AN underwater world
Coiba National Park is an UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site and a must see while you are in PANAMA. Coiba is located just 37 kilometers (23 miles) from our shores, making Santa Gatalina the gateway to the national park. This ecologically rich archipelago includes over 1,687 square miles of both marine and jungle habitat. Spanning over 430,000 hectares in all, makes it one of the world’s largest marine parks. Due to the influence of five major currents, this region named, “The Tropical Eastern Pacific” is rich with nutrients and abundant with larger fish and greater numbers of fish than are found in most other locations around the world. Snorkeling you can expect to see reef sharks, sea turtles, eels, puffers, parrot and many other colorful tropical fish. Diving allows opportunity to see other rare species such as sea horses, frog fish and spotted eagle rays.
Whale sharks are commonly seen by both divers and snorkelers from December through March. Humpback whales are seen in migratory route from August to November. They both mate and give birth in this area. It is not uncommon to see a female humpback with a newborn calf.
On land some up to 147 bird species can be seen including 21 endemic species and rare birds such as the Crested Eagle, the Coiba Spinetail and the Brown-backed Dove plus many other sub species. In addition, Coiba National Park serves to protect it’s population of Scarlet Macaws which is nearly extinct form its mainland habitat, thus making it nationally endangered.
There are a total of 36 species of mammals, many of which are unique to the park as well, such as the Coiba Island Agouti and the Mantled Howler Monkey. We hope you will visit this Panamanian gem during your visit.
The following are links to REPUTABLE dive shops who arrange
tours with a focus on diving and snorkeling:
FOR A LOCAL OPERATOR WHO GUIDES SNORKELING TOURS WITH A BIT OF HIKING, WE RECOMMEND:
Watching Dolphin -Jorje Espinosa (507)6664272
PRIVATE TOURS WITH AN ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE:
Bird Coiba www.birdcoiba.com
Fluid Adventures (December - April) www.fluidadventurespanama.com