. Rum I believe.

Prior to my arrival I had to fill out a questionnaire wherein I told them what I liked to eat, snack on, and sip during the cocktail hour. Let’s just say I didn’t go hungry.

Lobster salad? So photogenic, almost a pity to eat it. Almost…

That all important guy again. Always waiting for me on the dock like this after a dive excursion.


And as for the diving, well, Belize is famous for being part of that enormous reef system that extends from Cozumel Mexico down the coast to Honduras. We didn’t stray far from the island but it was enough to see some excellent sea life. A pair of eagle rays came close.


And the nurse sharks. My personal divemaster put my mind at ease before the dive explaining that the harmless nurse sharks are “just like big dumb catfish.” So I was totally relaxed when I gave one of those big dumb catfish a big ole hug. Um… the scuba mask just makes my eyes look a little big.

Other activities include birdwatching and some great fishing, plus spa services are on site.

This was a work trip, so I was alone and thinking what a waste of a giant beachhouse. Think honeymoons or anniversaries, or a small fun group of friends. Nope, it’s not backpacker pricing for sure, but for the special occasion to splurge a bit, this is supreme.

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