Kuanidup is a gorgeous private island a half hour away by motorized boat from Río Sidra. Actually, there are two Kuanidups. The first is Kuanidup Grande, which is home just to Cabañas Kuanidup, a sandy beach, a sand volleyball court, and hammocks strung between coconut palms.
About the same size as tiny Isla Robinson, it’s “grande” only in comparison to its little sister, Kuanidup Chico. There’s nothing but a single hut, sand, and palm trees on Kuanidup Chico, which is an easy swim away (maybe 300 meters) for a moderately fit swimmer. The hotel staff on Kuanidup Grande can also ferry guests over. Nonguests should ask permission to visit either island; expect to pay a fee.
There’s pretty good snorkeling around the islands. It’s fun to circumnavigate Kuanidup Chico and explore the coral shelf that rings the island; it has surprisingly diverse coral species. Take it slow and really check things out: There are lots of small, hidden natural treasures.
Watch out for sea urchins, fire coral, and sudden shallows. Visibility plummets after a rain because of the proximity to mainland rivers.
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition