Diving Overview for Panama
Panama has 1,200 km of Caribbean coastline and 1,700 km of Pacific coastline and well as the Panama Canal. There are some beautiful beaches, warm weather and friendly people as well as mountains and volcanoes to discover.
Experience diving in both the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans and the Panama Canal where you can explore an old train abandoned during initial attempts to build the Canal.
Diving on the Pacific Coast offers deep pinnacles and drop-offs with large schools of fish and more fish varieties in comparison to the more tranquil Caribbean Coast with its shallow reefs and plentiful corals. Try Coiba Island, Chiriqui Marine Park or Las Perlas (The Pearls Archipelago) which has over 100 islands to explore with volcanic and coral formations and an abundance of large and colourful fish. Whale season at Las Perlas is from August to December when humpback whales travel to these warm waters to calf.
Bocas del Toro and the marine park of Bastimento Island on the Caribbean Coast, have a great selection of corals, sponges, hogfish, queen angelfish, batfish, triggerfish, nurse sharks, rays and other tropical species. At Mangrove Point you can find a car ferry wreck intentionally sank in 1999 to form an artificial reef now covered with corals, sponges, worms and the passing marine life of nearby coral reefs.
There is a rich history of pirates and battles around Panama, the famous Pirate Sir Francis Drake is said to have been laid to rest at sea in Panama waters and there are plenty of reefs and broken wrecks to explore.
Panama’s tourist high-season is December – April during Pacific dry season, this is also when visibility is at its best. The Caribbean side has warm weather and rain (usually quick showers) all year round. Water temperatures range from 20°C during winter on the Pacific coast to 29°C over summer. There are some tech diving opportunities around Panama.
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