This is adventure diving at its best! The Secas Archipelago and its neighboring island groups, Ladrones, Paredas and the Coiba National Park, and the UNESCO World Heritage site offer some of the best adventure diving in the world.
Influenced by five major oceanic currents and located in one of the richest and most abundant eco-regions, the Tropical Eastern Pacific, the islands of the Gulf of ChiriquÌ are the keystone of reproduction for many marine species and boast a greater bio-diversity of marine life and marine habitat than other island groups of the region, the Galapagos and Coco Islands, Costa Rica. Read More
The marine environment of the Gulf of ChiriquÌ was once thought to be devoid of coral reefs. Scientific investigations over the last century have revealed hundreds of hectares of live coral cover, and the investigation and discovery go on. Twenty-two coral and thirty-four octo-coral species/Gorgonians have been observed, many only now detected in Panama as endemic or new species.
Natural phenomena such as extreme tidal exchanges which expose the reef, dramatic changes in light penetration, nutrient levels and water temperature, along with abrupt changes in water salinity make this one of the most hostile environments on the planet to sustain coral growth. However the corals are healthy and abundant!
The Secas have some of the oldest coral reefs in Panama. Recent core drilling and carbon dating of modern coral reefs of the archipelago have revealed reefs more than 5,600 years old and a vertical growth structure of eight meters or twenty-five feet. Examples of massive corals can also be found here. The reef at Isla Barracuda is one kilometer long and two hundred meters wide.
Reefs provide habitat, shelter and hunting grounds for a diverse range of marine life.
Snorkeling over some of the archipelago's extensive and thriving coral reefs provides a window on another world and the opportunity to encounter a great diversity of tropical reef fish, numerous hard and soft corals and marine organisms. Loggerhead and Olive Ridley turtles are frequent visitors to these protected waters, as are White Tip reef shark. Ornate Moorish Idols and King Angel fish are common, as are schools of Sturgeon grazing on marine algae. On the reef fringes, Butterfly fish and Wrasse school up together forming cleaning stations, which are frequented by larger fish.
Unique Diving Experiences!
Over 800 species of fish, with thirty-three species of shark including the Reef White Tip, Scalloped Hammerhead, Bull, Tiger, and the bizarre Guitar shark. Read More
A variety of schooling rays, Giant Mantas, Spotted Eagle Rays, Thurston's Devil Rays and Stingrays. Four species of Marine turtle and a great variety of marine mammals, including several species of dolphin, pilot whales, Orcas and migratory humpback whales. Large schools of predators, Barracuda, Jacks and Snapper can be observed, together with a great variety of schooling reef fish.
The irregular volcanic underwater landscape is adorned with an abundance of hard and soft corals, marine sponges and sea fans which provide habitat to an amazing array of benthic life, (bottom dwellers), including lobsters, crab, octopus, several types of eels, sea stars, blennies, stargazers, sea horse, nudibranchs, sea pens and exotic creatures such as the harlequin shrimp and frog fish.
The Gulf of ChiriquÌ has a range of up to five meters/sixteen feet tidal exchange every six hours. Currents are common and variable depending on location. Lateral visibility on average is twenty-two meters/seventy feet and surface water temperature hovers around 28C/80F. Thermocline depth varies throughout the year and reduces the temperature by several degrees. This cooler water brings the larger pelagic life closer to the surface.
We offer a range of dive sites to suit all levels of experience, training and comfort levels. From calm, shallow, protected inshore reefs, islands and break rocks, to high voltage diving on exposed off-shore deep water pinnacles and sea mounts.
Islas Secas dive professionals have over twenty years of experience diving these waters and offer our guests a full range of dive related services including PADI diver courses ranging from a free three hour no certification Discover Scuba Experience, to a full range of diver certification, specialty courses and referrals. (See Rates section for prices.)
We carry six full sets of Scubapro diving equipment, including dive computers.
80 Cft. Aluminum tanks, Certified Clean Air.
Safe, fast and spacious boats with trained crews carry the latest in safety equipment, oxygen and First Aid.
Forget about crowded dive sites and boats – this area is almost virgin diving territory. New sites are frequently encountered providing opportunities for exploration and discovery.
As part of our ongoing conservation plan for the Secas, we have installed sub-surface mooring buoys at our dive sites, which provide our divers direct access to the sites and eliminate damage to the marine environment from anchoring.
This is adventure diving at its best!