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10 Private Islands You Can Rent on AirBnb Right Now

Ever wondered what it would be like to have paradise to yourself? This might be the easiest way to find out.

April 1, 2021
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A beautiful beach in Placenia, Belize
Placencia is already one of Belize’s most popular destinations, so how do you make it even better? A private island getaway, of course. Shutterstock

Having an entire private island to yourself—or at least you and your family or a close group of friends­—has never been more appealing than right now. And if in the Before Times (before “bubbles” and “pods” were part of our social lexicon) you thought that renting a private island was vastly beyond your budget, think again.

These 10 private islands available for rent on AirBnb are located in destinations currently welcoming Americans (a few are even in the U.S.) and most are bookable for less than $100 per person per night.

The Overwater Bungalow Experience

The Place: Urraca Private Island Eco-Lodge, Panama

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Not only is this smoke-free, adults-only eco-lodge located on its own private island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago off of Panama’s Caribbean coast, but you’ll stay in six vibrant over-the-water bungalows set on stilts above the mangrove-lined lagoon and coral reef—and you’ll be sharing your getaway with 12 rescued monkeys.

Urraca can accommodate 16 guests (up to 24 with a total island takeover) and features 4.5 shared bathrooms with hot water, an on-island restaurant (breakfast is included), free Wi-Fi and overwater swings and hammocks for total back-to-nature relaxation. Superhost Francine can also arrange organized adventures.

Rates from $1,310 per night for 16 people and there’s no minimum-stay requirement.

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For the Small Group Getaway

The Place: Bird Island, Belize

Nature is center stage at this unique and colorful retreat located inside a coral atoll about six miles from Placencia, Belize, where you and your family or friends can enjoy total privacy in four bedrooms (set in separate buildings) accommodating up to eight guests—plus an over-the-water bar area with panoramic ocean views.

Bird Island is entirely self-catering, but superhost Fred will arrange for your pick-up upon arrival, with a stop at the grocery store to stock up on supplies. Fred also has a tour company and offers private excursions on the Monkey River as well as snorkeling and fishing trips.

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Rates from $695 night, with a four-night minimum stay.

Get Lost without Going Far

The Place: Private Islands of Old House Cay, Hilton Head Island, SC

If going off-the-grid—without sacrificing modern comforts such as air conditioning and a washer/dryer—is your style, this series of three private islands located 10 minutes by boat from Hilton Head Island offers a laid-back Low Country escape for up to six guests.

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The solar-powered house was built in 2010 and features three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, making it ideal for a family or a small group of friends. No pets or smoking are allowed, but superhosts Sarah and Bill have created a peaceful retreat ideal for kayaking, fishing and observing nature (bald eagles, dolphins and more).

Rates from $567 per night, with a two-night minimum stay.

Romance is in the Air

The Place: Hideaway Caye, Placencia, Belize

The name just about says it all: This secluded island, set on a pristine reef off Belize’s coast between Hopkins and Placencia, is designed for couples seeking an adventure. There’s a treehouse-like cabana, built amid 500 feet of boardwalks and mangroves, featuring just one bedroom, one bathroom and a veranda with a welcoming hammock.

But there’s also a restaurant, bar and staff to prepare the three authentically Belizean (fresh seafood caught every day) meals included with every stay. Superhost Kim has also provided guests with access to kayaks, paddle boards and snorkel gear, but the island is smoke-free, pet-free and there’s no TV, Wi-Fi or air conditioning.

Rates from $365 per night, with a two-night minimum stay.

For the Bigger Moments

The Place: McGee Island, St. George, Maine

For Maine cabin coziness on a grander scale, this 110-acre private island retreat located three miles off the coast combines seclusion with togetherness for a large family or group of friends. The property, which host Elizabeth’s family has been enjoying for years, features two buildings with 11 bedrooms (sleeping up to 16 guests) and 6.5 bathrooms.

Quintessential coastal activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing and hiking, pair with vintage Maine charm—most of the furnishings are antiques and the main house, built in 1915, has a huge wraparound porch—to create a nostalgic ambience, while a modern kitchen and Wi-Fi (but no TVs) are welcome 21st century touches.

Rates from $550 per night (for up to 12 people), with a seven-night minimum stay.

Talk about Cultural Immersion

The Place: Private Island Paradise, Ilha Grande, Brazil

This rustic-chic property, owned by an Italian designer and surrounded by nature, is located two hours away from Rio de Janeiro. It features two houses, situated on opposite sides of a foot bridge that links the island to Ilha Grande, which accommodate up to 14 guests in six bedrooms, each with its own private bathroom.

Three decks offer plenty of outdoor space for soaking up the Brazilian sun, reading (or snoozing) in a hammock and enjoying caipirinha cocktails. Superhost Francesca can also arrange for a private chef to whip up meals prepared using fresh local ingredients and enjoyed al fresco with views of the aqua-blue sea.

Rates from $600 per night, with a two-night minimum stay.

That Classic Keys Vibe

The Place: Seabird Key, Marathon, FL

Tropical luxury meets local craftsmanship—the Old Florida Keys-style residence is constructed entirely of cypress—in this private island retreat located off Marathon Key. The distinctive home, which features four bedrooms (sleeping up to eight guests) and three bathrooms, is set amid coconut palms and host Deborah provides a 19-foot Boston Whaler for exploration and watersports.

Seabird Key has its own private beach with white sand, calm water, hammocks, paddle boards and kayaks, and a gazebo-like outdoor kitchen.

Rates from $1,350 per night, on a seven-night Saturday-to-Saturday basis only.

Time to Completely Disconnect

The Place: Charming Caribbean Private Island, Islas del Rosario, Colombia

The warm, inviting, turquoise Caribbean surrounds this private island in Colombia’s Islas del Rosario, located about 40 minutes by boat from Cartagena. The airy beach house, which has three bedrooms (with seven beds) and 4.5 bathrooms, sleeps up to 11 guests and features clean modern lines with decks, hammocks and Balinese-style daybeds for lounging.

There’s a private beach on a scenic cove and a cook/housekeeper to prepare meals of local seafood, but no TV, air conditioning or cellular service/internet.

Rates from $393 per night (for two guests), with a two-night minimum stay.

Host Your Own Water Olympics

The Place: Fort Morgan Cay: All-Inclusive Private Island, Honduras

Perfect for families or friends who love to snorkel, fish, or simply laze the day away, eco-friendly, 40-acre Fort Morgan Cay, located in the Caribbean near the Honduran island of Roatan, can accommodate 8-20 guests in seven bedrooms (with seven bathrooms).

Nightly rates include all meals, prepared with local ingredients and served family style, while complimentary activities provided by superhost Mark include sailing, snorkeling, paddle boarding, yoga and volleyball.

Rates from $274 per person per night, with a three-night minimum stay.

When Unwinding is the Only Goal

The Place: La Isla Zacatalosa, Granada, Nicaragua

Tropical greenery, a view of Nicaragua’s Mombacho Volcano and the colonial city of Granada—which is just a 10-minute boat ride and 1.5-mile drive away—and the sounds of chirping birds and howling monkeys make this eclectic villa on La Isla Zacatalosa in Lago Cocibolca (aka Lake Nicaragua) a peaceful yet accessible setting.

There are three bedrooms (sleeping six guests) and three bathrooms, plus a pool and tennis courts, and host Nelson, who has owned the property for more than 30 years, or the villa’s caretaker can suggest other activities and excursions.

Rates from $180 per night, with a minimum two-night stay.

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