Where To Go Scuba Diving In Panama Central America?

Panama coastline

Going to Panama in Central America and am interested in going scuba diving in Parama Central America. Panama is a small country with a population of 4.7 million people but its geographic position is that on Panama’s west coast is the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea on the east coast of Panama.

Panama has turquoise waters that swarming with marine life such as humpback whales, stingrays, reef sharks, turtles, dolphins, and killer whales. As well as that Panama has beautiful white sand beaches and plenty of historical sites throughout the country.

In today’s post, we will go through in more detail where to go scuba diving in Panama Central America so let’s get started!

Read more on common questions asked by divers

Where Is Panama?

Located in Central America, Panama is a small country that a total area is 74,177.3 km2 (28,640.0 sq mi) and with a population of over 4.7 million. Panama has a land border with 2 countries.

In the south, Panama has a border with Colombia and in the north, Panama has a border with Costa Rica. On Panama’s west coast are the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea on the east coast of Panama.

Also, Panama controls the Panama Canal which connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to the North of the Pacific Ocean.

Panama on the map

When To Go Scuba Diving In Panama?

Panama is blessed with a tropical climate that has very little change over the year. This means the dive conditions are good all year round. With the average temperatures over the day from 24°C/75°F to 32°C/90°F.

The Pacific side of Panama is a little cooler because there is a small breeze from the pacific ocean. If you want to have the chance to see particularly marine life like the humpback whale, you would need to plan your trip to be between July and September.

Where To Go Scuba Diving In Panama Central America?

We know that Panama has a coastline with the Pacific ocean and the Caribbean sea, with that diving in Panama is a great opportunity to explore some amazing dive sites and to see marine life. Diving in Panama is mostly provided by the local diver centers.

There are 3 areas in Panama where you can go diving. In those areas, there are some amazing dive sites. Those areas are as follows.

  • Caribbean Coast.
  • Pacific Coast.
  • Gatun Lake.
Caribbean sea

Caribbean Coast

Diving along the Caribbean coast of Panama will give you a great opportunity to explore the underwater world that is filled with marine life with the abundance of colorful reef fish and coral.

The best dive sites on the Caribbean coast are as follows.

  • Bocas del Toro.
  • Portobelo National Park.

Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro is a group of 9 islands near the border with Costa Rica. It is also home to the Isla Bastientos National Marine which is a protected area.

Diving at Bocas del Toro archipelago you will see soft coral and sponges with are home to arrow crabs, nudibranchs, and more. You even have the chance to see sharks like the nurse and reef sharks. As well as manta rays and large schools of jacks and snappers.

Portobelo National Park

This is a national park that is home to amazing beaches, lagoons, and more. The water is crystal clear with bountiful coral reefs making it perfect for diving.

You have the opportunity to see different types of turtles like the hawksbill. You might encounter lobsters, yellowtail snapper, and many types of coral.

Pacific Coast

The Pacific Ocean is cooler than the Caribbean coast. You will have the chance to see different types of species of sharks, dolphins, whale sharks, and more.

The best dive sites on the Pacific coast are as follows.

  • Coiba National Park.
  • Pearl Islands.
Pacific ocean

Coiba National Park

Coiba National Park is a national park and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is also a protected area that is home to abundant marine life. Diving at the Coiba National Park gives you an opportunity to see coral reefs and the underwater life that the coral reef supports.

You also have a chance to see humpback whales, sharks, whale sharks, orcas, snappers, barracuda, amberjack, and more. There have been over 600 species of fish recorded at this national park.

Pearl Islands

The Pearl Islands archipelago is within the Gulf of Panama, with Contadora Island is the primary access point for many dives sites. The Pearl Islands is a group of 200 or more islands and islets.

Unlike other dive sites that are exposed to the pacific current, the dive sites at the Pearl Islands are calm. You have the opportunity here to see the Humpback whales, parrotfish, reef sharks, and other large marine life.

fish diving

Gatun Lake

Gatun Lake is a large freshwater man-made lake to the south of Colón. This is the largest man-made lake in the world that was made when making the Panama Canal. More particularly when the building of the Gatun Dam across the Chagres River.

This created lake was created by a dam over the Chagres River. As a result, a lot of the equipment used to build the dam is submerged in the lake. This includes the building equipment, village, railroad, and abandoned dredges.

Wrapping Up

Finally, Panama has some amazing dive sites, and to go diving in Panama is provided by the local dive shops. It is blessed with a coastline with the pacific ocean and the Caribbean sea. Which gives you a great opportunity to see different types of coral and marine life.

Probably the best area to go diving in Panama is Coiba Island. Cause there are lots of sharks, eels, frogfish, turtles, schools of barracuda, and tuna.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on where to go scuba diving in Panama Central America has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Scuba Diving in Panama Central America

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