Refugio de Vida Silvestre Isla Iguana

Península de Azuero

This 53-hectare reserve is centered on a deserted island ringed by corals. The water is shallow enough for snorkeling and, as elsewhere in the Pacific, the reef fish here are enormous. You can get here by boat (US$70) in 40 minutes from Playa El Arenal, a beach 3km northeast of Pedasí's gas station. Stick to the beaten paths on the island as unexploded ordnance is occasionally discovered here (the US Navy used the island for target practice during WWII).

Humpback whales also inhabit the waters around Isla Iguana from June to October. These large sea mammals, measuring 15m to 20m long, mate and bear their young here and then teach them to dive. The humpbacks are the famous ‘singing whales’; occasionally you can hear their underwater sounds when diving.

Although the island is supposed to be maintained by the Ministerio de Ambiente, Panama’s environmental agency, the main beach is often strewn with litter that is washed in with the tide.

The ATP office in Pedasí has a list of boat operators that can get you to the island.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Península de Azuero attractions

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