CAYE CAULKER, BELIZE
Perfect for: Laid-back lovers who want to live in their swimsuits (or less)
The scene: This tiny spray of an island ten miles off the coast of Belize ( View Slideshow
) will bring to mind the music and ultra–easygoing spirit of another island—Jamaica. Most locals speak Creole-accented English peppered with "hey, mon," and the sounds of reggae often float in the air. The vibe is totally appropriate: The pace is molasses-slow, and a pleasant breeze continually blows through the brightly painted stilt houses. There are no cars on Caye Caulker, just golf carts and bicycles, and it doesn't take long to hoof it anywhere. Which leaves the rest of the day open for drinking Belikin beers under a coconut tree next to the pebbly shore. Time slows waaay down. Bohemian, easy, and very sexy.
Don't miss: Belize's barrier reef, one of the largest in the world. It's a very short boat ride from Caye Caulker to Shark Ray Alley and its thickets of colorful fish and friendly manta rays. Snorkeling trips are dirt cheap, and guests gather conch shells as they dive. The captain of the boat will pry out the delicious meat and prepare it right on the boat for a sumptuous—and crazily fresh—lunch.
Between the sheets: Saying that Caye Caulker's accommodations are modest is pure understatement, but the lack of pretension is one of the island's greatest charms. The Tree Tops Guesthouse, just off the water, has rooms outfitted in wood furniture, clean white sheets, and ceiling fans. The two suites (which start at under $100 a night) have private balconies with views to the ocean.