Ready to get away where you can jump out of bed and start your dive? These 10 Airbnbs put you as close to the water as it gets, from the Florida Keys to French Polynesia!
Belizean Private Island
Bird Island, just offshore of Belize’s Stann Creek District, stands as one large overwater villa—we’d call it a private island, only there isn’t much island to speak of. The four-bedroom accommodation perches atop less than a foot of water, giving you instant access to coral reefs and the fish that call them home. Of course, there is no dive shop to speak of in the house, so be sure to bring as many tanks as you need on the boat trip over. The crew running this Airbnb adds in a veggie market and grocery run along with airport pick-up if you are doing a DIY cooking and provisioning; otherwise, a supplement of $125 a day buys the services of a chef, housekeeper and guide.
Feather Leaf Inn, St. Croix
Wreck divers, this one’s for you. The Feather Leaf Inn on St. Croix’s west coast is yards from Butler Bay, home of the five of the island’s wrecks. Typically, most dive operators do them as two dives: the deeper pair, and the shallower three. You can scout the wave conditions from the home’s grand deck, or, if you’re not able to make the judgment call on your own, phone up Cane Bay Dive Shop for local know-how or to book a boat dive. The home has an abundance of character, from the coral-rock-and-lime-mortar walls to the ruins on the property. Bonuses include shared access to a saltwater pool and a sandy cove off Butler Bay perfect for sunset picnics.
Seaside Governor Suite, Bonaire
We’d rent this three-bedroom vacation suite for the view alone: Sitting on the top floor of the Seaside Suites complex in Kralendijk, this Airbnb offers a grand sundeck with views of the ocean. Something Special and the Town Pier are the shore dive sites closest to this vacation accommodation. The inside of the home is newly renovated, but pretty as it is, we doubt you’ll see much of it given this suite’s access to the heart of Bonaire diving.
Rough Scad Condo, Bonaire
Set opposite the island of Klein Bonaire, the Airbnb condos of Den Laman pack efficiency and comfort just steps from some of the island’s most famous sites, including Tori’s Reef, site of the Caribbean’s highest number of recorded fish species. This complex includes a cement pier for giant-stride access to the reef, plus a beach and onsite restaurant. What this condo lacks in privacy it more than makes up for with added services available.
Luxury Round Cay, Cayos Cochinos, Honduras
This private island in the Cayos Cochinos island chain off Honduras is home to three cabins, each with two bedrooms—and a front-, side- and backyard that are all nothing but reef. The homes themselves are spartan but updated, more about efficiency and comfort than over-the-top luxury. However, the property isn’t without perks, including wifi and ping-pong. As for scuba, you can bring your own tanks and dive from the Airbnb, or connect with the host to make arrangements with a local operator.
West Bay One-Bedroom Condo, Grand Cayman
It’s hard to nail down what we love most about this one-bedroom beachfront condo on Grand Cayman’s West End. The ocean view from the all-glass walls and outdoor deck is stunning. Inside, the modern interior blends chic minimalism style with natural touches. A communal infinity pool sits at the edge of the ocean. As a bonus, the complex also has a salt pool cut into the ironshore coast that opens to the reefs, creating a natural swimming hole plus an easy, instantly accessible route to some of Grand Cayman’s finest diving.
East Sister Rock Island, Marathon, Florida
In the heart of the Florida Keys, this private island just off of Marathon comes with the use of a 21-foot Carolina skiff for transport to and from the dock, as well as to local dive sites. Inside this three-bedroom estate you’ll find a Venetian-meets-the-islands style; outside, take advantage of a swimming pool and pad for landing your heli (or meeting up with local helicopter tour operators).
This one-bedroom Airbnb north of Lahaina sits at the shore of a protected lagoon ideal for snorkeling and shallow scuba diving. The unit inside sports an old-school rattan-wicker-and-Hawaiian-floral-prints vibe—pure retro fun. What is timeless, however, is the ocean view and golden beach just steps away.
Ground Floor West Bay Two-Bedroom Condo, Grand Cayman
This two-bedroom find on the West Bay offers a paved pathway from the communal pool area over the ironshore to the water’s edge where you can directly enter the Caribbean Sea. This side of the island has a mini-wall and a slew of macro life, from sea slugs to juvenile trunkfish. Everything from eagle rays to green turtles are possible sightings. Inside, the unit is white and bright, accented with various blue ocean hues.
Island Retreat, Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
Rustic and elemental, this thatched-roof one-bedroom bungalow offers stellar snorkeling about three yards from the kitchen and dining area. The home itself is indoor-outdoor concept, welcoming in tropical sunlight and breezes, from the hammock to the mosquito-netted bed. This is not the place to go for wifi and a working vacation, but to get away from it all and reconnect with nature, from the reef residents to the out-of-this-world sunsets.