May 2012
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Travel – Contadora, Panama – one of the islands in the Pearl Islands in Panama

Contadora Island is one of the islands (the 5th largest) of the Pearl islands in Panama. These islands are along the Pacific Ocean and about 50 miles from Panama City. Some of the most popular activities for which these islands are known among tourists includes diving, snorkeling and sports fishing. There are about 13 beaches around the island. The nearby islands offers excursions for the tourists with some of these islands being uninhabited. The natives of this place were Indians until the 16th century; later the Spanish took over the island. The pearls over here were famous and were shipped to Spain from here and hence the name Pearl Islands.
Spanish is the most spoken language with English being the second most spoken language.

Attractions in Contodara and around:
• Fishing is very popular in these islands. Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Yellow Tail Tuna, Sailfish, Marlin, Red Snapper, Mero, Corvina, RoosterFish and Bojala are among the fish species that are found here on these islands.
• Pacheca Island is a spot for frigate birds and an ideal spot for bird watching. Swimming from Playa Sueca to Playa Larga is also enjoyable. It is also an area to spot sharks and turtles. Playas Cacique, Galeon and Canoa are other beaches of the place.
• Coral Reefs: One can find arrays of stony corals and reefs in Contadora.
• San Jose Island is another island which is spread over a land area of 44 sq. kilometers and has forests and beaches.
• Golf Cart Rental: There are golf carts available for rent; these being two seater, for golfing or to just move around the island.
• Beach Combing: One can enjoy walking along the beach or looking for shells, sea glass and green stones in beach water. The waters are crystal clear and warm. Mogo Mogo beach can be reached by boat.
• Walking Around: The walk along the island and in the streets is pretty enjoyable.
• Snorkeling from the Beach: There are rentals like Coral Dreams for snorkeling gear. They take one to the best spots for snorkeling from the beach.
• Snorkeling and Whale Watching Tours: There are snorkeling tours along with whale watching by companies like Roxanna and Guillermo at Coral Dreams Dive Shop.
• Fishing and Island Hopping Tours: The local fisherman offer to take the tourists on excursion for fishing. There are different species that one may catch like Sierra, Roosterfish, Dorado, a variety of snappers and Tuna.
• Scuba Diving: Guillermo at Coral Dreams Dive Shop offers even Scuba diving for divers.
• Sailboat Tours: There are sailboat tours by 44ft catamaran with facilities of lunch, drinks, snorkel equipment and kayaks.
• Whale Watching: there are Humpback whales that migrate from both the Southern & Northern hemisphere. About 30 species are available for watching. There are tour packages available for whale watching such as Whale Watching Panama which is offering 5 day and 2-3 day tour packages which include swimming with whale and dolphins too.
• Rio Mar: This offers warmest water and is a best surfing spot. One can also enjoy the beach wind and sip a drink enjoying the view and hear the waves splashing and relax.
• Punta Chame: This beach is ideal for wind surfing and the dry season is the best time for it. The other activity is kite surfing.
• Buenaventura: This beach offers plenty of water activities like surfing, snorkeling, swimming etc. If one is not going for these, just the peace of the beach is enough to enjoy.
• Gorgona: This beach is one hour away from Panama City. One can enjoy the beach activities here too in its warm waters.
• Playa Blanca: This beach resembles Florida beach, Nikki beach. One can swim in warm waters and other water activities.
• Amador Causeway: This causeway gives the best views of Panama City’s skyline and the Panama Canal. This is about a mile long causeway that connects four small islands with rock excavations. They also serve as breakwater to the Pacific Coast to the Panama Canal. A Smithsonian Institute of Tropical Research aquarium, souvenir and specialty shops, a cruise port and a yacht marina are some of the causeway attractions. Some of the restaurants have ocean and Canal views

Best time to visit / climate:
The rainy season starts from May through November and a dry season from December through April and hence the best time to travel is from December through March as the humidity is low and rain chances are the least.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

How to get there:

By Air: There are multiple flights every day from Albrook Airport in Panama City which takes about 20 minutes.
By Sea: A ferry service is present between the causeway near Panama City and Contadora Island.
Get around: Golf carts, scooters or ATVs are used to travel around the islands. The size of the island is small and hence walking around is also a good option.

Lonely Planet Panama Panama AdventureMap (National Geographic) Fodor’s Panama, 2nd Edition

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

Hotels at tripadvisor
Hotels at contadoraislandpanama
Hotels at
hotels at bigtravelweb

Blogs / Sites about Contadora, Panama

Blogs and reviews at travelpod
Blogs and reviews at blog.panamatotal
Blogs and reviews at travelblog

Images and photos of Contadora, Panama

Images at google search
Images at travelpod
Images at contadoraislandinn
Images at pearl-islands-contadora

Videos of Contadora, Panama

Contadora, Panama

Contadora, Panama

Contadora Island Panama

Contadora Island, Pearl Islands – Playa Galeon Beach

Whale watching at Contadora, Panama

Flight from Panama City to Contadora

Silent Flight of Pelicans Over Contadora Island – Panama

Hotel Punta Galeon, Virgin Ocean Snapshots (Contadora Island)

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