Fodor's Expert Review Cayo Espanto

San Pedro Town, Belize District, Belize Fodor's Choice

Islanders will tell you that Cayo Espanto, a spectacular private island off Ambergris, is where movie stars stay, and they’re not wrong. Before arrival, you’re asked to detail favorite foods, music tastes, and your daily rhythm, so that staff can craft a highly customized paradise. Then, on arrival, you're met by the uniformed crew, a welcome bottle of champagne, and astonishing vistas of crystalline seas. Architecturally, the turquoise-and-gray-tone villas blend in with the sand and sky as much as possible—during the day, the villas aren’t even walled (most have walls folded in at night). Between the architecture and details like alfresco showers and splash pools, you have intimate access to the natural stage around you. Meanwhile, a personal butler, or “houseman,” is on call to take care of every whim. The island chef creates a bespoke menu, while the day's meals are delivered to a waterside table or dock by your villa. A special experience is the private beachside dinner, lit with luminaries and a just-for-you bonfire. For all this intensely personal care, you'll pay a small (or large) fortune. The highly professional service can feel formal, which may discomfort those used to the casual interactions you'll have on Ambergris Caye.


  • outrageous luxury and service
  • you'll feel like a castaway in a utopian scene
  • intimacy with the natural setting


  • wildly expensive
  • on the leeward side of Ambergris Caye, not on the main Barrier Reef side
  • privacy can sometimes be oppressive




Phones: 910-323–8355-in U.S.


7 villas
Rate Includes: All-Inclusive

What’s Nearby