Courtesy of Mahogany Bay Village

PS: You can vacation here too!

By Mary Tomlinson

Lounging on a white sand beach, splashing in a bright teal pool, relaxing on an overwater bungalow—it’s all in a day’s work for a swimsuit model. This year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photo shoot took place in the Bahamas, Aruba, and a Coastal Living favorite: Belize, specifically at the gorgeous Mahogany Bay Village.

The six models—finalists in SI’s first ever open casting where over 5,000 women submitted videos via Instagram—were photographed around the luxury resort situated on the south end of Ambergris Caye, a laidback Belize hotspot popular for diving in the clear blue waters. The community’s British colonial-meets-island style, white sand beaches, and mini overwater bungalows served as the perfect backdrop for the iconic shoot.

"It was a first for us a Mahogany Bay Village to host such a high profile client for four days, so we wanted to be sure we gave them the best Belize experience," says Tanya McNab, Director of Marketing at Mahogany Bay Village. "We did that through the food, through our staff, and the local tour guides. We also tried to help them identify the best places Belize had to offer for their shoot. The energy of all the teams on the ground were in tune with each other and it made for a great experience for all."

As this was the first professional photo shoot for many of the women, they shared images of the behind-the-scenes excitement.

In between takes, the models also enjoyed the perks of their luxury location, savoring cocktails at Rum+Bean, lounging on whimsical floats in the saltwater pool, and perching on cozy townhouse porches.

Hard at work w/ @si_swimsuit 💘 #wearing @lspaceswim #bikini #belize #poolside

A post shared by Olivia Jordan (@theoliviajordan) on

One of my favorite outfits from the past week 🌿 Bag by @birdonthebay

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Related: Perfect Weekend in Harbour Island, Bahamas

Vacation Like a Model

Book a vacation like the models and stay in one of Mahogany Bay Village’s 205 cottage and villa-style rooms. Lounge around the pool, beach, and bungalows, or go the adventure-tourism route by swimming with friendly nurse sharks or snorkeling through the Belize Barrier Reef. And if you fall head over heels for the resort (we dare you not to), you can purchase a townhome, suite, or cottage and make the island paradise your forever home.