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With some of the friendliest people, year-round mild climates, and a laidback lifestyle, the Caribbean’s sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters embody the tropical island dream, and owning a private island in the Caribbean is the pinnacle of luxury.

For those who want peace and complete seclusion, having one of the many private islands for sale in the Caribbean is the only way to go.

Before you grab a private island, it is good to acknowledge that it is a much more complex endeavor than many would like to believe, so here are some of the best Caribbean islands to look for a private island and a few tips to help you avoid a development disaster.

Caribbean Countries with Private Islands for Sale

Turks and Caicos

Revered for its strong building codes, use of the American dollar, no capital gains or income tax, and solid medical facilities, buying a private island or private villas for sale on a private peninsula on this archipelago makes a lot of sense.

The benefits don’t stop there. As a British Overseas Territory, it has a unique relationship with the United Kingdom. From its stable government to the abundance of financial and logistical support from the United Kingdom, Turks and Caicos is a desirable location, even in times of crisis.

Another major selling point of Turks and Caicos real estate is its location near the United States. Most US hubs have direct flights to the island nation, making for convenient air travel.

With places like South Caicos expanding their airstrips and developing new airports, more places are accessible to ex-pats wanting to experience luxury, nature, and the community.

Known for its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and world-class snorkeling, there’s nothing like living in Turks and Caicos, where luxury and nature blend seamlessly.

The Bahamas

Home to more than 700 cays and islands, buyers are going to find their slice of heaven in the Bahamas.

A beautiful country without income or capital gains taxes, the nation enjoys proximity to the U.S. (for those necessary New York trips) and economic and political stability. Exuma Cays and Grand Exuma have habitable isles ready for purchase.

A Quick Guide to Island Buying

Owning a private island has tons of perks and to make the process of acquiring one easier, here are a few considerations that may help.

Position yourself

Private islands for sale in Caribbean waters aren’t scarce in the Bahamas, but in Turks and Caicos they are. Depending on where you are purchasing an island, the price will reflect its scarcity in that region.

The good news is that much of the Caribbean’s real estate falls under British law, which makes transactions remarkably straightforward than in other parts of the world. Many freeholds are owned by holding companies, with transactions taking the form of share sales.

Business or pleasure?

If you are buying a private island as a commercial proposition, expect things to get complicated. You also may need government approval and permission. However, if you are buying it for personal use, you can think of it as you would the purchase of a very expensive home. Private islands bought for family use usually can more quickly navigate and finalize the buying process.

Get Ready for a lot of Boat Rides

Having an island offers you the opportunity to create your kingdom a few miles offshore or minutes from the mainland. This is an exciting prospect that can turn into a headache quickly if you aren’t properly prepared.

Ensuring the island is sustainable and self-sufficient is essential. This is a very tall order as everything has to be shipped or flown in which can dramatically increase costs. The real cost of having unfettered access to deep waters and barrier reef diving sites has to take development and time costs into account.

When your private island has everything it needs, you will enjoy every boat ride to and from it.

Keep Logistics Front and Center

The price of utter isolation is convenience. For instance, what happens if someone has a snorkeling incident and needs medical attention while on your island in the corner of French Polynesia? Factoring in how far your family or island resort is from the rest of society needs to be second nature.

Then there is true self-sufficiency. Satellites for the internet, desalination wells for water, solar panels, and organic sewage solutions are going to directly impact your private island life. You’ll also want to think about equipment and labor, which can pose their challenges.

A well-thought-out plan will give you the ultimate dream destination, however.

Money Cannot be an Object

There’s no way around it, the private islands for sale in Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands, Belize and everywhere else in the Caribbean are not cheap. Even the undeveloped acres of land come with a big price tag and planning complications.

In Panama, there are private islands for sale that buyers can develop no more than 30% of the land. Additionally, the development must be done sustainably. For most people buying a private island, price is of little consequence when they are also buying an international legacy.

If saving money and time is high on your list, look for habitable islands that already have electricity, proximity to medical care, and internet connectivity, among other things.

Be Considerate of your Neighbors

Treating the local population unkindly or with bias is the surest way to fail at bringing your Caribbean real estate goals to fruition. By respecting their values and standards, instead of judging them, you can alleviate some hiccups that are bound to pop up and learn a few things, too.

Be mindful of the fact that everyone may not know you’ve purchased the island, so unwelcome visits will probably occur – by tourists and locals.


Buying and sustaining a private island can be a challenge. Figuring out what you want to do with it is the fun part!

Private islands for sale in the Caribbean are waiting for you to create the life you’ve always wanted.