4 days / 3 nights
TOUR DESCRIPTION Coiba Island is one of the last relics of tropical moist forest in Pacific Central America, a site of great beauty, great marine and terrestrial diversity, preserving endemic and endangered species. The coral reefs exemplify successful reef growth under sheltered but very restricted conditions and serve as a refuge and source of species replenishment for other islands, including the Cocos and Galapagos, during and after El Niño disturbances – United National Environment Programme.
PRICE US$950 per person + 7% tax (double occupancy) - minimum of 4 passengers -
INCLUDED Lodging, meals as specified in the itinerary, all land, air and water transportation within Panama, all airport/hotel transfers on scheduled arrival and departure dates, local guides services and expenses, park and related entrance fees, services of an in-bound land operator for airline re-confirmations and tour operations.
NOT INCLUDED International airfare, Panama City hotel, meals not specified in the itinerary, beverages and gratuities, personal equipment/snacks/beers, towels (shower and beach), snorkeling equipment (available for rent at Ancon Expeditions of Panama at US$65 + 7% tax for the whole trip)
DISCLAIMER Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however they are subject to change due to tidal/weather or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.
NOTE Arrangements can be made at your hotel to store luggage that will not be needed during this trip. Please inquire about snorkeling gear rental in case you will not provide your own.
Day 1 Panama City – Coiba Island
Accompanied by our Naturalist tour guide you depart by road early morning from Panama City to Playa El Banco, located on the Pacific coast of the Veraguas Province. Your scenic 7-8 hour drive begins on the Pan-American Highway until you reach the town of Santiago, where you continue on country roads to Playa El Banco. Depending on traffic and tide levels, you will have lunch en-route or when you reach the field station. From Playa El Banco you continue on a 1.5 hour journey in our boat to Coiba Island, with possible sightings of a dolphin pod, migrating Humpback whales (July through September) or Hammerhead sharks. Once you get settled at the Coiba National Park Ranger Station, your base of operations for the next three days, you depart for Granito de Oro. This tiny speckle in the vast ocean features a white-sand beach, a handful of coconut trees and an army of hermit crabs. Few places allow a snorkeler to walk into calm waters and into an amazing world of coral and fish life directly from the beach. You will immerse yourself in the rich tropical waters of Coiba to explore the reef and its inhabitants. Return to the ranger station for dinner and overnight.
Night at ANAM Park Ranger Station, shared accommodation (LD)
Day 2 Coiba National Park
Today you will spend the entire day exploring Coiba National Park, gaining an appreciation for its size and unspoiled beauty. Tide permitting, you will enter the Boca Grande Estuary, looking for the Coiba Howler Monkey and Scarlet Macaws along the mangrove banks of the river. In the same area, you will snorkel the coral reef of Bahia Damas, where sightings of Snapper, Grouper, Jack, Moray eels and the benign White-tipped shark are not uncommon. In the vicinity of Bahia Damas you can also find a series of natural hot springs. You finally head for the central station of the penal colony, where you are free to roam the installations of the once notorious prison. Abandoned cells, chapels, a cemetery, dining halls and the original 1919 main prison building still stand the test of time. You return late in the afternoon to the ranger station for dinner and overnight.
Night at ANAM Park Ranger Station, shared accommodation (BLD)
Day 3 Coiba National Park
This morning you depart by boat to the nearby Los Monos Trail. This short loop gives you a great opportunity to explore the inner rainforests of the island, home to White-faced Capuchins, Coiba Howler Monkeys, Coiba Spinetail and Lanced-tailed Manakins among others. You also have an opportunity to return to the paradisiacal Granito de Oro for more snorkeling and beach time. You return to the station for lunch. In the afternoon you will visit some of the northernmost islands in the park known as Canales. In this area, you can find more coral reefs and the chance to see some of the marine mammal life of the park. Migrating Humpback whales, resident Bottle-nosed and Spotted dolphins navigate the channel between Coiba and Canales Islands. You can also try your luck at artisan trawling for the game fish found in these waters which can be enjoyed over dinner tonight. Return to the station for dinner and overnight.
Night at ANAM Park Ranger Station, shared accommodation (BLD)
Day 4 Coiba Island – Panama City
After an early morning breakfast in Coiba and a walk along the beach, you depart for Playa El Banco on the mainland and then on to Panama City via the Pan-American Highway. You will enjoy lunch en-route at one the several Panamanian restaurants along the way, before arriving in Panama City late this afternoon. Drop off at your hotel.
B (Breakfast), L (Lunch), D (Dinner) – meals included
- Moderate hiking 2-4 hours with rolling and slippery hills, daily snorkeling with some ocean currents. Exposure to sun.
- Wet landings only (no peers or docks to get in and out of the boat)
- Boat transportation and Coiba accommodations are very basic / rustic: The ANAM Park Ranger Station provides cabañas with 5-6 beds per room and a shared bathroom; rooms are to be shared between the group´s participants; air conditioning available in all rooms (however maintenance by ANAM is not provided on a regular basis for which reason malfunctioning is not uncommon); linens are provided; there is no room service, hot water or towels; electricity available from 7 p.m. through 6 a.m. however due to remoteness irregularities should be expected
Dates upon request: With minimum 4 passengers and positive availability any date can be offered.
WHAT TO BRING
- Binoculars (preferably 7x35 or bigger, also available for rent at Ancon Expeditions of Panama)
- Lightweight/quick dry cotton clothes
- Windbreaker, Rain gear, Water bottle
- Camera with extra batteries & film
- Bathing suit, Insect repellant, Sunscreen
- Flashlight with extra bulb & batteries
- Money in small denominations
- Hat, Day pack / dry sack, towels
- Toiletries & personal medications
- Additional snacks, beers, wine if desired (can also be purchased en-route during a stop with our guide at a supermarket)
- Sandals / aqua shoes / sneakers
- Hiking shoes (closed) and long pants recommended for the hikes as it is not uncommon to have snakes or other animals on the grounds
- Snorkeling gear for better fiting (or you can rent the equipment with us)
Ancon Expeditions is Panama’s top eco-tourism operator. Our Natural & Cultural History Guides are the country's finest. Due to frequently asked questions from our clients about suggested guide & staff gratuities, we would like to provide you with the following universal tipping guidelines:
- Naturalist guide/Tour leader: US$10.00-US$20.00 per person/day
- Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person/day
- Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
- Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day
- Tour boat driver: US$5.00 per person/day
- Hotel bellman: US$1.00 per person per suitcase
- International airport bellmen (red caps): US$1.00 per piece of suitcase
COIBA PARK RANGER STATION
Located in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Coiba National Park is off Panama’s Pacific coast. Coiba National Park is a group of 38 islands including Coiba Island, on which the ANAM Coiba Park Ranger Station is the only overnight facility. Surrounded by lush rainforest vegetation, beautiful trails and beaches, the station offers several modest 2-room cabins with air conditioning. Each room provides 5-6 beds, a shared bathroom, lines and electricity between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m
Address: Coiba Island, Coiba National Park, Panama
Phone: +(507) 998-4271
"Very good experience with all day tours plus Coiba"
Thomas Mackiernan, USA