At the intersection of two oceans and two continents, Panama is a narrow country, but one packed with culture, tropical beaches, Latin spirit, history, nature, and wildlife. Making it all the more appealing is the fact that it’s still widely unexplored. Panama is an excellent destination for off-the-beaten-path adventure and undisturbed relaxation.
Why Isla Saboga?
Located in The Pearl Islands in the Pacific Ocean, Isla Saboga is secluded with amazing beaches and lush rainforests. It’s an excellent choice to relax and unwind.
How do I get to the Island?
Isla Saboga is best reached by ferry. Panama City offers two ferry companies to choose from: Sea Las Perlas and Ferry Las Perlas. Please make sure to buy your tickets in advance and double-check the ferry schedule beforehand.
Where should I stay in Panama City?
We recommend choosing a hotel in the Casco Viejo neighborhood of Panama City. This charming, historic quarter of the city is a World Heritage Site and a charismatic region worth visiting.
Do I need travel insurance?
We advise taking out comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover yourself and any dependents/travel companions for the duration of your stay in Panama. At a minimum, this insurance should include:
What if I don’t speak Spanish?
If you don’t speak Spanish, don’t worry! At Saboga Lodge we speak excellent English, and are happy to teach you some Spanish phrases too! Apart from in the most rural areas of Panama, you shouldn’t encounter too many language barriers. Many Panamanians have at least a basic knowledge of English.
Top 5 Questions
What should I pack?
Our dress code is informal. We encourage you to bring lightweight, casual clothing, sunscreen and insect repellent, a bathing suit, and sturdy tennis shoes or hiking boots for our included activities. It never hurts to pack a good book!
What will the weather be like?
We’re located in the tropics and close to the equator, with consistent temperatures year-round. Highs typically hover around 92°F (33°C) and lows around 70°F (21°C). However, weather patterns vary over the course of the year and can be divided into three distinct seasons.
Dry Season: Mid-December to mid-April
Green Season: Late April through September
Rainy Season: October through mid-December
Dry season brings four months of glorious sunshine and almost zero rain. During green season, the island will be mostly sunny or partly cloudy, with an afternoon or evening “warm” storm that typically lasts a few hours. In the rainy season we can get some downpours, but don’t let the rain discourage you – October is the very best month for humpback whale watching in the Gulf.
Do I need a visa to travel to Panama?
A visa is not necessary to travel to Panama from most countries in the world. However, Panama law requires you have a return ticket to leave the country in order to enter, and passports must be valid for at least 6 months at the date of entry. You may also be asked to prove that you have at least US $500 – a credit card, bank statement, or cash usually works. Keep your booking for Saboga Lodge handy too, as sometimes visitors are asked to confirm their hotel reservations.
Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa: United States, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Do I need any special shots or vaccines?
While we may be off the beaten path, getting to Isla Saboga is easy.
You can take a ferry from Panama City. There are two ferry companies, Sea Las Perlas and Ferry Las Perlas. Otherwise, you can book a plane on Airpanama.com, arrive at Contadora Island and take a small boat to Saboga.
How do I get there?
While we may be off the beaten path, getting to Isla Saboga is easy.
You can take a ferry from Panama City, there are 2 companies: Sea Las Perlas and Ferry Las Perlas or you can book a plane on Airpanama.com, arrive at Contadora Island and take a small boat to Saboga.
Is the hotel family friendly?
Yes! Families love it here, but we only recommend them to stay in our Main House Villa. Our island is an ideal natural playground for inquisitive families with children. Our guided tours and hikes are entertaining and can also be quite educational for children. We have direct access to a number of beaches and also have a pool for quality relaxation time together.
Is the hotel suitable for a honeymoon or romantic getaway?
Our beautiful beaches and natural setting are perfect for post-wedding relaxation, and the small size of our resort makes for an intimate getaway. With so much to do at Saboga Lodge, you’ll create memories to last a lifetime as you start your next chapter together.
How early should I book?
This depends on which season you’d like to stay at Saboga Lodge. Generally for high and holiday season (November through April), we recommend booking up to 6 months in advance. Our hotel is small and can get booked up fast. From April to November, we suggest booking a few months in advance to ensure you get your preferred dates.
