Imagine a destination that offers an exclusive private stay, unparalleled beauty and no more than 18 guests on the entire island? Islas Secas consists of an archipelago of 14 private islands nestled along the coast of Panama’s southwest shoreline, and provides travelers with diverse marine ecosystems complemented with stunning views.
About the Resort
The island is focused on sustainable tourism, true conservation, and respect for the ecosystem. The ownership has a strong commitment to a philosophy of stewardship to this land. The power on the island is exclusively produced by solar energy. The water system is completely reclaimed for irrigation and is reused and all organic waste is composted. The building materials used for the property are also made from reclaimed and sustainable sources, and most of the furnishings are made from recycled plastic and wood.
About the Food
The food at Isla Secas is fresh (sea to table) and locally sourced. All meals are included with your stay. The culinary team prepares local Panamanian fare as well as international cuisine. Two of my favorite meals were freshly caught barracuda and a beautifully thin sliced kobe beef with vegetables. I also enjoyed starting each morning with mango coconut bread and a fruit smoothie.
About the Accommodations
The resort is located on the main island, called Isla Cavada. The accommodations are in nine oceanfront casitas, spread across four sites, each made to feel like you are on your own private island. There are room configurations for both couples and family stays.
One of my favorite features of this property are the special touches that enhance your stay. With an always stocked mini-bar including light snacks, and access to essential items, such as sunscreen, bug spray, hats, umbrellas, binoculars, and flashlights — nothing you need is far from reach! The bathrooms are large and the shower has open wooden slats that allow you to a view of lush jungle plants and flora vegetation. Each casita has its own plunge pool and bohio (lovely thatched roof hut with fan) where you can relax, cool off and enjoy the amazing landscape.
About the Activities
An abundance of activities are available, and you can experience these at either a vigorous or at a relaxed pace. I enjoyed waking up in a birder’s paradise to the sounds of over 50 different species of birds having their morning conversation. World-class fishing is also available for both fly fishing and conventional tackle. No worries for the non-fishing members of your group, because there are plenty of activities and equipment for you to enjoy: snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, archeological digs, and more. The resort also has their own boats which can whisk you away at any time to one of the other islands for a private beach escape, complete with a picnic lunch. Another exciting excursion offered is whale watching.
My favorite day of my trip began with a visit to the Coiba National Park, followed by snorkeling in the waters near Coiba, where I squealed with both joy and angst as I snorkeled past a whale shark and a large sea turtle! On another day, I headed to one of the islands referred to as Snapper Island, where my guide and I found a quiet cove to paddleboard and kayak. The resort also has a certified scuba instructor, who will provide a lesson as well as lead you on a dive experience.
When the sun sets, there is also an option for an evening cruise where you can relish the beautiful water with cocktails and light appetizers, enjoy stargazing on the boat, or even watch the dolphins at play. One particularly special treat for me was a pre-sunset hike in the rainforest, which ended at a private beach cove for a spectacular view of the sunset. My guide also arranged for a bottle of wine and canapes to be waiting when we arrived at the cove!
Many resorts speak of providing an eco-friendly travel experience, but Islas Secas skillfully conveys their beliefs in stewardship, sustainability, and protecting our environment while still providing the luxury experience that travelers are searching for.