Isla Palenque

Boca Chica, Panama

Designing a sustainable resort on an uninhabited tropical island

Isla Palenque is a 149-hectare island off the coast of Panama. Design Workshop led the planning and design process for a destination eco-resort to create a model for eco-responsible design and practices by taking a holistic approach to sustainability. Through a series of GIS mapping overlays, the team identified land best suited for residential development, ecological preserves and sensitive habitats that helped inform the best location for the resort. The proposed plan limits development and disturbance of the land. Upon build-out, less than 15 percent of the 434 acres will be built upon, including all buildings, roads and trails. Panamanian law requires 15 percent of all zoned land to be designated for park and open space purposes. The proposed plan exceeds this requirement by over 2,300 percent, preserving 368 acres (148.9 hectares) for the enjoyment of its visitors. A greenway circumnavigates the island and the synthesis of the island’s environmental features creates a robust recreational program.

Services Provided: GIS Analysis, Master Planning, Tourism Planning


  • Honor Award for Analysis & Planning, ASLA National
  • President’s Award of Excellence, ASLA Colorado
  • Land Stewardship Award, ASLA Colorado


Amble Resorts