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“Amazing wildlife watching destination” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Coiba Island National Park

Coiba Island National Park
Book In Advance
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$160.00*
and up
Full-Day Diving for Beginners at Coiba National Park
Certificate of Excellence
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Amazing wildlife watching destination”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

For years, I've been wanting to visit Coiba Island. I'm a Panamanian citizen living abroad, and before moving away from Panama, whenever I thought about Coiba, the only idea showing up in mind was that of a harsh prison island full of dangerous residents. Just what every other Panamanian like me thought for decades. It's precisely that notion what has kept Coiba in a pristine condition, as few people were interested in visiting it until recent years. Only a few foreigners, brave enough to venture to a little-known country when compared to Costa Rica, were interested in visiting it, because of all of the natural marvels that Coiba has to offer.

Coiba is a haven for a great number of inland and sea-dwelling animals, just like other isolated islands off the Pacific coast of the Americas, like Cocos (Costa Rica), Malpelo (Colombia) and Galapagos (Ecuador). As a matter of fact, these wonderful biological reserves form a marine corridor where pelagic animals abound.

I spent 3 days in Coiba Island with a group which included good friends and my mom, and we had a great time. It was humpback whale mating season, so we couldn't help see a bunch of whales whenever we set out every single day from our camp. Sometimes even without leaving the camp, just across the bay. And there was wildlife everywhere we looked: scarlet macaws flying around the southern parts of the island; dolphins and whales jumping all over the place; reef sharks, rays, turtles and countless schools of fish in the countless coral reefs surrounding Coiba and neighboring islands, howler monkeys waking you up while taking a nap; etc.

The best part of it: we never saw any other person as far as our eyes could see whenever we left the camp, where there were between 10 and 14 more people (including park rangers and tour operator staff). It seemed like all of this natural bounty was flashing its beauty for our eyes only.

Now I just have to go back during another season. I already witnessed the humpback whale season, now I'd love to see the largest fish come to Coiba's waters during the whale shark season, from December to April...

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
10 Thank El_Chiners
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Hayward, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Cruise ship stopped for lunch”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2012

While on a tour the cruise ship stopped at Coiba for a day of walking and lunch. The facilities are ok and a nice little beach. Not a lot to do or really see while there.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank Scott_Online
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Euclid, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Coiba Island Adventure Vacation Sport Fishing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2012

We had a great time fishing off of Coiba Island. This destination off the Pacific coast of Panama, was seldom visited until recent years. Isla de Coiba was a prison island for nearly a hundred years. Isla Coiba has been protected as a national park since before the prison shut down. Except for the prisoners who used to live in tiki shacks and the indians before the Spanish killed them, no one has ever lived in all these islands. Still today, few people ever venture out around these tropical islands because of it’s remote location.

The fishing here is amazing. The big fish are still here.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Victor S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turin, Italy
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful island!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2012

I suggest to everyone to visit this incredible island and overall to spend one night there. The under see life it's incredible, in just 2 days we saw whales, delphines, sharks, tortugas, murena and many giant fishes everywhere. And also animals in the jungle are interesting...we just sleep few metres away from Tito, the big crocrodile of the island!!There are many monkeys, mammals and birds. It's really a paradise!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Donatella D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utila
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Coiba Dive Centre, Santa Catalina, Panama”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2012

When we were in Panama we went to Santa Catalina to dive & dove with www.coibadivecentre.com. We had amazing dives, sharks, eels & being on the Pacific side different fish than the Caribbean side. Plus current which was fun for divers from BC, Canada! Check their website out for their whale migration season. The diving here is supposed to be similiar to the Galapagos. Santa Catalina is a funky little town where you can take surf lessons when you're not diving.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Canadense
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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