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Location of the Pearl Islands (Archipiélago de las Perlas) in the Gulf of Panama
San Miguel, Isla del Rey

The Pearl Islands (Spanish: Archipiélago de las Perlas or Islas de las Perlas) are a group of 100 or more islands (many tiny and uninhabited) lying about 30 miles off the Pacific coast of Panama in the Gulf of Panama.

Islands

The most notable island is Contadora Island (or Isla Contadora in Spanish), known for its resorts. Contadora was said to be used by the Spanish conquistadors as a stop for taking inventory of booty prior to returning to Spain, hence the name (contador means counter or bookkeeper in Spanish). Contadora is a resort island, with many homes owned by wealthy Panamanians. There is a large hotel and other cabins available. Most of the resort workers live on nearby Isla Saboga. In 1979, the Shah of Iran briefly took exile on Isla Contadora. Domestic airlines Air Panama and Aero Perlas run frequent flights between Panama City and Contadora, Isla San Jose and Isla del Rey.

The largest island, at about 30 square miles, is Isla del Rey ("Island of the King"), its name probably a religious reference rather than a reference to a secular king. Isla del Rey has several towns, most notably San Miguel. It is easily larger than the other Pearl Islands combined, and is the second largest island in Panama, after Coiba.

Other islands are Bolano, Buena Vista, Cana, Casaya, Chepra, Chitre, Cocos, Espiritu Santo, Galera, Gallo, Gilbraleon, Lampon, Marin, Mina, Mogo Mogo o Pajaro, Pacheca, Pachequille, Pedro Gonzalez, Puerco, San Jose, Senora, Vivenda, Vivienda and Viveros.

The island of Galera has a facade of very tall coconut palm trees and a white sandy beach. Strong currents, combined with shallows and jagged reefs surrounding the island, make navigation near the island perilous.

Publicity

The Pearl Islands were featured in three seasons of the reality TV program Survivor, namely Survivor: Pearl Islands, Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Panama. The Pearl Islands were also featured in season 2 of the Israeli version of the American reality TV program Survivor - "Survivor 10: Pearl Islands", and the BBC TV series The Real Swiss Family Robinson.

See also

Coordinates: 8°20′N 79°07′W / 8.333°N 79.117°W / 8.333; -79.117


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

The Pearl Islands (Spanish: Archipielago de las Perlas) are a region in the Pacific ocean off the coast of Panama. Made famous as the site for three seasons of the reality television show Survivor, the archipelago is a combination of beautiful islands with pristine virgin forest and sandy white beaches. Contadora Island is the most developed one, with a paved airstrip and 2 high-end Resorts and many private houses.

Get in

Commercial flights are available to Contadora Island just 45 minutes and many charter boats operations run from Panama City where the islands are just 1:30 hrs away. Two airlines (AeroPerlas and AirPanama) provide daily service to Contadora Island RT $84

Get around

Private yacht charters are offered from Panama City to the Pearl Islands. Once you coordinate one of these charters, you will be able to cruise around the entire archipelago. This will give you freedom to go on island explorations, photo safaris, sport fishing trips in a very comfortable and complete manner.

  • Fishing is amazing around all of these islands. Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Yellow Tail Tuna, Sailfish and ,more offshore, Marlin are common species to find on the surface along with plenty Red Snapper, Mero, Corvina, RoosterFish and Bojala on the bottom of the ocean.
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