For some, getting away from it all means arriving at a destination where solitude is sacred. A private island. A tucked-away peninsula. A secluded rainforest. A place that’s under the radar and away from the crowds.

And yet finding that perfect cloistered patch of land is increasingly difficult, which is why such spots hold more than a measure of prestige. “Privacy and exclusivity are important attributes in luxury retreats,” says Joe Zahm of Turks and Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty. 

Among the world’s rarest real estate trophies are private islands, where one can be chief of his own sandy territory. Some islands, particularly those in Asia and the South Pacific, are available only through long-term leases, while others can be purchased outright. Tropical islands tend to attract the most interest from would-be developers and wannabe castaways. 

Turks and Caicos has developed a strong market for private islands, and Zahm predicts demand will rise in response to development on the main island of Providenciales. But hideaways do exist there: Turtle Tail Estate, a custom compound with panoramic water frontage, an infinity-edge pool and multiple outdoor lounge areas, has the perks and privileges of a secret sanctuary: it is set on a private 4.5-acre peninsula.

In Costa Rica, architect David Konwiser found his own oasis on a swath of greenery outside Manuel Antonio National Park. To reach it, one must fly from the capital of San José on a nineteen-seat turboprop and then travel by vehicle up a steep gravel road. 

What started as a beach house morphed into Villa Punto de Vista, a ten-bedroom estate cantilevered over the rainforest. The site offers 180-degree views of the jungle and the bay, creating “almost a perfect reality,” Konwiser says. The only sounds are waves and the calls of toucans and howler monkeys.

No street clamour, no car horns, no crowd noise. “Silence,” says Zahm, “is the new luxury.”

New York-based writer Iyna Bort Caruso has contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Newsday, among others. 


One of America’s greatest and most storied summer compounds offers the unparalleled combination of an oceanfront estate with a historic equestrian farm in an approximately 31-acre offering. Surrounded by miles of riding trails and hundreds of acres of adjoining agricultural reserve, this property provides peaceful seclusion in highly desirable Montauk.

$85,000,000 Property ID: T7YBV4 |
Sotheby’s International Realty – East Hampton Brokerage
Edward R. Petrie  +1 516 885 9365

Exuma Cays

This property presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a 75-acre private island with endless possibilities. Located in the heart of the Exuma Cays and nestled in the famed Bock Cay Archipelago, Lignum Vitae Cay is one of the most stunning natural cays, with unspoilt beaches, lush vegetation and elevations that capture the breathtaking views. 

$11,500,000 Property ID: C9XJXD |
Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty
Mark Hussey +1 242 322 2305 

Fisher Island, Miami

This exquisite oceanfront penthouse is one of the most important properties located on the exclusive Fisher Island, which is accessible only by ferry or helicopter. A dramatic terrace frames unobstructed views of the Atlantic. 

$25,000,000 Property ID: 8GZ2PM |
One Sotheby’s International Realty
Elena Bluntzer +1 305 992 7987 

Saint Julia De Loria

This masterpiece of modern luxury is located in the residential area of Aixirivall, within the Sant Julià de Lòria area of Andorra. Both the interior and exterior are characterised by a minimalist design, and this home is ideally located for those who want to live in a real mountain retreat surrounded by comfort and exclusivity.

€10,000,000 Property ID: ZCW83J |
Andorra Sotheby’s International Realty
+376 872 222


Turtle Tail Estate is a spectacular private compound located on a 4.57-acre peninsula. The newly completed estate combines the personalisation of a custom home with the amenities of a luxury resort. The masterful and sophisticated architectural and interior design is evident in every detail. With approximately 1,400 feet of breathtaking, panoramic water frontage, the property also features an adjacent 90-foot private dock for yacht mooring.

$25,000,000 Property ID: NKDEPK |
Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty
Nina Siegenthaler +1 649 231 0707
Joe Zahm +1 649 231 6188