Private-Island Resort with Caribbean Sea Activities
Since buying Isla Marisol in the 1940s, the Usher family has preserved the tropical landscape and wildlife so visitors today can experience the atoll as it looked and felt generations ago. They allow fishing but have a catch-and-release policy, which helps to maintain the population of colorful parrotfish along the pier. There's an abundance of coconut palms, too, allowing you to gather your own ingredients for a piña colada. Isla Marisol Resort is also privately owned, and it maintains an intimate feel—there are just five all-wood cabins and 11 cabanas dotting the island.
The resort limits its occupancy to 36 guests at any time, and visitors all have access to the entire island, from the 2 miles of jungle to soft-sand beaches studded with conch shells. Vacation packages come with all meals served in the laid-back restaurant. Isla Marisol’s chefs prepare dishes with locally sourced conch and lobster and cook with seasonal produce shipped in from family farms and gardens around Belize.
One Getaways option also includes three nights at the hotel’s sister property, Fantasy Island Eco Resort, as well as transportation between the two properties. Set on its own private island, the resort contains three pastel-colored cabanas pitched above the Caribbean Sea with dazzling views of the Maya Mountains. Guests can feast on complimentary Belizean cuisine at the overwater dining room, which is powered by solar energy. The package also includes daily snorkeling and diving adventures, during which you can explore miles of coral formations and schools of brightly colored tropical fish in the world-famous Belize Barrier Reef.
Adventure Tours in Glover’s Reef
Isla Marisol lies about 35 miles southeast of mainland Belize and is the smallest of three coral atolls in the region. Just offshore, Glover’s Reef abounds with marine life and supports recreational activities such as snorkeling and fly-fishing. For this Getaway, you have the option of exploring the reef in the diving and snorkeling adventure packages.
Diving adventure packages include one dive per day, except the day of arrival. (Some diving equipment must be rented.) A PADI-certified dive master leads each 45-minute excursion, so even noncertified divers can explore sections of the Belize Barrier Reef system—the second-largest in the world. Reefs seem to flower up from the ocean floor at the popular Pinnacles dive site; other dive sites are characterized by subterranean structures such as sheer vertical walls, deep canyons, and grottos.
Much of the coral around the island is located near the surface of the water, which makes it prime for snorkeling. You can feel free to head out your own as much as you like, and there is also one guided trip per day included in the snorkeling package. After a short boat ride across the calm Caribbean waters, peer down into the water—it's so clear, you can see the ocean floor 40 feet below and watch as garden eels and barracudas tango beneath the waves.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.