Sea Las Perlas Ferry offers ferry service to several islands in the Pearl Islands archipelago. Most people just know about the Ferry to Contadora Island, however there are a few more alternatives in this archipelago that has around 200 islands and islets, many which are small and uninhabited. The Pearl Islands became famous after Survivor (and other television series) was filmed in the area.
There is a ferry service to Isla Viveros and San Miguel on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for workers and people who live on the island. There is no tourism accommodation available on this island. The cost is the same as the Ferry to Contadora. The Ferry to Contadora and Saboga takes about 1 hour and a half to 1 hour and forty five minutes from Panama City.
Saboga Island: is the first stop on the Ferry to Contadora and Saboga which runs daily. This island has a pier for the comfort of guests when disembarking. Less developed than Contadora, this island still has plenty to offer tourists including a few restaurants and boat tours, fishing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, yoga and walking trails within the island. There are ten pristine beaches with white sand, secluded coves and an abundance of lush jungle vegetation.
Where to stay on Saboga Island?
Contadora Island: is the Pearl of the Pearl Islands. After Saboga the Ferry to Contadora stops in this island that now has a pier, before passengers used to be placed in smaller boats to go to shore. This is the most “developed” island of the archipelago but it is not very developed compared to tourism destinations elsewhere. There are a few hotels, restaurants and a dive center. Most of the island has private houses, many of them are mansions. There are nine beaches in the island, Playa Cacique is considered the best and Playa las Suecas is a nude beach. Golf carts and four wheelers are the main form of transportation in the island.
Where to stay on Contadora Island?
- La Romantica
- Hotel Gerald
- Villa Condesa Del Mar
- Mar y Oro
- Contadora Island Inn
- Hibiscus House Bed and Breakfast
- Casa del Sol Bed and Breakfast
Isla Bolaños: the Ferry to Contadora and Saboga only stops in Isla Bolaños if somebody is staying at Sonny Island Resort or has purchased a day pass on this island. This uninhabited island has crystal clear water and white sand beaches.
Where to stay in Isla Bolaños?
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: 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 is food and drinks for sale onboard the Ferry to Contadora and Saboga for moderate prices.
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 four years of age travel for free on their parent’s legs. Children’s prices range from 5 to 11 years of age.