Mar 02

Las Perlas pt. 2

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After 2 days on a mooring ball beside the Balboa Yacht, on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, our friends aboard Imagination invited us to join them on trip to the Las Perlas. You’ve already read about the island of Taboga, if not read previous post. We carried on from there, and even before we were out of sight of the island we had a nice fish on the line. We had 2 rods working as we  motor-sailed towards our intended landfall approximately 32 nautical miles away.

Isla Contadora, is the most developed island in the archipelago de Las Perlas, a favourite destination for vacationers from Panama city. The small island of Contadora boasts an airport, desalination plant, power plant, and a full network of paved roads. There are several nice restaurants, shops , and a gas station to fuel the many quads and jet skis. There are daily flights to Panama.

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We arrived after a relaxing sail, in the late afternoon and put down the anchor just off the beach in about 32 ft. of water. We could clearly see the bottom, and the schools of fish around the boat. Most boats that come through the canal are on a mission to get to French Polynesia, so they miss these beautiful islands.

We had a fantastic dinner of the Mackerel we caught, then probably turned in way too early. The next morning we were off to explore the numerous white sand beaches.


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Isla Chapera is best known for being the site, of where the TV series “Survivor” was filmed. Many times I found myself trying to imagine where the camps were located, or where they held tribal council. As you move away from the water, the vegetation becomes so dense that you can’t get far. There are many coconut  and banana trees, the rocks are covered with crabs, with fish in every crevice below water, I’m sure you wouldn’t starve being marooned here.

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Known as The Tourist Tree………..turns red, then peels


We met Manu Sergent one evening on the beach with his dog, Buca. This guy runs the charter boat, El Bucanero amongst these islands.   He invited us back for sundowners, and wanted to show us his newest guest. While he was out snorkeling he came across a young Brown Booby, far down in the rocks close to the water, it was low tide. It must have fallen out of the nest, it had no feathers just white down. It could not survive in without the help of it’s parents, so he chose to raise the bird till it got it’s flight feathers and flew off. These birds grow to have a wing span of up to 31 inches across. Every day he would spear fish to feed the chick, who had a ferocious appetite.  He had plans to sail to a location where the bird,would have a chance to join a large flock.


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Deserted Beaches, littered with shells

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We learned from the birds on the way back to the mainland, follow the fishing boats. We were rewarded with a number of tasty tuna.


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Aerial overview of the islands…..

For more on Lorela and John’s travels, visit their page at: