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“So many fish!”
Review of Scuba Coiba

Scuba Coiba
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Diving tours to Coiba National Park and dive sites close to Santa Catalina, snorkeling tours and dive courses
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed 4 April 2018

I took my 2 teenage children on a day diving trip with Scuba Coiba and we were all very happy with our dives. We saw more fish than any other dive we've done in the past including many reef sharks, octopus, eels and giant rays. Our dive master was very experienced and we also had a dive master in training who was very enthusiastic. Both were easy to talk to and answered all our questions.

As others have posted, the dive shop and boat could use a little work but they do the job and the owner was very pleasant.

All in all, we had a great day! Thank you Herbie and crew.

Thank Christi1969AD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"the owner"
in 16 reviews
in 23 reviews
"dive sites"
in 11 reviews
"dive shop"
in 14 reviews
"dive master"
in 20 reviews
"day trip"
in 11 reviews
"ranger station"
in 9 reviews
"diving experience"
in 8 reviews
"strong currents"
in 6 reviews
"boat crew"
in 6 reviews
"marine life"
in 8 reviews
"various types"
in 2 reviews
"mobula rays"
in 3 reviews
"great diving"
in 7 reviews
"white tip sharks"
in 6 reviews
"days diving"
in 4 reviews
"big stuff"
in 2 reviews

5 - 9 of 194 reviews

Reviewed 6 March 2018

I booked a three day trip to Coiba Island and the dives were incredible. We did 9 dives and all of them were difficult because of currents, visibility and thermoclines but we've seen lot of marine life. The boat that take us to the dives were small but can provide the dives even with 9 people and all the dive equipment. After the first dive our Dive master said that we do not need to care about our equipment because they would change the tanks for us. For help the changing we always stop in a paradisiac beach to eat and hydrate while the crew (boat pilot and a sailor) changed our air tanks. In the first day there was no problem, but in the first dive of the second day when I was checking my equipment inside the boat in the dive site I notice that my second stage was without the plastic and the valves that stays in front the part that you use to breath and we use to purge. This time I got very angry but the DiveMaster, Jose, quickly changed my regulator for another one in the boat and told me no worry because if they didn't find it in isla Honda(the island that we sleep and had dinner) or in the other boat( they changed boats in the first night) the owner(Herbie) probably would have one peace to replace. After finishing the trip I asked the people from the dive center if they found that peace and they didn't. They tried to find something that fit in the place but they didn't. So Herbie just said that "this thing happens" and thats was all... I stayed with my regulator injured and he simply did nothing.
I am just writing to reenforce that We have to take care about our own equipment, even if someone said to you to Don't care and for Herbie train better his boat crew to take care about his boat and his equipment( I saw they stepping, sitting, beating and putting the tanks without care over the dive stuffs).I imagine that this rude way to change tanks and care about diving stuffs could made the damage in my regulator. After all no one care more about your life than yourself.
Thanks for the attention,

4  Thank guicunha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herbie S, Gerente at Scuba Coiba, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2018

Dear Guilherme,
Thank you for your review. Especially your comments that you liked the dives, although you were diving in a week of very bad visibility compared to average conditions. I am sorry, that you lost your exhaust cover, we did not find it on the boat. I assume by pulling the equipment up into the boat, the 2nd stage of your regulator caught the border of the boat and fell off and went down in the water. These are things, what happen, unfortunately. I tried to replace it at the dive center, but as you had a brand of regulator we do not have, none of the exhaust valves I had in the workshop fitted on your regulator. And there is no other shop in Santa Catalina what has your brand of regulator where I could buy one. The price of this part - on the brands of regulators we use is between USD 4.00 and 10.00 dpending on the model, so I did not think, that it is such a big problem. Well, obviously it was for you, I am sorry, but there was nothing I could have done to put the part back on your reg. I hope you keep the nice dives in your memories.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2018

The good:
Pre-diving communications with Herbie was good. He was quick to respond to any questions or concerns. Any staff member we interacted with at the dive shop was friendly and helpful.
Our dive master/guide Jose was fantastic. In 12 or 13 years of diving, José is certainly one of the best dive masters we have dove with. He was very relaxed, yet professional. His love of diving and the ocean is quite evident.
The diving gear was in good condition. Our wetsuits seemed pretty much brand new, and had no issues with BCD’s, etc. The boats used were perfectly fine.
The food, both shore lunches and breakfast and suppers and the hostel, were quite good. You certainly won’t go hungry on the trip!

The diving:
The diving was ok, but a little less exciting than expected, possibly due to time of the year. Visibility on portions of some dives was quite limited. As divers, we realize conditions and things to see can change drastically in a short period of time. You could go out one day, and have just an ok dive. You could dive the same site the next day, and have a fantastic dive.
On our last dive, we did see numerous Mobula rays, a huge school of barracudas and Jacks along with an abundance of other schooling fish.
Things seen during diving: numerous white tip reef sharks, various types of rays, massive lobsters, a dolphin, numerous eels of various types.
From the boat we also saw several dolphins, a manta and mobula rays.

The accommodations:
Since the ranger station is (temporarily) shut down, the only accommodations for overnight dive trips in Coiba is Bahia Honda. Due to the remoteness of Honda, we knew the hostel would be fairly basic/rustic. The hostel in a nice setting with a great view and has the potential to be better with a few tweaks and improvements.
The generator was not always working so if you need to charge camera batteries, etc you may want to take your own charging source.

Is Coiba worth it? It depends on where you have dove in the past, and what your expectations are. Just go in knowing, that with any dive, you are not guaranteed to see all of the big stuff that Coiba gets all the hype for.

If you do go to Coiba, I have no hesitation recommending ScubaCoiba ( ask if Jose is available for the divemaster!)

1  Thank luvs2travel76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2018

We had a great time diving with our guide Ben and the team at Scuba Coiba. We did the 3 day Coiba dive tour, so we could optimize our experience out there. From the booking process to meeting up and going out to Coiba, everything went really smoothly and everyone was really professional throughout the trip. You really feel "out there" which is a great element to spend time with the marine life present in the area. The conditions were far from ideal since we arrived at the tail end of the season and yet we got to see so much (so many reef sharks, big schools of fish, whale breaching at a distance, turtles, mobula, eels and so on). Miriam fed us like kings, the food was always delicious and plentiful, our stay on the island was basic but fair, because for us this trip was all about the diving experience and the people who took us there, it was great. If you're an experienced diver, join them on a 3 day trip during the season, we recommend them.

Thank Emma11222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 January 2018 via mobile

I came here to gain my certification for the open water PADI course.

Scuba coiba were great and really eased me into the course, thoroughly explaining the ins and outs of diving as well as providing all the groundwork for the theory part of the course.

Cynthia my diving instructor was extremely passionate and treated the lessons in a very calm and professional manner making me feel at ease and ultimately confident in myself as a diver.

Even though I am a newbie to the diving culture, I saw the team providing excellent service to guests wanting to come for a day dive or two, explaining all about the different dive sites and species to see.

For my first dive I was lucky enough to spot an array of species, from white tip reef sharks and porcupine puffer fish to box fish and garden eels. Of course, these are just a few of the species coiba island and islands surrounding have to offer.

Scuba coiba also provide a pit stop for lunch and lunch is provided.

So if you’re looking for a place to go to for diving, scuba coiba is the one.

Plus santa catalina is probably the most relaxed and modest area in Panama!

Cheers scuba coiba team and in particular Cynthia!

Thank Patrick L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herbie S, General Manager at Scuba Coiba, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2018

Thank you Patrick, we hope to have you back as a diver one day

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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