Google cofounder Larry Page has purchased another private island, this time in Puerto Rico.
In 2018, Page, whose net worth is estimated to be approximately $127 billion, bought the island of Cayo Norte for $32 million, Business Insider recently reported.
Cayo Norte is located between Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.
Page purchased the island in two separate transactions via a limited liability company called U.S. Virgin Island Properties, which Business Insider identified as belonging to him and his wife, Lucinda Southworth. The first purchase was for a big chunk of land on the island, priced at $28.7 million, followed by another smaller deal valued at $3.4 million. In the past, Page used the LLC in question to purchase other private islands he owns.
Page’s collection of private islands stretches across the Caribbean and South Pacific. In 2014, he bought the Lollik Islands, a pair of islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands archipelago, just 12 miles east of Cayo Norte, for $23 million. Also in the Caribbean, Page owns Eustatia Island, on the eastern end of the British Virgin Islands. In 2020, Page expanded to the South Pacific, purchasing a majority share in the deed for the island of Tavarua in Fiji.
Page reportedly spent several months on Tavarua during the pandemic. At the time Fiji was closed to travelers except for those arriving by private jet or superyacht, which allowed Page to enter the country.
Since stepping down from any executive leadership roles at Google’s parent company, Alphabet, in 2019, Page has largely receded from public life. However, he retains a board seat and effectively controls the company, alongside cofounder Sergey Brin, through a majority ownership of a special class of voting stock.
The reasons for his purchase of Cayo Norte or any other private islands in his portfolio remain unclear. Some have speculated they are reclusive retreats for a Silicon Valley icon who prefers to avoid the spotlight. Another theory is that Page aims to use the islands as “safe spaces” for scientific experiments, which he believes there aren’t enough of, according to an interview he gave at Google’s annual developer conference in 2013, when he was still the company’s CEO. His private Eustatia Island was reportedly used for tests for his flying-car company, Kittyhawk, which shut down in 2022.
Regardless of Page’s reasoning, his private islands remain a status symbol even among the world’s elite. In fact, the first ever issue of Fortune, published in February 1930, featured an article about the then-emerging trend, popular among early 20th-century titans of industry—chocolatiers, penmakers, and hoteliers—who lived there in luxury and by their own rules. On these islands a billionaire could “build his home, make his laws, fly, if he will, his own flag,” the article reads.
Page is far from the only billionaire to purchase a private island. Nearby his islands in the British Virgin Islands lies Sir Richard Branson’s private Necker Island. Oracle founder Larry Ellison purchased an island in Hawaii in 2012, in a deal that has led to some objections from locals concerned about Ellison’s courting of the super-rich and his development projects for the island.