Coiba National Park

Islote Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park
Islote Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park

Coiba National Park

The National Park of Coiba Island is one of the biggest and most important in the world. Its 270.000 hectares are protected since 1991 and were declared World Heritage Site in 2005 from Unesco.
Located in the Golfo de Chiriquí, Coiba Island is part of the same underwater mountain chain of the Galapagos in Ecuador. It's a paradise for wildlife. The presence of a penal colony on the main island for almost all the last century left Coiba apart of the rest of the world.
Today around 40 species of mammals, about 140 birds, crocodiles and snakes live in a pristine primary rain forest made of 2000 species of plants. The astounding underwater ecosystem includes the second largest coral reef of the east Pacific. You can spot here numerous varieties of dolphins, whales, sharks in addition to snappers, barracudas and jacks.
There are no touristic facilities on the island. You can stay just in a ranger station of ANAM ( the Panama's National Environmental Authority) that offers basic cabins. In alternative it's possible to camp, but remember to get some food and water before leaving mainland.

GETTING HERE

The easiest way to visit Coiba is through organised tours leaving from Santa Catalina, Las Lajas and Malena.