Buy a private island off the coast of Belize
The three-hectare island is just five kilometres from the second largest coral reef system in the world.
If the old adage "location, location, location" is the most important factor to consider when buying real estate, then Hatchet Caye — a three-hectare private island resort located 27-kilometres off the coast of Placencia, Belize — is a find on all fronts.
Currently on the market for $US9.9 million (about $A12.9 million), the scenic stretch of sand is stationed just five kilometres from the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. The reef, which is the second largest coral reef system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Showcasing offshore atolls and coastal lagoons, the reef is a premier spot for snorkelling and diving. And Hatchet Caye provides easy access to the world wonder.
"The most unique thing about the island is its location," says Tony Camacho, director of the holding company that currently manages Hatchet Caye. "It's a good size and it's right out by the reef. If you want to do recreational diving, you're very close to where you need to go."
In addition to snorkelling and diving, guests can explore an area Camacho calls "the turtle spot," which showcases tortoises in their natural habitat. There is plenty to do back on the island as well. Kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming are popular pastimes, and a spa facility offers massages, facials, and scrubs.
In July 2011, a 12-room resort opened on the idyllic island. Featuring seven beachfront cabanas and five rooms in the main house, the year-round resort provides a secluded stay for couples and families alike. A separate facility currently houses 23 staff members.
The Lionfish Grill — a seafood-centric restaurant with vaulted ceilings and ocean views — is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Camacho recommends the fried lionfish tacos, which are topped with cabbage cilantro slaw and fresh pico de gallo).
Equipped with a water and power supply, Hatchet Caye is an eco-friendly, self-sufficient resort. Boat shuttles from Placencia offer round-trip access to the island, making it an ideal destination for those travelling from Belize.
Roughly half of the island has been developed, so there is still plenty of room for future expansion. Camacho estimates that the number of rooms in the resort can easily be doubled. More buildings and docks can also be added as desired.
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