Contadora Island day tour is a full day tour option departing from Panama City on the Ferry to Contadora and Saboga. It takes around an hour and a half to an hour and forty five minutes to get to your destination in the Pearl Islands of Panama. These islands are set off the Pacific Coast in the Bay of Panama.
Indigenous people inhabited these islands as early as 600 A.D. They were named the Pearl Islands because there were plenty of pearls in the area which were sought after by the Spaniards who eliminated the natives and harvested the pearls. There are no more pearls and now these islands are very calm and beautiful places. They became famous because many reality shows have been filmed in the area including Survivor.
Contadora Island day tour takes you to spend the day in Contadora island which is the “most touristy” island. However, there are not many visitors or residents in this place. Visit on a week day to have some of the beaches to yourself. Most people go around the island on foot, golf carts or four wheelers. The island is only 1.2-square-kilometers (0.5-square-miles), so it is not too big.
There are plenty of aquatic sports to do in Contadora and you will see people doing kayak, stand-up paddle, parasailing, sailing, and jet skiing. It is also a great place to go snorkeling or scuba diving since there are so many fish, corals, turtles, and more.
Playa Larga: this option for the Contadora Day Tour is located in Playa Larga which is very close to Playa Galeon where the ferry arrives and departs. Playa Larga is the longest beach with 601 meters on the eastern side of the island. The famous Contadora Resort where the shah of Iran stayed was located on this beach. Now you can see its ruins and the ruins of an old ferry washed on shore. The beach has white sand and palm trees with a coral reef ideal for swimming since it is very calm. If you are lucky you may see some wild deer in the area.
Mar Y Oro Hotel: is the second option for the Contadora Day Tour is at the Mar y Oro Hotel which is located in Playa Cacique. This beach is full of huge mansions upon a cliff with the beach below. It is considered to be the prettiest in the island. Playa Cacique is great for swimming and it has some rock formations where you can see colorful tropical fish. MiraOlas restaurant serves a variety of international and local dishes with a seafood specialty. Cacique Beach Bar can serve you food or drinks right by the Pacific Ocean. There is free transfer to the ferry and back included in this day tour.
- Ferry service
- Beach chairs and umbrellas
- 2 beverages
- Bathroom and shower (no shower in Playa Larga)
Other options to visit Contadora Island:
- Ferry to Contadora Island
- Contadora Snorkeling Tour
- Contadora Diving Trip
- Discover Scuba Diving
- Whale Watching (July through October)
Time: 8 hours.
What to bring? bathing suit, beach clothes, change of clothes, towel, rain jacket or waterproof bag (green season), sunscreen, hat, ID, cash (there is NO ATM on the islands), water bottle and camera.
Important information: Please let us know which of the two Contadora Island day tour options you are selecting to make the appropriate reservation. Mar y Oro is more expensive than Playa Larga.
The Ferry to Contadora departs at 7:30 a.m. from Flamenco Marina. Check-in time is at 7 a.m. It departs from Contadora Island at 3:30 p.m. with a check-in time at 3 p.m. in Playa Galeon. It is important that you are on time because the ferry will not wait for passengers.
There are no returns on ferry tickets. This is the policy of the ferry company. You must notify a change in schedule 24 hours prior to your departure date to get an additional week to use your carry ticket. Tickets can be transferred to another person for travel as long as the change is notified at least 24 hours prior to departure. Changes to dates or amount of passengers are subject to availability.
Ferry tickets include one suitcase up to 50 pounds and one carry-on. Any other item will be charged separately. Passport or Panamanian ID is necessary to board the ferry. Dogs and cats are allowed on the boat on a leash or in a travel box. Taking the Ferry to Contadora with a pet has an additional charge of $20 roundtrip. Children under 4 years travel for free on their parent’s legs. Children’s prices range from 5 to 11 years of age.