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“People you can trust and enjoy.”

La Buga Dive Center & Surf School
Ranked #3 of 22 Tours in Bocas Town
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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
Reviewed June 13, 2010

I had the pleasure or spending the morning with Ricardo and a couple of other divers. Even though it had been a while since my last dive and I felt like I was all thunbs, Ricardo was patient and assisted me regaining my comfort level. During both dives I saw that Ricardo was attentive to the divers he had with him, making sure that everything was alright. We had two very nice dives in the morning and returned to the shop where we had lunch at the La Bugitta Cafe (Sorry I'm not sure of the spelling) and the food was excellent. You have4 to try it. This was the first6 real native cooking I'd had on my trip and it turned out to be one of the best.

The afternoon dives were led by Kaylee(I hope I have the name and spelling correct) who turned out to be as attentive and personable as Ricardo had been. Both dives were very enjoyable and turned out to have more of the marine life I had been looking for than the morning dives. Lion fish, eel, Lobster, star fish of many varieties and coral abounded. There was really too much to remember.

My one suggestion to the divers going on the trip...Either take a good camera or rent the one from La Buga. You won't remember all you saw and photos are the best way to remember your time at an unfamiliar location. Other than that, just enjoy the time because it will be all over far too soon.

Thank mtj012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"open water"
in 59 reviews
"these guys"
in 37 reviews
"diving experience"
in 29 reviews
"great staff"
in 23 reviews
"bocas del toro"
in 50 reviews
"laid back"
in 22 reviews
"ship wreck"
in 12 reviews
"diving spots"
in 10 reviews
"fun diving"
in 10 reviews
"my boyfriend"
in 23 reviews
"good vibes"
in 11 reviews
"making sure"
in 15 reviews
"explained everything"
in 11 reviews
"learn how"
in 9 reviews
"amazing instructor"
in 8 reviews
"lobster"
in 16 reviews
"feel comfortable"
in 11 reviews
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733 - 737 of 1,010 reviews

Reviewed June 3, 2010

I went diving twice on Bocas and La Buga was definately not the better of the two. They had competitve prices but I found the service to be quite poor. The boat was nice but once we got on the water I realized that I had air leaking someplace. They switched my tank and the leak remained but they said it would not be a problem. Overall, it did not reassure me. I was the only English speaker on the boat, and while the staff and divemasters could speak English they did not. The diving was quite nice, good soft corals. As I said, I went diving again the next day but I went with the Dutch Pirate, who I found to have MUCH better service.

Thank gxqpp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toroloco, General Manager at La Buga Dive Center & Surf School, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2012

so sorry that our staff didnt spoke in english. most of our customers are english speakers and we should know better. this issue was reviewed in or staff meetings hopefully doesnt happen again.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2010

La Buga guys took me and my camera to the best dive locations. Nice easy diving on the first day. We did two long dives at the wreck and some other location inside the bay. Both sites where quite good. Then, on my second day of diving it got much much better, first we did two dives at Tiger Rocks where we saw a school of dolphins pass by. Outstanding place with lots of fish and great place to use wide angle lens. Then we headed to the caves of Bastimentos, really fun dive with great vis, lots of tunnels and channels plus the pictures came out great.
Got lucky weather wise for the first two days, then started raining for the following days so decided to go surfing, got all beated up but Chapo the surf instructor made it a lot of fun. Perhaps in 10 or 20 years more of practice I will be able to say I can surf!!
Lastly I did a night dive back at the wreck. Bioluminicensce was amazing!
Many thanks to La Buga´s team. For shure they know their stuff!!

Thank JMEsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2010

We spent new year in Bocas del Toro and had a great time. We loved the island vibe, food and most important we really enjoy diving there. We dove for 4 days and it was really enjoyable, First we dove the wreck and we were quite disapointed since my wife and I dont like wrecks that much, we just prefer to see abundant life in coral reefs, then we dove Hospital point which was really enjoyable, easy easy diving at 12 mts. It rained all day the following day so we decided to stay in our hotel and go diving at night, Frida took us to Playground and we loved it. We were specting to have not so good visibility but it was more than enough. Next day we went to see the dolphins and dove on Pastores island and Faro Verde, Pastores was a really beautifull place with lots and lots of healthy coral heads and in Faro Verde we saw a big big nurse shark! We did our last day of diving at Tiger Rock. Two dives there were amazing, there was a bit a swell and a soft surface current which makes this site not suitable for begginers I think, but, for advanced divers it is a must! we saw nurse and reef sharks, as well as huge parrot fish and hundreds of other species of fish. Then on the way back we stopped at cayos Zapatillos where we ate a wonderful choripan made at the dive shop.
We have dove all over the word, mostly in the red sea, and although Bocas is not the very best we have seen (Tiger Rock was amazing!) we had a great time and really enjoyed our dives. We want to thank and recommend La Buga, their attitude and professionalism made the difference.They took excellent care of my wife and I, took great care of us at Tiger Rock and made us feel safe and confortable, showed us Bocas underwater and guided us to the best restaurants and sightseen around.
If you go there make sure you try La Buguitas coconut seafood pasta!!!

1  Thank vic D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 9, 2009

My 11 year old son and I just competed our PADI open water certification at La Buga yesterday. I am extremely impressed with La Buga! Not only do they provide a relaxed and comfortable environment for the theoretical part of the course, but they also provide top notch water skills training. My son was a little nervous about some of the skills required, and he didn't love the bookwork. He is after all, 11 years old! However, Kate's patience and one on one coaching and Ricardo and Kate's positive vibe encouraged him to continue. He completed the course with flying colors! I have to give them extra credit for that! They did not skimp on the skills requirements or the quality of the instruction and they were flexible and supportive throughout..

The diving was transcendent, the confined water skills were done out on the sandy bottom of the Gardens, which is a beautiful environment is which to learn. We had 3 days with 2 dives each day. And they add on 2 free dives to use as you like after one is certified! Kate really enjoys sharing the underwater world with her students and Jose and Fidel back her up superbly. They care about the environment very much and educate on proper diving techniques that cause no harm to the reef environment. Jose is studying to be a marine biologist and is an amazing diver in his own right. Ricardo, Kate and Jose are fluent in both Spanish and English, Fidel is very quiet so he remains a mystery! All are very fun and comfortable to be around. You can see the whole crew in the photo I attached. I'm the one in the skirt!

1  Thank AurelieAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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