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10 Islands That Could Be Yours for $500k or Less

You may think that owning island property in the Latin tropics isn’t possible within the budget you’ve set for your expat home abroad.

Prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

It’s true that, due to its high demand, island property may tend to run a little on the pricey side.  (After all, there is only a finite amount of it available.)  But, depending on the level of development and the number of amenities you’re seeking, it’s entirely possible to find remote real estate to fit any budget.  

In fact, check out these 10 places you can own an island, or at least a nice-sized chunk of one, for $500,000 or less.


Alligator Caye, Belize: $99,000

Just reduced from $169,000, this property includes 10.7 acres on the southern end of Alligator Caye.  It’s off the coast of Belize, slightly north of the town of Dangriga.  The Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, lies just a few hundred yards in front of the property.

It can be reached by boat in 30 minutes from Dangriga or just 45 minutes from Belize City.  A lagoon on the back of the island, to which the property has access, offers sheltered boat mooring.

This completely undeveloped island is a blank canvas in a popular area near the country’s largest tourist attraction, the reef.  The area has been designated as a World Heritage Site due to its ecological importance.  It’s also a great spot for fishing.

Boca Chica, Panama: $199,000 – $449,000

Video of a Glass House for Sale on Boca Chica Island

Boca Chica Island is a gem of a destination located just off Panama’s Pacific Coast in the Gulf of Chiriqui. Surrounded by over 50 mostly uninhabited islands, as well as some of the world’s best sport fishing, it’s currently one of the hottest places in the country to buy property. And it’s our only island project.

This is due largely in part to the newly expanded international airport in David, a number of other large infrastructure projects, and some really incredible scenery.  It’s a beautiful place to call home, and it’s an even better place to invest in real estate.    

There aren’t a ton of lots still available in the island’s Adventure Colony development, but what’s left is still a great bargain.  You can get three acres full of old growth coconut trees, with a level spot that’s already been cleared for a home site, for only $199,000.  It sits at the corner of a sandy beach and offers access to a private dock, as well as its own fresh water well.

Also on the island is a contemporary home with three bedrooms and two baths that comes complete with a fully modern kitchen, a solar power system, premium finishes, custom furniture, and air conditioning throughout. Its private dock is right in front of the home, which sits on .75 acres.

It also has a freshwater spring, a large storage bodega, and mature fruit trees.  There’s even a caretaker who can continue to provide service to the property if you so choose.  All this can be yours for only $449,000.

islands under $500k

Belize Tropical Caye

South Saddle Caye, Belize: $300,000

Located off the southern tip of larger Saddle Caye, this island property offers a whopping 2.3 acres, making it a steal of a deal.  The island has tons of coral along its southern and eastern shore lines.

On the eastern side, there’s a steep drop-off to over 50 feet, making it great for snorkeling.  The western side has a shallow entrance that slopes quite gradually and is perfect for swimming in the beautiful water that’s characteristic of the area.

The western shore also has a great sandy area that would make a great beach after a bit of much-needed clearing.  There are large black mangroves in many spots across the island, indicating a solid footing for building.

islands under $500k

View from Cay, Satanoid

Secret Island, Belize: $350,000

Located just seven miles off the coast of Belize, Secret Island is a Caribbean getaway that offers loads of potential.  At 2.5 acres, it offers plenty of room to build a few houses.  There’s also a great beach and a deep cove to allow for a dock.  

You would likely need to sand fill the island, in order to have a solid base for construction.  Since it’s close to the mainland (roughly a 20-minute boat ride), the transport of building materials would be relatively simple.

The island’s landscape is remarkable with red and black mangroves surrounding it.  The water is shallow, only knee deep at 30 yards out in some places.  The island offers views of the mainland, as well as several other islands that are within a mile away, and the entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

islands under $500k

Island in Lake Nicaragua, Kristian Golding

Granada, Nicaragua: $350,000

This small island is located in Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in Central America.  At just under a quarter of an acre, it has just enough space to hold a large three-bedroom, four-bath home and gardens with mature coconut trees.

The home has several terraces and a system for heating water from the fresh water well.  There’s also a caretaker already on staff.  The home is just five minutes from the nearest dock and 45 minutes from the capital of Managua.

islands under $500k

Turneffe Point Caye, Serge Melki

Turneffe Point Caye, Belize: $350,000

With a whole acre to develop as  you choose, this island on the north tip of Turneffe Atoll is a real bargain.  It’s protected by the Belize Barrier Reef, which lies just 500 yards away.  As a result, the water around the island is calm, even on the windiest of Caribbean days.  

