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La Buga Dive Center & Surf School

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Address: Main Street, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama
Phone Number:
+507 757-9534
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Open now
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Sun - Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Established in 2007, “La Buga Dive & Surf” instantly built up a...

Established in 2007, “La Buga Dive & Surf” instantly built up a reputation as a reliable and renowned Dive Center & Surf School in Bocas del Toro. No matter if you decide to go diving or surfing with us, we will ensure that you will have a fabulous time experiencing the multifaceted natural resources Bocas del Toro has to offer. You can also rent one of our kayaks or Stand-Up Paddle Boards. Our qualified international staff is providing top quality service by constantly reflecting our core values: Safety, Convenience and Fun! Hope to see you soon!Your La Buga Family

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 761 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 528
  • 37
    Very good
  • 11
  • 3
  • 4
Best decision ever made!

I recently got certified for PADI Open Water Diver at La Buga Dive & Surf. It took me 3 days to complete all the tasks (theory and 5 confined water sections and 4 open water... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Fiona B
via mobile
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761 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 583: English reviews
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

I recently got certified for PADI Open Water Diver at La Buga Dive & Surf. It took me 3 days to complete all the tasks (theory and 5 confined water sections and 4 open water dives). Let me tell you something: if you are searching for a dive center with extremely friendly, very well educated, experienced and last but not... More 

Thank Fiona B
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The dive guide did his best to show us some good sites, but this was below average diving. Vis was 40 to 50 feet, not much to see. The crew had no manifest and did no head count after diving. I thought PADI mandated this on all boats, but maybe not. The dive gear was old and over worn. Wet... More 

Thank Quilibet43210
Charlevoix, Michigan
Level Contributor
619 reviews
145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The actual shop isn't huge. Basically part of a restaurant, but don't let that deter you. The staff is great. Rolando was my dive master and Kali drove the boat. Both nice guys and competent. The diving was just ok as it rained heavily the night before.

Thank Upnorthtransplant1
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

There was 10 of us.... not all divers..but most. Some with ZERO experience and some with 25 years. A daughter's boyfriend did the Discover Scuba course and is now hooked on diving. He is already setting up his certification course in Wisconsin. The others daughter's boyfriends had done no Carribean diving and had a blast. Cali, our dive master made... More 

Thank Brian T
Treasure Island, Florida
Level Contributor
374 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

While walking around town, decided to grab an early lunch. The owner stated that they serve excellent ceviche and he was right. For $6.00 , this was the best I had in Panama. We haven't booked any excursions yet but we will definitely be back for the food.

Thank bandit153
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2017 via mobile

I had to finish my PADI Open Water course and decided to take the open water part here. Leandro, the dive master was very professional and helpful. Being slightly nervous underwater from previous experierences, I never once felt uncomfortable or rushed during the exercises. I completed my qualification now and can't wait to get back in the water. My wife... More 

Thank Cooldude64
1 review
Reviewed March 17, 2017 via mobile

We did our advanced open water here, overall it was great! IT was chill and all about diving! And perfect to end the dive at Their resturant with a Cold beer. The food is perfect!

Thank Pierre V
1 review
Reviewed March 16, 2017

It was my and my friends' first time surfing and we all had a blast. Ivan and John were excellent instructors. They were very concerned with making sure we each managed to get a few good waves in. Very chill, cool dudes.

Thank Arif K
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed March 10, 2017 via mobile

After reading the reviews here, I decided to check it out. Best decision ever!!!! Leandro and Leon were great at listening to my concerns, especially since I hadn't been diving for a while. I ended up completing my Advanced Open Water with them. By the end of the trip, I was feeling the most comfortable and confident I have felt... More 

Thank hmolanphy
Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed March 9, 2017 via mobile

The people at La Buga were amazing and so professional. My mom did 13 dives with them and my husband did 4 and they were very reasonably priced. We met so many amazing people there and created memories that will last a lifetime. Lucy and Ronaldo are two people who really stood out and made us was to come back... More 

Thank Catherine H

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of La Buga Dive Center & Surf School and other visitors
2 questions
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Boulder, Colorado


My husband and I are in our 50s but fairly adventurous and interested in booking a dive(s) with you. We're newly certified open water divers and La Buga Dive Center was recommended to us by Ocean First in Boulder Colorado, a popular dive shop in the mountain of Colorado :-) who trains divers and books international dive trips. They work with Kim at Reef and Rainforest who recommended La Buga Dive Center.

I've been wanting to come back to Bocas del Toro ever since I visited 10 years ago. What can you tell me about traveling there in March or April?

What is the weather like in March/April? Some say it's extra rainy and some say it doesn't matter because its rainy all year. Is it known to also be sunny?

We want to explore the area but likely stay in one place in Bocas del Toro. Can you give me any tips regarding where to stay? In Bocas town? Isla Carenero? Other?

Any information will be useful.

Muchas gracias!



Amy at Ocean First is the Director of Travel and Retail. It might be a good contact to have for future business.

Their website is Ocean First dot blue

"Our mission is to create and support a community of ocean enthusiasts who are passionate about experiencing and preserving our marine environments. Whether swimming, diving, or experiencing the ocean in their own sublime way, our customers share an infectious passion and excitement that transcends their daily lives. Our love of the ocean is the inspiration for our swim and dive instruction, travel services, marine biology education, and sustainability. Our approach to ocean conservation is simple - we believe a healthy ocean is a healthy planet."

2 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
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