The Pearl Islands (Las Perlas Archipelago) are over 200 islands and islets located throughout the Gulf of Panama, about 40 miles southeast of Panama. Only a few of these islands are inhabited, and many don't offer any amenities to tourists. The largest and most well known of these islands are Contadora, Isla del Rey, Isla San Jose, San Miguel and Pedro González. The island of San Jose supports 630 species of plants. On the islands of San Miguel, Saboga and Pacheca, 16 species of mammals have been identified, and five species of cetaceans. In addition, 90 species of birds have been identified in the archipelago, including the migratory ones.
Oysters and their pearls are still found in these beautiful waters. Over the centuries, the Pearl Islands sheltered famous pirates that looted the wealthy Spanish settlements and fleet found in this area. Pearls harvested here have adorned kings and queens of Europe, and they include the 400 year old, 31-carat famous "La Peregrina" pearl once given to the Queen of Spain but now owned by Elizabeth Taylor.
Three seasons of the U.S. hit reality show Survivor have been filmed in the Pearl Islands. They were seasons 7, 8, and 12 of CBS show. Season 7 was called Survivor Pearl Islands. Survivor All Stars was season 8 and it was also located in the Pearl Islands of Panama. Season 12 was called Survivor Panama Exile Island and it was also shot in the Pearl Islands of Panama.