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Dive Review of Liquid Jungle Lab/Liquid Jungle Research Lab in
Panama/Isla Canales de Tierra

Liquid Jungle Lab/Liquid Jungle Research Lab: "Coiba Island", Sep, 2016,

by Tracy E. Johnson, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 9149 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Our group of 14 flew into Panama City and stayed at the Hilton (great hotel) for one night going and coming. In the morning we boarded a bus for a 6 hour ride with lunch stop. This brought us to the boat dock for another hour ride to Isla Canales de Tierra (sometimes known as Simca Island) where we spent 5 nights. This is a private island owned by Jean Pigozzi and set up as a research facility which is very impressive. Most of us have been on multiple live aboard trips to Coiba Island but this was the first land based trip. Our dive-master Kevan (who we knew from previous trips and is incredibly knowledgeable) took great care of us. Our tanks were changed out after every dive and they rinsed our equipment out for travel on last dive day. Live aboards are the best way to see Coiba but this was second best. This was the second time I've been to Coiba in September and I knew it was the rainy season so was not surprised that it rained on 2 of our 4 dive days (3 dives/day). Don't go during rainy season. We left the island before 8AM and usually returned after 3 each day with safety stops and lunch on Coiba Island beaches. Breakfast and dinner buffet was at the lab and dormitory facility which is about a 1/2 mile from the dock by ATV. Gary had been at the job of island manager only a week but he was a great help in making sure we enjoyed the trip. Wifi on the island is spotty and not much band width. There is no cell phone service. We are pretty isolated so bring everything you need. Unfortunately my luggage was stuck in Miami and took 2 days to get to Santiago and after that an hour drive and hour boat ride to get to the island. I packed all my dive gear except fins in a carry on so didn't miss a dive. The diving is mostly expert due to the tremendous tidal changes each day so I wouldn't recommend for new divers. Be sure to bring water shoes to get from the boat to the rocky shore.
Websites Liquid Jungle Lab   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Panama, Bahamas, Hawaii, Fiji, Bora Bora, Curacao, Cayman Brac, Guadaloupe, St. Lucia, Columbus Isle, Matinique, Key West, Easter Island, Roatan, Balii
Closest Airport PTY Getting There Flight, bus, and boat

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas surge, currents
Water Temp 76-82°F / 24-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions All dives with dive master since some are exploration dives where no one regularly dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments The boats carry a max of 6 divers and we had 4-5 on 3 boats. No rinse bucket and not much room for camera equipment. Most of had go pro or small cameras so not too much of a problem.
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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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