June 03, 2008 | Comments 0

The Diverse Pearl Islands

pearlislandsThe name “Panama” means “abundance of fish”. The waters surrounding the island of San Jose in the Pearl Islands are teeming with tropical game fish and are considered one of the best sport fishing areas in the world. A mere one hour from the shore is the “Explosive”, which is a drop off of 9,000 ft. The area is full of underwater mountain peaks which create the ideal habitat for undersea excitement not to mention very large game fish. Offshore fishing will most likely net you yellow fin or big eye tuna, Pacific sailfish, and Dolphin (Mahi Mahi). Be sure to check out the Three Monks, a set of rock formations that rise from the depths of 60 feet below the surface to 60 feet above the surface. The fishing here is also spectacular, and one can expect to catch grouper, amberjack, wahoo, red snappers and dolphin…..year around.

Considered the “Pearl among pearls”, over 57 splendorous coral white, ebony black and radiant gold beaches and coves surround San Jose Island. Temperate and calm turquoise waters of the Gulf of Panama surround the island, and lush green vegetation covers it like a tropical blanket. The coastline is very irregular, affording many anchorage locations with Bodega Bay on the west side being the best. There are many fresh water rivers and streams that flow into the ocean, creating a food source for many species of fish, both saltwater and brackish species. This provides excellent opportunities for inshore fishing excitement directly from shore. The soil here is extremely fertile and nourishes a wide variety of vegetation, including forests with trees that rise 80 feet and higher; even the occasional arboreal giant. Coconut palms and wild sugar can are found along the coastline. Interestingly, several unknown plants have been found here and were named after World War II commanders, such as General Bullone and Major Campbell.

Because of the many rivers and springs flowing steadily year-round, San Jose Island is naturally irrigated with fresh, pure waters. Further enhancing the beauty of the island are several waterfalls, many up to 60 feet in height. You will also find many natural caves. The climate of the island is tropical, with the temperature ranging between 68F and 93F, with an average being about 79F. As opposed to the Caribbean, there are no hurricanes to worry about.

Wildlife is abundant, consistent with the rich vegetation and the profusion of water. It is home to a population of over 3,000 wild pigs, large quantities of deer, iguanas, agoutis, parrot and giant pigeons. There is more than 100 species of birds located on the island. The beaches are used by many sea turtles for the purpose of nesting and laying their eggs. The island’s Sea Turtles Conservation Program releases about 100 sea turtles annually, which are raised from birth. Panama is an active migration route for many species of fish and mammals. One of the most incredible sights that can be seen from the beach is the playful antics of the humpback whale. An absolutely amazing sight to behold!!!

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