Tours and Places
Quick trip to Contadora Island with the Sea Las Perlas four days a week
By Patricia Puentes
All is ready to sail out to Contadora Island.
Contadora Island, located in the Las Perlas Islands Archipelago in Panama Bay is synonomous with white sand, sunny weather, crystal clear water and coral reefs great for snorkeling. It is also the most visited island in Panama’s Pacific and is just one hour and a half from Panama City aboard the Sea Las Perlas ferry.
A one-day trip is possible, but an overnight, two-day trip is the recommended experience.
The Sea Las Perlas ferry leaves Brisas de Amador on the Amador Causeway (where there is free, safe parking) at 8:00 a.m. It is a 66-foot catamaran that travels smoothly and steadily with excellent on-board service. The boat has played a key role in Contadora’s recent development as a tourism destination.
The ferry sails from Friday through Monday; during the rest of the week it is available for private trips.
Upon arriving at Contadora, hotel owners and tour guides receive ferry passengers at the beach, ready to help them with tour, hotel and restaurant recommendations. Golf cart rental is available to facilitate movement about the island. We had the good fortune to meet Guillermo and Roxana, an Argentine couple who are professional divers. They offer a great snorkeling tour in addition to their diving courses and excursions.
We took a tour with Guillermo and Roxana to enjoy the warm crystalline waters while snorkeling in the vast and beautiful underwater world of the Pacific. The cost is $40 per person for the four-hour tour. For more information on underwater tours and dive classes, visitor call (507) 6536-1776. According to the guides, it is whale watching season now.
Ferry reservations: www.sealas perlas.com
Snorkeling tour: www.coral-dreams.com
Casa del Sol 6518-8284 / www.panama-isla-contadora.com
Villa Romantica 250-4067 / www.visitcontadoraisland.com
Hotel Punta Galeon / www.puntagaleonhotel.com
Hotel Contadora Island Inn / www.hotelcontadoraislandinn.com
The return trip to the city from Contadora is at 2:45 p.m., arriving at Brisas de Amador on the Causeway between 4:30 p.m. y 5:30 p.m. The cost for a round trip ticket is $70 per person. Contact Aury at 6780-8000 for reservations or visitto see the other destinations and schedules offered. It is important to note that on Contadora Island, only cash is accepted, not credit cards nor travelers checks.
All you can eat pasta in El Dorado
On Tuesdays at Caffé Pomodoro in El Dorado, an all-you-can-eat offer for pasta goes for $9.95. The pasta can be accompanied with a choice of sauces: pomodoro, ‘al oleo’, chicken or white sauce as well as many other high-quality ingredients. The promotion is available during the dinner hour, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Caffé Pomodoro in El Dorado is located on Ave. Ricardo J. Alfaro (commonly referred to as Tumba Muerto) next to the Arrocha Pharmacy. Call 260-2561 or 260-5317 for reservations.