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6 September 2022

Experience Panama’s marine life

September is a magic time of year in Panama, when extraordinary sea creatures visit the nature-rich, virgin shores of this Central American country. What we can’t miss: humpback whale migration. Have you ever seen these magnificent animals up close? To experience the marine life of Panama, take note of all our suggestions!

Panama’s unique position between North and South America, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, together with the habitat conservation programmes in place, offer an immersive and memorable opportunity to recharge, explore and discover the wonders of the ocean wildlife of Panama.

The best way to begin exploring is on a whale watching tour conducted by local operators who are highly responsible, experienced and trained to provide exciting tourist experiences that are safe for marine life.

Holidays with Humpback Whales

Panama is one of only two areas in the world that hosts humpback whales from the northern and southern hemispheres. And although more than 30 species of whales and dolphins are found along the coast of Panama, it is the humpback whales, leaping above the water and splashing down, that attract visitors from all over the world. On average, more than 1000 whales migrate to Panama every year between June and October.

Whale watching is enjoyed in several places along the Pacific coast, and some of the best local sites include Taboga Island and the Pearl Islands, both in the Gulf of Panama and the closest destinations to Panama City. Other privileged locations include the Isla Iguana Wildlife Refuge in Pedasí, in the province of Los Santos; the Gulf of Chiriquí, near Boca Chica; and Coiba National Park, one of the 50 UNESCO Marine World Marine Heritage sites.

Taboga Island

Taboga Island, or the Island of Flowers, is a volcanic island known for its rich tropical vegetation, as well as beautiful beaches and soft sand. Located on the Pacific side of the country in the Gulf of Panama, this majestic island is 20 km from the capital, making it the perfect getaway for a unique day trip near Panama City.

Pearl Islands

Once a popular tourist destination for the rich and famous, the Pearl Islands Archipelago is now accessible for anyone who wants to discover the stunning natural beauty of the area and experience Panama’s marine life.

This archipelago consists of more than 200 mostly uninhabited islands and islets off the Pacific coast in the Gulf of Panama. The largest Island is Isla del Rey, but tourists’ favourites include Isla Contadora, with more than 13 beaches, and Isla Saboga. On a trip to the Pearl Islands, you will find beautiful white-sand beaches and opportunities for diving and watching whales, not to mention well-preserved nature and marine life.

Gulf of Chiriquí

The Gulf of Chiriquí extends along the Pacific coast of Panama, from the border with Costa Rica to the Azuero Peninsula. It has abundant vegetation, beautiful white-sand islands and one of the largest coral reefs in the Pacific, making it one of the best destinations for sport fishing, diving and snorkelling. The gulf also houses one of the densest mangrove forests in Central America, as well as Panama’s largest island, Coiba. On your tour, you can explore the islands and mangrove areas of the National Marine Park, and thanks to the rich biodiversity of the gulf, you will also find many conservation projects conducting research on the area and protecting it.

Veraguas Province

The Gulf de Chiriquí National Marine Park comprises all the islands of the gulf, as well as reefs, mangroves and animal life. This protected area is one of the best places for bird watching in Panama. In addition, it is known to be one of the most prolific fishing and hunting grounds in the world, especially Hannibal Bank and Montuoso Island.

You can practice first class diving and snorkelling, or you can choose to spend an unforgettable day relaxing on the white-sand beaches of Parida, Gámez and Bolaños islands. If you’re looking for a private beach and luxury accommodation, Isla Secas is your destination.

Coiba National Park

Veraguas Province

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, Coiba National Park is a marine reserve located off the Pacific coast of Panama in the Gulf of Chiriquí. Because it was a penal colony, access to the island was historically limited, which allowed a large part of the area’s natural resources to survive intact. Today, the marine park boasts some of the most robust biological diversity in the world.

Fondo marino Coiba blog Panamá septiembre 2022

Located on the same corridor as the Galapagos Islands, Coiba is a first-class scuba diving destination that offers access to the Damas Bay Reef, the largest reef on the western coast of the American continent. When you dive into its waters, you will have the opportunity to see manta rays, whales and hammerhead sharks. If you come between December and April, you might even see some of the largest fish in the ocean: whale sharks!

How do you get there? The ideal starting point is Santa Catalina.

Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina was once a small fishing village with relatively few visitors. Over the years, it has become a world-renowned surfing destination for beginners and professionals alike. Located on the Pacific coast of the province of Veraguas, Santa Catalina is the ideal place if you like to surf or if you ever wanted to learn. If you go, you’ll feel like another resident away from the crowds of tourists. Some restaurants and accommodation, a grocer and surf schools make this a paradise for anyone who decides to visit it.

There you have it: the best destinations we can take you to if you want to experience Panama’s marine life.

In a world where sustainability and biodiversity are very much on people’s minds, discover and enjoy what Panama has to offer. The waters of the Caribbean and the Pacific provide shelter for breathtaking marine flora and fauna.

Embark on a new adventure! Visit Panama and travel from Spain and the major European cities with our schedule of 4 flights per week from Madrid.

Discover Panama! Live for more!

Alicia Ratto

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