Many people assume private island vacations are limited to the select few who can afford high-end luxury travel. While some islands are certainly home to sprawling mansions with full resort staff, there are smaller islands with less opulent accommodations as well. It might even surprise you to know that there are some affordable options that won’t break your bank account for a few nights away. Here is a look at some private islands you can actually afford to stay on.
Bird Island in Belize
Lodging in Belize runs the gamut from sandy beachfront hostels to luxurious private villas. There are numerous private islands and semi-private islands where you can spend almost a week for less than one night in a luxury resort in the South Pacific. One of these is the Instagram-worthy Bird Island, located about 20 minutes away from Placencia.
This private island retreat is for people who truly want to be alone, as you’re isolated from the outside world as there is no staff on the island. You’ll have television and Wi-Fi, but we imagine you’ll be passing your days with hours spent snorkeling, kayaking and fishing. The minimum stay at Bird Island is four days, and rates start at $595 per night for double occupancy.
Urraca Private Island Eco-Lodge in Panama
Off the northeast coast of Panama you’ll find Urraca Private Island Eco-Lodge. The island can hold up to 16 people total. You can rent one bungalow for a romantic getaway for two, or rent the entire lodge for your group. Either way, you’ll be sharing the island with a few locals too — 12 monkeys call Urraca home.
Eco-travelers will love that everything is powered by solar panels and they use a rainwater collection system. Spend your days relaxing on hammocks or snorkeling. The resort can arrange tours and spa services as well. There are five bungalows and a restaurant on the property. No minimum stay required, and rates start at $195 per night.
Sundang Island in the Philippines
If you’re not opposed to roughing it a bit, catch a flight to the Philippines and book a stay a Sundang Island. It is a self-catered vacation-home rental on the freshwater Sierra Lake. The caretaker will get you on and off the island, but otherwise, you’re on your own. Power is available from a generator at night, and guests need to bring their own food and supplies.
The modest home can hold up to 10 people, but there is only one bed. There are sleeping mats for the rest, and the home can accommodate five more people if they bring their own sleeping bags. Rates start at $70 a night for two people on Monday through Thursday nights. Weekends and additional guests are extra.
Pločica in Croatia
The Pločica lighthouse was built in 1887 and is located between Hvar and Korcula. It can accommodate up to 14 people in two apartments. There are a couple of beaches on the island, and you can utilize the ferry service to either Vela Luka or Split in order to stock up on food supplies. If you book Pločica in the low season, rates are much cheaper, sometimes as low as $105 a night, while summer can be ten times that rate. Inquire for specific pricing for your dates.
Tahiti Island in Nicaragua
While you may not be able to afford to stay on a private island in Tahiti, you can stay on one called Tahiti. Tahiti Island is located in Nicaragua and has a four-bedroom home with a large kitchen and air conditioning. This island escape also has a recently-renovated private pool. Tahiti Island can hold up to 10 guests, and nightly rates start at $175 for double occupancy.