For those who really, really, really want to get away from it all (and from everyone), renting your own private island makes for an ideal vacation. While it used to be that you had to be a mogul to do such a thing, nowadays you’ll find many of these getaways cost roughly the same as a night at a mid- to high-end hotel. From the shores of Colombia to British Columbia, these Airbnb islands prove life’s greatest luxuries are indeed peace and quiet.
① The Ark
Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia, $572 a night
White-sand beaches and palm trees surround this classic Caribbean four-bedroom "cottage," which is perched on an island just off the Colombian isle of Tintipán. But this is a cottage the way Newport, Rhode Island, mansions are cottages: It’s an adorable understatement. The 10,000-square-foot villa houses up to 25 people, if that’s your idea of a getaway. The biggest draw is the authentic Caribbean cuisine served up by The Ark’s head cook, Maria Candela. Dine on traditional panfried fish and coconut rice, perhaps in the comfort of one of the many hammocks in the 700-square-foot outdoor great room.
Hinesburg, Vermont, $245 a night
If your ideal traveling companion happens to be of the four-legged variety, you’ll love this appropriately named dog-friendly island in the middle of Lake Iroquois. There’s a main cottage with a screened-in porch for lazy summer nights, plus places to camp if you prefer to sleep right under the stars. Hang out by the fire pit, take a swim or just enjoy the classic New England scenery.
Manchester, Michigan, $700 a night
If a private island somehow doesn’t offer enough privacy, how about one that comes with a private 156-acre lake? Though you’ll have to pay a bit more for such a luxury, the ability to vacation—and skinny-dip—like no one’s watching might be worth it. Swim and fish your heart out or just enjoy the simple pleasure of having a beach (and perfect view) all to yourself.
Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada, $333 a night
If you’ve logged too many hours on emails to count, book this island right now. This private island eco-retreat promises a break from notifications against the backdrop of the stunning Sunshine Coast of British Columbia (which hasn’t been fully discovered as a vacation destination—yet). You’ve got your choice of a yurt or tent-cabin, and meals are included in the price of your stay.
Sanibel, Florida, $775 a night
You’re never truly alone when you vacation in Florida—even its gorgeous coastline becomes sullied by throngs of vacationers. That's especially the case for the picture-perfect beaches on Sanibel Island; that is, unless you opt for a private island off Sanibel instead. You can rent a boat to get to and from civilization, like restaurants and shops, then retire to a secluded paradise that remains confidently free of other people’s selfie sticks. Wanna share? The home sleeps up to 10.
Pack your passport—and an appetite—as we hit the world's hottest culinary destinations on and off the grid all month long. Now Boarding: your next trip to paradise.
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