If Panama does not inspire you on a diving trip, it is a shame, because this country will have some nice surprises in store for you!
Known mainly for its canal, Panama is a small country between the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea, south of Costa Rica and north of Colombia. Panama City, the capital, offers travelers beautiful buildings from the colonial period.
The Coiba National Park, south of the Gulf of Chiriqui, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. It includes 38 islands and islets, including the island of Coiba. It is a jewel in the Pacific that is home to a vast, protected, uninhabited nature reserve that serves as a habitat for thousands of terrestrial and underwater species. From now on this marine park is a prominent place of diving with sensations. Sharks, cetaceans, the abundance of corals and sponges will be on the program of your dives. This lush island is establishing itself more and more as one of the most beautiful diving destinations.
Panama, therefore, fits into the big leagues with beautiful cruise diving on Coiba, sometimes combined with Coco or Malpelo!
You can also take advantage of your diving vacation in Panama to visit “the Comarca de San Blas”, in the North-East, which is the only province populated only by the Kunas, the Amerindian population.
Coiba is a large island located 20 km from the coast of Panama. The former prison, it is now a vast nature reserve, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will discover Coiba and its islets on a diving cruise.
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The best season to dive in Panama
You can dive all year round in Panama, everything will depend on what you want to see! The dry season is the best season, from January to April, and a wetter season from May to December. Visibility remains the same throughout the year. Even if the humpback whales are visible in all seasons, it is from June to November that they are the most numerous.
Panama’s underwater fauna
Panama’s waters are full of fish. In the Marine Park of Coiba, there were 760 species of fish, 33 species of sharks (shark white tip, hammerhead, tiger shark, bull shark, shark guitar), and a wide variety of rays (manta ray giant, leopard ray, or mobula ray).
We also observe a variety of marine mammals, including several species of dolphins, pilot whales, killer whales, Bryde’s whales, and sometimes whales.
From May to November, it is the period of the humpback whales that come to give birth to their young in the warm waters of Panama, however, they can be seen almost all year round. The large schools of barracudas, jacks, and snappers will also impress you.
Hard and soft corals, sponges where crabs, lobsters, seahorses, nudibranchs, ghost fish, antennae, turtles, and many reef fishes evolve cover the volcanic bottom.
The protected beaches in the region are nesting areas for 4 species of sea turtles.