The Big Six: Latin American island retreats
Discover dazzling beaches and captivating views at one of these heavenly hideaways
Saturday 29 August 2009
Posada Caracol, Venezuela
This petite guesthouse opens on to the dazzling beaches of Gran Roque in Los Roques Archipelago National Park. Whitewashed throughout, the building lets the peacock hues of the ocean outside take the spotlight, but there are bursts of colour from the blue-painted shutters to jugs of tropical flowers. Focusing on simple luxuries, there are stylish rattan chairs, hammocks and a terrace where fresh fish and Italian fare are served.
Posada Caracol, Isla Gran Roque, Los Roques, Venezuela (00 58 237 221 1049; caracolgroup.com ). Doubles start at $400 (£267), full board.
Cayo Espanto, Belize
The azure waters off the Belizean coast are studded with idyllic, laidback islands and atolls, but none are quite so exclusive as Cayo Espanto. The private island is home to just six villas (all but two of which come with private plunge pools), which all face the water. Menus are tailored to each guest and might include whitefish tacos on the veranda or parrotfish with blackened corn and plantain mash on the jetty. Activities range from the laid-back (spa and birdwatching) to the lively (diving and kayaking).
Cayo Espanto, Belize District, Belize (001 910 323 8355; aprivateisland.com ). Villas start at US$1,095 (£730), all-inclusive.
Crusoe Island Eco Spa, Chile
Robinson Crusoe Island was renamed in honour of the Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk who was marooned here, reputedly inspiring Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe. Today the island's facilities are rather more developed than Selkirk endured, although it still retains a rugged, natural charm that has seen it protected as a world biosphere reserve. Upping the luxury quotient is the Crusoe Island Eco Spa, which offers rustic-chic, wood-panelled rooms, a gourmet restaurant and outdoor hot tubs.
Crusoe Island Eco Spa, Robinson Crusoe Island, Juan Fernández Archipelago, Chile (00 56 9 8341 5672; crusoe-island.com ). Doubles start at $480 (£320), half board.
Galápagos Safari Camp, Ecuador
These safari-style tents offer a unique alternative to sleeping onboard a cruise ship for visitors to the Galápagos Islands. Each has a balcony overlooking wild farmland with the Santa Cruz national park and Pacific Ocean beyond.
Galápagos Safari Camp, Santa Cruz, Galápagos, Ecuador (00 593 93 717 552; galapagossafaricamp.com ). Tents $454 (£303), half board.
Barefoot Cay, Honduras
Barely a hop across from Roatán island, this tiny cay is home to a brightly-painted retreat of villas and bungalows overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Each has partially open-air bathrooms and open-plan design that makes the most of the captivating views.
Barefoot Cay, Roátan, Bay Islands, Honduras (001 504 455 6235; barefootcay.com ). Doubles start at $215 (£143), room only.
Pousada Maravilha, Brazil
Wild and isolated Fernando de Noronha sits some 220 miles off the Brazilian coast, attracting diverse wildlife to its shores. Guests at Pousada Maravilha can enjoy both wildlife and luxury from its eight stylish bungalows, built for minimal environmental impact.
Pousada Maravilha, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil (00 55 81 3619 0028; pousadamaravilha.com.br ). Doubles start at R1,415 (£465), half board.
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