The Pearl Islands

Contadora & The Pearl Islands

Reaching the Pacific in 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa was immediately dazzled by the pearl ornaments of the coastal tribes.

Most of their pearls were gathered near the pearl islands, 70 miles offshore.

Spanish interests were eager to claim this bounty.

Isla Contadora

Within a few years, they were harvesting so many pearls that a contadora (counting house) was constructed to safeguard them all.

Today, this pearl Island is one of Panama’s most popular Pacific destinations.

This tiny island (0.75 square miles) is ringed by turquoise waters and 13 golden beaches.

Sport Fishing, Scuba, Snorkeling and Sea Kayak Tours

Visitors to Contadora Island can enjoy sport fishing, diving, snorkeling and sea kayak tours.

Accommodations can be arranged at small hotels and private villas.

San Jose & Isla del Rey

Beyond Contadora, the Pearl Islands group includes 102 other islands and more than 100 small cayes and islets.

San Jose Island, located to the southwest, is known for its wide beaches, excellent diving, and rain-forested interior.

Isla del Rey is the largest of the Pearl Islands.

Getting to the Pearl Islands

Isla del Ray serves as a base for sportfishing tours, with charters focusing on marlin, wahoo, amberjack, tuna, and sailfish.

The Pearl Islands can be reached by air from Panama City in 15-minutes, with airstrips on Contadora Island, Isla San Jose, and Isla del Rey.

Charter boats to The Pearl Islands can also be arranged in Panama City.

The dry season extends from November to April.

From July to October, migrating humpback and pilot whales can be observed here.

When you travel with LANDED, you’ll be relaxed, prepared, and delighted. In fact, more than 90% of our business is repeat or referral. Speak with one of our expert travel planners today at 801.582.2100. Soon, you’ll have LANDED.

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.”

Anatole France