Country Guide » Destinations
A celebrity retreat, Survivor CBS TV series film location and featured in Condé Nast and Travel & Leisure magazines, the Pearl Islands (El archipiélago de las Perlas) are comprised of more than 100 mostly small and uninhabited islands in picturesque blue waters. A 15 minute plane ride from Panama City, chartered boat or ferry-ride away, arriving to the islands is both reasonable and easy.
The archipelago became famous for the coveted pearls found during the Spanish inquisition.Isla Contadora, one of the most well-known islands, became the central point where pearls were counted, registered and prepared (contadora literally means “counter”). A snorkeling haven, sport fisherman’s dream and with numerous rainforest hikes and activities, the Pearl Islands are a treat. Whales, dolphins, sea turtles and big game fish allow for endless fascination.
The crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches on the more popular islands are complemented by a full infrastructure of paved roads, reliable electricity and water, medical center, restaurants, supermarkets, airport and more. Two all-inclusive resorts satisfy every fantasy. Wealthy Panamanians and celebrities have made the Pearl Islands a quick getaway for another home and also a popular vacation site.