There are two short trails at the ANAM station that lead to lookout points, but each is less than .4km (.25-mile) long. Sendero de los Monos (Trail of the Monkeys) is located on the shore in front of Granito de Oro Island. You must walk this trail very early to see monkeys; otherwise it's just an easy, 45-minute walk through dense forest that starts and ends at different points -- you need a boat to get there and be picked up. If you've only got a day here, you might want to skip it.
The fishing around Coiba and the Gulf of Chiriquí is legendary, but keep in mind that ANAM only allows catch-and-release fishing within 1.6km (1 mile) of the boundary of the national park-protected area. ANAM only recently began enforcing fishing laws, and after a few misunderstandings, charter boat captains are now aware of restrictions and adhere by them. Fishermen consider this area special due to the size and variety of fish, and the sheer number of fishing sites that could not be covered even in a week. By far the most renowned sport-fishing areas near Coiba are Hannibal Bank, which is something like an underwater mountain, and Isla Montuosa, but there are plenty of other sites with underwater mountains and deep ledges that attract black marlin, roosterfish, cubera snapper, bluefin trevally, and other very big fish. In addition to the following tour operators, Exploration Panama and two lodge-based outfitters operate out of Boca Chica.
Coiba Adventure (tel. 999-8108, or 800/800-0907 in the U.S.; www.coibadventure.com) is operated by American Tom Yust, who has been sport fishing the Coiba area for more than a decade. Coiba Adventure has two boats, the Joker, a 9.4m (31-ft.) Bertram, and a 6.4m (21-ft.) Mako. Guests are flown to the Coiba landing strip on a chartered plane from Panama City, and lodging is on the island in the ANAM air-conditioned cabins (a generator is used for backup). Five-night all-inclusive packages cost $3,000 (£1,500) per person.
The M/V Coral Star (tel. 866/924-2837 in the U.S.; www.coralstar.com) is a deluxe, air-conditioned, 35m (115-ft.) mother ship with mahogany and teak interiors and so many amenities that it feels like a floating fishing lodge. The Coral Star can accommodate 16 guests, and they also have seven sport-fishing boats for daily excursions. Beyond fishing, the Coral Star offers scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and eco-tours, and they can put together a custom canal transit for groups. Itineraries run from Saturday to Thursday and leave from the Pedegral marina in David. All-inclusive packages, based on four anglers, are $4,000 (£2,000) per person from January to April, and $3,200 (£1,600) per person the rest of the year; rates include hotel stay in Panama City and round-trip flights to David. Occasionally, Coral Star has "specialty weeks," during which they invite a fishing "celebrity" along to teach the tricks of the trade.
Pesca Panama (tel. 800/946-3474 in the U.S.; www.pescapanama.com) is a U.S.-based company that offers inshore and offshore sport fishing in the Gulf of Chiriquí, around Coiba and Hannibal Bank. Pesca guests stay aboard their "floating lodge," a 21-by-9.1m (70-by-30-ft.) barge with a maximum capacity of 12 guests (four beds per room), and take day fishing trips aboard 8.2m (27-ft.) Ocean Master boats. Rates range from $2,795 to $3,895 (£1,398-£1,948) per person for 5 nights, and itineraries are set, but they do offer charter trips. They also offer day fishing trips from Pedegral, near David.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
The Coral Star ship (above) also offers scuba diving on its fishing expeditions. Alternatively, you can organize day scuba and snorkeling excursions to Isla Coiba with an outfitter in Santa Catalina.
Panama Divers (tel. 314-0817 or 6613-4405; www.panamadivers.com) is the country's foremost scuba-diving company based out of Panama City and Portobelo. Panama Divers is fully insured and has decades of experience; their 5-night/6-day diving trips include 2 nights in Panama City, and 3 nights of lodging in the cabins at the ANAM ranger station, with ground transportation to their 7.9m (26-ft.) boat at Puerto Mutis. As part of the trip, they also offer fishing, whale-watching, snorkeling, and kayaking. The cost is $1,275 (£638) per person, with a maximum of eight divers.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.