Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize … these Central American countries are perfect for a family trip. Combining jungles teeming with wildlife, a variety of endless beaches, and kid-loving local communities and family-centered cultures, it’s easy to travel to these countries from North America. And no jet lag is a big bonus!
But for many families who have already explored Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua – the big question is “what’s next?!”
Well – the time is NOW to consider traveling to Panama with kids. I’m particularly excited about the new private island experience at Isla Palenque – here’s why:
Half the adventure is in the journey
There are several direct flights daily from North America into Panama City. From there it’s easy to connect to David, Panama by a quick domestic flight. Leave the city behind as you fly over the lush jungle and up the coastline. After landing in David, enjoy a 45 minute drive along the lush Panamanian coastline to Boca Chica where Isla Palenque’s boat takes you on a 15 minute journey to the island.
Luxury accommodations just steps to the beach
Isla Palenque is a private island resort set within 400 acres of jungle. The beautiful bungalows, complete with an outdoor showers and bathtubs, are literally a few steps from the beach.
These accommodations open to the jungle, you’ll feel completely immersed in nature, yet comfort is key. Yes, the bungalows have air conditioning and offer plenty of room for everyone when traveling to Panama with kids.
I promise you won’t be bored
While on the island, spend your first few days hiking through the inland jungle, exploring the 7 private beaches, kayaking, SUPing and swimming.
Then, plan to head back to the mainland to learn about coffee production in Boquete, and don’t miss the Ngöbe-Buglé cultural tour and waterfall hike, a truly unique excursion that includes horseback riding to a waterfall along with an immersive look into the tribe’s culture.
There are also countless trails to hike and beaches to walk, and the resort provides binoculars, maps and everything else you’ll need to set out like a modern-day Robinson Crusoe.
A stay of less than 4 nights would be too short, and many families do stay for a full week. I promise you won’t get bored.
Some of the best food in Panama (seriously!)
I certainly understand the concern, especially with picky eaters, that spending a week on a private island might mean limited dining options. However, Las Rocas, the main restaurant on the island, serves up an ever changing selection of fresh, local foods to suit everyone in the family.
While the menu changes daily, expect to find plenty of fresh seafood, crisp plantains harvested from around the island, and produce from the on site garden. And because this is a private island – pricing at Isla Palenque includes all meals and non-alcoholic drinks!
But perhaps most important, if Isla Palenque looks like the perfect spot for your family’s next trip, be sure to plan early for the best pricing and availability. This isn’t a mega resort and the rooms book up well in advance.
Thinking about traveling to Panama with kids? Please contact me today to get started planning your family’s adventure! Just looking for some ideas? Sign up below for instant access to some of my favorite itineraries for families.