Have you ever wanted to escape to your own island? Of course you have. Well, we have some good news. There is a selection of private islands out there that are not only close to the contiguous US but are also affordable! Some private US, Filipino, Norwegian, and Belizean islands can be yours for a week or a weekend for surprisingly little. Below is our list of the top 15 affordable private islands.
1. Bird Island – Belize
Surrounded by a magnificent and protected coral reef, you can spend hours swimming, snorkelling, and diving around Bird Island. The perfect base for water-lovers, the island is secluded but is home to a property that offers all the mod cons, such as a tv and wi-fi. Nightly rates start at $295 for a two-night minimum stay.
2. Ilha Grande- Brazil
Ilga Grande is actually two islands, a larger one, where you’ll find a four-bed house designed in the Italian style, and a smaller island, with a two-bed house. The islands are connected by a bridge made of bamboo. For both islands, the weekly rate begins at $971 a night. You can only book the islands for a stay of at least a week, but we don’t think staying longer will be hard. Leaving will be the difficult part.
3. Popa Island – Panama
From an astonishing $160 a night for a minimum of a three-night stay, Popa Island is the perfect place to escape to with a dozen of your nearest and dearest. Set up home in the five pink bungalows, all eco-friendly, and explore the coral reef and lush mangroves. Located in the Bocas del Toro, you will have to share the island…with two monkeys. Relax suspended above the water on a hammock or get your friendly host Francine to organize a nighttime crocodile safari!
4. Melody key – Florida
The Florida Keys are a hugely popular vacation spot for Americans but head to the outer islands and you’ll have the place to yourself. Melody Key is an off-grid island that has all the home comforts while still retaining a wild and natural feel. Transport is provided from Summerland Key but you’ll be left to do the rest. The island is built for self-catering and features wi-fi, a quality sound system, a swimming pool (heated), a jacuzzi, and, of course, air-conditioning! On-site kayaks and a catamaran are made available to visitors and are a great way to explore. If visiting in an eight-strong group, you’ll pay from $1,375 per night to stay at Melody Key. That works out at just $170 per night per person. We don’t care if this brings you to bankruptcy, this just seems to be the perfect place to party during spring break with your closest friends from college.
5. Urraca private island – Panama
We’re back to Panama for this beautiful mangrove island that tops the list for eco-conscious travelers. A rainwater system collects all the water you’ll need and solar panels provide electricity. The five bungalows on the island can each house as many as six people and all feature a private water-facing patio and outdoor shower. For $175 per night per couple, including breakfast, you will again have to share your island, but not with two monkeys, with 12! Speaking of Twelve Monkeys, the island is a favorite with Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis. If this island can claim to attrack celebrities, it’s probably because it’s an amazing experience, right?
6. Private Heaven – Belize
Another list-topper for eco-conscious travelers, the eco-lodge on this private island is powered by solar panels and works hard to minimize its impact on our planet. This secluded Caribbean paradise boasts a coral reef on your doorstep and dazzling blue water. Catering for no more than six people, you can enjoy an intimate stay here for $345 a night.
7. Kanu Private Island – Belize
A resort island of 2.5 acres, Kanu Private Island is home to five effortlessly chic villas that each come in at 1,000 square feet. The island can (very) comfortably accommodate 10 adults and 10 children and is the ideal spot for family reunions or multi-family getaways. A professional chef will prepare all your meals and drinks using local ingredients, so you won’t have to do a thing except enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. Excluding tax and tips, Kanu Private Island will set you back just $3,950 a night for eight people for one week. Don’t forget your travel insurance!
8. Cavinti – Philippines
Cavinti is as intimate as it gets. Nestled in this secluded municipality, sheltered by the Sierra Madre, and next to Lumot Lake, you will find a private one-bed bungalow. It is very affordable (from $63 a night) but you’ll have to rely on a generator and go without the internet. However, when you’re surrounded by such astonishing views, this lack of luxuries will not feel like a hardship. It pretty much feels like a good investment in yourself and/or in your couple…
9. Placencia – Belize
A mangrove island within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Placentia features over 500-feet’s worth of boardwalks connecting visitors to a cabana (perfect for two) and a restaurant/bar. The cabana and island itself are your private haven but the restaurant is open to all, giving you the chance to chat with sailors passing by and then escape to your secluded oasis. With a two-night minimum booking required, staying on the island will set you back just $225 a night.
10. Båtholmen, Norway
You need to go a little further afield for this island getaway but if you want to get back to nature, Båtholmen is the place for you. In the Norwegian archipelago of Hvaler, this island offers a range of outdoor adventures for visitors and a self-catering, off-grid cabin. The cabin can house four adults or two adults with three kids but, be warned, there’s no running water. Drinking water canisters can be filled for free at the grocery store nearby. If back to basics is what you’re after, your family of five can call Båtholmen yours from just $70 for a two-night stay. We would certainly trade a month of coffee on the go to stay there!
11. Brother Island, El Nido- Philippines
Brother Island is another ideal spot for a dozen or so people to come together and enjoy an island paradise. You’ll pay $117 per person (in a group of 12), with under-6’s enjoying the island for free and 6-to-12-year-olds for half price. For this, you’ll get a housekeeper, a boatman, a host, an on-site caretaker, and all your meals, which will consist of traditional Filipino dishes made from organic, local foods. You’ll also get the gorgeous island, of course.
12. Sea Shell Key – Marathon, Florida
Sea Shell Key is found in Marathon, Florida, and at 5,000 square feet, it’s an island for water-lovers. With a stylish two-bed, two-bath cottage just 100 yards from the shore, Sea Shell Key is the ideal place to sit back and watch the mesmerizing turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico. Designed for four guests, you can rent this island for one week for the manageable sum of $3,795.
13. East Sister Rock Island – Florida
Snuggled close to the mainland, East Sister Rock Island is only three minutes by boat but a million miles away from the strains and stresses of real life. The house sleeps eight, starts at $1,333 a night, and is shrouded in lush greenery with clear ocean views.
14. Port Vila – Vanuatu
Here’s the biggest island on this list! When you rent Port Vila, you will be the mistress or master of 89 acres and turtle-filled reefs in which you can enjoy a wealth of water activities, such as paddling, snorkelling, kayaking, and swimming. The farm-to-fork meals you’ll enjoy on the island will be served by a full staff. Available from $1,500 a night (two-night minimum stay), the accommodation on the island features six bedrooms. So, if you visit this sizeable oasis in a party of 12, each guest will end up paying only a bit more than $120 a night. On the other hand, the airfare to get there will set you back way more than renting this private island, surprisingly.
15. Dry Island – NY
This final island is the luxury option. It boasts a private staff and chef, a property that sleeps a minimum of 10, and an enviable location in New York State’s Upper Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. With 12 acres to explore, we think the $4,000 per night price tag is still great value. Ideal for a business retreat, maybe?