Located in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Coiba National Park is a marine reserve off Panama’s Pacific coast. Coiba National Park (Nacional Parque Coiba) is comprised of a group of 38 islands including Coiba Island (Isla Coiba) and the waters surrounding them and covers 430,825 acres. Identified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2005, Coiba National Park offers rich and well preserved natural resources.
Because Isla Coiba served Panama as a penal colony, access to the island was very restricted. Almost by accident, 80% of the islands’ natural resources have therefore survived untouched and flourished through limited human contact.
Coiba National Park is managed by the National Authority for the Environment (Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente, ANAM). The park is accessible only by permit from ANAM. A number of tour operators in Panama, including EcoCircuitos Panama offer adventure tours, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving trips to Coiba and can assist in obtaining appropriate permits.
The tour operators depart from several different places on the Panamanian coast.
Attractions in Coiba includes:
• Exhibition and Information Center, Park Ranger Station.
• Viewing Platforms (Miradores) El Gambute.
• Thermal Springs and Nature Interpretation Trial.
• Monkey Trail.
• Nature Interpretation Trail to ancient Mangrove Forest of Santa Cruz.
• Trial to the Waterfall at Juncal.
• Nature Interpretation Trail to the Volcanic Rift Valley.
• Volcanic Fault.
• The Island Granito de Oro (Grain of Gold)
• The Penal Colony, La Central Camp.
• Nature Interpretation trails of Jicaron and Jicarita.
• River Kayaking. Rio San Juan and Punta Hermosa.
• Nature Interpretation Trail on Isla Rancheria.
• Nature Interpretation Trail Isla Brincanco, Archipelago of Contreras.