This is my first review on Trip Advisor, and I signed up specifically because I think everyone deserves to know how truly wonderful Isla Palenque is. If you are looking for a luxury eco-resort experience, just skip the rest of your search and book now. I think its worth breaking down the experience into describing both the natural beauty and activities that the island has to offer, and the amenities provided by the resort.
The "Eco-Resort" experience: Isla Palenque is a tropical island off the pacific coast of Panama. It is stunningly beautiful. One of the best things about the resort is that you can just take off on your own to explore the island and everything it has to offer - it is truly your own natural playground. Check out the secluded beaches, take a hike through the jungle, or explore the mangroves via kayak. There are also wonderful organized tours: whale watching, sport fishing, visiting a monkey sanctuary, and organized hikes with a guide around the island.
The "Luxury experience": When we stayed at the resort (October 2013) the tented suites were still under construction, so the resort was basically a small hotel consisting of 2 "ocean suites" and 4 "jungle suites". We stayed in an "ocean suite" and it was absolutely top notch. You have a wonderful balcony looking out onto the ocean, a soaking tub and an outdoor shower. The design of the resort has a very zen feel and blends perfectly into the island. The service was great - we really liked everyone who worked at the resort. They were friendly and attentive, and just great people. Last but certainly not least, the food may have consistently been the best food I have ever eaten at a resort. Worth repeating and capitalizing for effect: THE FOOD IS AMAZING!!!! If you do a deal where food is included, for a small extra fee you can do a 7 course tasting menu. I would highly recommend this option at some point during your stay.
Also worth noting is that we went in early October - i.e. the "rainy season". I was a little worried prior to booking the trip, but I wouldn't let this discourage anyone. The rain was not constant, and I think of the 4 days we were there, 2 of them were sunny almost the entire day. The other days there was good weather in the morning, and showers later in the day. You may also get better deals in the rainy season!
Seriously, I don't know what else I can say. Just go.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A new sustainable private island resort on a pristine 400-acre jungle island in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama, featuring 16 luxury rooms nestled among forest trees with glimpses of the Pacific, two restaurants, a spa and over 20 custom tours and adventures on the island, in the Gulf and on the mainland. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Resort At Isla Palenque Panama/Boca Chica