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Ringed with palm trees and lush jungle, and connected by fine strips of white sand, Granito de Oro islets come straight out of a 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 sea turtles, reef sharks and a diversity of colorful fish.

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

How to get to Granito de Oro snorkeling area?

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 operators offer tours in the National Park, including 2 to 3 snorkeling stops on the islets (including Granito de Oro and very often Isla Coco), and lunch on the main island.

Granito de Oro snorkeling map, Coiba National Park

Water entrance for snorkeling Granito de Oro

Water entrance is from the boat. You can then swim towards the tiny beach.

Granito de Oro snorkeling tips and recommendations

The snorkeling area extends east of the beach, along the rocky islets. You can follow the suggested tour (see map above), approximately 350 meters long, to enjoy the best parts of the location.

Razor surgeonfish at Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park
A school of razor surgeonfish at Granito de Oro’s reef.

Near the shore of the islet, the water is not very deep (↕3-10ft/1-3m) and the hard coral beds, interspersed with rocks, are healthy. Large shoals of razor surgeonfish can be seen in the area, feeding on small algae found on the rocks.

Among the dozens of species that you may see in Granito de Oro are the bluebarred parrotfish, the white-spotted puffer, schools of jacks, or the king angelfish.

Snorkeling with hawksbill sea turtle at Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park
The hawksbill sea turtle is a frequent visitor to the islet’s shore waters.

Swim away from the shore: the depth will quickly increase (↕10-20ft/3-6m). In this deeper area, featuring rocky seabeds, it is frequent to encounter hawksbill sea turtles and whitetip reef sharks, quite common in the National Park.

At this location, the visibility is generally excellent and the waters are particularly calm.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The site is completely natural. There are no restaurants and no water supply on the islets. Tours generally includes lunch and drinks.

 

  • Level required Intermediate
  • 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.