Super brief historical run through the past, but we have so much more to look forward to in the future. More and more people are investing in real estate on the islands. Not only resorts, but Airbnb’s are popping up all over the place too. The Islas Perlas are no longer just a rich man’s playground. The islands are more accessible these days by fast ferries, and there are even one day tours to the Pearl Islands from Panama City!
The Pearl Islands are on the Pacific side of Panama, about 48 km (30 mi) SE of Panama City. Just a short trip from Panama City, the archipelago of was once the playground of Panama’s rich and famous. It has now evolved into one of Panama’s favourite weekend getaways for all economic levels.
How Many Islands are in the Pearl Islands, Panama?
The Pearl Islands are made up of nearly 250 islands and unnamed mini islets spanning over 522,000 square km (200 square mi). Very few of the islands are actually inhabited, which was probably why the Pearl Islands were chosen for multiple seasons of the reality show, Survivor.
How do I get from Panama City to the Pearl Islands?
The most reliable way to travel from Panama City to the Pearl Islands is by boat. Sea Las Perlas offers daily ferry’s to both Saboga and Contadora islands. There is also and airport on Contadora Island. Air Panama states they have daily flights, however in our experience, flights are not always available. If you are hoping to fly to Contadora, you will want to be flexible with your dates and book well in advance. The alternative would be to book a private charter from Albrook Airport.
Where is the best place to stay on the Pearl Islands?
The biggest island in the Pearl Islands is Del Rey (The King), however it is not the most populated. The best island to stay on is probably the most populated too, Isla Contadora. Contadora Island is only 67km from Panama City and has a rich tourism market. Contadora is easy to access and there are plenty of things to do once on the island. It’s neighbor, Saboga Island is also a growing tourist destination worth checking out if you want to hit up an island a little less touristy, but just a hop away from Contadora.
Yes you can visit the islands in just one day from Panama City. Popular one day tours to visit the Pearl Islands are growing in popularity. Full day trips can take you to Isla Chapera, Isla Bolaños or Isla Contadora. If you are prone to get seasick however, a quick boat trip to Taboga Island may be a better choice.
What is the weather like in the Pearl Islands?
The weather in the Pearl Islands is pretty consistent throughout the year. Being near the equator, there is about 12 hours of daylight all year long and the temperatures average between 22°-32° Celcius (71°-89°F).
What kind of marine life will you find at the Pearl Islands?
Humpback whales are the real highlight here! In fact, whale watching in the Pearl Islands has become one of the most popular things to do in Panama. Aside from the whales, you can find 4 different types of dolphins too. Snorkeling is incredible, but the migration of marine birds is pretty spectacular too. You can even find blue footed booby birds in the Pearls!. If you want to seek out marine life, we recommend renting a fast boat charter from Panama City to explore the islands.