Always wanted to have an exclusive retreat on your own private island? Well, you don’t need to be Richard Branson to have an island paradise just for you and your friends.
There are actually several ways you can find islands to hire, or where you can visit for cheap or free. Planning a big party for your exclusive guests? Maybe you just want to feel like a castaway with your better half…
Take a look at our list of places you can hire private islands, and check out our hacks for free private island stays…
Island rental websites
We’ll get the obvious stuff out the way first. If you’ve got the money to hire a private island for a few days, why not just choose one from the many private island rental websites? There are plenty to choose from and prices aren’t actually as high as you might think.
You can hire an beautiful private island all to yourself from around US$200-300 per day.
Check out these awesome private islands around the world you can actually hire!
Bird Island, Belize
Nestled on Central America’s Caribbean coast, private retreats don’t come more stunning than this tropical getaway. Belize is a small and English speaking nation between Mexico and Guatemala. It’s an awesome place to go scuba or snokelling, game fishing or just relax on the beach.
And, you can hire a whole island to yourself for just $650 a night!
There are so many islands in the Bahamas that you can pretty much turn up in a yacht and find an uninhabited one in a day. If you’d rather have some facilities though, the best bet is to find a private island rental.
Just a few hours from Nassau, Ship Channel Cay is the first island in the Exumas and can be rented from $500 per night. Wander empty white sand beaches, relax in your hammock and listen to the sound of waves lapping on your own private beach. That’s priceless!
Brother Island, Philippines
With thousands of islands to choose from, it’s no surprise that you’ll easily find a private island to rent in the Philippines. Brother Island, near El Nido hosts up to 18 guests, or enjoy the tranquillity with just your loved one.
As the site says, this isn’t a 5 star retreat, but the experience is definitely premium. They also host yoga retreats and can accommodate intimate weddings too!
Nikoi Island, Indonesia
Now we move into the ranks of premium private retreats, and Nikoi is definitely a high end offering. A 2 hr ferry ride from Singapore (or a short hop from Bintan Island), Nikoi offers luxurious surroundings, high end dinings, lots to do on land and sea and even an on-site farm.
There is room for 30 guests in 5 beach houses, or book out the whole place for yourself. Perfect for honeymoons or intimate weddings.
Prices start from a very reasonable US$280 per night. They also offer bookings on nearby Cembedak Island, another option for private island retreats.
Sandy Cay, Honduras
This really is the definition of tropical island castaway vibes, right in the heart of Central America. Sandy Cay is a private island for hire with huts for up to six people for just $175 per night. Yes, for the whole group!
It isn’t exactly 5 star luxury, but it is a tranquil retreat in the Caribbean, and an absolute bargain. Looking for an unforgettable Honeymoon, or maybe a get together with friends? Perhaps this will be your private island getaway.
How to find your own private island (for free)
If you’re looking for the private island experience, you can also go exploring and find your own place to enjoy, without the crowds.
Of course, the best way to do this is with a your own boat charter, or at least a canoe and enjoy some wild camping in a tent!
Some places are protected national parks, so make sure you’re obeying local regulations if you are wild camping. We wouldn’t want you to get busted, or stranded! If you are venturing off the grid to find your dream island, tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. You never know what could happen.
Where are the best places to find an island paradise to call your own for a few nights?
- Bahamas, The Exumas
This chain of islands starts just a few hours from the capital Nassau. Most of the islands are uninhabited, or at least have only temporary residents.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the private island experience, a yacht hopping experience in the Bahamas will offer plenty of opportunity. It is possible to camp on some of the islands, but check with the local tourist office first.
The East coast of Australia is dotted with uninhabited islands, perfect for some private island exploring and wild camping. The Whitsunday Islands are a popular spot for tourists, but still offer some very remote experiences.
Hook Island has several great spots where you can set up camp and enjoy the seculsion for as long as you like. Check out Queensland’s guide to camping for more info.
An archipelago of thousands of islands, of course Indonesia offers lots of opportunity for a private island camping trip. Sangiang Island near Komodo is a good example. The island was deserted and attracts day trippers looking to enjoy some snorkelling and beaching. But there is plenty of space to make yourself at home.
With a boat and a bit of research, you could easily find hundreds of other private islands in Indonesia.
Of the more than 1200 islands off the coast of Croatia, only 48 are inhabited. That’s a lot of private island camping potential!
You’ll find a good network of campsites across the Croatian islands, but if you want to go full Robinson Crusoe, just do a search for uninhabited Croatian Islands. There are plenty to choose from!
OK, so there’s no tropical paradise in Scotland. But.. If you want remote and dramatic, this is the place. There are many uninhabited islands in Scotland, many of them abandoned and ideal for wild camping.
Islands like Belnahua and Swona used to have residents but have since been abandoned. Now, with a boat rental, you can enjoy them all to yourself!
Like Scotland, you’re not getting a tropical island paradise, but you do have plenty of choice of unspoilt wilderness.
From British Columbia in the West to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the East, there is no shortage of islands of all shapes and sizes where you can camp a few days. In fact, with so much empty space, you can even find a place to camp on an inhabited island without anyone knowing you’re there.
There are a lot of islands in Greece, and many of them uninhabited, so the best way to enjoy some private island vibes is aboard a private boat charter. Technically, wild camping in Greece is illegal, so you have been warned.
But… If you do your research and head to some far flung islands in the Cyclades (for example) who’s to say what might happen.
A final word on private island hire
As you’ve seen, there are plenty of places where you can hire a private island for a very affordable price. Airbnb is packed full of options, or simply search online for ‘private island hire’ in your preferred country.
Wild camping or mooring with a sailboat are also great ways to enjoy the private island experience. But… Make sure to check local regulations, and let someone know where you’re going before you go!