Visit These Overwater Bungalows Without the Jet Lag

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©Sandals Luxury Resorts

Sandals Royal Caribbean, Jamaica

British croquet and afternoon tea await in the grand house during a day of luxuriating at this Jamaican resort. The overwater villas include glass floors, a tiled infinity pool and hammocks. A private boat takes visitors to and from the resort to their overwater haven.

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©Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico

The Riveria Maya, on the untouched Mexican coast between Playa del Carmen and Mexico City, has always been an inviting destination. The luxury overwater accommodations offered by Rosewood Mayakoba are a gem in a pristine location: 1,600 acres—including mangroves and natural wildlife—surround the bungalows' lagoon.

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©Cayo Espanto

Cayo Espanto, Belize

The wild jungle coasts of Belize are just a boat ride away from Cayo Espanto's home on a private island. Snorkel through areas known internationally for the array of fish and coral or take time to relax and enjoy fly fishing when not lounging in an overwater cabana.

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©Shannon Welch/Flickr, Creative Commons

Coral Lodge, Panama

The pristine San Blas archipelago in Panama—home to Coral Lodge—is just out of reach of Internet and cable, so a stay at this five-star resort is au naturel. The locale offers a relaxing getaway amongst a lush tropical rainforest with no shortage of trekking, fishing and other activities. 

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©Karisma Hotels & Resorts

El Dorado Maroma, Mexico

The overwater bungalows—called "palafitos" at Karisma hotels—offer romantic accommodations in an adults-only setting with glass-bottomed floors and private infinity pools. For night owls Playa del Carmen offers the hottest nightlife in Cancun and is less than 30 minutes away.

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©Mango Creek Lodge

Mango Creek Lodge, Honduras

Old Port Royal in Roatan, Honduras, is the epicenter of the area's historically pirate area. Mango Creek Lodge offers poppy, pastel overwater bungalows as a base to explore the area during fishing and scuba adventures.

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©Disney World Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

When in doubt, trust the Mouse to deliver cultural experiences to thrill children and adults alike. Stay in one of the 20 bungalows that hover over the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Walt Disney World Resort. From the bungalow's private porch guests can see the fireworks displays from the nearby Disney parks.

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©Michael (a.k.a. moik) McCollough/Flickr, Creative Commons

Punta Caracol, Panama

During a stay at Punta Caracol, take a day trip to nearby Playa Estrella—Starfish Beach—to see colorful fish, starfish and graceful manta rays glide by in the clear depths. Dolphins frolicking around the aqua lodges are also a frequent group of visitors much to the delight of resort guests.

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©Dylan Rose/Thatch Caye Resort

Thatch Caye Resort, Belize

On an island barely a mile long off the coast of Belize, Thatch Caye Resort is an eco-resort with big personality. Happy hour at the Starfish Bar and community meals are a great way to meet others, while more secluded activities include napping in the rooftop hammocks swaying above the overwater bungalows.

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©Meliā Hotels and Resorts

Meliā Cayo Coco, Cuba

The staff at this Cuban resort seem always ready to offer lifesaving assistance in the form of cocktails in freshly hewn coconut shells. The overwater bungalows are crafted for several separate groups—condos on a lagoon—are a great jumping off point for exploring Cuban culture.

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©Anthony's Key Resort

Anthony's Key Resort, Honduras

Anthony's Key Resort is nestled on the shores of Roatan, the island off the coast of Honduras. Enjoy diving and snorkeling through the Great Mayan Reef, the second largest reef in the world teeming with eagle rays, fish populations and colorful sea sponges. Other activities include horseback riding, in-land excursions and more.

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©St. George's Caye Resort

St. George's Caye Resort, Belize

Start the day at St. George's Caye with a personal delivery of coffee or orange juice and finish the day with the resort's signature rum punch. Days are full of adventure: learn how to sail a colorful Hobie catamaran around this private island or visit nearby caves for a leisurely cave tubing session, floating gently through local caves.

Sipping a cocktail on the deck of an overwater chalet isn't exclusive to the French Polynesian. 

While the South Pacific and islands off the coast of India are known as the ultimate spot for relaxing in a bungalow perched over teal waters, there are overwater villas that are closer to home that won't cause dreaded jet lag. Laying under a thatched roof, swinging in a porch hammock on the end of a secluded bungalow or snorkeling around your temporary home on stilts are only a few of the ways to enjoy a stay in an overwater bungalow. 

The popularity and classic, chic appeal of a luxurious stay in one such bungalow may feel exclusive to a faraway island but these closer-to-home options deliver that luxurious experience in half the distance.