Overwater bungalows closest to the US and Canada
Once you start researching overwater bungalows and villas, you'll find that there are dozens of overwater resorts around the world, giving lots of people the opportunity to visit one that isn't too terribly far away. If you reside in North America, particularly the US and Canada, then you'll note that there aren't any overwater resorts along the vast stretches of coastline, however, there is one within the state of Florida. The Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is located in Orlando and is a good choice for families visiting the area and parks.
If you're looking for a true over the water experience, then you'll want to either head to the South Pacific, the Caribbean, or the Caribbean coast of Central America.
Overwater bungalows nearest to the US and Canada
If you live in the western portion of the US and Canada, you'll quickly note that the closest overwater bungalows and water villas are situated in the South Pacific, which is a very popular area to visit. Because of the region's beauty, colorful coral reefs, and friendly locals, you'll find yourself among lots of visitors from around the world who have decided to spend their yearly vacation there.
Overwater bungalows in the South Pacific
As there are over 2 dozen overwater resorts within the South Pacific, we've gone ahead and created separate lists for each region.
- Moorea overwater bungalows – On this island you'll find 5 different overwater resorts with rooms that stretch out over a lagoon
- Bora Bora overwater bungalows – A very popular and well known island with 10 overwater resorts to choose from
- Tahiti overwater bungalows – There are 2 large resorts here with overwater rooms
- South Pacific overwater bungalows – Here you'll find 12 resorts scattered around multiple islands including Fiji and Samoa
Overwater bungalows in the Caribbean
Nowadays, you can find a few great options within the Caribbean, which has become a big hit for travelers from the US who rather not fly to other parts of the world. In fact, there are now 21 different overwater resorts to select from. To summarize, here are 4 overwater resorts within the Caribbean that really stand out:
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica – An adult only resort that opened with tons of interest and bookings, the Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort is a big hit in the overwater community. With 17 overwater bungalows outfitted with the best of the best, including a private pool and jacuzzi, if you've got the US$2,267 to spend per night, you're sure to have a fantastic time here. This resort is also extremely easy to reach. All you have to do is fly into the Sangster International Airport which is conveniently located in Montego Bay before taking the resort's private shuttle to the resort 10 minutes away.
Sandals South Coast Resort, Whitehouse, Jamaica – Another new and popular Sandals resort, this one caters with 12 large overwater bungalows that stretch out into the ocean. Each of these rooms come with a private deck, steps that lead directly into the water below, Wi-Fi, room service, a soaking tub for two, and much more. Though the nightly rates for this resort are on the high side (US$2,159 and up per couple), guests feel that the resort is well worth the money. To reach this resort, you'll fly into the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and then take a taxi about an hour or so south.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort, St. Lucia – The only overwater resort on the island, the Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort commands a high price with overwater villas starting out a US$2,239 per night for two people. The 9 Honeymoon Butler Bungalows provide guests with air conditioning, a personal butler and 24 hour room service, Wi-Fi, and a glass floor cutout that allows you to easily watch the ocean below from inside your room. This resort is very easy to reach. First you'll fly into the Hewanorra International Airport before being picked up by the resort's free airport transfer. This transfer takes about an hour a half.
Rosewood Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen, Mexico – This resort wows with 18 Deluxe Overwater Lagoon Suites in addition to its many land based rooms. The overwater rooms here feature a heated plunge pool with your private terrace, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and 24 hour room service. It's fairly easy to reach the resort as well. First you'll fly into Cancun International Airport and then take a taxi, shuttle, or your own rental car to the resort, which is about a hour away. Rates here tend to stay under US$1,500 per night throughout the entire year, with low season rates starting out at US$842 per night.
Overwater bungalows in Central America
If you like the idea of traveling to Central America for an overwater experience, you're in luck as there's actually a nice amount of accommodations to choose from, and we've listed a few of them below. As you'll see, these resorts do vary quite a bit when it comes to features and nightly rates, making it so that you can find one that fits your vacation design and budget the best.
