Either on the Atlantic or the Pacific , Panama has hundreds of islands to enjoy
Panama is a tropical paradise bathed by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, housing more than 1,600 islands, with some of the most beautiful beaches and activities for all tastes. Whether it’s taking a day trip from Panama City, or turning a vacation into an adventure, the following islands offer unforgettable experiences.
- Taboga Island
Also called “the Island of flowers”, it is a volcanic island characterized by rich tropical plant life, as well as beautiful beaches and soft sand. Located on the Pacific side of the country in the Gulf of Panama, this majestic island is at 20 kilometers. from Panama City.
Your visit should start with the trails that lead to the highest points of Taboga: Cerro Vigia or Cerro de la Cruz. You also have to explore the historic town founded by the Spanish, which is also home to the second oldest church in the Western Hemisphere. After all the tours, you have at your disposal the beautiful beaches to relax accompanied by a tropical drink from one of the bars.
Every day there are boats available from Panama City to Taboga Island. Most depart from the Amador Causeway and arrive in just 30 minutes.
- Contadora Island
This island belongs to Las Perlas Archipelago (39 islands and 100 islets) in the Pacific Ocean in front of the Bay of Panama, at only 40 km.
You can travel the entire island on foot, but for more comfort you can do it in golf carts that are rented on the island. You will be mesmerized by the turquoise and crystal clear waters, as well as the coral reefs and white sand beaches.
Contadora has a large number of beaches to visit and feel like you are in a true Eden on earth.
- Galeon Beach: It is the most central, located right in front of the airplane landing strip and the largest hotel on the island.
- Playa Larga: The sand is extensive, white, soft and the turquoise waters warm and ideal. You will enjoy “snorkeling” the corals it houses.
- Playa de las Suecas: It is the only nudist beach on the island and is accessed by walking a path from Playa Larga.
- Playa Ejecutiva: It is a beautiful beach and has a bay that opens between houses and incredible views.
- Playa Cacique: Is the best beach to watch the sunset.
Every year between June and November off the coast of Contadora you can watch humpback whales from the North Pole and South Pole arriving to mate, give birth and teach their young how to swim.
- Cebaco Island
This island is located just off the Pacific coast of the Veraguas province, nestled between nationally protected marine areas in the Gulf of Montijo.
Cebaco has interesting rolling hills, palm fringed coves with abundant sandy beaches (some dark and some white), waterfalls and dramatic rock formations.
Humpback whales swim around and four species of turtles, giant manta rays and dolphins can be seen just offshore between the months of July and October.
- Granito de Oro
This little paradise is an islet off the northeast coast of Coiba Island that has become one of the most popular stops for visitors. Its steep volcanic outcrop forms a structure that holds the beautiful white sand in place and creates a reef structure that is home to a wide variety of beautiful marine life. It is a multicolored aquarium that offers easy access to eels, turtles and large numbers of colorful fish.
Granito de Oro offers the casual diver a marine life that many avid divers spend their lives trying to see. The waters that surround it have been called one of the top 10 diving destinations in the world.
- Rancheria Island
In front of Isla Coiba is Rancheria, also called Coibita. For sure it will become one of the places that you will want to visit several times.
White sands and an abundance of palm trees make it the ideal place to spend a day having fun in activities such as kayaking, snorkeling and long walks.
- Islas Secas
This archipelago and the seas that surround it are home to more than 750 kinds of fish and 128 species of plants. When you get there, you will have access to one of the most impressive natural environments in the world.
These islands have for you natural trails, marine life and even the most representative Creole dishes of Chiriqui and the world.
These islands have the best places for bird watching with more than 50 types between residents and migrants. The species that you will be able to identify are the brown pelican, the great blue heron, the black mangrove falcon, the peregrine falcon, and the rufous-tailed hummingbird. You will also have the privilege of taking a boat ride to Cocos Island, home to the second largest colony of frigatebirds in the country, as well as touring two miles of groomed trails on Cavada Islands.
The waters of Islas Secas are full of life. you will discover a marine world full of coral reefs and a variety of fish such as the blue and black swordfish, the yellowfin tuna, whale sharks and giant manta rays, as well as other marine creatures such as dolphins. and sea turtles.
- Escudo de Veraguas
This secluded island of just 3 km2 in the Atlantic, is considered an irresistible place for those seeking to discover true natural treasures. This tropical enclosure is located 20 miles from the Gulf of Los Mosquitos and belongs to the Ngäbe-Buglé Comarca.
Mostly uninhabited and 100% totally natural, Escudo de Veraguas has turquoise-emerald waters with species and subspecies unique in the world such as the golden-necked jumping bird, the Panamanian salamanders of the genus Oedipina and the endemic three-toed pygmy sloth of this island among others.
You will love diving or snorkeling near coral reefs full of starfish, lobsters, and various fish such as snappers, mere jacks, and lionfish, with which you have to keep your distance.
- Isla Grande
Is a small island off the Caribbean coast of Panama in Colon province. This beautiful island is home to about a thousand inhabitants, mostly of African descent. The relaxed atmosphere of the island adds to the fact that there are no roads, only trails for you to walk and get to know the island. It is the ideal place for you to enjoy a truly Caribbean atmosphere, as well as the delicious local Afro-Caribbean food. You will also find remote beaches surrounded by palm trees, white sand and turquoise waters.
It is easy to get to Isla Grande, by car you arrive in 2 hours from Panama City to the town of La Guaira. From there, it’s just a short boat ride to the island.
- Isla Galeta
Located on the Atlantic side, specifically in the province of Colon, this island was the site of a military communications center for the United States of America until 2002, when it was officially handed over to the government of the Republic of Panama. On the island is the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, a research center.
Here you can explore the ecosystems of Punta Galeta, including seagrass beds, mangrove forests and coral reefs, in the company of naturalist guides from the Smithsonian. The excursions include a tour through the mangrove forests and a visit to the exhibition of marine animals, including the contact pools with rescued sea turtles. You can visit the observation deck, which has telescopes to observe the mangrove forest and the entrance of ships to the Panama Canal.