Get Lost: Mexico and Central America

Score a great deal on a tropical vacation.

Dec 3, 2009
Outside Magazine
Isla Bolanos

Isla Bolanos    Photo: Courtesy of Cala Mia

Isolate in Panama
Private islands are neither affordable nor easy to come by. An exception to this rule: Isla Boca Brava, an eight-square-mile spit of land off Panama's Pacific coast. Situated on the boundary of the lush, tropical Golfo de Chiriqui National Marine Park, the secluded island is home to the new, solar-powered Cala Mia eco-resort (doubles from $220; Once you arrive (via puddle-jumper flight from Panama City and a boat ride from the town of David), base yourself in one of 11 oceanfront bungalows. Next up: days spent snorkeling and kayaking the surrounding coastline (think endless sand, clear water, and abundant reef fish). Or take a dive-boat-supported scuba trip to the submerged mountains of Los Ladrones, where humpback whales and manta rays roam. At day's end, try the organic cheese, which is made using ingredients from the resort's own farm.