Cruising through the Gulf of Chiriquí roughly 20 miles off of Panama’s Pacific coast, nestled on the bow of a boat as salty sea air whips its way through the midday heat, it’s hard not to start humming the Jurassic Park theme song as ancient, lush, volcanic islands crest on the horizon.
The archipelago coming into view is comprised of 14 islands blooming with jungle-esque trees and plants. It transports you to another time—so much so that you might expect a long-neck Brachiosaurus to emerge from the vegetation to snack on some leaves. It’s hard to believe that just 45 minutes ago you were driving through intersections with traffic lights and apartment buildings full of people. As the boat drifts toward the shores of Islas Cavada, the main island and your home for the next several days, the clear waters and white sands appear almost untouched by human hands. On shore, a freshly made welcome smoothie and bamboo cabanas make you feel like you’ve discovered a secret utopia. The vibe smoothly shifts from jungle expedition to luxury vacation, the ideal cap to a day of travel. Welcome to Islas Secas.
From the moment you land in Panama, Islas Secas plots every leg of your journey—from the private car and boat transfers to and from Isla Cavadas, to guided deep-sea snorkeling and fishing expeditions to trips to the nearby, absolutely stunning Coiba National Park. All you have to do is choose your adventure, slap on some sunscreen and have a blast.
Based on the size of your crew, settle into one of four casita sites sleeping a max of 18 people. The name of the game is space and privacy, so you’ll never have to worry about bumping elbows with hordes of people. The Casita Grande, situated near the top of the island, is the largest site with four casitas sleeping up to eight people. Sprawling outdoor spaces provide a stunning view of the ocean. Set your alarm and watch the sunrise as you enjoy an al fresco breakfast. Every morning casitas receive a fresh fruit platter, pastries and a carafe of coconut water or fresh juice. Which brings us to…