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Location of the Pearl Islands (ArchipiƩlago de las Perlas) in the Gulf of Panama
The Pearl Islands (Spanish: ArchipiƩlago de las Perlas or Islas de las Perlas) are a group of 100 or more islands (many tiny and uninhabited) lying about 30 miles off the Pacificmarker coast of Panamamarker in the Gulf of Panamamarker.


The most notable island is Contadora Island (or Isla ContadoramarkerinSpanish), known for its resorts. Contadora was said to be used by the Spanishmarker conquistadors as a stop for taking inventory of booty prior to returning to Spain, hence the name (contador means counter or bookkeeper in Spanish). Contadora is a resort island, with many homes owned by wealthy Panamanians. There is a large hotel and other cabins available. Most of the resort workers live on nearby Isla Saboga. In 1979, the Shah of Iran briefly took exile on Isla Contadora. Domestic airlines Air Panama and Aero Perlas run frequent flights between Panama Citymarker and Contadora, Isla San Jose and Isla del Rey.

The largest island, at about 30 square miles, is Isla del Rey ("Island of the King"), its name probably a religious reference rather than a reference to a secular king. Isla del Rey has several towns, most notably San Miguel. It is easily larger than the other Pearl Islands combined, and is the second largest island in Panama, after Coibamarker.

Other islands are Bolano, Buena Vista, Cana, Casaya, Chepra, Chitre, Cocos, Espiritu Santo, Galera, Gallo, Gilbraleon, Lampon, Marin, Mina, Mogo Mogo o Pajaro, Pacheca, Pachequille, Pedro Gonzalez, Puerco, San Jose, Senora, Vivenda, Vivienda and Viveros.

The island of Galera has a facade of very tall coconut palm trees and a white sandy beach. Strong currents, combined with shallows and jagged reefs surrounding the island, make navigation near the island perilous.


The Pearl Islands were featured in three seasons of the reality TV program Survivor, namely Survivor: Pearl Islands, Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Panama.The Pearl Islands were also featured in season 2 of the Israeli version of the American reality TV program Survivor - "Survivor 10: Pearl Islands", and the BBC TV series The Real Swiss Family Robinson.

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