By Al Argueta, Special to Amble Resorts
Life is often about getting back to the basics. In many ways, Isla Palenque exemplifies this idea of returning to a more natural state. Whether it’s the exuberant natural surroundings in one of Central America’s last remaining unspoiled places or the award-winning, low-impact design of our homes and resort hotel, everything at Isla Palenque is designed to harmoniously meld modern tropical luxury and comfort with its tropical forest home.
In the next few weeks, we’ll also be getting back to the basics in our blog posts and revisiting some of our favorite places in this paradise called northwest Panama. We’ll introduce you (or re-introduce you) to the singular beauty of the remote Chiriqui region, with its marine parks, secluded beaches, razorback peaks, forest-clad plains and white-water rivers.
So, let’s get our bearings. Isla Palenque lies off Panama’s northwest coastline, in the Pacific Ocean. An extension of Isla Boca Brava, the island is at the doorstep of Golfo de Chiriqui National Marine Park, encompassing over 30 islands. The park (and Isla Palenque) harbor myriad wildlife species, including howler monkeys, tiger herons, hawksbill and leatherback turtles, and humpback whales – to name just a few. You’re really not THAT far from civilization, though. It just feels like it. The gateway to the islands is the booming coastal city of David, which enjoys air service to Panama City and San Jose, Costa Rica, along with modern-day conveniences like Costco and Home Depot’s Panamanian versions and first-rate medical care.
Getting to Isla Palenque is an experience in and of itself. But if that sounds more like adventure than inconvenience you’ll fit right in here. From David, it’s a little over an hour to the tiny fishing village of Boca Chica and a swift boat ride to Isla Palenque. Airport pick-ups are easily arranged with our local office. Traveling east on the Interamerican Highway about 40 kilometers, you’ll turn south toward the village of Horconcitos, which lies about 5 kilometers from the turnoff. From here it’s another 16 kilometers down a newly-paved road to Boca Chica. Once rutted with potholes, the home stretch on the road to Boca Chica is now a pleasant drive and worthy introduction to the jungle ecosystem of your nearby island home. Another option is to take a 45-minute boat ride from our dock just five minutes from the airport in David.
Arriving for the first time often leaves people speechless, like our 2011 Island Interns Ben and Luke. Read about their first glimpse of the island. Will you be at a loss for words, or will you take off running down Playa Palenque?
Next week we’ll cover the amazing wilderness all around Isla Palenque, including the Golfo de Chiriqui National Marine Park. Like our recently arrived island interns, we’re all about getting back to the basics.