Access & Resources
The Kuna Lodge
Huts cost $90 per person per day, based on double occupancy, including all meals, nonalcoholic drinks, and two guided excursions a day. 011-507-225-8819, www.sapibenega.com
The Kuna Lodge
From 5,000 feet, the 360-plus islands of Panama's Archipiélago San Blas glint like diamonds scattered over the deep-blue Caribbean. Operated by the native Kuna Indians, the lodge and 13 bamboo huts dot the perimeter of Sapibenega, a private island no bigger than a soccer field. The Kuna Lodge is a hideaway camp where extranjeros can indulge their castaway fantasies and still have a thatch roof over their heads and three Kuna-inspired meals a day.
ROOM & BOARD: From any vantage point on Sapibenega, there are surreal 360-degree views of more than a dozen neighboring coconut-choked islands. The Kuna huts sleep up to four and, though sandswept and remote, are relatively luxurious, with solar electricity, composting toilets, and showers. In the main lodge, head chef Onesimo prepares grilled lobster, crab, and tulemasi, a coconut-broth soup with local fish and plantains, and lets the local rum, known as inna in the Kuna language, flow freely.
OUT THE BACK DOOR: From the lodge's beach, catch a cayuco (a motorized dugout) to nearby uninhabited islands or to snorkeler-friendly coral reefs teeming with aquarium fishand even toothier specimens, such as great barracuda and dolphin fish. Or head to the mainland for a guided trek to the 15-foot-high Diwar Dumad waterfall and a swim in its freshwater lagoon.