Jinja Island is situated in an area of calm, clear water of the Bocas Lagoon. It marks the northeast entrance to Dolphin Bay.
Jinja Island boasts a house, a cabaña, a bodega and three boat docks. It is highly accessible and uniquely suited for development.
My dream is to gather together a tribe of bold, imaginative travellers, artists and investors who wish to play their part in transforming Jinja Island into a haven from this increasingly dysfunctional world, a home-from-home that provides accommodation, food, drink, teaching and entertainment for spirited individuals — from near and far — a place to relax, learn and explore.
The mangroves which surround the island provide both privacy for visitors and shelter for all kinds of creatures, both great and small.
The soil is rich in nutrients and provides a solid foundation for growing all kinds of tropical trees, plants and flowers: coconuts, bananas, pineapples, aloe vera, ginger and many more besides.
The daily temperature averages a pleasant 26°C (79°F) all year round and with 400cm (115″) of rain annually, there is never a water shortage… just 2.2 acres of lush, green, vibrant life.
The north-east shore of Jinja Island is fringed by two breath-taking tropical reefs, both of which provide a rich haven for a diverse range of marine wildlife. The protective mangroves which surround the island lock tons of carbon down beneath the waves.
The warm shallows around the island teem with colour and life: coral, sea anemonae, sponges, urchins, starfish, octopuses, eagle spotted rays, clown fish, barracuda, red snapper, swordfish, fry, langusta and shrimp.
At night the water glows with bio-luminescence and sparkles with the reflections of a million stars which trace a path across the firmament all the way from the North Star to the Southern Cross.
An archipelago of hundreds of lush green islands, clear tropical waters and white-sand beaches make Bocas Del Toro the hidden gem of the Caribbean.
Travel to the Zapatilla Islands, Red Frog beach, Starfish beach, go frog tracking, horse trekking, zip-lining through the jungle, watch turtles lay their eggs, hit the surf, dive reefs and wrecks, tour a chocolate farm and then dance the night away.
On a more practical note, Bocas has an international airport with several flights a day to Panama City and Costa Rica, as well as supermarkets and hardware stores, timber yards and solar panel distributers – everything needed to set up Jinja Island as Central America’s premier eco-retreat.
Boasting a stable economy, a currency pegged to the US dollar, the highest GDP per capita of any country in Latin America, jungles, volcanos, exotic wildlife and hundreds of miles of unspoiled beaches on two different oceans, tourism in Panama is taking off in a big way.
The number of tourists that arrived in 2017 totalled 2.5 million — a figure equivalent to over half the population of Panama itself!
According to the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP), tourist spending went up by 4% in 2017, totalling a massive $4.451 billion — a huge amount for such a small country. Much of that income comes from wealthy holiday-makers looking for somewhere a little “off the beaten track”.
With cheap daily direct flights to Panama City from Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, New York, LA, Houston, Washington, Boston, Atlanta and Montreal (amongst others), when it comes to tapping the lucrative backpacker market, the sky’s the limit.
Located just a few degrees north of the equator, Panama enjoys a year-round tropical climate. Temperatures are uniformly high — as is the relative humidity — and there is little seasonal variation. If you like it hot, the weather is superb all year round!
Private islands large enough for an eco-retreat are hard to come by. Jinja Island is in a perfect location in a stable and economically successful region of the world.
Jinja Island is brimming with investment opportunities. With enough cabañas, solar panels and rainwater collection tanks, an eco-resort would easily cope with up to 20 guests at a time, all of whom could enjoy high-quality broadband and 24-hour access to Bocas Town.
Panama’s strict environmental laws mean that building on the reef or disturbing the mangroves that surround the island is forbidden. However, it would be permissible to apply for a concession to build a bar and/or cabaña on Jinja Island’s lagoon which would not interfere with the reef or mangroves in any way.
Below is a suggestion for how Jinja Island could be developed into a world-class eco-retreat.
I will be returning to Jinja Island in September after over two and a half years away.
I have no idea what awaits me, but I will have just 6 weeks to get the place into some semblance of order… and I’ll be taking YOU with me.
Every day at 4pm local time (10pm BST) I will be broadcasting LIVE AND INTERACTIVE from the island, bringing you up to date with the latest developments and shenanigans on the island.
Patreons and YouTube members will be privy to exclusive after-show discussions on the Jinja Island Discord Server.
Want in? Head over to https://patreon.com/thatgingerscouser
Jinja Island has a golden rule: whatever we decide to do with this spectacular site, it must be environmentally sustainable, both at a local and global level. If that sounds like your cup of (herbal) tea, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
© Eārendil’s Star Ltd 2020
Thanks to Jason Combs for the wonderful maps.