San Jose Island
Las Perlas archipelago - Bay of Panama
Las Perlas archipelago is a group of 200 islands located about 48 kilometers (30 miles) from Panama city. The largest island is Isla del Rey, followed by San Jose island with a surface of 44 km². In this island you will find the elegant Hacienda del Mar resort.
A 20 minutes flight from Panama city take you to San Jose island where you can enjoy your very own private beach. Originally the island was used as training camp for US soldiers during the 1940s. They built the infrastructure, including the landing track and 52 kilometers of roads. Their next owner was Earl Tupper, who invented Tupperware and then was purchased by Panamanian investors.
This small ecological resort is the only lodging option in the island. It has 17 cottages built among trees with beautiful views of the beach and the Pacific Ocean. In spite of being isolated, the resort offers all the modern amenities such as aire conditioning, hot water and internet. A beautiful infinity pool offers the best view next to the club house and the restaurant. Food is delicious with a menu offering all options of sea food such as lobster, crab and fish.
Hacienda del Mar Resort is a founding member of the Sustainable Tourism Chamber of Las Perlas created to preserve the ecological balance of the islands. Through this conservation program thousands of sea turtles have come to breed and hatch every year. With some luck visitors may be able to see the turtles from the infinity pool.
Humpback whales provide spectacles visible from the beach. It is also possible to organize boat trips to appreciate them closer. It is estimated that around 2,000 and 2,500 whales migrate from the southern hemisphere to the warmer waters of Las Perlas archipelago during these monthes. They come escaping winter and to breed and give birth to ther calves.
The fishing zone is so good that each year there is a fishing tournament called “Copa George F. Novey Jr.”. This tournament has 16 black marlin records. Just 200 meters from Hacienda del Mar Resort you will find “Las Tres Pilas de Arroz" which is a site with an abundance of fish where fishing fans can catch all sorts of fine species.
The waters in the Pacific Ocean have very good visibility near the coast. Rock formations offer the best sites for colorful fish. Besides you may be able to see morays, barracudas, manta rays and sea turtles.
One of the best ways to explore the island is in a kayak. You can enter rivers, mangroves or simply go around the coast exploring each beach. In the mangroves you can find many bird species.
Trip through the jungle
San Jose island has an abundant vegetation as the island is blessed with several sources of water including waterfalls of up to 60 feet in height. Many rivers and water springs produce fresh water for the island. This allows so much biodiversity to be found in the island. Hacienda del Mar resort organizes trips through the island during the day or in night time safaris. The trees of up to 80 feet in height provide scenarios worth of postcards and photo galleries. There are several plant species that have been discovered in San Jose island and have been named after 2nd World War commanders such as General Bullone, Colonel Thompson and Major Campbell.