Gulf of Chiriquí
Despite the richness of species and the many small islands, the Gulf of Chiriquí is still relatively unknown and sparsely visited.
The Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí protects an area of 14740 hectares, including two dozen islands and their surrounding waters. The park is a retreat for various species of animals, including howler monkeys, hawksbill turtles, leatherback turtles and numerous water birds. Between September and November, humpback whales come into the waters of the national park to calve. While the mainland beaches are mostly dark or brown, some of the islands of the archipelago have white-sandy dream beaches, as one would expect in the Caribbean rather than in the Pacific. Among the most popular islands that can be reached by boat are the Isla Boca Brava that is located directly in front of the mainland and the islets Bolaños and Isla Gamez that are further away. The crossing takes between 15 minutes and one hour, depending on the island and starting point. Due to the river sediments that are infiltrated from the mainland, the water quality and visibility increases with the distance from the mainland. To get to the most remote of the islands like the Islas Secas or the Isla Las Ladrones, you should choose a more stable boat than the usual Pangas.
Good snorkeling opportunities are also promised by one of the more frequently offered tours to the Islas San José, which can be reached within a relatively short ride from Boca Chica. An at least full day tour (approx. 2 hours drive one way) requires the Isla Coiba, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whose waters are considered a true diving paradise. Boca Chica is a small fishing village with some pubs and a pier, which serves as an entrance gate to the National Marine Park of the Gulf of Chiriquí. However, Boca Chica is usually understood to mean the entire coastline to the south of the province of Chiriquí.