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Marine Laboratory

Galeta Island, Colón

Visit a mangrove-surrounded
research station near the Caribbean
entrance to the Panama Canal

Punta Galeta
Seminars & Events

Currently, we have no upcoming seminars. For more information click here.

The Galeta Point Marine Laboratory is a research and outreach center located on the Caribbean coast near Colón, Panama’s second city. Visit Galeta Point and get to know the amazing diversity of creatures that inhabit the marine and coastal ecosystems of Panama’s Caribbean coast. Advance reservations required.

Visitors explore the ecosystems found at Punta Galeta including seagrass beds, mangrove forests and coral reefs led by naturalist guides. A typical tour includes a walk along the mangrove boardwalk, visits to the marine animals exhibit including touch pools with rescued sea turtles. Our rooftop observation deck that has telescopes to observe the mangrove forest and the Panama Canal’s Caribbean entrance.

General Admission Rates Cost
Children under 17 $2.00
College Students $2.50
Adults $3.00
Retirees $1.50
International Visitors $5.00


Days open Hours
Tuesday - Sunday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm


Special Guided Tours Cost
Tour in Spanish $50.00
Tour in English $60.00

Closed to the public on Mondays and select holidays.


Caribbean Ecosystem

Nestled in a mangrove forest and facing the open Caribbean, the station’s ecosystem is typical of the region with shorebirds, fishes, seagrass beds and corals.

Touch Pools

A small touch pool is a temporary home for injured or rescued sea turtles that are eventually returned to the ocean when fit.

Observation Deck

The station’s roof is a large observation deck with telescopes for close-up looks at the surrounding mangroves and ships gathered near the Panama Canal.

Mangrove Trails

Foot bridges through the mangrove forest around the station allow visitors to have a close-up look at this extraordinary ecosystem of slow-growing, salt-tolerant trees.

School Groups

Our school program welcomes 10,000 Panamanian students annually, hosted by our experienced naturalist guides and volunteers.

For Educators

Galeta offers professional development workshops and seminars for Panamanian educators at the marine laboratory. These workshops, which are accredited by Panama’s education ministry MEDUCA, give teachers the opportunity to learn about Panama’s coastal ecosystems and share their knowledge with students back in the classroom. 


Data on marine biota and the physical environment have been collected for more than four decades at Galeta. Long-term work includes studies of Caribbean mangroves, invasive species, termites and social wasps. More recently the site has been used to monitor and study the arrival of the invasive lionfish to the southern Caribbean. STRI scientists also helped create a management plan at Galeta that encompasses research, education and ecotourism that will allow joint use of land in the area by STRI, Panama's environment ministry and universities.


Jairo Castillo

Jairo Castillo

Education Program Coordinator

Illia Grenald

Illia Grenald

Site administrator

Contact Us

For reservations and information

Reservations are required to visit the station. Please give us at least two weeks’ notice.


+507 212-8191
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