Sandy San Blas Islands
We spent just two nights on Tuba Senika Island but we loved it! Our island was tiny and family run - split in to two separate resorts. You could walk around the whole island in just three minutes (I'm not lying - we timed it out of curiosity!!)
Obviously being so tiny and in the middle of the sea it is very picturesque and exactly what you imagine when someone says desert island. It's pure sand with palm trees, small wooden/bamboo/palm huts where you sleep, and coconuts. It's very tranquil and there's no noise pollution aside from the sea lapping up against the island which becomes a constant metronome.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner were cooked for us by the chef and when food was ready to be served they would blow into a conch shell to ensure everyone knew it was ready (very Lord Of The Flies!)
The food was amazing and ranged from chicken or fish served with rice and salad to spaghetti with peppers, onions and chicken and there were eggs in the morning and even scrambled egg with homemade "donuts" one morning. Meal times were extremely early as they work with the sunrise and sunset times: breakfast at 7 am, lunch at 11:45 am and dinner at 5 pm.
It's the dream place to relax and it's perfect for literally watching the world go by - watching the passing boats and the clouds moving around the surrounding mountains. It's a good opportunity to be out of contact and off your phone as our island had limited electricity - run on a generator - and consequently had no wifi.
Sunbathing is a fantastic way to while away the hours when the sun shines which is most of the time but the late afternoons and evenings can be rainy (well if you stupidly visit in the rainy season like we did!)
Also you can rent a snorkel and mask for $1 each and I can highly recommend this. We simply stepped into the sea and waded out until we felt it was deep enough to tip ourselves horizontal and swim around. There's a range of fish just a few metres from the island so you don't have to snorkel for long or very far out in order to have some great views. Be warned: there are some feet-nibbling fish which scared us! It varies from sandy bottomed sea, to reeds, coral and stones so there are lots of different fish to be found. Camouflaging fish that are see-through, trumpet fish hanging around the surface, angel fish, clown fish, lobsters, hermit crabs and loads more.
There is also a volleyball court and a basketball hoop if you get a little restless simply relaxing!
In the evenings you can be sociable and enjoy a beer with the local indigenous family that own the island/resort and fellow travellers around the table.
Otherwise it's pretty quiet as once the sun sets everyone winds down and gets an early night. I woke up and watched sunrise one morning and already the family were up raking the sand and ensuring that the island looks pristine for when the guests awake and that was before 5 am! The family/employees work tirelessly to clean, develop and improve the island and their resort and it shows.
If I'm ever back in this part of the world again I would definitely head back to Tuba Senika or one of the other islands for a couple of relaxing and tranquil days in the middle of nowhere!