Panama offers a vivid and colorful submarine with clear Caribbean waters; also the vast and mysterious Pacific Ocean, with plenty of the great marine species.
The reefs in Bocas Del Toro have some the best preserved hard and soft coral in the world. The waters are inhabited by a wonderful variety of tropical reef creatures including nurse sharks, stingrays and many species of crab and lobster. Diving conditions are excellent year round, especially for training, with the best times to visit being March, April, May & September and October – during these months sea conditions are flatter allowing access to our more remote dive sites.
Diving off shore is good when the sea is flat enough during the months of March & April and September & October, a series of additional dive sites are accessible from Starfleet. These sites offer much deeper water, strong currents, caves & swim-throughs and larger species of marine life.
Some diving areas are:
Just minutes by boat from the town of Bocas, this island point has some of the areas best snorkeling and scuba diving. There is a 45ft. wall that hugs the point, which goes all the way down to the channel that separates the point from Isla Carenero. Along the side of the wall are several small holes, where lobster and moray eel can be found. The water is normally clean, warm and shallow, however, the best months are during the dry season, which extends from August to October. Sea urchins, sea cucumbers, Angelfish, Parrotfish and other colorful tropical fish are common sightings. Most tours include Hospital Point as part of their full day tour, usually saved for the end of the day.
Buoy line is also situated at the northern end of Isla Solarte and slightly to the mainland side. A deep-water channel marker buoy serves as a convenient descent point to begin the dive. Flat sand at seven meters slopes gradually to a reef starting at twelve meters and falling away to more than twenty. This is the inshore site where you are most likely to encounter slightly stronger currents and therefore, also the most likely site to find pelagics and larger marine species.
Discovered by one of Starfleet’s very own Dive masters, Manuel’s Wall lies just inside the deep channel off Isla Solarte. The site consists of two walls, the first at fourteen meters and the second at twenty two meters. This is one of the deepest inshore sites where depths in excess of thirty meters can be reached.
Coral Garden lies on the westerly side of Isla Solarte. This site boasts some of the best Coral in the region and is a must-see for all visiting divers. Depths range from four to eighteen meters.
The Log get it’s name from the bough of an old tree which used to break the surface of the dive site, but now lies on the bottom at around nine meters. The site itself features one of the widest varieties of coral formations in the area, which stretch along a two kilometer run with depths from six to eighteen meters.
Situated twenty minutes from Starfleet, this dive site lies between Isla Colon and Isla San Cristobal. It centres around marker nineteen on the deep shipping channel, where the seabed crests towards the surface creating a circular reef. Depths range from nine to twenty meters.
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