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8 Sunny Islands You Can Book for Christmas (Yes, Private Islands Too)

Why book a basic hotel room when you could have your own island for your holiday escape?

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Bird Island, Placencia, Belize

Nestled at the center of a pristine coral reef (snorkeling, anyone?), Bird Island in Placencia, Belize is a private-island paradise perfect for lazy days in the sun, kayaking, and fishing. The crystal clear waters lend for refreshing mid-day dips, while the sprawling outdoor living space calls for plenty of wave watching. And when you’re finally ready to explore civilization, the village of Placencia is only a short 20-minute boat ride away. It can accommodate up to six people and is $595 per night with a four-night minimum stay. (Don’t miss these gorgeous beaches with the clearest water in the world.)

 

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Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

What would the holidays be without family? With room for over a dozen people at Ilha Grande in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, you can get everyone in your Christmas crew on board for the vacation of a lifetime. But if the luxury of a private island isn’t quite enough for you and your guests, the property is also equipped with a full staff to cater to your every desire. You can even hire a personal chef to prepare your holiday dinner, or rent a boat and captain to steer you through Brazil’s best sights. It’s $1,617 per night with a two-night minimum stay. And though this vacation is worth every penny, if you’re looking for something cheaper, check out these private islands you can rent for just $300 a night.

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Bedarra Island Villa, Queensland, Australia

Head down under for the holiday escape of a lifetime at Bedarra Island Villa in Queensland, Australia. The property’s interior is seriously chic, though with two acres of land to explore, we can guarantee that you won’t be spending much time indoors. Step out onto a bed of white sand surrounded by palm trees and take a dip straight into the turquoise waters of the Coral Sea. The property is equipped with kayaks, snorkeling gear, and fishing reels and rods, so no matter your aquatic activity of choice, your needs will be satiated. It can accommodate up to eight people and is $797 per night with a five-night minimum stay. Given the time difference, you may want to check out these easy ways to outsmart jet lag.

 

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Brother Island, El Nido, Philippines

If your ideal vacation is a no-fuss affair, the secluded Brother Island in El Nido, Philippines is fully staffed with a caretaker, housekeeper, boatmen, and cook, so you’ll never need to leave the island. Included in the rental price are three traditional Filipino meals per day, and they’re made with fresh, local, and organic ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about gaining those dreaded holiday pounds. (Here’s the one trick you need to avoid holiday weight gain.) And if you’re looking for ultimate relaxation, on-site massages can be arranged. It accommodates 12 people at $300 per night with a two-night minimum stay.

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Popa Island, Panama

The four cozy bungalows of Popa Island, Panama loom above crystal clear waters and panoramic views of the Cayo Zapatillas islands. Each includes a balcony with water views and an outdoor shower. By day, the island’s 12 native monkeys roam about, and by night, bioluminescent waters glow for miles. The four bungalows accommodate 14 people total and start at $175 per night per bungalow with a two-night minimum stay. If you like the idea of living in close quarters, rent one of these adorable tiny houses.

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Tahiti Island, Granada, Nicaragua

The recently remodeled Tahiti Island in Granada, Nicaragua offers a roomy waterside pool, fully equipped kitchen, and an outdoor terrace that’s perfect for your morning meals, this holiday getaway offers many modern luxuries in a near-paradise setting (and all for a decent price, too). Encompassed by mango and coconut trees, the island is only a few minutes from the mainland, making for easy access to contemporary necessities and varied cultural excursions. But before you book this vacation home rental, here are some things you should know. It accommodates up to ten people for $185 per night. These great holiday gifts under $50 are worth every cent. 

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Crescent Island, Sanibel, Florida

Forego your passport and venture to Florida for a secluded vacation at Crescent Island in Sanibel, Florida that’ll steer clear from holiday crowds and tourists. Whether you’re looking out onto the waters of San Carlos Bay and the Pine Island Sound from one of the home’s three viewing decks, by the pool, or from the shaded hammock, be on the lookout for dolphins and manatees that call the waters home. The four-acre island is situated right across from Florida’s Ding Darling National Park, and is just a short boat ride away from famed fishing community, Boca Grande Pass. It accommodates up to ten people at $775 per night with a seven-night minimum stay. Looking for other places to stay domestic? Here are the best beaches in America.

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Bingin Beach, Bali, Indonesia

From the moment you step onto the sands of this cozy cliff-side property, you are guaranteed to feel at home at Bingin Beach in Bali, Indonesia. Staff will welcome you with fruit and drinks and help you get situated into your beachy, boho style quarters. Each morning, watch surfers ride some serious waves as you enjoy your complimentary breakfast. And if you’re in the mood to be pampered, an outdoor massage bale is set up by the water for an experience that’s truly better than any spa. While you’re there, you should also check out this rainbow-colored town in Indonesia that’s almost too stunning to be real. It accommodates up to nine people at $261 per night with a three-night minimum stay.