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Dive Review of Scuba Coiba in
Panama/Santa Catalina

Scuba Coiba, Jun, 2006,

by Larry Polster, IN, USA . Report 2559.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Belize, Australia, Cozumel, St. Croix, Bonaire, Curacao
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions With only 2 divers, we followed the dive master to most interesting sites
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments We followed in foot steps of author for March 2006 issue. You don't need a 4-wheel drive car anymore the road is paved all the way to Santa Catalina. Surfing is very big in the area and the resturants have expanded to four. Some of the best diving ever with lots of fish all species and sizes. With changing currents the vis could start with 20' and improve before the end of the dive to 80'. Reef sharks every dive from a couple to over twenty, 4 frog fish on three different dives. One Goliath Grouper, about 6' weighing several hundred pounds followed us for 10 minutes. Rachel did a great job leading all dives and her crew were intertaining.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This is for divers only, non diving spouse had to sit at the cabin because beach was not designed to accomodate tourists, it's a fishing village.

Local breakfast was about $1.50, most dinners were under $10 and there are a few more rooms available to rent with the large number of surfers.

The trip to Coiba island in the small dive boat, 1.5 hours and bumpy, but worth the trouble for great diving. We had surface intervals at the ranger station and brought our on snacks and drinks, none provided by the dive shop. You could schedule overnight trips with food provided and would recommend it if you dive more than one day...to prevent the rough boat ride and time on top of the water.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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