Granito de Oro
written in collaboration with GOLDFISH (3 spots)
Granito de Oro is a small group of islets located in Coiba National Park, less than 1 mile off the coast of Isla Coiba. Only accessible by boat, visitors mainly reach Granito de Oro from Santa Catalina, on the mainland. Several local companies organize tours in the National Park, including 2 to 3 snorkeling stops on the islets (in Granito de Oro but also, for example, at Isla Coco), and a lunch on the main island. The price is about 65 to 80 US dollar per person, including snorkeling equipment, drinks and lunch on the beach.
You enter the water from the boat, jumping into the water at the place shown by your tour organizer. You can then swim towards the tiny beach.
The area to explore is at the east of the beach, along the rocky islets. You can follow the suggested tour (see map below), of approximately 350 meters long, to enjoy the best parts of the spot.
Near the shore of the islet, the water is not very deep (↕3-10ft/1-3m) and the quality of the coral beds is excellent (mainly of acropora type). You will alternatively cross coral bed interspersed with rocks. Large shoals of razor surgeonfish dart on the seabed, grazing in the seagrass. Among the dozens of species that you could see in this spot are the bluebarred parrotfish, the white-spotted puffer, schools of big eye jacks, or the elegant passer angelfish.
Coral reef at Granito de Oro © photo credit Goldfish
Move away from the shore: the water level will soon become deeper (↕10-20ft/3-6m). This is the deepest area, with the most rocks, and also the least rich in underwater life. It is frequent to come across hawksbill sea turtles, who found home in the National Park.
Visibility is generally excellent and the waters are particularly calm. Follow the instructions of your guide, who will advise you on what to do according to the prevailing conditions.
Restaurants and accommodation
The site is completely natural. There are no restaurants and no water supply on the islets. Tours generally includes lunch and drinks. In any case, bring at least some water and a snack.
Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.
Level of difficultyBeginner
Water entranceEasy, from a boat
Potential DangersUsual precautions
Access costsExcursion price ($65-80pp.) for 2-3 spots
Public toilets & showersNo