Private Islands You Probably Can't Own

Owning an island isn't something exclusive to countries, gods, and pirates. You can buy one too! Well, probably not you, since even the most insignificant speck of sand costs more than you'll likely ever make in your life. But, hey, what's life without dreams? Here's a list of islands so nice you'd sell your soul to own them, even though your soul would barely cover the deposit on half of these.

Isla Palenquita, Panama

Our first island is located in Panama, which makes it wonderfully like the type of deserted island you'd find in a 1870s adventure novel. So, obviously, a great choice. Of course, don't plan on coming here unless you're a multimillionare, because the price tag for this is three million dollars. For perspective, that's more dollars than there are germs are on your keyboard.

The Isla Palenquita is a little over ten acres, and includes a helicopter pad because how else are you supposed to get to your private island? A boat, like a commoner? Please. Luckily for those wannabe supervillains, the island does have a foundation of volcanic rock. So it's not quite Bond-villain level, but it's much more villainy than you'd expect from anyone not running a company or country. Overall, a good choice if you want a place to bury treasure, or the bodies of your enemies.

Tavern Island

Despite how when you think "island," you probably imagine something in the middle of the ocean, filled with coconut trees and sand, there's some lovely islands to own inside the continental United States. These islands even come with great names like Tavern Island. You think you'd see a name like that in the Bahamas? Nope, only in Connecticut! And it'll only run you 11 million bucks!

Despite its small size (3.5 acres), it also has a wonderful, beautiful, mansion-like residence, a caretaker's cottage, boathouse, and basically everything else you need to throw a Great Gatsby-themed party. Don't be fooled by its modern appliances though — it's still an island, featuring beaches and docks. Just, unlike most of the others, when you look out the window you don't see the oppressive blue of the endless ocean, but the comforting shores of Connecticut. You're away from the American mainland, but not so far you can't just take your rich-kid boat over to a nearby McDonald's. Pretty much an overall win.

Big Sampson Cay

Despite the name, this island is not actually the setting for a great, 1980s adventure point-and-click game, but is instead a place in the Bahamas you can actually purchase ... if you have $18 million dollars. Although, honestly, would you even want to? This island is so close to the Bermuda Triangle that if it was a sibling, it would be saying, "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you." And then it would disappear forever. Stupid Triangle.

Despite all that, the island is amazingly gorgeous. It also has almost one-hundred and thirty acres which, in feet, is approximately more than we've ever walked. For those of you looking at these islands going, "Wow, this looks so nice, but what about my private jet?" don't worry! This island features a 2000-foot-long runway. Plus, when you're not visiting any of the gorgeous beaches on the island, or traipsing through the jungle pretending you're an explorer from the 1600s, you can chill in one of the three solar/generator-powered cottages littered across the island. Look, we're not saying buying an island makes sense, but playing hide-and-seek here would be killer.

Nissos Makri

The Nissos Makri island is located in Greece which means, if you really want, you can pretend that it's Atlantis. Or, if you're super into Homerian LARPing, you can reenact The Odyssey on your island! Or, you know, do something rational with it, or at least as "rational" as one can be after paying millions for a chunk of sandy rock.

Makri boasts almost two-hundred and fifty acres, which is more than we can come up with a metaphor for. Now, apparently, there's an actual thing you can use this island for, and that's building a giant five-star resort. At that point, though, it becomes a non-private island, and what's the point of that? As far as how much you're paying for this thing, according to its Private Islands Online webpage, Nissos Makri Island costs "Price Upon Request." We're not economists, but we're guessing that translates to, "a whole buttload of money, just the giantest buttload."

Bonds Cay

In the Bahamas is an island named the Bonds Cay, and this $16 million island is perhaps the best place on Earth. Why? Well, for the same reason you can't buy it! Aside from the whole "you're poor" thing, Bonds Cay Island already has joint owners: namely, Shakira and Roger Waters. Yep, the Pink Floyd guy and Gazelle from Zootopia. The singers of "Hips Don't Lie" and "Another Brick in the Wall" co-own an island. Apparently there's still some room for joy and surprise in the world.

Despite Shakira's claim, though, this island is not small and humble (although, due to its relatively small elevation, it can't actually be confused with a mountain). What's more, instead of moving there to make an awesome musicians' retreat, the two are planning to build a resort on the island. So if you're very good, train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins, and win three lotteries, you might one day be lucky enough to stay in a hotel owned by Shakira and Roger Waters, which honestly, is the dream.

Goat Cay

Goat Cay is another island that we're dangling in front of you only to say, "Ha, someone already got it." Despite the name suggesting this is where every satyr in the world lives, it's actually home to a much different famous pair, country power-couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The island resides in the Bahamas and the couple use it as a "getaway" from the stresses of being famous millionaires who everyone worships.

Those of us who have to deal with daily, overwhelming stress without running away from it all can take some small solace in how, at roughly twenty acres, the island is, comparatively, puny. It also has no wonderful beaches or great hills or anything. It's just your standard-issue private island, a bit of a fixer-upper, and these two have their work cut out for them and ... we just pitched the best reality show ever.

Leaf Caye

Unfortunately, Leaf Caye isn't a real-life Zelda dungeon. It is, instead, an awesome $9 million, 30-acre private island floating (not literally, though we wish) in the middle of the Bahamas. Awesome enough on its own, the island is located very close to another private island, one that has a retreat, golf courses, private homes, restaurants and more. Is your private island retreat not secluded enough? You can take a break from taking a break from it all, by receding to your even more private private island.

Oh, also, it belongs to Nicolas Cage, who bought it in 2006, which is the first decision he's made since Raising Arizona that we not only understand, but actually agree with. Actually, he probably bought the island with money from The Wicker Man, which makes us hate that movie just a little bit less. Look, we'd punch people while wearing a bear suit if it got us our own island. No hate.

