Wild luxury in Chiriqui: the Panama resort at Isla Palenque

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"Wild luxury in Chiriqui: the Panama resort at Isla Palenque".

Search our blog about all things Panama! From must dos, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, in our blog you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 15 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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Wild luxury in Chiriqui: the Panama resort at Isla Palenque

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A discounted rate for future, current and former Habla Ya students is available for 2 night stays (or more) at Isla Palenque between May 11th - 19th (save up to 60%). Contact us to request your booking code.

On Isla Palenque, we wake up with the sun to a chorus of howler monkeys to take our time in leisurely enjoyment of hot hojaldres and fine Panamanian coffee – and the views of oceanic paradise laid out beyond our breakfast table.

Views to infinity from the upper tier of the pool at the Isla Palenque Villa Estate hotel.
Views to infinity from the upper tier of the pool at the Isla Palenque Villa Estate hotel.

The Gulf of Chiriqui National Marine Park surrounds our 400-acre island with 14,740 hectares of protected Pacific waters – which sounds nice, but does not become altogether meaningful until you’re out hopping from isle to uninhabited isle, witnessing giant sea turtles and humpback whales offshore and from the bow of your panga, or fighting with all your strength to bring an in-season yellowfin tuna home to dinner.

“Being on an island awakens that sense of adventure we all have within us, but if surrounded by buildings every day, sometimes we can forget,” says Celianis Samudio, Sales Assistant for The Resort at Isla Palenque.

First impressions of this paradisiacal locale most often invoke the words “expansive” and “wild”, or ebb away wordlessly in the absence of fitting descriptors. Throughout this year’s soft opening at the Isla Palenque Panama resort, first-time travelers to the region have reported their re-discovery of what a thing it is to have time to think and room to breathe.

Isla Palenque’s location in stunning Gulf of Chiriqui invites guests to bask in the beauty and seclusion of an oceanic paradise.
Isla Palenque’s location in stunning Gulf of Chiriqui invites guests to bask in the beauty and seclusion of an oceanic paradise.

The seascape stretches to the horizon, punctuated by two-dozen islands appearing as tufts of green amid endless blue. These include Isla Palenque and the neighboring islands of Ladrones, Bolaños, and Gamez (to name just three favorite stops on island-hopping tours offered through the resort).

Isla Palenque’s Director of Tours & Activities Aristoteles Almengor characterizes his island home thusly: “...a great place to see a lot of different environments. Sometimes in one hike you can go through four or five different ecosystems – lagoon, mangrove, beach, tropical jungle, forest with trees over a hundred years – and nearby there are great places for fishing, snorkeling, to see whales…” – all things Almengor endeavors to share via the resort’s extensive menu of island, ocean, and mainland tours.

Aris Almengor, Director of Tours & Activities for The Resort at Isla Palenque (and his hiking companion, Vera)
Aris Almengor, Director of Tours & Activities for The Resort at Isla Palenque (and his hiking companion, Vera)

Sheltering the larger gulf is Panama’s westernmost province of Chiriqui, a lush composition of highlands coffee farms, lowlands dairies and cattle ranches, indigenous villages and expat communities. Chiriqui serves as a breadbasket for the nation and represents one of Central America’s top ecotourism destinations, in addition to being the home of most staff members at The Resort at Isla Palenque, including Samudio and Almengor.

In Chiriqui, your territorial assets are stunning to behold and thrilling to explore: yawning expanses of ocean and dense tracts of jungle humming with the birdcalls, hoots, roars and scurryings of a biodiverse wildlife population.

Such astounding “natural amenities” challenged our development team to conceive of sophisticated ways to accommodate guests and homeowners on Isla Palenque while preserving the island’s wild character. Site-sensitive design and construction methods facilitate comfortable immersed-in-nature living in the tropics by way of passive cooling techniques, while interiors incorporate local culture and local materials through design – imparting a profound sense of place to all who choose to dwell here.

The Estate Rooms nestled between the old-growth trees along Isla Palenque’s Playa Primera
The Estate Rooms nestled between the old-growth trees along Isla Palenque’s Playa Primera

With just 6 Estate Rooms currently, and ten Tented Suites opening by the end of this year, the boutique hotel at Isla Palenque offers an intimate, authentic experience of Panama’s nature and culture set amid breathtaking surroundings.

Those who pursue sustainable lifestyles on Isla Palenque will find engaging wilderness, seclusion, and a sense of clarity and purpose that can be more difficult to achieve on the mainland; such are the advantages of island life. Even a week’s vacation can work wonders to refresh one’s perspective.

“In under three months [since the February soft opening], we’ve hosted couples and families from the US, Canada, Europe, and Latin America – a surprising number and range, given that we are new, small, and a very unique offering in Panama,” says Ben Loomis, chief architect and founder of the eco-development at Isla Palenque. “We look forward to welcoming them back, and others, whenever they are called to our island sanctuary.”

Follow The Resort at Isla Palenque on Facebook, read their reviews on TripAdvisor, and look our for island updates on their blog, The Ambler.

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Search our blog if you're visiting Panama! From must do's, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish while in our country! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 10 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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