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.
Rich in history and natural beauty native Indians inhabited these Islands until 16th century Spanish Conquistadors came in search of fortune, glory, and the archipelagos coveted pearls. During this period legend says Isla Contadora or "Counting Island" became the central point where pearls from around the region were sent to be counted, registered, and prepared for transit over the isthmus and finally shipped to Spain. The archipelago has also served as a haven for Pirates. from which they would stage daring assaults on the treasure laden Spanish Fleet, returning to the islands sanctuary to divide and stash their plunder.
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 hr away. Two airlines (AeroPerlas and AirPanama ) provide daily service to Contadora Island RT $84
A ferry service started in April of 2010 between the causeway near Panama City and Contadora Island. Fares start at $35 each way with a mysterious $3 embark and disembarking fee. The Ferry leaves early in the morning and returns from the island around 3PM. Calling to verify space and service availability is a good idea. http://www.sealasperlas.com/
Private yacht charters [formerly dead link] 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 marlin are commonly found on the surface waters while red snapper, mero, corvina, roosterfish and bojala can be found on the ocean bottom.
- Contadora Island Inn, ☏ . $110+.