The nearest locations where you can get to the Coiba National Park by boat are Santa Catalina, a beach located on the pacific coast of the Veraguas Province and Boca Chica, located at the Chiriqui Gulf.
Before you travel:
Make sure to bring enough cash for your trip; there is no ATM in Coiba or the nearest beaches on the mainland.
Getting to Coiba Island from Panama City, through Santa Catalina
There are daily expeditions from Santa Catalina to the Coiba National Park. Some of the activities available in Santa Catalina include visits to the Coiba National Park, snorkeling, whale watching, surf, and scuba diving.
It can take from 4.5 to 5 hours depending on the hour you leave Panama City and the traffic jam in the cities of Arraijan and Chorrera (West of Panama Province).
By Bus from Panama City
To get from Panama City to Santa Catalina you’ll need to take 2 buses.
- First, you’ll to reach the bus terminal in Albrook, Panama City and buy a ticket to Soná, Veraguas Province ($11). Departing at 5:50 am, 8:20am, 10:20am, 12:45pm, 2:20pm, 03:15pm, 4:20pm and 5:45pm.
- In Soná you’ll need another bus to Santa Catalina (1 hour). Departing at 5:15am, 11:00am, 01:00pm, 3:00pm and 5:00pm. If you miss any of the buses you can take a taxi.
Private Shuttle from Panama City
Coiba Fishing provides private ground transport from Panama City to Santa Catalina.
- Up to 6 passengers $590 USD each way.
- 7 to 10 passengers $735 USD each way.
Driving from Panama City
Exiting Panama City using the Bridge of the Americas, follow the Panamerican Highway to Santiago de Veraguas for around 240 kilometers (150 miles) from Panama City (4 hours).
Upon entering Santiago make a left turn at the Shell/Delta gas station (across the street from the El Pyramidal Hotel and bus station) turning onto Avenida Central, driving towards a white cathedral.
As you approach the cathedral, stay to its left then immediately turn right after you pass it.
Turn left in two blocks, following the signs to Soná, located another 47 kilometers (29 miles) away.
Before entering the town of Soná, make a left turn at the gasoline station. You will see signs directing you towards Santa Catalina.
If you enter the town of Soná you have gone too far. After about 45 km (28 Miles), in the small village of Los Tigres, you will find another sign directing you to turn left towards Santa Catalina.
Reach Coiba Island from Panama City through Boca Chica
The fastest way to get to Boca Chica is to fly to the City of David in the province of Chiriquí.
This flight takes approximately 1 hour.
There are currently commercial flights to the City of David through:
You can also comfortably fly in private planes to David, at almost any time (during the day), through Aero Albrook.
Travel from David to Boca Chica:
After arriving in David you can choose between going in a taxi $ 15 to $ 20 or a transfer with private driver.
Charter Flights to Coiba from Panama City
Depending on the aircraft it can from 1.5 hours up to 2.2 hours to get to Coiba from Panama City.
Aero Albrook provides the largest variety of aircraft and experienced pilots for flights to Coiba.