Isla Parida (Photo:Alfredo Maiquez/Shutterstock)
3.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Claire Gallam
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Isla Parida

The center of a collection of smaller islands, Isla Parida gives its name to the archipelago, which comprises more than a dozen other islets. Encompassing more than 57 miles, the entire collection has been under protection by UNESCO since 1994.

Not a bustling port, and one that doesn't require much more than a couple of hours to explore, Isla Parida is home to some staggeringly beautiful natural sights, like Chiriqui National Marine Park, which boasts more than 36,000 acres of both land and sea.

The island doesn't tout many hiking trails, but the ones it does offer are moderate and take just between 45 minutes to an hour to complete. You can do the hike alone, but certified guides are a better option, as they'll educate you on the 1,000+ species of trees, plants and other fauna you'll walk through.

Water exploration is also popular, with most people diving and swimming around the aquamarine waters of the Gulf of Chiriqui. Here you'll find a beautiful array of tropical fish, lush mangroves, sea turtles and dolphins.

For beach-goers, the island has a beautifully soft, white sand coast that beckons suntanning and relaxing. There are a few small handicraft displays that sell locally made crafts, so make sure to bring some cash so you can pick up a souvenir or two if you're interested.

About Isla Parida


Pro

A charming island that's a natural oasis for wildlife spotting, hiking, waterfall swimming and bird-watching

Con

If you're not an outdoors person, there's not much else for you to do here 

Bottom Line

A worthy stop as you island-hop through the archipelago 


Find a Cruise to the Panama Canal & Central America

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Panama's currency is the Panamanian balboa, but U.S. dollars are the preferred tender. Check www.xe.com for current exchange rates. Finding an ATM can be difficult, especially if you've booked a shore excursion to the park, so bring plenty of cash with you before disembarking.

Language

Spanish is the primary language of Isla Parida and Panama. However, most of the guides and tour leaders speak fluent (or at least conversational) English.