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Panama Dive Center
Scuba Diving Santa Catalina
They run trips to Coiba from Santa Catalina on daily basis. The boat usually leaves between 8 and 8.30 in the morning and comes back at about 4.30. The ride to the dive sites takes about one hour and thirty minutes. Panama Dive Center does two or three dives a day, depending on what you prefer, and (in the rainy season) weather conditions.
The diving sites are located in Coiba National Park, which covers a series of beautiful islands, including Coiba, Isla Ranchería, Canales, Jicaron, Jicarita, and the area of Contreras. They often stop for a short lunch break at the rangers’ station on Coiba, home to wild monkeys,ñeques (little rodent-like creatures), crocodiles, iguanas, and amazing birdlife.
What You Can See
As for the underwater world, their residents include white-tipped reef sharks, nurse sharks, turtles, dolphins, eagle rays, devil rays, stingrays, lobsters, sea horses, frogfish, jacks, blue-fin trevallies, barracudas, moray eels, wahoos, snappers, and of course lots of colorful butterflyfish and parrotfish. In season, you might get lucky and spot a whale shark (January to April) or a humpback whale (July to September).
Their dives are planned to last roughly 45 minutes, depending on conditions and air consumption. The depths range from 16 to 24 meters. The diving is suitable for they adjust their choices of sites to experience, the season, the weather and sea conditions and what you want to see. They also offer courses from absolute beginners to divemaster.
Currents vary from very mild to pretty strong, each having its advantages and disadvantages. Most of the year the temperatures are between 26 to 30 degrees Celsius (minimum 24). However, from late March to the beginning of June water temperatures range between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius (with an occasional minimum of 14)
- Prices: two dives: $140, three dives: $160 (Please note that in the rainy season the third dive cannot be guaranteed due to the weather conditions and their safety concern. You will be asked to pay the additional $20 when we return from the trip.)
- Discounts for day trips: $10 on the second day of diving, $20 on the third, and all consecutive days
- Included: equipment (also dive computer), sandwich, fruit, and water
- Not included: park entrance fees ($20 for foreigners, $5 for panameños and residents)