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7 overwater bungalows for a budget-friendly tropical getaway

7 overwater bungalows for a budget-friendly tropical getaway
Posted at 2:52 PM, Jun 24, 2024

If you’ve assumed an overwater bungalow experience is outside your tax bracket, we’ve got some good news. Nearby getaways in the Caribbean and Mexico are home to some of the most beautiful and secluded overwater beach retreats. While the stay itself may not be dirt-cheap, the flights certainly can be.

A quick trip from most U.S. cities, flights to these Caribbean and Mexican resorts are certainly more affordable than one to French Polynesia or the Maldives, which will set you back about $1,500 a ticket.

So fire up your Google flight search on and check out these ultra-low prices for nearby overwater destinations. The airfare savings will leave you with extra cash for a longer stay… and more tropical frozen drinks. Who could argue with that?

1. El Dorado Palafitos, Maroma Beach, Mexico

The pictures of this resort are breathtaking. Seriously, can we just start packing our bags? These bungalows are part of the El Dorado Maroma Beach and offer overwater luxury with a glass bottom floor, private infinity pool and direct ocean access. We found flights from Atlanta to Cancún for less than $300.

2. Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Located just south of Cancun in Riviera Maya, the Deluxe Overwater Lagoon Suites at Rosewood Mayakoba are the ideal location for a romantic getaway. Think stunning views, private outdoor shower, boat dock and butler service. A trip from Chicago to Riviera Maya can easily cost less than $350.

3. Sandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay, Jamaica

The Over the Water Private Island Butler Villa with Infinity Pool at the Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica may be the definition of relaxation. Floating water hammock, glass floors and a personal butler make this resort a vacationer’s dream. You can travel directly from Dallas to Montego Bay for under $600.

4. Cayo Espanto, Belize

Surrounded on all sides by the Caribbean Sea, this exclusive one-bedroom overwater bungalow known as Casa Ventanas is the ultimate in secluded luxury. As one of a handful of private villas on the private island, you may not see another guest your entire stay. Direct flights can be a bit more expensive here, so expect to pay in the ballpark of $700 to $800.

Cayo Espanto /

MORE: Travelers ranked these the 25 best beaches in the world

5. Azul Paradise, Bocas del Toro, Panama

This resort offers off-the-grid, eco-friendly overwater villas that offer seclusion and relaxation. Glass floors allow you to view the marine life below, and other amenities include a private outdoor shower, a sunken lounge over the water and dinners on your own private dock. Take advantage of daily water activities like kayaking and snorkeling, or take a 30-minute boat ride out of seclusion to the bustling Bocas Town. Depending on your travel plans, a ticket from LAX to Panama City could cost less than $500.

6. Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Azul Paradise not available? Never fear, Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge, another overwater bungalow resort, is right nearby in Bocas del Toro. These two-story bungalows are set up to be environmentally friendly and the resort offers all sorts of excursions, including snorkeling, hiking and fishing trips. Oh, and did we mention each bungalow has its own hammock? Depending on which state you’re flying from, you’ll want to set aside at least $475 for plane tickets.

7. Viceroy, Bocas Del Toro, Panama

Bookmark this one for summer vacations in the future. While this luxury resort on the archipelago off Panama’s coast isn’t slated to open until 2026, it’s only a short plane ride away from the continental U.S. Plus, the 186-room resort boasts a lineup of impressive vacation activities — including paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking and guided tours. Expect to drop around $450 to $600 on a flight.

MORE: This Google Flights hack can help you find cheaper airfare

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money.