Musha Cay

Unlike all of the other islands we're fawning over, you can actually go to this one almost whenever you want! Of course, you need more money than you could count, so you're still pretty much out of luck.

But for the few of you who won't even touch your dessert if it isn't first covered in gold flakes, have we got a vacation for you! Musha Cay Island is owned by David Copperfield (wait, a magician bought an island and didn't immediately make it disappear? It's like he's not even trying), but he rents it out to people for $57,000 a night, so if you somehow manage to save your paycheck for a year and probably never pay rent or the electric bill, congrats, you can stay here for one night. It's almost worth it, except for the higher-than-zero probability you'd have to chill with David Copperfield.

Pink Pearl Island

After all those private islands owned by celebrities, we felt we should show you an island you have a chance in Hell of actually owning. So, let us introduce you to the awesomely named Pink Pearl Island. Of course, because its price tag is comparatively low (only $500,000, which you could easily procure with a single bank robbery*), it's only two acres in size. However, it's incredibly gorgeous, you can dive, lay underneath palm trees, or even watch turtles hatching. It has cabanas (with bathrooms!) and even a small restaurant and bar. Honestly, if you have any possibility to get this island, we'd like to say it's really bad and you should not get it, but we're only saying that because holy heck, we kinda want to go live here now.


Turtle Island

Turtle Island (such a disappointing name, since it's not actually resting on a real, magical, giant turtle) costs about $5 million, and gets its name from its small outcroppings of sand that makes it resemble a turtle. Which is ... neat, we just wish it actually swam and maybe talked?

The twenty-five acre island has a beautiful home with three bedrooms, a television, and basically everything else you'd want in an awesome, luxurious private island resort. Basically. the only thing about this island that's disappointing (aside from, again, it not being a swimming turtle, like from Avatar), is the fact that it's in Australia, which means at any time, a dozen giant venomous creepy crawlies could pay a visit and deem you dinner. Few things ruin a great vacation faster.

Ile Gagnon

Ile Gagnon Island is in Canada, so like everything else in that country, it at one point belonged to Celine Dion! Now, as you can literally drive onto this island — that's how close it is to the mainland — its opalescence comes not from its remoteness from society, but from holy crap is this mansion nice.

The island itself is a little under twenty acres, and taking up a good chunk of it is a stone mansion nicer than anything you've ever seen before. It's three stories high and features a wine cellar and, again, it's on a private island, which makes this the most cliche rich-person thing since gold-plated chairs. Seriously, Scrooge McDuck looks at this place and goes, "Isn't that a little much?" If you stumbled upon it and ran into talking furniture you'd be like, "Yeah, sounds about right."

Though, again, it's in Canada, so we imagine you're not legally allowed to stay unless you learn how to be nice to everyone which, unfortunately, rules us out. Also, the $30 million Canadian ($22 million USD) price tag. That rules us out too.

Lisbon Island

Welcome to Lisbon Island, in Europe. It has 3,000 acres and has somehow remained undeveloped and unbought for years. Oh, and, according to the Private Islands Blog, this island is the single most expensive private island on Earth, at a cool $350 million. Now that that's any less affordable to us than $3.5 million, but still, holy crap!

Perhaps it's a bit obvious from the name, but this island is located incredibly close to the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. It's a mere 30 meters off the coast, which statistically is about the distance between you and the nearest donut shop. Unfortunately, while this island can be bought and developed as a private getaway for whatever rich jerk wants it, most experts agree that once bought, it'll be turned into a resort of some kind. Of course, experts also thought the Cubs would never win the World Series, so who knows! Maybe a hermit will move onto the island with a tent and stay there forever. Maybe someone will buy it and turn it into a squirrel refuge! It's a new world!

Petra Island

For this one we're coming back to the good ol' US of A, with a private island located a mere fifty miles away from New York City (or, as its listing on Private Islands Online helpfully states, fifteen minutes by helicopter).

Petra Island has about eleven acres and features a landing pad, a huge cottage, and an even larger house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Now, we don't have a price for this one (it's given "upon request" but, given how a closet-sized one-bedroom near it runs in the $2000-per-month range, we're going to guess "way too much." At the moment, it's being used for corporate retreats but, if you're the type of person who feels the need to buy a private island in New York (maybe name it Manhattan 2?) you can always inquire. If you hear back, let us know! And also, can we have some money? Whatever you can pull out of your couch, is cool, especially since you have a couple million stashed in there.

Twin Sisters Isle

Twin Sisters Isle got its name, presumably, because two is the grand total of people who could fit on the island. It has a grand total of one acre, and is for sale for less than a million Canadian dollars ($750,000 in US money, which isn't exactly an unheard-of amount, so maybe!)

While we're griping, the island is still gorgeous, even if — more than anything — it seems a pedestal for a rather traditional, if awful nice, house. Said house has four bedrooms, which is good because if you leave any of them at any time, you fall directly into the sea. It's located in Ontario, and seems like a perfect place if you've always wanted a nice cabin in the woods, but also wanted the rest of the world to be covered in water.

Spectabilis Island

Finally, we get to a proper island, like the kind we imagine when we think of a "private island." Spectabilis Island features gorgeous sand, clear waters, foliage, and no gigantic resorts.

This island's big too, a little over 450 acres, and costs about $62 million. It's located in the Caribbean, because it absolutely knows what people look for in a private island, right down to the location. While there's no huge resorts, it does have a private air strip, which means you can personally live out your own private episode of Fantasy Island. We'd talk about the island more, but by this point, all we want to do is relax, close our eyes, and imagine we're on a beach in the Caribbean, alone, listening to the waves come in.