Explore Isla Canas
On Isla Canas you are almost guaranteed to see wild sea turtles, but especially during the main egg-laying season between July and November. It is on this beautiful 14km long island and its main beach where five of the world's eight species of sea turtles come to lay eggs. There are many nights during this season 100 or more turtles spawn on the beach. But the reproductive antics climax in "arribadas" ("arrivals"), when over 20,000 turtles hit the beach in just two or three nights to lay their eggs. No one knows the best time to come to see the turtles ... most of the "arribadas" happen in October, but it can be as late as November or it can begin as early as April or May.
Isla de Canas lies west of Pedasi, Playa Venado and the town of Canas, an island off the southern coast of the Azuero peinsula. The 254km2 big protective area, from which 4/5 lay under water, is surrounded by a 16 km long mangrove area between the estuary mouths of the Canas and Tonosi rivers. It is a safe environment for various wild birds. The sugarcane-covered island is hardly populated - only about 900 people live on the island and the community has been there since the 1920s, brought from local towns to protect the turtles and the eggs.
Isla Canas Video
Where to stay?
If you come to the island to see the sea turtles you have to stay the night as they are only around at night. There are only two accommodations:
Where to eat?
There is a limited amounts of restaurants on the island. You can choose between a place which is located where the boat lets you off. Ask for Fulvilla, he is the cook and serves whatever they have. Usually you can choice between beef, pork or some sort of seafood.
How to get to the island?
The island is only separated from the mainland by a dense mangrove swamp. The easiest transportation is to take a taxi from Pedasi (US$20-25 each way). There is also a bus from Las Tablas toward Tonosi, just get off at the entrance to the dirt road for the port. It is a 3km walk along the road. 3 buses a day are leaving Las Tablas directly and go to the port: at 6, 10 AM and 2 PM, and returning at 7:30, 11:45 AM and 3 PM. Note: All these buses pass through the town of Canas. It is best to check with the bus drivers in Las Tablas for the latest and most up to date schedule. Panama is know for its unpredicatable changes. Anyways, once reaching the pier, find a boat that will take you over. The rides takes about 10 minutes to pass through a mangrove channel.
open MO - FR 8 AM - 4 PM
located in the middle of the island
You can also book a local tour guide on the island at the only US$10-15.
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