The Coiba National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the neighboring islands and archipelagos of the Gulf of Chiriquí, Secas, Montuosa and Isla Ladrones, offer some of the best adventure and exploratory diving in the world.
In this region of the Panamanian pacific coast, the continental shelf is narrow and closely bounded by the Middle American Trench. Water depths plunge abruptly to abysmal depths, bringing deep Open Ocean, “pelagic” conditions very close to shore. The nearest substantial land mass lies 10,000km to the west.
“Coiba National Park possesses the second largest coral reef in the Tropical Eastern Pacific.”
Tide ranges of up to 5 mts / 16 ft every six hours, currents in exposed areas are common. Lateral visibility on average 22 mts / 70 ft depending on location. Seawater surface temperatures hover around 78 F year round. Thermocline depth varies throughout the year and can reduce water temperature several degrees. This cooler water brings the larger pelagic life closer to the surface.
The marine environment is extremely dynamic and boasts over 760 species of fish, 33 species of shark including the Reef White Tip, Scalloped and Great Hammerhead, Galapagos, Bull, Tiger, and the bizarre Guitar Shark. Add to this, a variety of Rays, Giant Manta, Modula Rays, Thurston’s Devil Rays and Stingrays. Schooling species include the Spotted Eagle; Cow Nosed and Golden Rays. The areas protected beaches are the nesting grounds for four species of marine turtle, including the giant Pacific Leatherback.
A Mecca and complexity of migratory routes for marine animals, and other marine species.
A great variety of marine mammals, including several species of Dolphin, Pilot Whales, Orcas, Fin, Brydes and Sperm Whales. Recent scientific studies have indicated that the migration route taken by the Antarctic Humpbacks Whales to this region is the longest marine mammal migration, some 8,000 km. Humpback Whales can be seen in the area all year round. Key months are August to October. Their haunting songs can be heard whilst diving around the park.
In hands of expert Dive Master and conservationist Kevan Mantell we run our diving adventures in the area where local and international conservation efforts and initiatives, plays an active part in the protection and conservation of the region. Kevan has been participating in a broad spectrum of key Scientific Investigations / Conservation Biology initiatives. We encourage our visitors and guests to assist with the conservation of this unique marine eco-system.
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