Scuba Diving in Bocas del Toro


There are a number of scuba diving operators (links to their web sites at the bottom of this page) and many diving spots to try with them. The operators offer all inclusive packages that take you to two different sites per day. A project by the marine protection organisation PROMAR (Fundación para la Protección del Mar) is installing 15 mooring buoys in different sectors of the Archipelago.

The water temperatures constant and very warm, therefore not even short wet suits are necessary. Water visibility is dependent on weather conditions and varies from one dive spot to another. September and October normally have less rain and wind and give clearer water conditions. On a sunny day, natural light is enough to get good underwater images at less than 20 feet of water.

The more common coral species are lettuce, fire, brain, star, finger, leather, elkhorn, staghorn, gorgonians, black and sea fans.

There are many small reef invertebrates: peppermint shrimps, arrow crabs, bristelworms, bristel starfishes, lima shells, basket starfishes, toadfishes, seahorses. And sponges in many colours.

Fish are not very abundant due to very fishing, mainly by ngobe indians for their own food. Common fishes on the reefs are: gray angel, yellowtail snapper, white snapper, small groupers, spade, grunt, parrot, damsel, green and spotted moray eels, nurse sharks.

In Admiral Bay, the main scuba diving sites are Healthy coral reefs can be found at Cristobal Light, off Cristobal Island, Mangrove Point and Big Baight, off Colon Island, and The Garden, off Solarte Key. With these reefs you get a slow drop from 10 feet (3 meters) to a bottom at 60 feet (20 meters). At Cristobal Light there is a platform at 15 feet (5 meters), with a lot of sponges and corals that are growing on the pilots lights for the banana ships.

Hospital Point off Solarte Key, the small vertical wall is the main attraction.

Coral Cay - This dive is near the Coral Cay restaurant. It's a shallow water dive, perhaps 20 - 35 ft., over an enormous garden of soft and hard coral, separated by sandy bottom.

Outside Admiral Bay scuba diving depends on weather conditions. Places Wild Cane Cay (off Playa Larga) and Caves at Zapatillas Keys are difficult to reach when there is a north wind. More protected areas are close to Crawl Cay and the very shallow (20 feet maximum) site of Coral islands close to Zapatillas Keys.

Tiger Rock - a one hour boat ride from Bocas town, is just off the mainland and to the right of Zapatilla Cays. There is a large rock formation that stands above the surface, and descends well below 100 ft. One can expect to see moray eels, bristle tree worms, anemones, sponges, and small schools of groupers.

Starfleet Scuba

Bocas Water Sports

Dutch Pirate

 

Bocas del Toro Information