Panama Beaches & Islands

 
BASTIMENTOS ISLAND

 



Bastimentos Island (in Spanish: Isla Bastimentos) is an island with eponymous town, and corregimiento located in the Bocas del Toro District and archipelage of Bocas del Toro Province, Panama. The island is about 62 square kilometres (24 sq mi), one of the largest in Panama. Bastimentos had a population of 1,954 as of 2010, giving it a population density of 31.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (81/sq mi). Its population as of 1990 was 988; its population as of 2000 was 1,344.
Often considered the more relaxed alternative to the busy streets and bars of Bocas del Toro District but at only 10 minutes by water taxi Isla Bastimentos is becoming an increasingly popular destination for backpackers. Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park and the Red Frog Island Resort’s Nature Preserve encompasses a large portion of Bastimentos Island, Zapatilla Cays, in addition to the waters and mangroves that surround the island. The western tip of the island, better known as Bastimentos, is clearly visible from Bocas town, and is not part of the National Park itself. There are several private residences here.

Colón Island (Spanish: Isla Colón) is the northernmost and main island in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago located in Bocas del Toro Province, Panama. The capital city of the province, Bocas del Toro, is located on the island and is one of Panama’s main tourist attractions with over 150,000 visitors per year and an 8% annual rate of growth in tourism.
ISLA SOLARTE


Solarte Island (in Spanish: Isla Solarte), also known as Nancy’s Cay, (in Spanish: Cayo Nancy) is an 8 km2 island located only 1 mile east of Bocas del Toro, in the Bocas del Toro Province, Panama. The two hundred Ngöbe Buglé fishing community lives on the island without electricity or telephone system, capturing water from a well.
A medical facility, later known as Hospital Point (in Spanish: Punta Hospital), was built upon a hill on the western end of the island by the United Fruit Company for treatment of patients with yellow fever and malaria in 1899 but it was decommissioned and moved to Almirante in 1920.
ISLA TABOGA

Isla Taboga is located in the Panama Province, a short boat ride away from Panama City. A ferry can take you from Pier 19 in the Balboa District of Panama, straight to the island. There are many free beaches extending in either direction off the ferry dock.
Some attractions of Isla Taboga include the beaches, a quaint town center, snorkeling, diving and bird watching opportunities. The island was briefly used as an artillery practice area by the United States during WWII, and the abandoned bunkers are still there for touring. Approximately one third of Isla Taboga is covered by the Taboga and Uraba Wildlife Refuge.
Lodging is available on Isla Taboga at the Hotel Vereda Tropical, the Cerrito Tropical, and the Cool Hostel.
PEARL ISLANDS

 

The Pearl Islands (Las Perlas Archipelago) are over 200 islands and islets located throughout the Gulf of Panama, about 40 miles southeast of Panama. Only a few of these islands are inhabited, and many don’t offer any amenities to tourists. The largest and most well known of these islands are Contadora, Isla del Rey, Isla San Jose, San Miguel and Pedro González. The island of San Jose supports 630 species of plants. On the islands of San Miguel, Saboga and Pacheca, 16 species of mammals have been identified, and five species of cetaceans. In addition, 90 species of birds have been identified in the archipelago, including the migratory ones.
Oysters and their pearls are still found in these beautiful waters. Over the centuries, the Pearl Islands sheltered famous pirates that looted the wealthy Spanish settlements and fleet found in this area. Pearls harvested here have adorned kings and queens of Europe, and they include the 400 year old, 31-carat famous “La Peregrina” pearl once given to the Queen of Spain but now owned by Elizabeth Taylor.
Survivor
Three seasons of the U.S. hit reality show Survivor have been filmed in the Pearl Islands. They were seasons 7, 8, and 12 of CBS show. Season 7 was called Survivor Pearl Islands. Survivor All Stars was season 8 and it was also located in the Pearl Islands of Panama. Season 12 was called Survivor Panama Exile Island and it was also shot in the Pearl Islands of Panama.
CONTADORA


Contadora one of the most visited of the Pearl Islands, and gets its name because it was a counting house for pearls. This island is only about a 750 acres in size, but it features 13 spectacular beaches and 5 coral reefs surrounding it that offer incredible snorkeling opportunities. One of Contadora’s beaches, Playa de las Suecas, is the only official clothing-optional beach of Central America. Several roads cross the island, which can be walked around in about an hour. Excursions to other less inhabited islands are available. Contadora is a 15 minute plane ride or a two hour ferry ride from Panama City. You can’t fly directly from Tocumen International Airport, but domestic flights depart daily from Albrook airport, which is about a 30 minute drive from Tocumen.
Lodging
Lodging available in Contadora at the Hotel Contadora, The Perla Real Inn and the Hotel Punta Galeon Resort.
ISLA DEL REY

 

Isla del Rey is the largest island of the Pearl Islands, covering approximately 74,000 acres. It is a lush tropical island with an abundance of water including various waterfalls, rivers and natural springs. The surrounding waters are pristine, and teeming with marine life such as whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and game fish. The sport fishing in the Pearl Islands is world renowned with over 200 International Game and Fishing Association records. The main village on this island is San Miguel.
ISLA SAN JOSE


Isla San Jose is the second largest of the Pearl Islands. It is a private island located close to the continental shelf, and consisting of 14,000 acres of forest and beaches. The ocean floor drops off here to over 9000 ft, which offers exceptional deep sea fishing opportunities. Isla San Jose has over 35 diverse beaches, ranging from white coral to black and gold sand. The water is clear and provides excellent snorkeling and scuba diving as well.
Lodging
Lodging available on Isla San Jose at the Hacienda Del Mar.
PACIFIC COAST BEACHES

PLAYA BLANCA

PLAYA GORGONA

PACIFIC ATLANTIC BEACHES

BLUFF BEACH

RED FROG BEACH

 

Comments are closed.