Thank you for Town and Country for this great write up on Islas Secas!
"Panama sits at a crossroads – the only place in the world where you can watch the sun rise over the Pacific and set over the Atlantic on the same day. Apart from its eponymous canal, I didn’t know much about this isthmus country, which rose from the ocean to connect the continent of South and North America about 2.8 million years ago, permanently changing currents, climate and biodiversity. I had heard rumours of a burgeoning gourmet scene in Panama City, with innovative restaurants built inside restored colonial buildings, but it was the opening of a new luxury eco-hotel on a cluster of remote islands, with white-sand beaches and coral reefs teeming with wildlife, that really piqued my interest.
But it was undoubtedly in the sparkling turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean – home to migrating humpback whales, huge flocks of seabirds, parrot fish, needlefish, dolphins, turtles and stingray – that we giddily spent most of our days, having equipped ourselves with the necessary gear at Islas Secas’ impressive water-sports centre. We tried fishing for the first time, rising hazily at dawn and returning before breakfast with a healthy haul of amberjack that was then cooked up for our lunch, and spent hours gliding around on paddleboards. On our last day, we decided to kayak over to the neighbouring Isla Pargo – a feat no guest had apparently ever attempted. Spurred on by the promise of a beach barbecue, with pork, chicken, fish and vegetables cooked over a charcoal grill, we landed successfully an hour or so later, salty, sun-soaked and buzzing with adrenalin. As we lay on a huge stretch of powdery sand that we had all to ourselves, marvelling at the beauty of the unspoilt nature surrounding us, we felt that this was, truly, the closest we had ever come to paradise."