11 private islands you should convince your friends to rent on Airbnb






© Photo courtesy of Little Harvest / VRBO


Editor’s Note: We know COVID-19 is impacting travel plans right now. For a little inspiration, we’ll continue to share stories from our favorite places around the world. Be sure to check travel restrictions, protocols, and openings before you go.Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to own a G6 and frequently drink champagne in a non-party setting to treat yourself to your own private island, at least for a week. No, ma’am: all you need is a little imagination and a bunch of bug spray. It’s also helpful to have two, five, or ten friends to share the costs with. After all, what good is a week of luxury, secluded seaside without your loved ones to share it with? Here are eleven private islands that you can totally afford to rent on Airbnb and VRBO.


a boat on a table


© Photo courtesy of Matamba Island / Airbnb


Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Rate: $ 1,899 / night

This whimsical six-bedroom property gives us Antoni Gaudi, with quirky architecture, sinuous lines, and colorful mosaic tile accents (go look at the bathrooms… we’ll wait). Located in the tropical islands of Rosario, just off the Colombian coast, the spacious villa features a saltwater Jacuzzi, a putting green, extensive terraces and solariums, paddleboards, swimming equipment. snorkeling and meals prepared by the chef 3x per day. Split the bill up to sixteen ways with your friends (it’s just $ 118 a night!), BYOB (or order a stash of booze from your hosts), and pack your swimsuits for a few days in paradise.



a close up of a jetty next to a body of water


© Photo courtesy of Bird Island / Airbnb


Placencia, Belize

Rate: $ 695 / night

Twenty minutes from Placencia, Belize, is a small island inside a coral reef. And for $ 695 per night, you get it all, plus round-trip transportation, fishing and snorkeling gear, kayaks, fire pit, bar, overwater swings, and all the Wi-Fi you get. desire. The island has a main house and a separate cabin, for a total of three bedrooms, four beds and a bathroom. Go look at it from above, it’s ridiculous.



a body of water surrounded by trees


© Photo courtesy of Ilha Grande / Airbnb


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rate: $ 635 / night

Frankly, this one made us taste “fresh caipirinhas made with local fruits”. Two hours from Rio, this island owned by an Italian designer has everything you need to rock Brazil’s biggest party city: colorful interiors, three different ocean bridges, barbecues, kayaks, hammocks and more. a full staff (plus, six bedrooms – each with its own private bathroom – for when those caipirinhas really hit the spot and you need some peace and quiet.) Come for the luxury and stay for the waterfalls, the trails of the rainforest and wildlife.



an umbrella lying on a wooden table


© Photo courtesy of Urraca / Airbnb


Bocas del Toro Province, Panama

Rate: $ 205 / night

These eight overwater bungalows can be rented individually or in groups, accommodating up to 24 people in total. The stay also includes perks like snorkeling and kayaking gear, tropical breakfasts, and lobster diving. But that’s not even the best part: Urraca is home to the Monkey Island Foundation, so you’ll spend the week relaxing alongside 12 rescued (and very friendly!) Monkeys who live permanently on the island. In other words, not only will you feel like a rich person with your own private island, but you can also pretend to have your own weird, wealthy pets for a few days. Bonus: at night you will see that the waters here are also bioluminescent.



a small boat in a body of water


© Photo courtesy of Lakefront Cabin on Juggler Lake / Airbnb


Juggler Lake, Minnesota

Rate: $ 349 / night

Just hours from Minneapolis, this cabin is surrounded by the clear waters of Juggler Lake on three sides and 18 acres of wild old growth forest on the fourth. It’s the only house on the island, which means no neighbor will hear you screaming… during the playful shooting of your amateur teen horror movie, of course! With 20-foot ceilings and a lived-in rustic vibe, the A-frame cabin can accommodate 10 people with the option of renting a pontoon boat for an additional fee.



a garden with water in the background


© Photo courtesy of Alfred Lee / Airbnb


El Nido, Philippines

Rate: $ 419 / night

Located on the only private island in all of El Nido, this retreat requires you to book with a minimum of four people, reducing the cost to $ 100 per person, per night. (Personally, we spent more than that on a single take out order. Sad, but true.) superb white sand beaches and blue waters, you will also have access to snorkeling equipment, kayak rentals, boat transport and three meals a day, as well as additional services such as massages on the beach. beach and a restaurant with alcohol.



a group of people swimming in a body of water


© Photo courtesy of Collanmore Island Lodge / Airbnb


Westport, Mayo, Ireland

Rate: $ 1,735 / night

You might not think of Ireland as an island of choice, but this lodge located just off the country’s west coast in Clew Bay will convince you otherwise. Take a dip in the in-house hot tub, let off steam in the sauna, stretch out on the private beach or kayak in the bay and enjoy the sea. And best of all: there is room for up to 22 people, so don’t hesitate to invite your best friends and your B-level friends!



a bridge over a body of water


© Photo courtesy of Old House Cay / Airbnb


Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Rate: $ 694 / night

Why have a private island when you can have three? Surrounded by tall sabal palm trees, this rental just 10 minutes from Hilton Head puts a whole new (read: way more private) on a Classic Lowcountry Getaway. Accessible only by boat (hosts will be happy to shuttle you to and from the mainland), spend your days here fishing and birding on the docks, watching the sunset from the watchtower, to relax by the fire and enjoy some time off the grill. Just looking at the photos makes us want to sit in a rocking chair and drink a mint julep.



a group of palm trees with a building in the background


© Photo courtesy of Little Harvest / VRBO


Placencia, Belize

Rate: $ 3,124 / night

Belize is two for two on the list! If you want to splurge, this is the place to do it: This 7,000-square-foot solar-powered villa on the southern tip of Belize’s Placencia Peninsula looks like something built for the stars, with a private chef, a large swimming pool, a boat (plus captain!), and all the staff on the deck. They are also happy to organize excursions, whether it’s fishing, diving, or going to town for shopping and shopping. The cabin can accommodate up to 14 people, all of whom can wake up to a view of the sun shining over the Atlantic, the nearby village of Placencia, and the Mayan Mountains. Oh yeah, and split the bill.



a chair sitting in front of a window


© Photo courtesy of Dogatraz Island / Airbnb


Hinesburg, VT, United States

Rate: $ 329 / night

This bright and airy cabin on Lake Iroquois just 20 minutes from Burlington, Vermont, looks like a place we could imagine Snow White cleaning up and happily singing in front of adorable woodland creatures. Same exact vibrations. This comfortable abode includes a master bedroom with a magnificent view of the lake, free canoes and kayaks, a fire pit, and room for approximately four to six people. Plus, the host’s description mentions (on several occasions!) That the island is dog-friendly, so don’t hesitate to take your furry best friends for a weekend of absolute freedom.



a group of people in a garden


© Photo courtesy of Seabird Island / Airbnb


Marathon, Florida, United States

Rate: $ 1,350 / night

As you probably know, Florida beaches are incredibly popular. So why not grab a little slice of heaven that you can have all to yourself, and away from the confines of Florida Man, too? This expansive oceanfront villa built from cypress trees sleeps up to 8 for week-long stays and includes the works: four bedrooms, a huge Boston Whaler boat, a private beach with hammocks, lush grounds and an outdoor bar and grill. In addition, there is a dedicated office space in the house. Work, anyone?

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Tiana Attride is Thrillist’s Associate Travel Editor. She would love to live on her own private island forever, thank you.

Meagan Driller also contributed to this story.

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