Coiba Island, Panama

Dive Reports, Destinations Questions, and Travel Issues

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Postby mvk777 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:30 pm

Last year, I made a trip to Malpelo (Colombia) on liveaboard Yemaya ( This year, I just made another trip with the same operator to Coiba Island (Panama). Coiba is not a popular destination and I think this unfairness happens only because of the lack of information. At least, I first got to know about Coiba only on my trip to Malpelo. Meantime, this island definitely deserves its share of divers attention. For those interested in Eastern Pacific diving I can briefly summarize my experience.

1. Diving Coiba is extremely diverse. The island got it all - from shallow reefs to underwater mountains. Water can be from greenish to true blue. Viz from poor to excellent. Temperature from tropical hot to freaking cold. Current from nonexistent to reaping. I never had so much fun on a single trip.

2. Marine life is booming. This is true eastern Pacific diving. You know what it means.

3. Yemaya is the most comfortable vessel I'd ever traveled. Coibadiveexpedition provides flawless service. I would love to go again. I sure will.

4. This is time-efficient trip. No time spent for long ocean travels like for Malpelo and Cocos.

5. Coiba is stunning island. Beautiful scenery. Beaching. Kayaking. I could bring on that trip my non-diving wife. If only I knew. Now you know.

6. Panama Citi reconstructs the Old Town. It is extremely interesting mixture of poor and rich. Time to go and see is right now.

7. Coibadiveexpedition offeres convenient guided tours for arrival/departure days. I took a tour to Panama Canal. Great tour. No days waisted.

IMHO: Coiba gives the most bang for the buck in Eastern Pacific.

Here are some island views and underwater pictures from this trip:

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Postby catrin pichler » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:26 pm

It' s not unfair :roll: but wonderful that there are still such non-popular places like Coiba!
Would be better to enjoy and keep silence.... 8-)
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Postby smb2 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:49 pm

Looks very much like the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, both above and below the water. Seems like a place to investigate.
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Postby critter-hunter » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:34 am

I read about this destination in Undercurrents and made the journey six years ago staying at a small fishing village on the mainland. A small dive shop made the trip to Coiba Island in a 14' open fishing boat in driving rain. After 2 hours of a bumpy ride we made our fish dive with reef sharks everywhere. Then onto the island for hot coffee and a warm up...I did bring a non-diving wife, but with the poor weather she stayed under a shelter in the drizzle while we completed two more dives of the three. We had many colors of frog fish and all the other usual under water critters. I would gladly make the trip on a live aboard to see all the many dive sites listed today.
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Postby KASINA » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:23 am

Coiba is a stunning travel location. Some of my friends have visited Coiba for traveling. There are so many other hidden treasures in the world like Coiba.
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