Islas Secas is an island hideout that hosts only 18 guests. Part of a 14-island archipelago, it lolls in Panama’s Pacific Coast. 20kms from civilisation, guests can charter a private seaplane for a 45-minute flight direct from Panama City to Islas Secas. Instead of flying, visitors may embark on a 75-minute boat trip from the port, near to domestic airport David. Chugging along the Gulf of Chiriquí, travellers will be regaled with tales of mythical pirates who used to inhabit the volcanic coastline.
There are nine casitas. Flanked by tropical gardens they have far-reaching views of the ocean. Inspired by treehouses, the cabana-style houses rise above the canopy and blend into their natural surroundings.
Each has a thatched canopy for relaxation, an expansive outdoor deck and a plunge pool. Interiors are airy and minimalist. Large bathrooms have indoor-outdoor showers.
Ideal for big families or groups of friends, Casita Grande has four bedrooms and is the largest.
The one-bedroom Casita Mirador is perfect for honeymoons or loved-up couples looking to escape.
Fully solar powered, investor and eco-enthusiast owner Louis Bacon keeps the impact on the environment to a minimum. Conservation is a top priority and 75 percent of the archipelago will remain undeveloped. Leading the way in sustainable travel, single-use plastic is nowhere to be seen and all leftover food is dehydrated and composted. All water is recycled after going through the island’s filtration system.
Under the guise of chef André Pastias, locally extracted seafood and freshly caught fish are barbecued on the beach. Grilled octopus and piquant ceviche are all served up in the cathedral style Terraza. There is a Hemingway-style bar where post-dinner cocktails are shaken up.
750 species of fish reside in the surrounding waters. Guests may set off on diving expeditions from the island’s specialised centre or snorkel in the warm waters among schools of multicoloured fish, eagle rays and white-tip reef sharks. Marvel as sea turtles and dolphins swim alongside divers.
One of 50 in the world, the Turbine Otter is an amphibious plane with both floats and wheels. On standby for marine safaris, spot whale sharks while the plane makes shadows on the glistening waters.
The nearby Coiba National Park is accessible by boat. Sail through some of Latin America’s most biodiverse waters while salt water crocodiles prey and noisy howler monkeys swing from the treetops.