About the island
Set out at sea Urraca is a mangrove island with no actual land, where every structure has been built on stilts over the water. The island is located in the most pristine and secluded area of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, on the northern Caribbean coast of Panama, and is accessible via a 30 minute boat ride from Isla Colon.
Suspended over turquoise, crystal-clear waters, you will be able to spot amazing marine life everywhere you turn. Our close proximity to mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs will allow you to easily explore different ecosystems and encounter the rich biodiversity that inhabits them.
Enjoy breathtaking views of the famous Zapatilla Cays, two idyllic islands located right in front of Urraca, and just minutes away by boat. Between Zapatilla Cays and our island there’s a barrier reef that provides us with calm waters, similar to a lagoon; this translates into mirror-like ocean reflections of beautiful sunrises and sunsets year round. At night the island is surrounded by bioluminescent waters under star-filled skies.
Francine, the French Canadian owner, built Urraca Private Island with a love for nature. She wishes to share her passion for the environment and the monkeys with those who come visit the island. She also wishes to give back to the land, and the native Ngäbe by providing jobs for them and letting them be a part of her dream. Her dream is to live a simple life with nothing other than her beloved monkeys, a plate of fresh lobster and a cold glass of rum.
Welcome to this amazing experience!
Eco-tourism, sustainability, and more…
We strive to provide meaningful experiences in a sustainable way. We do so through eco-friendly practices that help protect the environment and decrease our carbon footprint, while also creating opportunities that benefit our neighboring indigenous Ngäbe community.
The island is 100% powered by solar panels and solar lights. Our fresh water resources are collected through a rain catchment system. To avoid the use of plastic only stainless steel straws are available, and we provide guests with unlimited drinking water in reusable glass bottles. To conserve our resources bedding and towels are changed upon request.
Structures were designed to harmoniously blend in with the landscape while maximizing natural ventilation; and built using local timber only. Great care was taken to maintain the lush vegetation of the island intact. Red mangroves are what make this island a nursery of life…for all the beauty they gift to us and the many benefits they provide to the environment, we are pleased to responsibly protect them.
Our staff of the eco-lodge is composed by indigenous women from the local Ngäbe village. All our seafood and seasonal fruits are bought directly from Ngäbe fishermen and farmers. All new structures and improvements are done by workers from the village. We have created a variety of tours and activities that involve our neighbors in a meaningful way; providing them with not only economic empowerment, but also a glimpse into the many benefits and opportunities eco-tourism can bring to the area, and to their community.
There are multi-use decks perfect for sunbathing, yoga, reading, and more. A shallow natural pool with a volleyball net is the perfect place to end your day; in the afternoon currents of warm water will make you feel like you’re swimming in a climatized pool. There are multiple picturesque swings over the water throughout the island, and a hammock-therapy terrace with panoramic views located on the second floor of Urraca’s main bungalow. The dining area is also located in the main bungalow, a spacious area that can be customized, rearranged, and decorated for meetings, events, or anything else you could think of.
There’s an enclosed lobster garden where they’re kept alive and in the ocean until moments before dinner. If you’re up for the challenge, our team will teach you how and you can catch your own lobster by yourself. Straight ahead from the lobster garden is our sunset deck, where we offer massages during the day, and romantic dinners for 2 at night. It’s safe to swim and snorkel in all areas around the island. Make use of your complimentary snorkeling equipment, kayaks, and cayucos to explore our surroundings.
We are here to make sure your stay is as relaxing or adventurous as you’d like, and will do anything we can to meet your expectations. If you would like to explore other areas around Bocas del Toro we can schedule many tours, activities, and expeditions once you’re on the island.
What to expect
This mangrove island paradise will welcome you with an authentic Bocas del Toro experience, which includes countless possibilities for you to enjoy. Not only will you have the opportunity to share your visit with other guests, but also with the 12 monkeys who live here on this paradise island. Quiso, the kinkajou, also comes out at night to visit.
Urraca Private Island is home to the Monkey Island Foundation: a privately funded facility that provides lifelong quality care for orphaned monkeys rescued from a former life as pets. . We ensure our primate residents get regular veterinary care, nutritionally accurate diets, plenty of exercise and space to express themselves, as well as the love, respect, and the enrichment these highly intelligent and social creatures require. Here, monkeys who were raised in solitude and inadequate conditions get a second chance at being wild, in a semi-wild environment on a private island, where they’re encouraged to socialize with others of their kind, thus ensuring not only their physical, but also emotional and psychological rehabilitation and wellbeing. We offer daily educational tours to raise public awareness on the detrimental effects of raising monkeys as pets.