Overwater bungalows are a mainstay in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, but those who are unable to travel to French Polynesia or the Maldives may be interested in finding an overwater bungalow experience closer to home. The Caribbean is an extremely popular tourist destination for travelers from North America, and while overwater bungalows are not abundant in this area of the world, there are several resorts that offer beautiful overwater bungalows at a variety of price points.
Sandal Royal Caribbean All-Inclusive- Montego Bay, Jamaica
While they will not be opened until November of 2016, Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort has created overwater bungalows that are as close as it gets to those that you will find in French Polynesia or the Maldives. These bungalows are the definition of luxury, and they have prices to match. Since this is a luxury all-inclusive resort, guests staying in one of the five overwater bungalows will enjoy all of the amenities of the resort, as well as a private pool, personal Jacuzzi, glass floor in the bungalow, and a personal butler. Rates for the overwater bungalows at this resort are $2,935 per night.
Rosewood Mayakoba- Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
The Rosewood Mayakoba in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico is a luxury resort with 18 overwater bungalows located over their private mangrove lagoon. Each bungalow is nearly 1,000 square feet in size and features a heated plunge pool and numerous high-end amenities. The resort consistently receives 5-star ratings, and anyone who books an overwater bungalow can expect exceptional service. The rates for overwater bungalows at the Rosewood Mayakoba are currently between $938 and $1708per night depending on the season.
Glover’s Atoll Resort and Island Lodge
Located on a small island off the Caribbean coast of Belize, Glover’s Atoll Resort offers a very different type of overwater bungalow experience. The rates are extremely cheap—typically only $45 per night. But this is not the place for someone looking for a five star experience, or even a two star experience. The overwater bungalows at Glovers Atoll Resort are best suited for adventurers and backpackers who do not mind very rustic accommodations and no electricity. Glover’s Atoll Resort should be thought of as more like camping over the water. There is an open air restaurant located onsite that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge
Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge, a small eco-resort located on an island off coast of Panama, has only 9 suites, 6 of which are two bedroom overwater bungalows. The overwater bungalows at Eclypse de Mar all feature glass floor panels for observing sea life. Additional features of the overwater bungalows include sunset views, hammocks, and private terraces. The resort offers a full service restaurant that only caters to guests staying at the lodge, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, and excursions to nearby virgin beaches and eco-reserves. The resort tends to get rave reviews, and with an average nightly rate of $275 many consider it to be a great value.
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
Another eco-resort located off the coast of Panama, Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge consists of only 9 suites, all of which are overwater bungalows. The resort was designed to be as eco-friendly as possible, and all of the hot water and electricity is generated via solar panels located on the roof of each bungalow. Swimming and snorkeling is easily accessible from the sunbathing platforms adjacent to each bungalow. The lodge staff is available to book day tours to the surrounding areas. Popular tours include rainforest hikes, scuba diving the mile long reef near the resort, taking a boat ride to virgin beaches, and canoe river trips to observe wildlife. The nightly rates at the Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge start at $350, and include breakfast and dinner in the lodge’s restaurant.
Coco View Resort
Coco View Resort is located on Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras. Roatan is located in close proximity to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the Caribbean and second largest in the world, so it is not surprising that Coco View Resort mainly caters to scuba divers. All meals are included when staying at the resort, and guests have the option to upgrade to a package that offers unlimited scuba diving at a very affordable rate. Coco View Resort offers 16 overwater bungalows that are more comfortable than luxurious, and feature traditional Honduran colors, fabrics, and furniture. Rates start at $219 per night, and many guests are return visitors.
Thatch Caye Resort
The Thatch Caye Resort is situated on a private island 9 miles of the coast of Belize. The resort has 6 overwater bungalows and 4 island suites, so there are never more than 24 guests at the resort at any given time. The resort is completely all-inclusive so the rate includes all meals as well as the use of paddle boards, kayaks, snorkel gear, and fishing poles. The staff at the resort can arrange fishing charters, scuba diving trips, and popular excursions on the mainland of Belize. Rates start at $297 per night, and large groups have the option of renting the entire island for $3,000 per night.
St. George’s Caye Resort
Located just a short boat ride from Belize City, St. George’s Caye Resort has only 12 suites and 6 of those are overwater bungalows. The resort is situated on a semi-private island, and it is does not allow guests under the age of 15 so it is a great place for couples celebrating a honeymoon or anniversary. The large Belize Reef is in close proximity to the resort, so the scuba diving and snorkeling is fantastic. The nightly rate for one of the overwater bungalows is only $139 per person. Guests have the option of adding a meal plan to their packages—the rate is $60 per person, per day and includes breakfast, lunch, a 4 course dinner and juice and water with all meals.