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Situated in the Tropical Eastern Pacific and influenced by five major oceanic currents, Coiba is home to many endemic species, both terrestrial and marine.

The island is covered in a carpet of lush primary tropical rainforest, mangroves and adorned with deserted beaches. The nutrient rich waters of Coiba are a haven for numerous large pelagic species including humpback whales who visit to give birth (May-Nov) annually.

Dive sites range from calm, shallow, protected inshore reefs and islands to high voltage diving on deep pinnacles and sea mounts. The sites offer encounters with a great variety of marine life, and a means to observe behavioural habits and witness the symbiosis between many species. Most dive sites are littered with cleaning stations which attract many pelagic visitors: giant fish, turtles, manta rays and shark. Spawning sites attract huge quantities of reef and giant pelagic fish at certain times throughout the year. Bait ball activity attracts the attention of thousands of resident marine birds and a great variety of the big marine predators.

The region's spectacular deserted beaches are some of the last remaining protected nesting habitats for marine turtles in Panama, including nesting sites for the giant - and almost extinct - Pacific leatherback.

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Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: humpback whale, giant frogfish, Galapagos shark, nurse shark, giant oceanic manta ray

Dive trips

This dive location is featured in the following itinerary:

Liveaboard Diving in Panama

This liveaboard adventure offers experienced divers the chance to enjoy some of the world’s best adventure and exploratory diving in the Gulf of Chiriquí around Coiba Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • When to go: May-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Trip type: Liveaboard trip