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GULF OF CHIRIQUI NATIONAL MARINE PARK



Creation date: August 2nd, 1994.

Surface: 14,740 square kilometers (32,000 acres).

Location: Parida Islands, Gulf of Chiriqui.


It encompasses insular, marine and coastal areas. Its purpose is to preserve the ecosystems and maintain the flora and fauna diversity; to encourage scientific activities for the conservation and protection of the area endangered species, ecological turistic activities, environmental education and appreciation of nature.

The park is not easy to reach and using the Interamerican Highway it can be reached, already in the province of Chiriquí, by the village of Horconcitos. The nearest city to serve as base (lodging, restaurants) to visit the Marine Park is David.

The protected area is well-known as the archipelago of the Páridas and includes the islands Parida (the greater of all) and Paridita, the only ones inhabited of the archipelago, since they contain sources with abundant water. Other islands included are Santa Catalina, Pulgoso, Gámez, Tintorera, Obispo, Obispone, Los Pargos, Ahogado, Icacos, Corral de Piedra, Bolaños, Berraco, Bolañitos, San José, Linarte, Saíno, Sainitos, Iglesia Mayor, Carey Macho and Carey Hembra.

The orography of these islands is characterized to be formed by smallsedimentary rock hills that exceed the 100 meters of altitude over the level of the sea and the presence of abundant coastal plains.

A tropical savannah climate, with annual temperatures average superior to 27ºC and an annual average rainfall between 2.000 mm and 2.500 mm, allows the development of the tropical humid forests in the different islands in which dominate trees like the maría (Calophyllum longifolium), the rivet (Tabebuia rosea), the hawthorn cedar (Bombacopsis quinatum), the bitter cedar (Cedrela odorata), the espavé (Anarcadium excelsum) and the corotú (Enterolobium cyclocarpum).

In the numerous and extensive island beaches, where come to nest the threatened marine turtles, in special leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) grows the palms of the coconut (Coconuts nucifera) and manzanillo of beach (Hippomane mancinella). The most abundant reptile is the green iguana (Iguana iguana), in particular in the Bolaños island, and the commonest amphibian, the green and black little frog (Dendrobates auratus). In the mangroves of the islands Parida and Paridita is easy to observe the presence of the tiger egret (Tigrisoma mexicanum) and of theabundant bird mangrove little queen (Dendroica petechia erithacorides).

Flying from island to island is frequent to see little doves (Columbacayennensis), redfronted parrots (Amazon autumnalis), to the dirtyfaced parrots (Aratinga pertinax) and the orangebird parrots (Brotogeris jugularis). In the greater islands had been registered groups of howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata), painted raccoons (Procyon lotor) and pacas (Agouti paca).

The wealth of the sea that surrounds the archipelago with its coral reefs and sea grass beds is the most significant of the marine park. In the reefs there are some formations of the coral Porites lobata chorale and the hidrozoo known as fire choral (Millepora intricata). There, live spectacular species of fish like the emperor angel (Holocanthus passer), the bicolor parrotfish (Scarus subroviolaceus) and the white tip shark (Trienodon obesus)

(Source: ANAM and other)