It is reassuring to find that the world is still full of surprises. The 14 islands of the Islas Secas archipelago are located in the Gulf of Chiriquí, 20 miles off the Pacific coast of Panama. Completely untouched, they host huge seabird colonies, while the surrounding seas are a refuge for large numbers of humpback whales. (Conservation efforts are supported by the Islas Secas Foundation, an affiliate of the Moore Charitable Foundation, created in 1992 by American hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon.)
Now a new hideaway, the Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge, is scheduled to open in January. Accessible by a 90-minute light aircraft flight from Panama City, the resort will offer nine lavish casitas for a maximum of 18 guests, plus a library and Terraza, a restaurant for sea-to-table cuisine. A wellness center is planned. Nearby, the famed Hannibal Bank and Isla Montuosa fishing grounds, once favorites of Ernest Hemingway, boast some of the world’s best big-game fishing for marlin and large tuna.