Location: St. John River near Fredericton, New Brunswick
No palm trees, chaise lounges or lime-laden bottles of tepid Mexican beer here, friend. This 6.25-acre island is filled with grass, low trees and nothing. There are great views of the rolling hills and campground on the mainland, but if you want to stay here for any lengthy amount of time you're going to have to tack the price of a cabin onto that total. Oh, and that cabin might have to be a houseboat, as the island doesn't allow for any permanent homes because of spring flooding. When you're looking in the discount bin for private islands, sometimes you have to take the one that floods every eight months or so.
Location: The Caribbean, just off of Nicaragua
Now this is a bit more like the island dream: a gorgeous spot on the Caribbean on a rocky hill surrounded by lush vegetation, sea turtles, tropical birds and some of the best fishing in the world. By the way, you're getting only one of five 7.2-acre plots. Oh, and you'll still be responsible for building your own home and installing your own water, septic and electric systems. And you'd be sharing the natural marina with your neighbors. If your idea of island paradise is a homeowners association where no one can hear you scream, this is a great deal.
Long Caye Island
Location: The Caribbean, just off of Belize
If you're going to have to share your island, you may as well have everything set up for you. This is only a quarter-acre parcel on Long Caye, but it comes with a modern home that sleeps eight in one queen and six single bunks. Kitchen equipment, a stereo, coffee maker, ceiling fans and tools for building maintenance are included, as are slightly more important amenities such as a propane-powered hot water heater, water purification unit and a power system. It also includes a 1989 four-cylinder Honda (HMC) Accord as an island car for trips to the mainland. It's not "private" in the grand sense of the word, but it's far enough from the neighbors to feel that way and still close enough to diving spots at Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye to feel a world away.
Location: Stuart Lake, British Columbia
Canada can be a pretty sweet deal for private islands, mostly because of the cold and the lack of palm trees and sandy beaches. This island, however, sits in the middle of a lake teeming with rainbow trout, lake trout and sturgeon. There's already an old house on the island with all the necessary amenities, but the words "in disrepair" suggest that some construction may be a sound idea. The three-acre, lofty island would be all yours and just a quick trip away to the tourist town of Fort St. James on the shoreline.