If you’ve ever had dreams of waking up hearing the waves from the peace and quiet of your own island, it might not be as out of reach as you think. What better time than the craziness of a pandemic to be on a vacation to a beautiful private island? It doesn’t get much more socially distant than that. There are a bunch of hidden gem private island rentals scattered across the Caribbean, but they aren’t exactly easy to find. After hours of scouring the maps on VRBO, we came up with a list of our 10 favorites.
It wasn’t easy trying to fit these private island vacation rentals into a ranked list. We tried to take price into account in how this list is ranked, and you will see a $/bedroom price on each rental. User reviews also played a large part in the rankings. We found many unique properties that I haven’t seen listed on any other lists, likely because click bait blogs (lookin’ at you Thrillest) just copy each other. Even if a trip to one of these private islands isn’t in the cards for you this year, I hope this post is a much needed respite from the craziness of the world.
10. Little Majors Cay, a 100 acre private island; Exumas, Bahamas
Starting off our list is a 4 bedroom house on a massive 100 acre cay in the Exumas. You know when a list starts off with a place as awesome as this at #10, there’s some serious competition. Located between the more developed Staniel Cay and Sampson Cay in the Exumas, you are within a 5 minute boat ride from restaurants and small shops.
It should go without saying but a boat is necessary here. Most private island rentals will be more enjoyable with a boat. The owners of this private island can pick you up and have a boat ready for you when you arrive. With 4 bedrooms and tons of dining space this is a great group spot. When you factor in having 100 acres of private island surrounded by beautiful beaches on each side, this rental isn’t as pricey as it seems.
Average nightly rate: $2330
Nightly rate per bedroom: $582.50
9. King Lewey’s Private Island Resort; Off the coast of Palencia,Belize
King Lewey’s resort is one of the more unique places places on this list. This Belize private island rental is actually a small resort, with a full service restaurant and bar. This makes planning a stay here a little less of a challenge. You can bring your own food and drinks or have them cook for you. Included in the price of the rental is transportation from the airport to the dock and finally boat transportation to your private island resort.
This resort has 8 separate bedroom suites, and can accommodate 28 guests at a time. The rooms aren’t the most luxurious, but the scenery and price make up for it. There are 4 kayaks on the island you can use to fish around the island (they have tackle), the chef at the restaurant will gladly cook your catch for you. This private island resort is a great choice for large groups willing to sacrifice a little luxury for being in absolute Caribbean paradise.
Average Nightly Rate: $2190
Nightly rate per bedroom: $273.75
8. Seabird Key, a 10 acre Florida Keys Private Island Rental; Offshore Marathon, Florida
Do the Florida Keys qualify as being in the Caribbean? Depends on who you ask but it’s close enough, right? Seabird Key is located a half mile offshore of Marathon, Florida (one of the islands that make up the Florida keys). This 3 bedroom rental is is entirely eco friendly, featuring a state of the art solar power system and rainwater collection system. The beaches, decks and docks around this island give you 360 access to the beautiful blue Florida Keys water from anywhere on the island.
One of the really cool perks of renting this private island is a 19ft Boston Whaler boat comes included in the rental. After meeting Seaside Key’s manager at the the dock in Marathon, they will assist you in loading your luggage onto your boat. For the length of your stay you can use the boat or one of the many included kayaks, to explore the Keys, tube behind the boat, or go fishing. There’s so much included in this rental (that usually costs extra) that the price comparison is a little unfair to this property. Last but not least, Seaside Key has a perfect 5.0/5.0 average rating with 50 reviews on VRBO. That’s hard to do.
Average Nightly Rate: $1350
Nightly rate per bedroom: $450
7. Luxury Beachfront Home off Palencia Cay; Palencia Cay, Belize
This luxury home is located on a barrier island of Palencia Cay. We wavered on whether or not to include this on our list because while it is advertised as a private island, we did some checking and there are a couple other houses on the far end of the island. We chose to include it because it is A. Really nice and B. It’s an absolute bargain. The house is a 5 minute boat ride to the town of Palencia and you have free use of a shuttle boat that is just a phone call away.
Included in the rental price are kayaks and paddle boards, 3 dinners from a private chef, and daily maid service if you want it. There are 2 beautiful swimming pools, including a 2nd floor plunge pool overlooking the ocean. The whole house is absolutely beautiful, from the huge rainfall showers to the high end kitchen. Not surprisingly, it gets a flawless 5.0/5.0 from 13 VRBO reviewers. I’ll call this a semi private island rental, but its a beautiful one.
Average Nightly Rate: $774
Nightly rate per bedroom: $193.50
6. Bird Island, a private island in Belize surrounded by coral reefs; Offshore of Palencia, Belize
Our next private island rental is 100% surrounded by coral reefs. Bird Island is a snorkeling paradise, you can literally step into the water from one of the overwater bungalows and snorkel. The reefs surrounding Bird Island are full of sea life, and great for fishing as well. During the pandemic travel shutdown, the owners of Bird Island took advantage and completely renovated the private island.
