Visiting Coiba National Park in Panama
The Best Location for Exploring Coiba National Park in Panama
I t is one of the greatest natural wonders in Central America – and it’s right on our doorstep. Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just an hour’s boat ride from Islas Secas and one of the must-sees if you’re staying with us.
What makes the park world-famous is its combination of beautiful primary rainforest and biodiverse waters, offering both exceptional scuba diving and wildlife spotting on the islands. “Few places in the Eastern Tropical Pacific hold both tropical rainforest and such rich marine biodiversity,” explains Beny Wilson, our Conservation Manager.
“Few places in the Eastern Tropical Pacific hold both tropical rainforest and such rich marine biodiversity.“
Home to a Remote Penal Colony
Few visitors know that the reason this string of 38 islands is so pristine is that the main island, Coiba Island, was once home to a remote penal colony. That means the area was never developed and the flora and fauna left to thrive.
Explore the Waters or Engage in Thrilling Hikes
And it really is something. Home to the second-largest coral reef in the Eastern Pacific, we’ll take you to explore the waters, where snorkeling or scuba diving in Coiba might reveal anything from manta rays and whale sharks, to a kaleidoscope of tropical reef fish. Come here in whale season, and you’re likely to spot magnificent humpback whales blowing and breaching in the waves. And then, on dry land, we’ll show you thrilling hikes through the towering rainforest, with glimpses of crocodiles, iguanas, and the endemic Coiba howler monkey.
The Magic of Coiba
As Beny puts it, “In one day, you can snorkel alongside hawksbill turtles, or dive with friendly white-tipped reef sharks or even whale sharks. Then you can have a picnic lunch on a tropical beach while scarlet macaws feast on beach almonds above – that is the magic of Coiba National Park.”