Panama’s Pearl Islands were, for decades, known as the playground of the rich and famous. Over the years various celebrities have owned Pearl Islands real estate including the Kennedy Family, Sofia Lauren, Elizabeth Taylor, Ricky Martin and the Shah of Iran. In the 80’s and 90’s, the Pearl Islands were very much in their prime, with a number of high-end hotels at full occupancy serving many of the elite families of Panama.
Over the last 20 years however, the Pearl Islands have taken a backseat to development as the more accessible mainland-Pacific coastal areas grew with priority.
Thankfully, the Pearl Islands are once again en vogue and considering this month’s announcement of a third and fourth new project in the Pearl Islands, there is now a total of over $2 Billion dollars worth of development slated for this tranquil and stunning archipelago of islands less than 40 kilometers from Panama City. Contadora is the most famous of the islands in the Pearls and is the main hub for travel, with over 600 visitors per month. There are a total of 105 hotel units on the Pearl Islands, most of which are located on Contadora. Visitors come to Contadora for the crystal clear waters, the dramatic marine life, and the record setting fishing waters off its coast.
Work continues on the Isla Viveros project, located on the island of the same name, located about 20 minutes from Contadora. The Viveros project is one of the largest in scope for the Pearl Islands, and includes a 18-hole Jack Nicholas Signature golf course, an air strip, and a marina along with luxury homes and condos. Progress on the Vivieros project has been moving along slowly but surely, with the majority of the monies spent over the last few years on infrastructure including underground power lines and new roadways. The landing strip is operable now, as is the marina, however much work still needs to be done. There are approximately 10 completed homes in the project with another 10 to be delivered shortly. There are currently also a handful of lots still available in this ultra high-end development.
On neighboring Isla Saboga, the Grupo Sol project El Encanto Bay features villas and an eco-hotel which started in 2008. Over 14 million dollars have been invested in the project already, and the developers are expecting to deliver their first homes this month. The eco hotel of the same name should be opening by July which is great news for this island and the archipelago as a whole.