Thanks to the creation of a penal colony on Coiba Island (1919-1991), seventy-five percent of the island is untouched, including the ocean’s bottom surrounding the chain of islands, which is linked to Coco’s and the Galapagos Islands by the underwater Coco Ridge mountain chain. By turning it into a National Park in 1992, the Panamanian government has succeeded in protecting the 760 different species of fish that can now be found here. “Think of the number of fish you have seen elsewhere and double it. Think about the size of the fish you have seen and double that as well. That sums up the promise of diving Coiba” - (Diver Magazine, May 2005).
Due to its isolation from large cities and river mouths, and thanks to the fact that Bocas del Toro is outside of the Caribbean's Hurricane Zone, the reefs of Bocas del Toro in Panama have some of the best-preserved hard and soft corals in the world. Bocas del Toro is home to 95 % of the coral species found in the Caribbean Sea, hosting many unique and endemic species. The waters are inhabited by a wonderful variety of tropical reef creatures, including nurse sharks, stingrays and many species of crab and lobster. When you dive in Bocas del Toro, aside from all of the species of colorful tropical corals, you may see spotted drum, snapper, ratfish, sea horses, moray eels, nurse sharks, sea turtles, rays, vase sponges, starfish, lobster, and the list goes on and on.