For access, the island is 28 miles away from Belize City, making it the perfect secluded destination.  In addition to exploring the reef, it’s also a great spot to enjoy flats fishing.

islands under $500k

Isla Paloma

Isla Paloma, Panama: $400,000

This .25 acre island is located in the peaceful Isla Paloma off Panama’s Caribbean coast, near Bocas del Toro.  It has a white sand beach and too many varieties of fruit trees to name.  It’s surrounded by a shallow lagoon and mangroves that help protect the island from erosion.

There’s little tide fluctuation and no history of hurricanes in this area.  The island enjoys a mild tropical climate (averaging around 80 degrees).  It’s also fully self-powered with its own water source, allowing for the possibility of year-round living or use as an income property.  

The home itself has two bedrooms and one bath, plus a loft space.  It’s fully furnished and includes all kitchen equipment, electronics, linens, and decor.  Outside there’s a beautiful garden, party shack, and swim dock for entertaining.

The boathouse has five boat slips (two covered) and includes a 26′ panga style boat with an 85 hp Yamaha engine.  There are also water sport toys and equipment, such as skiis, snorkel gear, ropes, life jackets, and a canoe.  The separate workshop also comes with all the hand and power tools you’ll need to keep up the property.

Supplies can be obtained from the local town of Loma Partida, which has groceries, hardware stores, restaurants, and some activities.  The nearest regional airport is 25 minutes away.

Roatan Beach for Sale

Roatan, Honduras: $469,000

Located on the popular island of Roatan, this property includes a well-constructed two-bedroom home, plus a separate apartment, that’s the perfect place to launch your very own sport fishing or aquatic excursion company.  In fact, the current owners have already laid all the groundwork for a successful tourism operation.

The home includes high end finishes and an updated kitchen with modern appliances.  There are two more bedrooms in the lower level apartment that has its own private entrance and patio.

As if this weren’t enough, the home also includes a tricked out boathouse, complete with a full kitchen and barbecue area, four private docks, and plenty of areas for lounging.  There are two boat lifts, an overhead deck, and tons of storage.

If a tourism business is in your plans, the owners have their successful charter business for sale.  Other income options include rental of one of several boat slips or of the downstairs apartment.  The possibilities with this property are literally endless.

islands under $500k

Bocas del Toro, Jacob Kirkland

Isle of Navarro, Panama: $500,000

This island is located out from Dolphin Bay near beautiful Bocas del Toro.  In addition to the generous nine acres of dry island, there’s also a 2800 square foot house that’s built out over the water in the popular style of the area.  There’s also a separate residence that can be used for guests or a caretaker.

The island is covered in lush vegetation, which includes pineapple plants, coconut palms, orchids, and banana and papaya trees.  It also comes with a 26′ boat with 40 hp motor as well as two generators for power.

Among its other amenities include the island’s proximity (only five minutes by boat) from Bocas del Toro, the country’s top tourist destination.

islands under $500k

Nicaragua Island, Steve Summers

Pink Pearl Island, Nicaragua: $500,000

One of the Pearl Cays, this two acre island is only three miles off Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.  Although it could also work as a private personal retreat, the property is currently being used as a tourist business, making it the perfect turnkey property for the entrepreneurial expat.

The options are endless, as the area is great for both sport fishing and scuba diving.  It’s a beautiful piece of property with turquoise waters and white sand beaches.  It’s protected by the surrounding reefs and other islands and covered in lush flora and fauna.

Structures on the island include three cabanas, each with two double beds and a private bath, an eight-person bunk house with shower room, and a circular main house with a downstairs kitchen and living area and an upstairs master suite with a balcony that offers 360 degree views of the island.  There’s also a restaurant/bar with bamboo tables and chairs and a workers’ cabin with kitchen and bedroom space.

The island is easily accessible by boat, but you can also charter a helicopter from Managua or the nearby Bluefields or Corn Islands.  There’s a pier on the front of the island, and the purchase includes a 25′, 150 hp speedboat, “The Black Pearl.”

Other features include a heart-shaped swimming pool and a small bamboo beach shower.  The property is powered by a 5500-watt generator and is wired for cable and phone service.

So, don’t give upon your dream of owning an island just yet.  Check out our island real estate listings to see what’s available, or ask us how we can help.

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One thought on “10 Islands That Could Be Yours for $500k or Less

  1. 1

    Really enjoyed reading the ‘islands for sale’ article. Never thought I would like small island life, but, man, those were all special.

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