Known as the Crossroads of the Americas, Panama is a seriously stunning country that has recently emerged on the world’s top-rated tourist destination lists. It is also one of the few locations in the world where you can dive two oceans in one day.

The Caribbean waters on the east coast of Panama are home to many colorful reef fish and corals, and the abundance of marine life and unique, relaxing spots, allow for practically unparalleled diving.

The Pacific side, on the other hand, is known for cooler waters and currents, and divers can have encounters with several species of sharks, whale sharks, humpback whales, dolphins, and much more.

Best dive locations in Panama

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Bocas del Toro

Located on the Caribbean side of Panama, it’s one of the premier sites for scuba diving. Bocas del Toro is sufficiently isolated from large cities, it’s well outside the Caribbean’s hurricane zone, and its reefs have some of the best preserved hard and soft corals.


Located in the northern parts of the Isthmus of Panama, scuba diving in Portobelo is accessible throughout the entire year. There are many different sites to dive in Portobelo, and the entire area is teeming with life, like yellowtail snappers, sergeant majors, different species of turtles, and lobster, among the many types of coral.

Coiba National Park

The archipelago of Coiba National Park consists of 28 islands, the largest of which is Coiba Island – the largest island in Pacific Central America. It boasts staggering biodiversity, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980 after being the most notorious prison in Panama.

Best time to dive in Panama

You can dive in Panama all year round, but the best time of year to visit is from late December to the end of April to avoid the heavy rains. You’ll also enjoy the holiday periods during these months like Christmas, New Year, Carnaval, and Holy Week.

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Highlights of Panama

Even if you’re heading to Panama for the great diving, that doesn’t mean you can’t visit some of the awesome land attractions the country has to offer. From countless animal encounters and nature parks to pristine Panama beaches, there is a lot to keep you busy.

Here are a few things you should do or see while in Panama:

Where to stay in Panama

Ever heard of PADI Travel? Yep, you can now book your dives and rooms with the biggest name in scuba diving! Trust us, you want to book you dream dive trip with the most trusted name in the industry!

Click here to start browsing dive resorts and destinations.

Geography of Panama

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Panama is a country located in Central America known also as the “Crossroads of the Americas” because of its position between North and South America. The total area is 75,420 km² with 74,340 km² land and the 1,080 km² is water. The population is approximately 4,034,119.

Panama Canal is a famous feature of the country since it links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to create a fundamental shipping route. Discover the beauty of the ruins of Spanish forts on the Caribbean coast, or explore the wildlife.

A small country with two long coasts will surely fill your thirst for adventure.

Capital city of Panama: Panama City

Closest neighbors to Panama: Panama’s closest neighbors are Colombia and Costa Rica.

Visa requirements for Panama: Visas are not required for your 90 days stay although you’ll need a valid passport and a return ticket.

Currency of Panama: Currencies of Panama are US dollar ($, USD; banknotes only) and Panamanian Balboa (PAB; coins only).

Official Language of Panama: Spanish is the official language of Panama.

UNESCO World Heritage sites in Panama

There are 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Panama and 2 on their tentative list.

Time zone: UTC-05:00

Calling code: +507

Closest airport: PTY

Plugins: 120 V

Currency: PAB


Have you been scuba diving in Panama? Or are you planning a dive trip to Panama? Let us know in the comments below!

Austin Tuwiner Administrator

Austin is the website owner, and began scuba diving at just 16 years old. After traveling and diving all over the world, he is dedicated to bringing the hobby to more people.

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