People travel for a myriad of reasons. Some do it to expand their horizons and meet new people, while others enjoy immersing themselves in foreign cultures. But for some people, travel is about escaping from the safe and familiar settings of their day-to-day lives. To that end, one agency boasts of offering the ultimate escape by giving people the opportunity to vacation on a real deserted island in one of the most remote, uninhabited tropical places on the planet.
Alvaro Cerezo is the founder of Docastaway, an agency that deals in selling travel to deserted islands.
Cerezo has been in the business for 10 years, and he personally scouts out new islands for his agency. He explained that, when it comes to discovering potential new locations, “the difficult part is not to find them, the difficult part is to make [the destination] possible.”
“We need to find a team to prepare the experience and we need to make sure that the island is safe and secluded,” said Cerezo. “Our goal is to provide a solo experience for our clients and they need to feel [like a real castaway] as much as possible.”
Docastaway provides an experience that is affordable for most budgets, with travels and adventures ranging from the most basic accommodations to luxurious hotels, all of them located on secluded beaches all over the world.
According to Cerezo, being an experienced traveler is not necessary to enjoy these paradise islands, because apart from the wilder, more adventurous options, Docastaway also has selected luxurious and private accommodations for guests’ absolute comfort.
“The point is to be alone … Docastaway is a business that helps you to escape from civilization. You’re going to be alone on a deserted island. The survival [aspect] is just one option — the point is to be alone. So that is the challenge, to make an island fully secluded, and it takes a lot of time and a lot of research.”
Due to the perfect seclusion of these unspoiled desert islands, travelers will feel like a castaway, and yet still be able to enjoy the comforts of a relaxing beach holiday. For this reason, Docastaway has two modes to choose from: comfort mode and adventure mode.
Comfort mode for a secluded beach retreat
The comfort mode is designed for people who want to have an experience similar to that of a castaway, but desire a certain level of luxury in order to enjoy their private island vacation. These “docastawayers” stay in comfortable and luxurious bedrooms, whether in isolated retreats, eco-resorts, villas, or luxury mini-hotels.
Photo: Alvaro Cerezo
“Clients in the comfort mode don’t really want to return to civilization. They really enjoy the experience and they want to [come back].”
In some of the comfort mode private island vacations, the docastawayers can enjoy an all-inclusive treatment in which they will experience an assortment of delicious tasting and top-quality food and drinks, including exquisite local fish and seafood.
The company has compiled a meticulous selection of accommodations located on deserted islands around the world, and has chosen these sites for their ideal beauty and isolated surroundings. However, making sure the island stays secluded is a process, one that involves reaching out and notifying local fisherman and commercial groups that the area is temporarily off limits. The accommodations have been carefully chosen to guarantee intimacy, and the sensation of isolation on a secluded island.
The docastawayers are transported to the private islands by speedboat or light aircraft. In contrast to the adventure mode vacations, the destinations dedicated to the comfort mode generally have electricity generated on the isolated island itself, running water, spa, and even internet connection.
“In the comfort mode, you can have a house or a little bungalow with a comfortable bed,” said Cerezo.
Comfort mode provides all the necessities for travelers. But for those who take on adventure mode, it’s a whole other story.
Adventure mode for the survivalist experience
This mode is available for those people who are prepared to face the most intense and authentic experience.
Photo: Alvaro Cerezo
Adventure mode is the most similar to a real castaway experience, but with modern safety standards and the guarantee of having all the basic needs taken care of. The docastawayers are either alone or accompanied by professional guides, and they can have a boat at their disposal if evacuation is necessary at any time.
“The client’s experience really depends on the mode. Adventure mode gives you the unique opportunity to appreciate all of the [creature comforts] we take for granted,” said Cerezo. “People start to really appreciate those things after 10 days on a desert island. They need to survive without a roof, having to find their own water, their own food … It’s a big job. So, even though they’re in this amazing paradise, they’re completely disconnected from their normal lives.”
In adventure mode, the docastawayers stay overnight in different shelters that consist of huts or even tents with modern camping equipment. Docastawayers can choose a quasi-survival experience, foraging for their own food and drink under the supervision of their guides and supported by additional provisions.
For those who want the challenge, adventure mode is “a very rewarding experience.” But those who choose this mode, if they return, usually choose comfort mode on their next outing. “We have many repeat clients, and sometimes they’ll repeat the survival experience once or twice, but after they do the survival experience, if they repeat, they go to comfort mode.”
However, the main goal of the adventure mode experience is not to teach docastawayers how to survive on a desert island, but to give them the opportunity to test their mettle, while enjoying an adventure vacation on one of the planet's most remote islands.
While these types of deserted island adventures aren’t for everyone, Cerezo’s is one of the only commercial agencies that offers travelers the opportunity to truly get lost in their one-of-a-kind vacation experience.