Luxury travelers wanting to escape the crowds do not need to return time and again to the same old island. Here are four exclusive, undiscovered islands and destinations. Getaways that will spark your imagination and show you the least commercialized corners of the Caribbean.
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1. Costa Rica For Jungles & Wildlife
Rugged Costa Rica is a stunning mix of pristine beaches and a vast protected jungle with unbelievable wildlife, including spider monkeys and quetzal birds, waterfalls, and volcanos, which are all waiting to be explored.
For a tropical hideaway high up a mountain, pick El Alma Private Villa & Soul Retreat. This villa is set in a tropical paradise within the lush green hills of the Papagayo Península, with views of the Playa Prieta on the north Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The gardens are a huge part of the experience here and you will find yourself spending a lot of time outside; there is a pool, Jacuzzi, and pool decks with a hanging day bed, plus a patio with a pergola and a beautiful rancho. The views from the garden over the Pacific are take-your-breath-away fabulous and the garden really is the ideal place to relax and disconnect.
For a more beach-focused alternative, ANdAZ Peninsula Papagayo Resort (pictured above) extends over a vast hillside, where the Gulf of Papagayo meets the sapphire blue waters of Culebra Bay. The reason to travel to this Andaz Papagayo Resort is to bathe in infinity pools shaded by jicaro trees and framed by views of the cobalt blue bay. You can also expect an array of wildlife including the families of white-faced monkeys who jump through the resort, in the trees, making their way down to the beach. There are also iguanas and lizards, hummingbirds and butterflies that are attracted to the flowers in and around the resort.
2. Dominica For Rainforest & Waterfalls
Dominica is a completely different island to the Dominican Republic. Known as ‘The Nature Island”, most of this gorgeous island is covered in tropical rainforest scattered with glorious waterfalls. This means that it rains quite a lot but the wildlife and hiking are unmatched by any other Caribbean Island. Trek to the Emerald Pool, Trafalgar Falls, and Victoria Falls and snorkel Champagne Reef with geothermal activity that makes the water bubble like a bath.
Dominica is not know for its luxury hotels and Rosalie Bay resort is about as luxury as it gets on this beautiful island. In a rainforest setting, this upscale ecolodge overlooks the Atlantic and is just 9 km from the Central Forest Reserve, 10 km from the geothermally heated Boiling Lake, and 42 km from Douglas-Charles Airport. There’s also an outdoor pool, as well as a spa and a gym, plus eco-activities and direct access to a black-sand beach.
3. Belize For Beaches, Jungle, Mayan Ruins & The World’s Second Largest Barrier Reef
Belize’s natural beauty rivals some of the world’s most sought after playgrounds. It borders Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the east and offers glorious beaches on the shores of the sparkling Caribbean sea. Belize is also the only Latin American country whose official language is English, which is useful for travelers from North America and the UK – but so far, it is not overrun by tourists.
Lush jungles with Mayan ruins coupled with pristine beaches and cayes provide endless exploration opportunities in Belize. On the coastline there is no better resort choice than Itz’ana Resort (pictured above) which is about to open. Named after the Mayan god of day and night, Itz’ana offers beachside luxury and the perfect spot to experience the soul of Belize.
This resort is ideally located next to islands, beaches, rivers, jungle, caves, and the world’s second-largest barrier reef. 39 luxury boutique cottages and villas, designed for waterfront living, are set around the “Great House”, an ode to the great Caribbean estates of years past.
Just beyond the heavenly Itz’ana waters awaits an even more blissful escape. Their private island basking under the tropical Belizean sun. Here you can feast on an island picnic, sail a sundown yacht charter or even make it your own overnight campsite. And with the barrier reef as your backyard and pristine waters lapping on the shore, it’s a truly special island getaway.
4. Miles & Miles Of Unspoiled Beach In Nicaragua
Although the Caribbean borders Nicaragua to the east, some unbelievable beaches can be found on its Pacific coast to the west. In fact, if unspoiled beaches are your dream, you will not beat Nicaragua. Although this coast is not strictly in the Caribbean, my hotel choice of Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan’s Rock is as crowd-free as beach resorts come.
Located on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan’s Rock sits on the edge of a 4,000-acre expanse of Nicaraguan jungle and on the shores of the most idyllic golden sand beach. In this private protected reserve, you can enjoy this private beach bordered by an unspoiled lush jungle and all its associated wildlife.
Fifteen exquisite bungalows, constructed of natural materials are tucked gracefully into the jungle (nearly all of these bungalows boast a gorgeous view of the hacienda’s private beach). Set into the treetops, each three-sided bungalow is perched on a cliff 30-100 feet over the private beach and cove, just across a 50-yard jungle suspension bridge. The balcony is a highlight, with a queen size day bed suspended by a thick marine rope. Enjoy a morning coffee, a glass of wine with the sunset, or a well-deserved nap in your day bed while soaking in stunning vistas and unparalleled wildlife. Expect to see howler monkeys, languorous sloths hanging from the trees, and various vibrant tropical birds.
The mile-long stretch of sandy beach is great for surfing or bodyboarding during the day, strolls in the evenings, and beach bonfires at night. The starlit beach is also the perfect place to witness baby turtles hatchlings scurrying out to sea – a truly unforgettable experience!
You may also be interested in my top 5 best romantic, honeymoon-style overwater villas in the Caribbean.
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