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Dive Review of ScubaCaribe in
Panama/Playa Blanca

ScubaCaribe: "Surprisingly good place for a couple of dives", Dec, 2016,

by Harvey S. Cohen, NJ, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 21 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 9436 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I booked a 2-tank dive one day, just to stay in practice for warm-water scuba. Based on what few reports I could find on the Web, I expected very little other than warm water. The standard dive site is a small rocky island a few hundred meters from the beach. Dives have to be timed as close as possible to high tide, because otherwise the large swings in Pacific tide can make the site very shallow. High tide today was at 7:45 AM, I dived around 9:00 and 11:00, and the bottom was around 25 feet. The dive boat was a roomy catamaran with good shade and good ladders. The dive operation was very smooth. I was the only customer. My guide Maria spoke good English on the boat and was excellent at pointing out stuff during the dive.
The site is mostly rock and seaweed, with a tiny bit of coral. There is a nice swim-through at the waist of the island, and a shallow cave as well. To my surprise, the area is full of fish and critters. Large schools of jacks zipped right past me. Lots of butterflies, dozens of puffers everywhere I looked. Some big, beautiful groupers, and triggers. Three good-size octopus. Several different varieties of morays-- we saw one catch and eat a crab. A few nudies of a kind I'd never encountered. A few rays.
Bring your dive light; it helps in the poor viz and it's a must in the swim-through and the cave.
There are lots urchins, and dives tend to hug the bottom. Exercise due caution.
Websites ScubaCaribe   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Gulf of Eilat, Bali, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Banda Sea, Fiji, Palau, Coral Sea, Galapagos, many Caribbean locations, New Jersey, Florida, National Aquarium, Dutch Springs, Silfra (Iceland)
Closest Airport Rio Hato Getting There We took a rental car from Tocumen Intl Airport at Panama City-- around 2.5 hours if you circle north to avoid downtown traffic.
The dive shop is at the Hotel Riu. We stayed at the JW Marriott a mile down the beach, so the shop sent a boat to pick me up and drop me off.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 5-15 Ft/ 2-5 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions You really want to stay with the guide. Viz is very poor, there is no dinghy chasing your bubbles, and the most of the dive is not line-of-sight to the dive boat because the island blocks the view.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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