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Pearl Islands
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    Site of the 7th Survivor series (2003)
    Located on the Pacific side of Panama, situated in the Gulf of Panama about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Panama City
    Discovered in 1513 by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa
    Named for the abundance of pearls in their surrounding waters (or Archipelago de las Perlas)
    It is historically linked to pirates (notably Henry Morgan and Sir Francis Drake) who sacked the Caribbean and coastal South America while Spain ruled the waters.
    In an average year, the rainy season can last nine months.
    Many of the islands, islets, and keys are very small; some are still virtually unexplored.
    It is difficult to get a proper estimate as to how many islands are there; some sources claim there are about 90 while others claim there are about 200.
    It is completely unsafe to sleep on the bare (earthen!) ground.
    Mosquitoes are more than a nuisance; they can cause malaria or Dengue fever.
    All three tribes shown on this Survivor season were named for the aforementioned explorers.
    About a year after his discovery, Balboa and nearly 200 men returned to mainland Panama with loads of pearls.
    The islands were a perfect cover for pirates who wanted to attack passing vessels and numerous Spanish territories.
    In June and July, its hottest months, the average high temperature is 77-86 degrees (25-30 Centigrade).
    Lemons and pipa (young coconuts) are indigenous to the islands. In fact, the pipa is a kidney-cleansing agent when liquid.
    Burning a termite mound has the same effect on mosquitoes as burning the shell of a dried pipa.
    Iguana and hermit crabs are edible.
    The beach water is almost completely clear.
    Tidbit: Balboa was said to have written to the King of Spain: 'There are many islands in this sea. They tell me that there are pearls in abundance, of great size, and that the natives possess baskets filled with them.'

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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