Santa Catalina Diving: general information
We run trips from Santa Catalina daily. The boat usually leaves between 8 and 8.30 in the morning and comes back at about 4.30. The ride to the dive sites takes about one hour and thirty minutes. We do two or three dives a day, depending on what you prefer, and (occasionally) weather conditions. The diving/snorkeling sites are located in Coiba National Park, which covers a series of beautiful islands, including Coiba, Isla Ranchería, Canales, Jicaron, Jicarita and the area of Contreras. We often stop for a short lunch break at the rangers’ station on Coiba, home to wild monkeys, ñeques/cunejos (little rodent-like creatures), crocodiles, iguanas and amazing bird life.
What You Can See
As for the underwater world, our local residents include white-tipped reef sharks, nurse sharks, turtles, dolphins, eagle rays, devil rays, sting rays, lobsters, sea horses, frog fish, jacks, blue-fin trevallies, barracudas, moray eels, wahoos, snappers and of course lots of colourful butterflyfish and parrotfish. In season, you might get lucky and spot a whale shark (January to April) or a humpback whale (July to September). Check out our Gallery for more information.
Our dives are planned to last roughly 45 minutes, depending on conditions and air consumption. The depths range from 16 to 24 meters. The diving is suitable for all levels and we adjust our choices of sites to experience, the season, the weather and sea conditions and what you want to see. Currents vary from very mild to pretty strong, each having their advantages and disadvantages. Most of the year we usually enjoy 26 to 30 degree Celsius warm water (minimum 24). However, from late March to the beginning of June water temperatures range between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius (with an occasional minimum of 14).
Prices: two dives: $140, three dives: $160 (Please note that in the rainy season the third dive cannot be guaranteed due to the weather conditions and our concern for safety. You will be asked to pay the additional $20 when we return from the trip.)
Discounts for day trips: $10 on the second day of diving, $20 on the third and all consecutive days.
Included: equipment (also dive computer), sandwich, fruit and water
Not included: park entrance fees ($20 for foreigners, $5 for panameños and residents)