I have been to some of the dive sites in Coiba as part of our Malpelo and Cocos trips aboard the Yemaya, but this is my first time to do a full week and an entire trip in this Marine Park. Compared to our other dive guide, Erik Nielsen, I’m a newbie to the area. So instead of doing a normal trip report, I would like to write about my overall impression of Coiba.
Coiba is a very large area to circumnavigate and being the only liveaboard here, I felt like we had this huge area of wilderness all to ourselves. We never bumped into any other land-based dive boat during the whole week; and if we had, we would have encountered them only on the northern part of the park, closer to the mainland. We saw very few sport fishing boats passing through and, except for one night, we had the place to ourselves at our anchorage. There is a lot of wilderness and enough space to breathe here. Personally, I don’t like crowded areas so this was perfect. The park is not very developed land-based, so to say. The flora and fauna is rich and the island hopping combined with diving makes this trip really interesting. If you don’t visit the rivers, beaches and the jungle you will miss a big part of the experience of this trip. This is a land and sea experience.
The diving reminded me of the diving back at home in the Sea of Cortez in Baja California. Both seas have the same amount of fish variety, but I think there are more sponges and color here – and more frogfish for sure. The diving is not very demanding, but can be exposed to hard current. Bonuses are hammerheads, mantas, and whale sharks. They are there, but if you came with the goal to see big animals, then you are in the wrong spot; better head out to Malpelo instead. This is a destination for nature lovers who want to visit an almost untouched tropical jungle island, appreciating everything that swims, crawls, walks, climbs and flies. Not many places like this and this big are left untouched these days.
To read the full report, please visit: http://www.coibadiveexpeditions.com/coiba/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=203:coiba-trip-report-june-5-2012-sten-johansson&catid=46:guest-book&Itemid=118