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“Nature Extase!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Coiba Dive Center

Coiba Dive Center
Calle Principal (Main Street), Santa Catalina, Panama
+507 6780-1141
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Type: Water sports
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Attraction Details
Owner description: The Best Diving in Panama. Coiba Dive Center is located in the heart of Santa Catalina, Panama, just a one-hour boat ride to world class diving. Coiba National Park has been described by many as the "New Galapagos" and the "New Cocos," Isla Coiba is by far the best diving Panama has to offer.
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Nature Extase!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

Dive in Coiba Island is awesome, when it is done with a good operator you enjoy these moments better then ever. Coiba dive center is very professional, Luis, the dive master who guide me is very responsive. The boat is confortable, fast and the crew kindeness. The moments I spent there are unforgetables.

Visited April 2013
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31 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
“Great people- awesome dives”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013 via mobile

Loved my trip- Luis was my guide and be was awesome. Saw all sorts of Marine life. The boat engine was new and the guides very helpful.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Florida, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Nice Trip”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

My girlfriend and I did a couple of 2 tank dive trips to Coiba. The diving was good. Not great. Visibility was not very good but I think it was low because of a storm and do not believe low vis is the norm. We did get to see a couple of whale sharks and a hammerhead along with a couple dozen sharks, a big turtle, and a lot of eels. I don't think it was really the season for whale sharks but they were there anyway which was a huge plus. The DM's were really good about spotting the whale sharks. The DM's were nice, we had Julie and Kevin. They were knowledgeable and helpful. My one big problem with this operator was the rental equipment was in less than adequate condition and beat up pretty bad. Our group suffered several equipment malfunctions. Hoses and valves leaked air, wetsuits were a little tattered with zippers that did not work, my BC the first day did not hold air, girlfriends mouthpiece was chewed off (later replaced), masks were beat up and regulators got stuck and freeflowed at surface. I would still recommend this outfit but they really need to replace some of that rental gear. Diving was great with lots of marine life but vis was poor, not the fault of Coiba Dive Centre though. We also got to hang out on Isla Coiba which was nice.

Visited March 2013
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Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“LOVE THESE FOLKS!!! (And the diving ain't bad either!)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Three days of amazingness (I know it's not a word but after our 3 day/2 night with Coiba DIve Center on Coiba Island, it should be!) Sooooo much fun packed into such a short time. We saw an incredible array of critters, white tipped reef sharks, schools of mantas, a gigantic grouper, too many rays and moray eels to count and a whale shark on our last dive of the trip! As if that wasn't enough, a salt water croc named Tito, a couple of monkeys and some neques kept us company on the island. The entire time we were guided by the fantastic Julie (she is just beautiful, inside and out!) and had awesome Marco and Pedro schlepping us around and getting us in and out of the water. In between dives we visited secluded, pristine beaches and on Coiba Island we had Caroline and Erick making delicious meals. I just can't say enough about the entire experience. THANK YOU CDC!

Visited March 2013
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Cleveland, Ohio
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great 3 day 2 night dive trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We did the 3 day dive package with 9 dives and 2 overnight stays on Coiba.

First off, the diving. Simply outstanding. Tons of sharks, turtles, frogfish (on I think every dive), rays, and barracuda. Kevin was a great DM and led a fantastic dive. The crew on the boat were helpful getting you in and out of the water, and would set your equipment up in between dives. On one of the dives we heard dolphins and whales singing, and when we got to the surface, there was a mom and baby humpback, and the baby started jumping clear out of the water. There is apparently no minimum for divers, either, as the trip was initially only me and my girlfriend, and there was one person who was added last-minute. So we had our own personal dive boat, which was nice.

Next, the island. Small and pretty, with hammocks to relax on and a nice beach. The accommodations were rustic, with 6 single beds in a large room, and a cold shower in a dark bathroom. We weren't expecting much here, and as long as you aren't either, you'll find it to be adequate. The biggest downside is that the beds are in desperate need of mosquito nets, and as this would be a very simple and cheap addition, I pray they add them. And bring bug spray, the no-see-ums are awful at dawn and dusk. The staff that stays on the island are incredible, and the food was simply amazing. I was expecting rice and beans for every meal, but we had 3 squares a day of fantastic food, and Kevin always brought chips and fruit for a snack in between dives.

Finally, the owners. They are very quick with responding to e-mails. They seemed a little cold in the e-mails, and were similarly cold in person. But, they are helpful and honest, which is I suppose what's important, since you spend your time with the DM anyway. We were initially overcharged, but they were quick to refund us our money when the mistake was pointed out after we returned home and looked at the bill.

Overall, would recommend it, and would definitely dive with them again. Great diving and great food. And if the owners read this, just please, please get mosquito nets over the beds on Coiba.

Visited October 2012
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