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Denise Patrick of Panama Roadrunner Secure Transport – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Snorkel Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWe often take guests to snorkel or dive in Portobelo, where you get on a boat and go to a nearly private beach to snorkel or out on a boat to scuba.  We combine the day with a bit of siteseeing.  
 
There is also great snorkeling at Contadora, an island not far from Panama City.  There is a ferry that leaves Amador Causeway in the morning and returns in the afternoon.  
 
The best snorkeling I've done is with Rey at Golden Frog in Portobelo - he took our group first to the beach to snorkel and then to the "wall" which was amazing!  
David Bayliss of KW PACIFICA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Isla Coiba, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is a lot of diving, scuba, and snorkeling here in Panama. You can snorkel around San Blas (on the Caribbean side, in a protected area) but you cannot dive there because the Indians who live there wouldn’t want you to. You also get all sorts of diving out on the Pearl Islands (on the Pacific side, off of Panama City), which was famous from the Survivor series. There is also lots of diving on the Portobello side on the Caribbean.
 
You can scuba dive in Isla Coiba, which is what National Geographic called world class diving. In Isla Coiba, you will find a phenomenon called Hannibal Banks, which has water coming from 10,000 feet straight up the wall, where all the nutrients gets pushed up to where the fish could eat it at a shallower depth. The fish like that area so that is where you would see large whale sharks, big rays, and big fish of all different kinds. You will see coral reefs. You will also see shallow areas because there are numerous islands around there. Hannibal Banks creates this phenomenon where there is big fish and abundant wildlife.
 
Strangely enough, many years ago, Coiba and the Galapagos Islands were connected, which is why Coiba has some land species that are only found there and in the Galapagos Islands.  
 
(Isla Coiba, Panama, pcitured.)
Anne Gordon de Barrigón of Whale Watching Panama/Emberá Village Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
TheSea_stars_at_Bocas_del_Toro,_Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingre is great scuba and snorkeling here in Panama, both in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
 
The Caribbean has crystal clear waters, a huge diversity in colorful corals and tropical fish. Imagine scuba diving or snorkeling in an aquarium filled with colorful tropical fish. That is what it is like to scuba or snorkel in the Caribbean. You can do that easily in the Portobello area where there are a couple of dive shops that offer scuba as well as snorkeling trips. There are also plenty of dive shops and snorkeling in Bocas Del Toro (left photo). In Bocas Del Toro, some of the snorkeling is just right in front of a beach bar, so it is very convenient.
 
The waters right on the mainland on the Pacific side are not clear, but if you  go out to the islands such as the Pearl Islands, which is 35 miles south east of Panama City, or Isla Coiba (bottom photo), that is where you will see clear waters and nice coral reefs with lots of nice and colorful tropical fish. You will also see the big fishes in the Pacific side. You will see whale sharks, big game fish, and whales.
 
There isn't really decent snorkeling and diving along the PaCoiba National Park, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingcific side of Panama because there are a lot of rivers and waves turning everything up, except for the Azuero Peninsula and Isla Iguana, where there are really clear waters and are also good places for diving and snorkeling. The Azuero Peninsula is dryer, so there are no river run offs that stir up the water and make them less clear.
 
If you are in Panama City, the closest diving and snorkeling spot are The Pearl Islands. You can go snorkeling at Isla Taboga, but it is not great and the beach is not that fabulous. It gets too crowded by the partying Panamanians. Isla Taboga is about 12 miles outside Panama City. There is a daily ferry that goes there and back.
Alan Filliger of Alana la Casa del Arte – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There is very good scuba diving and snorkeling all over Panama.  I have been a certified scuba diver for 26 years and I have been scuba diving in many countries.  Australia's Great Barrier Reef, all over Mexico, Honduras (Roatan), Figi, Hawaii (several islands) and cave diving.  We have several good scuba diving centers close to where I live on the Caribbean (near Portobello) and there are many good scuba opportunities on the Pacific side as well.
kevin obrien of BarefootPanama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Most of the answers listed here on the Best Places in the World to Retire site are correct. BUT, YOU CAN NOT DIVE IN SAN BLAS. It is illegal. Portobelo, Bocas, COIBA!, and the Pearl islands are all good and Isla Iguana also has a pretty good set up. 
RENE GOMEZ of SCUBAPANAMA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama has five diving sites in one country. In the northwest we have Bocas; in the northeast we have San Blas; in the southwest we have Coiba; in the sotheast we have The Perlas; AND we have the waters that feed the famous Panama Canal.
 
You can dive the Pacific Ocean in the morning and 2 hours later dive the Atlantic Ocean.  Two different underwater eco-systems in ONE DAY!
 
Judith Tovar of Easy Travel Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Diving and Scuba in Panama is wonderful.  You can do a lot of diving and scuba in the Portobelo area...and in the Bocas del Toro Area. 
 
In Panama we have both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans......and we actually have wonderful diving and scuba and in some areas in both oceans.   Just to mention a couple of wonderful places to go diving...Portobelo, Bocas del Toro, Contadora.
 
If you just want to do snorkeling...you will be able to do this in some of our reefs and you will see some amazing colored fish and coral.
 
You will love it!
 

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