The owners will arrange to pick you up at the dock in Palencia, Belize and take you and your group out to Bird Island. There are kayaks and all kinds of fishing and snorkeling on the island for you to use. The atoll surrounding the island is like a giant natural swimming pool. There are 3 separate bedroom suites included in this Caribbean island rental, and one of them is built over the water. This rental is an absolute bargain, and has 100% 5/5 reviews from travelers.
Average Nightly Rate: $695
Nightly rate per bedroom: $231.67
5. All Inclusive 7.5 Acre Private Island Rental; Offshore of Royal Belize Island, Belize
This is by far the most expensive private island rental on this list, but it is completely all inclusive. This is also the most isolated on the list, you can check the map and this island is way offshore of the Belize mainland. If you are really looking to disconnect and get away, this is the place. It just might take a second mortgage to pay for it.
Included in this luxury Belize island rental is a full time private chef, with all food and drinks. There are many kayaks and even a Hobie Catamaran. The grand bedroom suites, bathrooms, dining rooms, and massive central palapa are all top of the line and beautiful (as you would expect for the price). I’m not even going to pretend this one is a good value if price is a factor, but it is pretty darn cool.
Average Nightly Rate: $9286
Nightly rate per bedroom: $1,857.20
4. East Sister Rock Island, a private Florida Keys island on the reef; Marathon, Florida
This is where the competition on this list starts to get really tight. We head back to the Keys for the next private island vacation rental. East Sister Rock (the name of the island) is located just a quarter mile off the island town of Marathon. A rock reef rings the island, creating a natural pool 360 degrees around the island. Fantastic snorkeling and fishing can be found right around the island on all sides. The area is full of lobster, and you can use lobster nets provided to catch dinner (just make sure to check the seasons and limits at https://myfwc.com/).
If the natural pool around the island wasn’t enough, there is a beautiful large pool on the large patio as well. Even though the house has only 3 bedrooms, it is huge, with over 5000 square foot of living area. The house sits about 15 feet above sea level, giving amazing ocean views from any room in the house. This island is a true gem in the Keys.
Average Nightly Rate: $1467
Nightly rate per bedroom: $489
3. Little Harvest Caye, a famous 1.5 acre private island rental in Belize; Southwest of Palencia, Belize
You’ve probably seen this private island either on TV or another website. It gets a lot of publicity, and for good reason. It is a beautiful location for a group island vacation, with 5 private luxury villas. The other properties we’ve listed around Palencia are off the Eastern coast (on the reefs), Little Harvest Caye is to the Southwest. The water is deeper in this area and not as good for snorkeling. This island prides itself on being eco friendly, and is fully solar powered. There’s even a battery back up system to maintain power during cloudy days.
Little Harvest Caye is extremely well reviewed by travelers, coming in at 4.95/5.0 with about 100 reviews. Most reviews rave about the cooking, which is expertly prepared by your own personal chef. You can design your own menu for the week and they can cook to suit your tastes. The island is less than a mile offshore of the nearby fishing village. You have access to a private boat to take you back to the mainland at any time, for supplies or to go on any tours or fishing trips. Overall we really like Little Harvest Caye, but I think you’ll enjoy the next two choices are our standouts on the list.
Average Nightly Rate: $3,029
Nightly rate per bedroom: $605.80
2. Little Peter Oasis Island, a 3 acre private island with overwater bungalows; Offshore of Belize City, Belize
You don’t have to go to Bora Bora to stay in an awesome overwater bungalow. Little Peter Caye is located straight east offshore of Belize City, surrounded by incredible reefs. Since the house is over the ocean, the 360 degree crystal clear turquoise water views are tough to beat. There is decks all around the house for lounging or even jumping into the water. The 30ft deep swimming hole under the house is illuminated with blue led lights is a great place to watch sea life. There are numerous beaches and docks around the island to explore.
The house (bungalow) has 2 huge master suites, complete with luxury bathrooms. The kitchen and living area feature two 12 foot sliding doors that open up to views of the water. There are kayaks, paddleboards and loads of water activity equipment free for you to use during your stay. Included in the price of the rental is your own private chef, 3 delious gourmet meals a day, and all alcohol/non alcoholic drinks. We love everything about this rental, and it comes at a pretty great price for two couples, factoring in everything that’s included. It took one of the best rentals in the world to beat this one, and we consider this private island rental to be a really close second.
Average Nightly Rate: $1,450
Nightly rate per bedroom: $725
1. Gladden Island, an oasis on the edge of the Belize Barrier Reef; Palencia, Belize
At last we come to our final private island. In our opinion, this is the single greatest rental we have ever came across in the history of this website. If there’s ever been a spot to take a once in a lifetime trip, I really don’t know that there is a better option. This is the furthest out island off the coast of Belize, at 20 miles offshore. Gladden Island sits right at the edge of the Belieze Barrier Reef.
Located at the edge of the reef, this area has some of the most gorgeous water you can imagine. Most reviews mention it is even more beautiful than the pictures. Some of the world’s best snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing surrounds this house in all directions.
The house itself is jaw-dropping, you just have to see the pictures for yourself. To arrive at the island you can either have them pick you up in a boat, or they will arrange a helicopter for you from Palencia. There’s not a whole lot more to say here. Enjoy the pictures, we will let them close out this post!
Average Nightly Rate: $3,073
Nightly rate per bedroom: $1,536.50