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Last updated on March 12, 2023
Lined 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.
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.
Water entrance is from the boat. You can then swim towards the tiny beach.
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.
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.
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.
The site is completely natural. There are no restaurants and no water supply on the islets. Tours generally includes lunch and drinks.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Rocks and coral reef with turtles and colorful fish
Rocky beds with a diversity of fish
Shallow lagoon with seagrass meadows and hard coral
Coral and sponges reef with lots of fish
Sponges, corals and seagrass with fish and critters
Shallow seagrass flats with sea stars and juvenile fish