Panama-Coiba Island-3 nts
COIBA ISLAND NATIONAL PARK ADVENTURE
Active, outdoor adventure
4 days, 3 nights
With a minimum 4 travelers you may choose your own date
$950 + 7% tax, per person in double occupancy
What to do in Coiba
Off the Pacific Coast, Coiba Island was, until recently, Panama's penal colony, home to the country's most dangerous criminals and political prisoners. Only in the last few years have travelers had the chance to visit Coiba, which due to it bleak history and remote location, offers great ecological and marine diversity. More than 80% of the island's natural habitat is intact and the island is a refuge for Crested Eagle and Scarlet Macaw, both all but disappeared from the mainland of Panama, as well as an astounding 20 endemic bird species, including Coiba Spinetail.
The beaches and surrounding waters offer shelter to four turtle species: leatherback, hawksbill, olive and loggerhead. Scuba diving and snorkeling offer views of huge schools of large fish, varieties of rays, sharks, sailfish, and marlin. On the boat ride over, you may see spinner and spotted dolphins, orca, humpback and pilot whales;and feeding yellow fin tuna.
Each day on the island you will hike the trails (2-4 hours daily), snorkel various bays, and boat around the island. Tide permitting, you may visit Boca Grande Estuary, looking for the Coiba Howler Monkey and Scarlet Macaws along the mangrove banks of the river; snorkel the coral reef of Bahia Damas, where you may see Snapper, Grouper, Jack, Moray eels and the benign White-tipped shark; and Bahia Damas, with its natural hot springs. One afternoon you will boat to some of the outer islands, known as canales, and snorkel among coral reefs.
The prison housed some 3000 inmates in about 30 camps spread around the islands at its peak. Today some of those same prisoners work as park rangers, and they will show you around the abandoned cells, chapels, a cemetery, dining halls and the original 1919 main prison building.
Accommodations are basic. The ANAM Park Ranger Station provides cabañas with 5-6 beds per room with shared bathroom. The rooms are air conditioned but electricity is available from 7 pm through 6 am. Bed linens are provided, but there is no room service, hot water or towels.
Your Coiba National Park Adventure includes round trip overland transportation from Panama City (approx. 7-8 hours each way), boat to the island (1.5 hours each way), 3 nights shared accommodations, all meals, park and related entry fees, and services of a bi-lingual naturalist guide.
Not included are your Panama City hotel, international airfare, personal equipment, towels, snacks, alcoholic drinks, or gratuities. Snorkel equipment is available for rent at $50 + 7% tax for the entire time.
Bring: binoculars, swimsuit, bug spray, sunscreen, flashlight, camera, hat, towel(s). toiletries and personal medications, sandals (good walking shoes), snorkel gear (or rent), lightweight quick dry clothes, rain gear (seasonal), extra batteries. water bottle.