Webinars that Have Inspired Us–First Up, Panama

One of the few incentives of this downtime is the chance to educate ourselves about destinations and properties we’ve wanted to learn more about but never had the time. Lisa and I have been sitting in on webinars with gorilla experts in Uganda to boutique hoteliers in Colombia. We already mentioned two of the better webinars we viewed in the May newsletter, Brush Creek Lodge in Wyoming, and one of the villa companies we like to work with, Villas of Distinction. This week, I’ll delve into other destinations we’ve been digging into:

Thanks to the direct flights on Copa Airlines from many of North America’s largest cities, we’ve been designing more and more itineraries to Panama each year. Expect the same wildlife, cloud forest, rainforest, mountains, wildlife, and exotic birds as Costa Rica. Then add the Panama Canal and seven unique indigenous cultures of Panama. Where Panama pales in comparison to Costa Rica is unique properties, but we learned about two of the more recent boutique hotels to open in the past several years. El Otro Lado is located on scenic Portobelo Bay, about a 90-minute drive from Panama City. The five 1 and 2-bedroom cottages immersed in 300 acres are as bright as the scarlet macaws and overflowing with local art created on site. They suggest a 3-night stay to kayak, snorkel, fish, hike, take sunset birding boat rides, join in a mojito making class, create sculptures with local artists, and learn to congo dance.

The second property we discussed was Isla Palenque, located on a private island in the The Gulf of Chiriqui. Fly an hour from Panama City to the airport in David, where you’ll be picked up and driven another hour to the port in Boca Chica. From here, it’s a short 15-minute boat ride to paradise. Humpback whales arrive in July, accompanied by dolphins, rays, and turtles. Clients who have already ventured to Lapa Rios, Arenas del Mar, and Finca Rosa Blanca know the level of luxury, sense of local style, and service the Cayuga Collection can offer. They run the 8 beachfront casitas on this private island. Pricing is all-inclusive, replete with daily yoga and five miles of beach to roam. Want to get away from it all? This is the place. Please contact ActiveTravels and we’ll check availability and pricing.