When looking at the list below, you'll want to note that the list is in order of resorts that are generally the fastest to reach to the longest to reach after landing in the country. Some resorts are more isolated than others, thus requiring more of a journey to reach them.
Cosmic Crab Resort, Panama – At this resort, you'll find 6 overwater cabins that feature Wi-Fi, air conditioning, an orthopedic mattress, and a private bathroom. You'll also find a restaurant, a playground, and a outdoor pool. This is all impressive as the nightly rate starts out at only US$76. After flying into Panama City, you'll then fly into the airport at Bocas del Toro (which takes about an hour). A water taxi to the resort adds on another few minutes of travel.
Mango Creek Lodge, Roatan, Honduras – Known for their fishing and diving packages, this resort grants guests extremely basic rooms that aren't much to talk about. However, if you're outside enjoying nature the entire time, this won't be an issue. With that said, expect to pay rates of about US$460 per night and up. After flying into the Roatan International Airport, you'll have about another hour of travel.
St. George's Caye Resort, Belize -Featuring 6 overwater rooms that are a bit different from your typical overwater bungalow, the St. George's Caye Resort offers rooms with a starting nightly rate of US$149. You'll also find lots of things to do here, including kayaking and snorkeling. Though there are three steps to get to the resort, you'll won't have to devote a day to traveling after you land at the Belize City International Airport but rather an hour (give or take).
Cabins Wailidup Lodge, Panama – Here you'll find a restaurant, a few land rooms, and 6 overwater bungalows. The nightly rates vary a bit, and you'll have to contact the lodge for the most up to date pricing. After flying into Panama City's international airport, expect it to take about an hour to reach the lodge.
Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, Panama – As it is common for Panama overwater lodges, this one is on the simple side with nightly rates starting out at US$315 per night for two people. This includes breakfast and dinner, along with snorkeling equipment. You won't find a spa here, but in-room massages are available. Expect over an hour of added transport time after arriving at the international airport in Panama City.
Yandup Island Lodge, Panama – With nightly rates starting out at US$277 per night for two people, the Yandup Island Lodge serves the adventurous crowd very well. Here you won't find much in the way of amenities, and the rooms are very basic. You will however, find lots of great snorkeling and tours to nearby islands. To reach this resort, you'll find that it takes a bit of time. After flying into Panama City, you'll then take a domestic flight, which takes about an hour, before reaching the lodge.
Azul Paradise Resort, Panama – A small resort that only houses overwater bungalows, 10 in total, guests here should expect to pay about US$250 or more a night for two people. This price grants you a private deck, snorkeling gear to use during your entire stay, a glass floor bottom, and a private bathroom. After landing in Panama City, you'll want to plan for about 2 hours or less of travel.
Urraca Private Island Eco Lodge, Panama – An eco lodge that doesn't allow children under the age of 13, the Urraca Private Island Eco Lodge offers 6 rooms that are situated on stilts over the water. You won't find much in the rooms, but you will find Wi-Fi, a private deck, and stairs that lead into the water below. You'll also want to note that the prices here are much lower than most overwater options, with a nightly rate starting out at US$195. Before booking, you'll want to make sure you know that there are several steps to reach the lodge, which can take a few hours after landing in Panama.
El Faro del Colibri, Bocas del Toro, Panama – With nightly rates starting out at only US$88 for two people in low season, this resort is a great option for budget travelers who don't mind spending most of their time in nature. Rooms here come with basic cable and Wi-Fi, but not much else, but that's to be expected with such a low nightly rate. This resort also takes a while to get to after you land in Panama. That's because you'll have to take a domestic flight, a bus, and then a ferry. Expect it to take a few hours.
The best overwater bungalows in the world
As you may already know, there are literally dozens of overwater resorts within the Maldives. You'll also find a great selection of different types of water villas, some that cater to honeymooners, some to families and groups, and others to those with a very large bank account.
- Budget water villa resorts in the Maldives
- Luxury water villa resorts in the Maldives
- Super-luxury water villa resorts in the Maldives
Top photo credit: Jan Arendtsz on Flickr