Below, for your reading pleasure and just slightly tongue-in-cheek, are the top ten reasons you shouldn’t visit Isla Palenque:
#10. There are no TVs… Anywhere!:
Yes, you read that correctly, there are no TVs in your room, in the bars, or anywhere else. We do have high speed wi-fi and provide every room with an iPad with movies and music, so it’s easy to get some news and entertainment or watch that important game if necessary (our staff has even helped guests set up their computer to watch playoff games live over the internet). But if you are planning to hole up in an air-conditioned box for your vacation instead of getting out and experiencing a tropical island, then Isla Palenque is not for you.
#9. If New Experiences Frighten You:
Isla Palenque is filled with new experiences that will surprise you: the foreign culture, the tropical jungle, daily-changing menus, animal encounters, and maybe an occasional sudden thunderstorm. What’s worse, the staff at Isla Palenque might even push you outside of your comfort zone, and suggest a house-infused cocktail or that you try one of our kayaking trips. So if change and new things aren’t for you, stick with a vacation to a mega-resort in the Bahamas: I hear they make it feel just like home.
#8. If You Think Going From The Couch To Your Fridge Is A Form Of Exercise:
You don’t need to be an athlete to enjoy Isla Palenque, not by any stretch (bad pun intended). But like all the islands in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Isla Palenque was formed by volcanic eruptions and has lots of topography and stairs. You pretty much can’t get from one part of the resort to another without taking a flight a stairs, and to get to the Tented Suites you’ll need to take three and a half. Moreover, some of the best experiences on Isla Palenque are the tours, which might involve an hour of hiking, kayaking to a small islet, etc. So if you get winded walking down the block and sometimes drive around in parking lots for ten minutes to avoid a 300-foot walk, you’ll probably hate Isla Palenque.
#7. You Won’t Be Able To Order A Burger & Fries:
Well, that’s not entirely true: we do have one on the children’s menu for tiny picky eaters, and our chef does prepare an amazing burger (with yucca fries) for lunch from time to time. But for the most part our dishes are sophisticated takes on Panamanian cuisine, featuring local ingredients. Menus change daily based on what is the freshest seafood and produce we have at the moment (often from our sportfishing tours and own organic farm). So if you aren’t excited at the prospect of trying new foods every day, it’s best to stay away.
#6. Because Walking Five Minutes To Get To Your Own Private Beach Is Too Far:
Sometimes there might be eight or (gasp!) twelve other people hanging around Las Rocas on our 4000-foot long main beach. If that size of a crowd seems overwhelming, then fortunately for you, there are ten other beaches that are almost always completely empty. Unfortunately for you, you might have to walk five minutes (or sometimes even ten, on a rocky trail) to get to them. This is a form of exercise: so if you’ve already decided that Isla Palenque will involve more exercise than you like (see reason #8 above), then simply add this to the list of reasons to avoid our private island at all costs.
#5. There Is No Swim-Up Bar:
If you are looking for a vacation with lots of drinking, red solo cups and a frat-party atmosphere, Isla Palenque is not the place for you. On the other hand… We do take our drinking seriously, and serve some amazing cocktails at our two bars, if I do say so myself.
#4. If You Can’t Go Out To Dinner Without High Heels & An Hour Of Primping:
Isla Palenque is a very casual place: as long as you cover your private parts, we don’t care how you dress or look (after all, you’re only pretty as you feel). So if you feel better putting on some make-up before letting anyone else see you, it’s fine with us; and if you want one, we’ll give you a hair dryer. But let me tell you right now, and with complete honesty: it is humid here — very (very, very) humid. Trying to straighten or otherwise primp your hair is a losing proposition and your hard work will be destroyed within ten minutes of stepping outside. Mascara tends to run as well. And one look at our trails and flagstone pathways will let you know that this is not the island for heels. If you can’t handle the idea of letting someone see the “real you” for an evening, head elsewhere.
#3. Because You Enjoy Large Tour Buses:
If you stay at Isla Palenque, whether in the Estate Rooms or the Tented Suites, you will be right in the middle of the jungle, and just stepping onto your balcony can result in a monkey or iguana sighting. Likewise, most of our tours start just steps from your room, and we seldom allow more than ten people on a hike or eight on a boat ride. So if you were excitedly looking forward to getting on a bus for a few hours with forty other people to be herded from one sight to the next, maybe it’s best to skip Isla Palenque.
#2. Traffic Can Come To A Complete Stop:
Despite the fact that there are no tour buses, and only a handful of rooms and vehicles on our 400-acre island, traffic can come to a complete stop from time to time for MINUTES! Only last week a six-foot iguana just sat in the middle of the road and stared at us in our little “busito” for a solid two minutes before deciding to scuttle off: it was like he was daring me to run him over. We’ve also been known to wait for anteaters, mapaches, and an occasional ocelot while they cross the road. And if your driver sees a group of monkeys overhead he might just stop and have everyone get out to observe them for a short while. So if you are worried about being able to make it on time to that incredibly important appointment while on vacation, skip Isla Palenque, as there is no telling what might hold you up.
#1. Monkeys Will Stare Down at You in Judgment:
Those howler monkeys think they are so cool. When I stop along a trail and watch them lazing about in the canopy or jumping from one tree to another, with their prehensile tails grabbing branches and leaves to eat, I can tell how they think they’re better than me. And then when I yell at them to stop showing off, they stare down at me, clearly disdainful of my earth-bound ways. So don’t come to Isla Palenque if you aren’t prepared for their judging eyes to sear away at your self-esteem.