In the Gulf of Chiriquí to the south of the mainland, Coiba is Panama's largest island.
A penal colony until the late 1990s, Coiba is largely uninhabited, with only a biological station and a few rangers' huts punctuating its thick virgin forest.
The island is within one of the largest marine national parks in the world, and its waters are home to an astonishing amount of marine life including six shark species, manta rays and migratory humpback whales.
Extensive coral reefs offer excellent diving opportunities.
The land-based natural wonders are equally impressive, with botanists citing 1450 species of plant, along with two species of crocodile and turtle, 21 endemic birds, 6 species of iguana and a large nesting population scarlet macaw.
The island is usually reached by a boat journey lasting 2-3 hours and accommodation is rudimentary.
Santa Catalina is the closest access point to Isla Coiba. Its small hotels and cabins are simple but neat and clean.