How long should I stay?
The longer, the better! However, given our remote location, we recommend staying at least three nights. This is just enough time to soak up the Saboga Lodge experience and enjoy the island without feeling rushed.
Do you offer transport?
We can provide you with all the information you need to get here. Once you arrive at the dock on Saboga, we will pick you up and take you directly to the property. You can find more information on traveling to Isla Saboga and transport options on our Location page.
Is there enough to do?
At Isla Saboga, we have 400 acres of rainforest to explore, seven beaches to discover, and a number of included island tours to enjoy — there’s enough to keep you occupied from sunrise to nightfall if you wish. Alternatively, time on the island is equally well spent relaxing, hammocking, and cooling off in the pool.
What’s the difference between the Main House Cabana and the suites?
Our Main House Cabana offers two bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen and private terrace.
Our Beachside Cabanas and King Suites are well suited for two guests and are equipped with a mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and kettle.
All of our units are designed with Casa Suarez furniture and the highest standards of barefoot luxury for you to enjoy your stay.
Are the rooms air conditioned?
Yes. Our rooms have full air conditioning. However, some of our guests prefer to open the door and fall asleep with a gentle ocean breeze.
Is there internet or phone service available?
Yes, there is complimentary island wifi at Saboga Lodge and cell phone reception on many parts of the island.
I have special dietary requirements. Can you accommodate my needs?
At the moment our restaurant is not open. We recommend you bring all of your meals.
Is the water safe to drink?
Yes. We are privileged to have our own natural aquifer which fulfils all of our water needs. The water that flows from our taps is pure and completely safe to drink.
What’s the bug situation?
We’re lucky to be located amid 400 acres of beautiful tropical jungle. With this in mind, all sorts of wildlife – including insects – can be encountered. Depending on the time of year and day, there may be periods where you’ll see mosquitoes, especially after extended rains. It’s a good idea to apply insect repellent before partaking in activities in the rainforest.
Will I see any wildlife around the island?
Yes, Isla Saboga is teeming with life! It’s common to see iguanas, all kinds of exotic birds, and humpback whales and dolphins at the right time of year.
How close are the beaches? Are they safe for swimming?
Isla Saboga is framed by seven beaches, a number of which are perfect for swimming. In particular, Playa El Coral is mere steps from our rooms.
What’s the cancellation policy?
Our cancellation policy is as follows:
– We accept cancellations up to 60 days prior to the arrival date without any penalty.
-If a reservation is cancelled less than 60 days prior to the arrival date, 100% of the reservation will be charged.
– Cancellation policies may apply to trip modifications or night reductions made less than 60 days prior to the arrival date.
In all cases:
-If there is a “no-show,” 100% of the reservation total will be charged.
-In the event the cancelled room is resold, a full reimbursement will be made.
– Unused prepaid services (such as airport transfers or tours booked in advance) are non-refundable.
What time is check in / check out?
Check in is at 4 pm. Should you arrive earlier at Isla Saboga, we will do everything possible to have your room ready. If you do have to wait for your room, you will be able to start your vacation immediately with full access to the pool or beach.
Check out is at 11 am. If you would like to leave later in the day, please let us know and we’ll be happy to accommodate you.
How do I pay and do I need local currency?
We do not accept cash. All payments should be made in advance by credit card or wire transfer to settle your account. At the lodge you won’t need any local currency — all additional expenses such as alcoholic drinks or ocean-based tours can be charged to your room.
Can I smoke?
In Panama we have strict no smoking policies for public places and hotels. Smoking is not allowed in the property premises. If you do smoke at the beach, please be considerate with our wildlife and do not leave used cigarettes in the sand.
What’s the electricity and voltage at the hotel?
The electrical current in Panama is 110 volts. The sockets are American-style: standard US two-pronged plugs (or three-pronged if grounded).
Who owns and operates the hotel?
Saboga Lodge is independently owned, and the resort is operated by the Signature & Embera Collection. This Canadian-based hospitality management company is dedicated to operating and developing sustainable stays and apartments all over the world.