This page have been written in collaboration with GOLDFISH (4 spots)

Ringed with palm trees and a luxuriant vegetation, and connected by fine strips of white sand, Granito de Oro islets comes straight out of a picture postcard. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the islet will bring you wonderful snorkeling adventures in a paradisiacal setting. In these rocky areas, colonized by hard coral, you will come across hawksbill sea turtles and a large variety of colorful fish.

Snorkeling with sergeant-major at Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park

How to get there?

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.

Water entrance

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.

Granito de Oro snorkeling map, Coiba National Park

Exploration

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 king angelfish.

Razor surgeonfish at Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park

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.

Snorkeling with hawksbill sea turtle at Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park

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.

 

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Protected areaParque Nacional Isla Coiba
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a boat
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsSnorkeling tour price ($65-80pp.) for 2-3 spots
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.