By Ken Hegan for MSN Travel

WHOA: I just found out you can rent an entire tropical island for the price of a Hello Kitty watch.

Yep, not just a room, not just a house, but an entire Caribbean island with a house…and it’s the only one on the whole island.

An insanely good deal. Let’s face it: for $130/night, you can’t rent over 90% of the hotel rooms in New York City. Hell, you can’t even rent most Manhattan hotel bathrooms for $130. And man, have I ever tried.


This incredibly affordable tropical island is called Sandy Cay and it’s about the size of a football field. It’s located 1/2 mile (800 metres) off the west end of Utila Island, which itself is located about 18 miles (29 kilometers) north of the town of La Ceiba, on the northern coast of Honduras.

Granted, it takes initiative to get to Sandy Cay…this isn’t some quickie flight to a Cancun 2-star all-inclusive. But the travel’s all worth it when you take command of your private island.

Sandy Cay boasts white sandy beaches, coral reefs, warm turquoise water, and a rustic house that sleeps 6 comfortably, and up to 14 people reallllllly comfortably. The rate of $130/night is for up to 6 people, plus an additional $10 for every extra person [and if one island won’t do, you can also rent another small island nearby for about the same price].


It’s a great excuse to get all your friends, family, or enemies together in the Caribbean. When I told my buddy Ali about it, she said, “Just imagine: it costs LESS to rent an island and throw a wild party, than the cost of your cell phone data charges if you Instagram the s*@% out of all that mayhem.”

But you don’t have to party here. It’s so calm and peaceful, it’s the perfect getaway for honeymooners, swingers, swinging honeymooners, art thieves on the lam, or would-be Bond villains seeking a start-up lair to build their empire.

The house includes:

  • 2 bedrooms (one with 2 queen beds, one with 2 single beds)
  • 2 bathrooms
  • water is provided by two big tanks
  • gas stove and firewood
  • shortwave radio
  • open-air shower
  • pelicans (outside the house, I mean, just flying & walking around)
  • an open, fully furnished kitchen with 2 refrigerators, gas stove, utensils, and cutlery
  • living room (with 8 single mattresses in case, say, Governor Mitt Romney escapes here with all his kids)


What the island doesn’t offer is TV, Internet, air-conditioning, a stereo, loud neighbours (or any neighbours, for that matter), or feces-throwing flying monkeys. Actually, I’m just guessing on that last point. You’ll have to visit Sandy Cay to see for yourself.

So let me ask you this: what would you do on your very own private island?

If you’re stuck for ideas, I suppose you could:

-relax, read, snorkel, fish, and make sweet beautiful love

-write a book under swaying palm trees

-nude barbecues

-make other people’s fantasies come true

-cure a disease
-start a cult (or end a cult)

-run around shouting “YAAAAAH!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

-invite me and my best friends to hang out with you. We’ll call it ‘The Keefer Penthouse Party II

-perform secret experiments on people, plants, and animals

-host Thunderdome cage fights…two go in but only one comes out

-open a prison/women’s prison

-film a remake of the 1979 women’s prison movie called Human Experiments

-or whatever beautiful/wonderful/magical things your heart desires…IT’S YOUR ISLAND.

IMG_4544When you need to load up on food/supplies in Pigeon Bay, use the shortwave radio to call for supplies. The proprietor is a short boat ride away. Should you need a bank, clinic, shops, restaurants, hotels, dive shops, Internet cafes, or cell phone and satellite TV access, go to Utila for the day. For you aspiring Bond villains, Utila might also be a good place to hire your henchmen.

Oh, and the name ‘Sandy Cay’ means it’s a coral reef island that’s sandy. Also, as a baby girl’s name, ‘Cay’ means ‘pure’ so it’s got that going for it, too.

As for the island weather…it’s generally golden on Sandy Cay. The average annual temperature is 29°C. Warning: the rainy season is October through January. However, this weekend’s forecast is for sunny skies and a high of 28°C.

What are you waiting for? Go take over a tropical island!

For further info/reservations, visit

For more information on Utila, Honduras and how to get there, visit

— Ken Hegan


Read all Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan

Images courtesy the Jackson family

Thanks to Susie M and Matt S