Maho Bay Camps (340/776-6240, U.S. toll-free 800/392-9004, fax 340/776-6504, www.maho.org , $130–135 winter, $80 summer) sets the standard for Caribbean camping and eco-friendly development. Accommodations are “tent-cottages,” built out of wood, canvas, and mesh screening on elevated platforms. The accommodations meld creature comforts usually unknown in camping with an unbeatable natural setting and eco-friendly esprit de corps.
The 114 cottages are set among the trees and connected by broad wooden walkways with names like Mongoose Highway and Sandy Landing. Little Maho Bay , a quiet, protected beach, is at the foot of the camp’s hill. Great Maho Bay  is a 10-minute hike down a steep goat trail. Each cottage is furnished with two twin beds, a sleeper couch, a two-burner propane stove, a cooler, dishes, fresh linens, towels, a porch, clothesline, lights, fan, and electrical outlets. There are toilets and cold-water showers in the camp’s communal bathhouses.
For many people, Maho Bay is a truly magical place. Yes, you have to carry your own water to your tent and bathe in a shared bathhouse, but you also get to delight in the fresh air, night sounds, and wildlife of Maho Bay. On a recent stay, two iguanas perched on the cactus and trees outside my cottage, and I fell asleep to the sound of waves and tree frogs. Maho is especially great for families. The camp has the feeling of a world apart, which appeals to many youngsters, and daily activities for children make it easy to keep them entertained.
If you want, Maho can be much more than just a place to stay. The camp restaurant serves moderately priced breakfasts and dinners, and its sunset happy hour with free popcorn is especially popular. There’s a full-blown activities desk on-site that coordinates Maho’s own activities and hooks guests up with outside activity providers. There are art classes, daily yoga sessions, a water sports center, and regular shuttles to town.
Get here while you can. Maho’s lease expires at the end of 2011, and the owners of the 13 acres on which the campground sits want to sell. The price: $32 million. A buyer has not yet been identified, and it is unknown if the campground will continue under different ownership. Selengut says he is developing the sister resort, Estate Concordia, in preparation for Maho’s probable closure.