Contadora, Panama Vacation Guide
Contadora Island is the fifth largest of the Pearl Islands and is located in the Pacific Ocean about 50 miles from Panama City. This island features fine hotels, restaurants, a dive shop and water activities such as diving, snorkeling and sports fishing. You may enjoy any of Contadora's 13 beautiful beaches which encircle the island, or take excursions to nearby islands, most of which are uninhabited, and find your own private beach for sunbathing and picnicking. Just across the way is Pacheca Island, roosting spot for magnificent frigate birds and an excellent spot for bird watching.
Contadora is a practical hub to explore from, or simply, to explore itself. There are a few choices in lodging on the island. Hotels include the larger Hotel Contadora. Hotel Contadora is located a few steps from the airport -- literally. Diving and snorkeling are excellent, especially at low tide. Swimming from Playa Sueca around the point to Playa Larga takes you through the best area to spot sharks and turtles, and there is a little secluded beach along the way. Other good beaches for snorkeling include Playas Cacique, Galeon and Canoa.
Contadora's reefs boast a nice array of stony corals, and in that regard the reefs most closely resemble the related corals of distant South Pacific islands. The diversity is less, likely due to the effects of the cooler currents mid-winter, but the fish are prolific compared to similar sized reefs in the Caribbean.
Another great destination within the Pearl Islands is San Jose Island, a private refuge with forests and beaches on 44 sq. kilometers. On the island you will find one of the best hotels of Panama, the Hotel Hacienda del Mar Eco Village which is known for a place of unsurpassed beauty, relaxation and adventure!
Location and Map