A private speck of land (only 135 acres), exquisite Palm Island used to be an uninhabited, mosquito-infested swamp called Prune Island. One intrepid family put heart and soul—as well as muscle and brawn and lots of money—into taking the wrinkles out of the prune and rechristened it Palm Island. The Caldwell family cleaned up the five surrounding beaches, built bungalows, planted palm trees, and irrigated the swamp with seawater to kill the mosquitoes. The rustic getaway existed for 25 years before Palm Island's current owners, Elite Island Resorts, dolled up the property. Now it's one of the finest resorts in the Caribbean. Other than the resort, the island is populated by a handful of privately owned villas. Access is via Union Island, 1 mile (1½ km) to the west and a 10-minute ride in the resort's launch.
Need trip ideas? Get inspired by our curated collections of the world's best destinations.More