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Panama is beginning to be picked up on the radar of the world’s jet-setters. Recently Forbes featured an article on How Panama Is Becoming The Next Luxury Hot Spot that featured some of the high-end real estate, shopping, and hotels that are popping up in Panama City right now.

While the city is a nice place to be, there are several islands located off Panama’s coast that are still a bit of a secret. Here are some of the most exclusive, secluded, and unique getaways available in Panama for today’s jet-setters…

Marana’a Resort at Isla Viveros

I recently had the chance to take a day trip to Isla Viveros in Panama’s Pearl Islands and this could be the next luxury hotspot in Panama. The island contains pristine white sand beaches, clear ocean water, a marina, and a sophisticated beach club.

The island is also eventually going to have a Jack Nicklaus golf course and a Ritz Carlton Reserve hotel opening in the next few years.

But for now there’s not much on the island besides a few houses and the beach club so if you want a private, off-grid luxurious place to relax, now is the time to go before the rest of the world discovers it. You could stay at one of new villas at the Marana’a Resort where the beach club is located or if you really value peace & privacy then renting a luxury home is the way to go.

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Las Perla Residence offers two amazing homes that each have plenty of space for friends and family, a private pool, and modern conveniences – making it the ideal accommodation option for jet setters.

To arrive to Isla Viveros you can either take a two-hour ferry ride on Ferry Las Perlas, which leaves from Trump Ocean Club, take a quick 15 minute flight on Air Panama.

Villa Montecielo at Isla Contadora

Also located in the Pearl Islands is Isla Contadora. It’s been developing for a while so you do have more restaurant options and things to do than Isla Viveros but I’ve never felt that that Island was crowded – normally just a few other people on the beaches.

The ultimate place to stay on this island is Villa Montecielo, which is an exclusive beach house overlooking Playa Cacique.

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The home is newly renovated and features 4-bedrooms with space for up to 10 people, an infinity pool, and large private terrace. It is truly an amazing place to escape to for the weekend!

Playa Cacique
Playa Cacique

To arrive to Isla Contadora you can either take a 1.5 hour ferry ride on Ferry Las Perlas (leaves from Trump Ocean Club) or Sea Las perlas (leaves from The Causeway) or take a quick 15 minute flight on Air Panama.

Villa Caprichosa at Isla Taboga

Isla Taboga is known as the “island of flowers” and is only 30 minutes away from Panama City on the new Taboga Express ferry or accessible by private yacht charter. This is one of the more popular islands to visit in Panama so if you want to avoid the crowds be sure to plan your visit during the week.

Taboga Island

Villa Caprichosa is an enchanting accommodation option on this island. The property was designed by the popular interior designer Diane Burn and you’ll feel like you stepped foot into a sophisticated Italian villa. It’s also perched at the top of a hill which allows stunning views of the ocean that you can enjoy from the gorgeous private pool .

Take a video tour of this unique property…


Yandup Island Lodge at San Blas

San Blas is made up of over 300 rustic islands inhabited by Panama’s Guna natives. If you’re looking for that unique, once in a lifetime experience – this is where you need to go. Accommodation options tend to be pretty basic is the islands, but Yandup Island Lodge makes staying on a deserted private island as comfortable as it can be.

The island only has 6 cabins so this is a very intimate experience. Each cabin has a private bathroom, orthopedic mattresses, mosquito nets, and 24 hour electricity powered by solar panels. There’s no AC in the cabins but a ceiling fan and sea breeze will keep you plenty cool.

During your stay you’ll be also be severed freshly caught seafood and get to visit some of the other pristine surrounding islands.

To reach San Blas you can take a 15 minute plane ride on Air Panama or it’s a 2-hour car ride.

The Resort at Isla Palenque

Panama’s Chiriqui Gulf tends to be less talked about but it’s home to some extremely beautiful and pristine islands. One of the islands offering top-notch luxury accommodations is The Resort at Isla Palenque.

This is a developing island community located on a 400-acre jungle island. It’s inhabited with tropical birds, monkeys, and luscious greenery to explore, making it an amazing spot to go off-grid and get 1-on-1 with nature.

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“On Isla Palenque, sustainable tourism doesn’t mean roughing it — it means that your tropical fantasy is fulfilled in sophisticated style, at a luxury eco-resort that has been designed for unparalleled immersion in the wilderness.”

To arrive to Isla Palenque you will first need to fly using Copa or Air Panama to the David Airport and the Isla Palenque crew will be waiting for you there to bring you to the island and begin your adventure.

Experience Panama


I'm Joey, a guy from Louisville, Kentucky that packed up and studied abroad in Panamá at the age of 20 and haven't moved back since. What started as a semester trip to Panamá has turned into 10+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. I now rotate between living in Panama City, Bogotá, and Lima. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!

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