Private Panama islands host exclusive marine safari breaks

IT is being billed as an exclusive ‘once in a lifetime’ marine safari – with everything from whale watching to diving with manta rays and dolphins, all in the seas off a group of private islands in Panama.

Islas Secas is an archipelago of 14 Pacific islands – thirteen of them are undisturbed so Mother Nature can be left to flourish – which forms the gateway to the Gulf of Chiriquí National Marine Park.

The inhabited island is home to just four individually designed Casitas and three Tented Casitas, none of them the same in design and decor, together hosting up to 24 guests at any time. 

It’s an exclusive resort, embraced by the island’s gorgeous  greenery, affording ocean views from the casitas’ private plunge pools and authentic thatched roof cabanas. 

From here, guests can have immersive natural experiences in one of the most productive oceans in the world, the Eastern Tropical Pacific, which is home to exceptional biodiversity.

Marine wildlife includes whale sharks, giant manta rays, humpback whales, dolphins, tuna, and sea turtles. There are reckoned to be 750 species of fish and 114 species of bird in the region.

The Gulf, extending along Panama’s Pacific coast from the Costa Rican border to the Azuero Peninsula, boasts abundant vegetation, white-sand islands, and one of the largest coral reefs in the Pacific.

It is also home to one of Central America’s densest mangrove forests, as well as Panama’s largest island, Coiba – and the Coiba National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Whale watchers head here from April to October to see two distinct populations of Humpback Whales, one from feeding areas off Antarctica and Chile, and the other from the Northern Hemisphere.

Visitors can expect to see large pods of Humpbacks from the resort’s shoreline, with best-practice boat trips also available to those desiring a closer look at whales in their natural habitat.

Guests have access to more than 20 dive sites suited to all levels of experience, from expert divers and snorkellers to families wanting to embark on their first underwater experience together. 

They can discover colourful coral reef life in protected areas or head to deep waters to drift around seamounts and pinnacles amidst manta rays and dolphins.

Islas Secas also offers guided kayaking tours through hidden pockets within the archipelago, ideal for families of all ages, and led by expert guides around the most far-reaching islands.

Meanwhile, a watersports centre can arrange activities including stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, sailing, sea-bobbing, efoiling, wakeboarding, and catamaran cruising.

Or you can book a private boat tour for you and your party through the islands, heading  to your own secluded island for the day, or perhaps relax on a sunset cruise around the archipelago. 

Given the small number of guests allowed at the resort at any one time, it’s an exclusive experience – and, as such, doesn’t come cheap. Summer 2023 rates at Islas Secas start from around £2,005 a night in a Tented Casita on an all-inclusive basis.

Also included are scuba diving and snorkelling trips; a half-day fishing trip; nature and sunset cruises on the resort’s yacht; wakeboarding and wake surfing, e-foiling; stand-up paddleboarding; kayaking and sailing.

The price includes daily made-to-order breakfast, lunch and dinner,  beach picnics and barbecues; all drinks; activities on-island; a 60-minute spa treatment and yoga classes.

Islas Secas offers a direct one-hour flight from Panama City Airport to the Secas Archipelago aboard the resort’s Twin Otter private plane, seating up to 15 passengers per trip. For more information, visit

Categories:adventure travel, General, Long haulTags: , , , , , ,

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