Beach + Island

World's Sexiest Beaches 2009

by Colleen Clark

Ambergris Caye, Belize

The turn-on: With 185 miles of reefs, the longest stretch in the Americas, the coast of Belize is strung with gorgeous, tiny islets like Goff's Caye (pictured), puddles of blindingly white sand with room for little more than a handful of swaying palms and day-tripping snorkelers and divers. In fact, Goff's often swarms with passengers on cruise-ship excursions, so shipwreck yourself instead on Ambergris Caye, a svelte 25-mile isle of barefoot boisterousness. The sleepy main town of San Pedro is a tall drink of cheap cerveza and laid-back beach bars. There are mangroves, exotic birds, and boats that'll take you diving and snorkeling among the miles and miles of spectacularly colorful reefs.

Hot bodies: Madonna, the hottest of hot bodies herself, referenced San Pedro in "La Isla Bonita," and celebs from Leonardo DiCaprio to Flavor Flav have brought star wattage to its shores. But you're more likely to find friendly Texas girls on a beach break flirting with bronzed boat captains and scuba instructors. Thankfully, the bars operate under a strict policy of "no shoes, no shirt, no problem."

Bed down: Mata Chica Resort is the embodiment of the boho beach hangout: The manager spins world music in the lobby; Moroccan textiles and Guatemalan pillows drape the loungers. Beach babes like Cameron Diaz have holed up in the hammocks of this 14-villa resort, and its restaurant draws cuties from across the island.

Next: Shipwreck fantasies on St. John >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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