Located on the Pacific coast of the west Panama, Coiba Island Port is known as the biggest island in Central America. A strange set of situations makes Coiba Island one of world’s most virginal nature reserves. For almost one hundred years, this island was home to a penal colony, meaning no people except for the inmates could come onto this island. With that all vanished now, what stays is a wonderful nature reserve for bird watching, sport fishing, nature observation and snorkeling. It has a remarkable coral reef. You can reach Coiba Island from the port of Mutis, a few miles past Santiago or Santa Catalina. The Panamanian environmental authority or ANAM maintains a two-room cottage on this island that can be utilized by visitors. Permission to go to this island can be acquired by calling ANAM. The cottages are clean and include bathroom and bunk beds. Visitors only need to bring their own food, bedding and other necessary equipment to enjoy their stay in Coiba Island.
Although Panama is known as every shopper’s paradise, Coiba Island is an exception to this fact. There are no shopping malls or stores in Coiba Island's cruise terminal. If you want to have a shopping experience in Panama, visit the island’s neighboring towns such as Santiago. You can experience the country’s luxury goods and duty free shopping with just a boat ride from the island. From kitchenware to jewelry, from electrical equipment to handicrafts, from artifacts to native costumes, Panama has all of them.
Shopping in this country will never fail to amuse and amaze you. Santiago has a street of designer boutiques called Avenida Alonso de Córdova. They also include fresh fish markets in which you can choose the kind of fish you want and they will clean and wrap them for you. They also have an outdoor market where you can purchase any kind of meat.
Things to See
Coiba Island port of call includes more than 2,000 sq. km. of forests, beaches, coral reefs, mangroves and islands. The waters covering the Coiba Island are filled with numerous marine animals and fish. The island is bordered by one of America’s biggest corals reefs. Lots of species that have vanished from the mainland are still found in this island.
Since the range of activities in this island is few, you can just go bird watching, hiking, snorkeling and diving and take pleasure from the attractive flowers and plants. The water bordering the island is translucent and popular for Black and Blue Marlins.
Restaurants and Bars
Since Coiba Island is a very remote and secluded place, you don’t expect it to contain restaurants or bars, just like it does not have shopping centers or stores. If you want to have a taste of Panama’s specialties and delicacies, you can go to Santa Catalina. There are small Cabañas in Santa Catalina, and Argentinean grills, as well as Italian-owned pizza houses that you can surely enjoy.