Islas de Las Perlas!

The beautiful Pearl Islands...


What's New

Panama Canal Transit!

"Infinty" sets sail from the U.S. Virgin Islands for Panama around June 1st.  We expect about a seven day sail, a two day Panama Canal transit, ending with a one day sail to the beautiful Pearl Islands 40 miles south of Panama City.




Current News

We are now in Antigua!

"May 2009 -- Impromptu" is currently in Antigua in the eastern Caribbean doing some minor yacht maintenance.  "Infinity" is being chartered in the British Virgin Islands for another couple of months.




Recent Events

On our way to Panama!

"Impromptu" is currently on her way to Panama. We are taking a leisurly sail down island, stopping at various ports to ready the yacht for life in Panama!






The Pearl Islands are a beautiful cluster of islands located forty miles, or 15 minutes by plane, from Panama City.  These lush green islands and islets with their beautiful sandy shores and crystal clear turquoise water are 220 in number, although only 90 are named.  They make up the Archipelago de Las Perlas.


The Pearl Islands first became known in 1513, after Vasco Nuñez De Balboa Rocky Shoreline discovered the “South Sea” or Pacific Ocean.  Balboa and his party soon set off to explore some of the nearby islands.  They discovered islands so rich in pearls that the Indians they found there covered their clothing with them.  Even their boats and oars were encrusted with gleaming pearls.  Balboa claimed the islands for the King of Spain, naming them Islas de Las Perlas or Pearl Islands.  Balboa took pearls and other treasure and reported back to the King, so the archipelago was soon fraught with pirates and marauders searching for treasure.  It was a perfect pirate haven, partly because of the rich pearl beds, but also because of the beautiful secluded bays and hidden coves.  Later, a commercial pearl industry thrived, only to be destroyed in 1938 by a severe red tide.


Many of the world's finest, most valuable pearls have come from the waters Palm Trees surrounding the Pearl Islands.  One of the most famous is La Peregrina, a thirty-one carat pear shaped pearl the size of a pigeon's egg, which was discovered in the mid 16th century.  It was originally presented to King Phillip of Spain, who then presented it to his wife Queen Mary I, or Mary Tudor.  Over the centuries that followed, La Peregrina (which means “The Wanderer”) has had many royal owners, such as the Bonapartes of France and the British Marquis of Abercorn.  The late actor Richard Burton purchased the valuable pearl in 1969 as a birthday gift for his wife Elizabeth Taylor.  Many anecdotes recount the strange journey “La Peregrina” has taken through the years.  It seems it has been lost and found again under strange circumstances several times.  Elizabeth Taylor lost the precious pearl one time, only to find it again after a frenzied search – in her dog's mouth!


The three main islands of the Archipelago de Las Perlas are Isla Contadora, Isla Del Rey, and Isla San Jose.  Isla Contadora is the most developed and most visited of the islands at this time.  It is only 1.2 square kilometers in size, but it has twelve beautiful beaches.  There are two resort hotels and several delightful villas available for rent.  There are other islands such as Isla Viveros and Isla Saboga where new five star developments are being projected, and in some cases are already under construction.  Yet there are hundreds of uninhabited islands to explore and untouched rainforests.  Even the pearl beds have started to recover, and pearls are once again being found in small numbers.


Panama and the Pearl Islands were introduced to a large audience with the Survivor Panama filming of the popular reality TV show “Survivor: Pearl Islands” in 2003.  That was followed by “Survivor: All-Stars” in 2004 and “Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island” in 2006.  People worldwide are beginning to take notice of this special place.  World class sport fishing, exquisite white sandy beaches, great coral reefs teeming with impressive marine life, and sea life such as whales and rare fish make the Pearl Islands a destination spot for divers, fishermen, and others seeking adventure.