Isla del Rey (Panama)

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San Miguel, Isla del Rey, 2003

Isla del Rey is the largest island in the Pearl Islands in the Gulf of Panama. It has an area of 234 km², and a population of 1,676 (census 2000). Its current name is probably more a reference to Christ the King than to a secular king. There are four towns, which are San Miguel (pop. 967), La Esmeralda (pop. 524), La Ensenada (pop. 94) and La Guinea (pop. 83). It is easily larger than the other Pearl Islands combined, and is the second largest island in Panama, after Coiba.

The first European to see Isla del Rey was Vasco Núñez de Balboa in October 1513 on his first expedition to the Pacific Ocean. He could only see the islands from afar, as the poor weather prevented his canoes from landing there. He named the island Isla Rica (Rich Island).

Coordinates: 8°22′N 78°55′W / 8.367°N 78.917°W / 8.367; -78.917

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