Located in the archipelago of Panama’s Pearl Islands, Saboga Lodge is for the traveler looking for a chic island getaway surround by nature, hiking trails, and pristine beaches without the crowds.
Just off the coast of Panama City sits Saboga, an island with a rich history dating back to the Pre-Colombian ages, Spanish conquistadors, and a small community of inhabitants that still call it home today. The island boasts 400 acres of rainforest with a maze of hiking trails for the adventure junkie and 13 pristine beaches for the sun seeker.
Luckily, Saboga remains mostly undeveloped and unknown, leaving it as a destination for people to enjoy nature simply as it is.
Be immersed in the natural surroundings of the island at Saboga Lodge, an accommodation option where you can experience the allure of the island with modern and stylish amenities. With only three-rooms available for booking, Saboga Lodge is an intimate escape away from the crowds. The main house features two king suites and as well as a 2-bedroom apartment fully equipped for cooking. Rooms can be booked individually or you can reserve the entire house for an unforgettable group trip.
To visit Saboga Lodge, you’ll specifically want to make your journey to Saboga Island. This island is easy to access thanks to daily service via Sea Las Perlas and costs $90 round trip. The ferry departs from the Amador Causeway in Panama City, leaving at exactly 7:30 am so be sure to arrive an hour early for check-in. The ferry itself is comfortable and equipped with snacks, drinks, and bathrooms. I personally like the outdoor seating for the water views and occasional whale spotting, but the indoor area has cool air conditioning if you prefer. You’ll then arrive at the island at approximately 9 am with a staff member of the lodge ready to bring you to your accommodation. You can also use the new Gofast Panama speedboat for $35 one way from Balboa Yacht Club, but it currently only operates on Fridays at 10 am.
Modern simplicity meets bohemian chic aesthetics in the design of Saboga Lodge. The resort was built exclusively with sustainable hardwood sources, with a significant amount of furnishings made at the on-site woodshop from naturally fallen trees on the island. The cozy furniture incorporates elements of wood, fibers, and poured concrete to create inviting spaces. Rooms also feature locally made art from Panama, like the woven Embera Masks, which are handcrafted by the indigenous locals.
The outdoors is where you’ll want to spend most of your time though. The pool deck feels like an oasis in the jungle (a place you’ll definitely want to capture a few photos). Each suite also has its own private deck where you can enjoy views of the surrounding tropical forest and listen to the sounds of birds chirping in the morning – plus a hammock to sit back and lounge around on.
Paddleboarding & Kayaking: With the lodge’s complimentary use of paddleboards and kayaks, the ocean is your playground. You can also organize paddleboard and kayak tours with the island guides. They can take you to nearby islands, mangroves, and shallow-bottom caves.
Snorkeling: The surrounding coral reefs and clear water make Sabaga an excellent snorkeling destination. Snorkeling masks are provided in case you don’t have your own.
Hiking: With more than ten hiking trails across the island, you can discover for yourself the island’s sacred history among the thriving plants and wildlife. You may take these trails unaccompanied, or ask for an island guide to lead you for deeper insight into the island’s natural rhythms.
Beaches: There is no shortage of beaches on Isla Saboga. Playa Coral is steps away from the lodge with 1.3 km of coastline and the best spot for viewing a sunset. You also have 12 other beaches to explore like Playa Encanto, Playa Blanca (my personal favorite), Playa Escondida, and Playa Larga to name a few. Transportation can also be organized to visit the surrounding islands if you’d like to spend a day island hopping.
Fishing: From the sea, bring in your own catch of the day using authentic fishing techniques perfected over centuries of coastal life.
Whale Watching: If you happen to be in Panama between August – October, whale watching is a must. A tour can be organized to see majestic creatures up close and you might even spot dolphins playing in the water too.
Is Saboga Lodge for you?
Are you looking to get off the beaten path and experience island life at its finest? Saboga Lodge is the ultimate getaway for nature lovers as you have over 400 acres of the natural reserve to explore. Outside on the deck of the lodge, you’ll be encompassed by the sounds of birds with views of the jungle and ocean. Stepping foot outside of the lodge is an entire island for you to roam. There are several hiking trails and 13 pristine beaches waiting for you to discover.
Ready to stay at Saboga Lodge? Book your stay here or click one of the options below.