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## Does Panama Have Good Scuba Diving?

Panama has a rich marine biodiversity, with over 1,000 species of fish and 300 species of coral. The country’s two coasts, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, offer a variety of dive sites to explore.

**The Caribbean Coast**

The Caribbean coast of Panama is known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs. The Bocas del Toro archipelago is a popular dive destination, with over 90 islands and cays to explore. The archipelago is home to a variety of marine life, including sea turtles, rays, and sharks.

**The Pacific Coast**

The Pacific coast of Panama is known for its strong currents and large pelagic fish. The Coiba National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a variety of marine life, including humpback whales, dolphins, and sea lions.

**Best Dive Sites**

Some of the best scuba diving sites in Panama include:

* **Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro:** This island is home to a variety of dive sites, including the Wreck of the SS Ancon, a sunken freighter that is now a popular dive site.
* **Isla Coiba, Coiba National Park:** This island is home to a variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles.
* **Isla Taboga:** This island is located just off the coast of Panama City and is a popular dive site for beginners.
* **Isla Contadora:** This island is located in the Pearl Islands and is a popular dive site for experienced divers.

**What to Expect**

When scuba diving in Panama, you can expect to see a variety of marine life, including:

* **Fish:** Panama is home to over 1,000 species of fish, including angelfish, clownfish, and parrotfish.
* **Coral:** Panama is home to over 300 species of coral, including brain coral, star coral, and elkhorn coral.
* **Other marine life:** Panama is also home to a variety of other marine life, including sea turtles, rays, sharks, and dolphins.

**When to Go**

The best time to scuba dive in Panama is during the dry season, from December to April. During this time, the water is clear and the visibility is good. The rainy season, from May to November, can bring strong currents and reduced visibility.

**How to Get There**

Panama is easily accessible by air, with Tocumen International Airport (PTY) serving as the main gateway to the country. From the airport, you can take a domestic flight to Bocas del Toro or Coiba National Park, or you can rent a car and drive to your dive destination.

**Where to Stay**

There are a variety of hotels and resorts located near the best dive sites in Panama. You can find accommodations to fit any budget, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts.

**What to Bring**

When scuba diving in Panama, be sure to bring the following:

* **Dive gear:** This includes a wetsuit or drysuit, a buoyancy compensator device (BCD), a regulator, a mask, fins, and a snorkel.
* **Camera:** If you want to capture your dive experience, be sure to bring a camera that is waterproof or in a waterproof housing.
* **Sun protection:** Panama is a tropical country, so be sure to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
* **Water:** It is important to stay hydrated while scuba diving, so be sure to bring plenty of water with you.

**Safety**

Scuba diving is a safe activity, but it is important to follow the safety rules. Be sure to dive with a buddy, and never dive beyond your limits. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak to a dive professional.

**Conclusion**

Panama is a great place to go scuba diving. The country’s two coasts offer a variety of dive sites to explore, and there is a wide variety of marine life to see. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, Panama has something to offer everyone.

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