Images, maps, and written texts together may constitute an imaginative geography and provide poignant evidence for how space can be socially constructed. In this article, I demonstrate the imaginative geography of wild Darién and discuss its effects. I analyze centuries of maps, images, and other texts to illustrate the taken-for-granted representation of Darién as a rich, dangerous, and backward place. I discuss how beginning in the mid-twentieth century that imaginary facilitated outside interventions in the region that persist today – from infrastructure modernization to land grabbing. These results seek to further Latin American historiographies within political ecologies.