You Don’t Have to Be Rich and Famous to Visit These Private Islands

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The term “private island” alone elicits thoughts of movie stars, empty beaches and prices so high the average traveler’s dreams of visiting one are often followed by, “When I win the lottery…” But private islands aren’t just for the rich and famous anymore. In fact, these 10 private island getaways offer low nightly rates you’ll have to see to believe.

Coconut Island, South India

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Nightly rate: $127 per night including breakfast, lunch and dinner

What to do: You’ll have this tiny island in the back-waters of Kerala all to yourself, so take a cruise on a Kettuvallom, hop aboard the local ferry or spend your days fishing in Coconut Island’s surrounding waters, where the fish are always flourishing.

Sapibenega — The Kuna Lodge, Panama

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Nightly rate: Double rooms for $125

What to do: The San Blas archipelago is a beach-lover’s paradise where coastal strolls may be your only daily activities — and that’s a good thing. Cruise along the coastline down to the Kolebir village where you can buy handmade molas and other crafts from the local women.

Coco Plum Island, Belize

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Nightly rate: $250 per night with meals included

What to do: Admire picturesque views while reading a book on the porch of your private bungalow or cruise the pristine Caribbean waters in one of the resorts many kayaks, which are free for guests to use.

Gem Island Resort and Spa, Malaysia

Photo credit: Gem Island Resort and Spa
Photo credit: Gem Island Resort and Spa

Nightly rate: $190 per night with meals included

What to do: Spend your days snorkeling and beach-combing or pamper yourself (like a celebrity) with a Thai foot massage, herbal sauna bath or other rejuvenating treatments at the spa.

Nangyuan Island Dive Resort, Gulf of Thailand

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Nightly rate: Double room with fan and cable $45, Private beach villa: $183

What to do:¬†This “dive resort” certainly lives up to its name with 15 different dive spots on the resorts three separate islands. But if you’re not into diving, the wildlife sightings and white-sand beaches are well worth a visit.

Robinson Crusoe Island, Fiji

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Nightly rate: $27 a night for dormitory housing, $120 per night for a private cabin

What to do: Although you won’t be in complete privacy on this island, you will have access to tons of outdoor activities from surfing and snorkeling to fishing and kite-boarding. Travelers who prefer a bit of adventure and nightlife over complete seclusion can get their adrenaline fix on Robinson Crusoe Island.

Cooper Island Beach Club, British Virgin Islands

Photo credit: Gus Estrella
Photo credit: Gus Estrella

Nightly rate: $210 – $265 per night

What to do: Cooper Island — the undeveloped home of the Cooper Island Beach Club — is an affordable island getaway where lounging, dining, kayaking and scuba diving are the most popular activities.

Chapwani Private Island, Zanzibar

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Nightly rate: $176 per person per night

What to do: Take a walk on the beach, and your foot prints will probably be the only ones in the sand on the Chapwani Private Island. And if you’re interested in engaging in a few adventures during your stay, be sure to take a boat to Zanzibar Town, snorkel the coral reefs and take a boat tour with one of the resort’s knowledgeable captains.

Lissenung Island Resort, Papua New Guinea

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Nightly rate: Double room with meals included $300 per night

What to do: Although Lissenung Island Resort is at the top of our $300 budget, visitors to this one-of-a-kind, adults-only private island enjoy exclusive access to land tours, dive sites, surf breaks, village tours and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.

Pusser’s Marina Cay, British Virgin Islands

View to Marian Cay

Nightly rate: Standard room $150-$175 per night

What to do: Pusser’s Marina Cay is an eight-acre island that’s easy to enjoy on foot. After a long day of lounging, snorkeling, diving or swimming under the sun, indulge in a Caribbean-style meal (and drink) at the award-winning Pusser’s Restaurant.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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