A piece of paradise, two hours away from the city

Un camino de cemento lleva a la cima del faro.

This post is also available in: Spanish

La Guaira is a small coast town located on the Costa Arriba in Colón province. It has an attractive and quiet beach, and is the main point of connection with Isla Grande, one of the most popular islands in Panama, with a wide range of tourism and gastronomic offer.

A concrete trail leads to the of the lighthouse.

A concrete trail leads to the of the lighthouse.

Isla Grande is located within the Portobelo National Park, on the north coast of the Panamanian Caribbean and is a popular getaway for the residents of Colon and Panama. The island has several attractions such as bars, hotels and activities such as sport fishing, snorkeling, diving and surfing.

To get to Isla Grande it is necessary to get to La Guaira first. You must drive along the road that leads to Portobelo, passing through the communities of Maria Chiquita, Rio Piedras, Portobelo and Puerto Lindo. Once in La Guaira, you can park your vehicle in the public parking lot next to the dock located at the entrance of the town, from where you can take a boat to Isla Grande.

This attractive destination on the Panamanian Caribbean coast is popular, being one of the closest Caribbean destinations to Panama City. Also, in this area several species of multicolored tropical fish and coral reefs can be found plus a great variety of marine species surrounded by crystal clear water with great visibility, which makes it an ideal destination for snorkeling.

Another attraction of Isla Grande, is the lighthouse that perches on one of its hills. The Isla Grande Lighthouse, was built in 1894 during the French attempt to build the Panama Canal. This is the oldest steel lighthouse in Latin America. It was a strategic landmark during World War II, and is considered a historical monument. Currently the original lens of the Lighthouse is exhibited in the Museum of the Interoceanic Canal in Casco Antiguo.

The Isla Grande lighthouse is a historic relic still in use.

The Isla Grande lighthouse is a historic relic still in use.

During your visit to Isla Grande, follow the path that leads to the Sister Moon hotel and then take a left on a low difficulty road in excellent condition to complete a climb of 95 meters above sea level to the top of the hill where the lighthouse is located. From here, you can appreciate stunning views of La Guaira and Linton Bay and you can also see Tambor Island, the northernmost point of all Panama.

Without a doubt, one of the best attractions of Isla Grande, is its warm waters. It has two public beaches, several restaurants with tables by the beach, “bohíos” that you can rent to spend the day and despite the laid-back Caribbean lifestyle, the island has discos that offer an active nightlife all weekend.

Whether you feel like relaxing by the Caribbean Sea, or looking for adventure, such as surfing, snorkeling, hiking or riding a banana boat, Isla Grande offers all these attractions and more.


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