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  • Thoughts on Islomania, Part III: Long Caye

    (This is the third entry in a series. Read Thoughts on Islomania: Part I and Part II if you haven’t already.)

    As fate would have it, both of Amble’s first two development projects are private island projects. When I first wrote Thoughts on Islomania two years ago, my only extensive experience with an island that so perfectly captured “island-ness” was Isla Palenque. But now I’ve also spent a lot of time on Long Caye, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, in Belize – home to our project Zophora – which also feels like an ideal island. And while both islands reflect the Platonic ideal very closely, they each have their own distinct characters, revealing how an ideal can still take many forms.

    Isla Palenque feels rough, wild, raw, mysterious, and perhaps even forbidding. Almost everything about the island contributes to this: it sits in rough Pacific waters, it is a rocky, volcanic island with boulders and bluffs, it is covered with all kinds of different ecosystems, mostly dense jungle and ancient lagoons, with skittering and sometimes noisy animals making their presence known. Almost every step and turn opens up a new vista, making it seem that something else is always around the corner.

    But if Palenque’s essence is mysterious and wild, Long Caye’s is tranquil and cosmic. And you begin to sense this even before arriving on the island. Long Caye is located on an atoll reef, which means that the deep ocean waves break about a mile offshore. The island feels almost like it is sitting on a lake, and the waters from the beach are often so placid that you can see the sky perfectly reflected in them.

    Southern Hook of Long Caye, Belize

    Amble Resorts' new property on Long Caye, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize

    Long Caye is flat as well — an atoll island built up from sand deposits accumulating around mangroves and palms, it has almost no topography, no rocks, and the soil is all sand. In addition, the island primarily consists of one large ecosystem, a mangrove biome interspersed with the occasional palm grove and grassy brush; birds and small lizards are the only animal life on the island. Unlike Palenque, you don’t feel like surprises are always around the corner, and it’s very easy to feel safe. So tranquility comes to you very quickly on Long Caye; it feels like an oasis, a place of safety in the vast desert of the ocean.

    In the most important ways, our development of Zophora on Long Caye is the same as on Isla Palenque. It’s very low-density, with small buildings nestled in largely unadulterated nature, and there is a large nature preserve covering the middle of the island. But of course, the resort will also be very different, in keeping with the nature of the island and the activities offered by the surrounding area.

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    2 Responses

    1. Benjamin Loomis says:

      Mike, I was just at the island last week and took some pictures of the foundation work which has started. In addition, we have completed nearly a mile of roads and have a construction camp, complete with warehouses, shop space, dorms, mess hall, and the like. Construction (and approvals) in Panama can be slow, but we’ve been hard at work for over a year now. I’ll write a blog about the work completed and upcoming today or tomorrow, including some pictures, and make sure to send it to you.

    2. mike says:

      When we will see pictures of the resort in Panama that is to be built.I would love to see some movement on the island to help make up my mind investing on that island. If they have started building the resort please send pictures.

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        [post_content] => (This is the third entry in a series. Read Thoughts on Islomania: Part I and Part II if you haven’t already.)
    
    As fate would have it, both of Amble’s first two development projects are private island projects. When I first wrote Thoughts on Islomania two years ago, my only extensive experience with an island that so perfectly captured “island-ness” was Isla Palenque. But now I’ve also spent a lot of time on Long Caye, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, in Belize – home to our project Zophora – which also feels like an ideal island. And while both islands reflect the Platonic ideal very closely, they each have their own distinct characters, revealing how an ideal can still take many forms.
    
    Isla Palenque feels rough, wild, raw, mysterious, and perhaps even forbidding. Almost everything about the island contributes to this: it sits in rough Pacific waters, it is a rocky, volcanic island with boulders and bluffs, it is covered with all kinds of different ecosystems, mostly dense jungle and ancient lagoons, with skittering and sometimes noisy animals making their presence known. Almost every step and turn opens up a new vista, making it seem that something else is always around the corner.
    
    But if Palenque’s essence is mysterious and wild, Long Caye’s is tranquil and cosmic. And you begin to sense this even before arriving on the island. Long Caye is located on an atoll reef, which means that the deep ocean waves break about a mile offshore. The island feels almost like it is sitting on a lake, and the waters from the beach are often so placid that you can see the sky perfectly reflected in them.
    
    [caption id="attachment_7475" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Amble Resorts' new property on Long Caye, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize"]Southern Hook of Long Caye, Belize[/caption]
    
    Long Caye is flat as well -- an atoll island built up from sand deposits accumulating around mangroves and palms, it has almost no topography, no rocks, and the soil is all sand. In addition, the island primarily consists of one large ecosystem, a mangrove biome interspersed with the occasional palm grove and grassy brush; birds and small lizards are the only animal life on the island. Unlike Palenque, you don’t feel like surprises are always around the corner, and it’s very easy to feel safe. So tranquility comes to you very quickly on Long Caye; it feels like an oasis, a place of safety in the vast desert of the ocean.
    
    In the most important ways, our development of Zophora on Long Caye is the same as on Isla Palenque. It’s very low-density, with small buildings nestled in largely unadulterated nature, and there is a large nature preserve covering the middle of the island. But of course, the resort will also be very different, in keeping with the nature of the island and the activities offered by the surrounding area.
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As fate would have it, both of Amble’s first two development projects are private island projects. When I first wrote Thoughts on Islomania two years ago, my only extensive experience with an island that so perfectly captured “island-ness” was Isla Palenque. But now I’ve also spent a lot of time on Long Caye, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, in Belize – home to our project Zophora – which also feels like an ideal island. And while both islands reflect the Platonic ideal very closely, they each have their own distinct characters, revealing how an ideal can still take many forms.

Isla Palenque feels rough, wild, raw, mysterious, and perhaps even forbidding. Almost everything about the island contributes to this: it sits in rough Pacific waters, it is a rocky, volcanic island with boulders and bluffs, it is covered with all kinds of different ecosystems, mostly dense jungle and ancient lagoons, with skittering and sometimes noisy animals making their presence known. Almost every step and turn opens up a new vista, making it seem that something else is always around the corner.

But if Palenque’s essence is mysterious and wild, Long Caye’s is tranquil and cosmic. And you begin to sense this even before arriving on the island. Long Caye is located on an atoll reef, which means that the deep ocean waves break about a mile offshore. The island feels almost like it is sitting on a lake, and the waters from the beach are often so placid that you can see the sky perfectly reflected in them.

[caption id="attachment_7475" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Amble Resorts' new property on Long Caye, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize"]Southern Hook of Long Caye, Belize[/caption]

Long Caye is flat as well -- an atoll island built up from sand deposits accumulating around mangroves and palms, it has almost no topography, no rocks, and the soil is all sand. In addition, the island primarily consists of one large ecosystem, a mangrove biome interspersed with the occasional palm grove and grassy brush; birds and small lizards are the only animal life on the island. Unlike Palenque, you don’t feel like surprises are always around the corner, and it’s very easy to feel safe. So tranquility comes to you very quickly on Long Caye; it feels like an oasis, a place of safety in the vast desert of the ocean.

In the most important ways, our development of Zophora on Long Caye is the same as on Isla Palenque. It’s very low-density, with small buildings nestled in largely unadulterated nature, and there is a large nature preserve covering the middle of the island. But of course, the resort will also be very different, in keeping with the nature of the island and the activities offered by the surrounding area.
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