Scattered in the Gulf of Chiriqui on Panama’s little-explored Pacific Coast, the 14 privately-owned islands of Islas Secas are a playground for nature lovers. Migrating humpback whales and dolphins frolic in the teeming waters around the archipelago and the nearby Coiba National Park – a UNESCO-designated marine reserve – alongside whale sharks, giant manta and marlin. Snorkelling off the reef, the second largest in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, affords visitors up-close encounters with abundant marine life, and since the islands are 20 miles from civilisation, guests will have the entire ocean largely to themselves.
Four gorgeous boho-chic Casitas are set on the jungle-covered main island, creating a design-driven home from home for up to 18 guests at a time. Each of the thatch-roofed Casitas, which offer one, two, or four bedrooms, boasts jaw-dropping views of the Pacific and the surrounding islands, and each has a plunge pool and plenty of indoor-outdoor living space. This month, three new Tented Casitas add a new dimension to the island escape, with canvas canopy roofs, spacious outdoor decks with hammocks and open-air en-suite bathrooms with deep-soaking tubs and privacy screens.
The resort’s Adventure Concierge is on hand to organise whale-watching tours, snorkelling and diving trips, or naturalist excursions for birdwatchers hoping to see one of the 50 species of resident and migratory birds on the archipelago, including the second largest Frigate bird colony in Panama. And eco-conscious travellers can rest assured that Islas Secas retains a gentle footprint: the entire island is powered by solar-generated energy and all food and water waste is recycled or used for irrigation. From US $2,000 per night including food and beverage, transfers from the nearest domestic airport and select activities.