Coiba National Park protects the best coral reefs in the Panamanian Pacific and is the most important marine reserve in the country. Its pristine waters are crossed by majestic manta rays (Mobula birostris), and by the solitary and spectacular whale shark (Rhincodon typus). The 500,000 acres of sea have Coiba Island at its center, the largest island in the Central American Pacific and is home to countless unique species; many still unknown to science. This island is made up of the oldest rocks in Panama, which formed 70 million years ago at the bottom of the sea, 800 miles away. They were later moved to their current location through powerful geological forces. For 85 years, it housed the most feared prison in Panama but today it is a sanctuary for biodiversity and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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