Panama - Santa Catalina, my winter home
(January - May 2017)
Why Panama, I use to hear from my friends very often?!
Central America became my winter home very quickly, without much planning or thinking. I just have got a job offer I liked, as it combines my photography and diving, and keeps my freedom of come and go whenever I want to.
For four months I moved to Santa Catalina, small village on the Pacific shore, where all dive trips head daily to Coiba National Park. I had no expectations, and no idea where exactly I am going to move to.
First night I arrived, I was very nicely surprised, as I found much similarity with Dahab! Hippie place, for backpackers, mostly Europeans. Nice, very free, quiet. After six weeks living there, I know now that it is not very well supplied by food and basic stuff, there is not much to do, but the life is simple and the nature untouched and beautiful. You can visit white sand beaches, watch the crocodiles in their natural environment, endemic monkeys, reptiles and different species of birds.
Diving is challenging and very different day from day. Sometimes water is crystal clear and you see huge animals - whales, whale sharks, hundreds of rays. Sometimes the temperature drops down with thermocline to 14 degrees, that you hardly see more than 2 m and you can not spot a single fish.
But those schooling fishes! What a beauty! Same as Lembeh is for me Mecca of macro, Coiba is the best place for diving with the schooling jacks, trevallies, tunas and any other fishes.
Multiday, over night trips to Coiba island are very good way how to spend quality time diving in Panama.
And what I have to tell at first: Spanish is a must! I am still good with tiburon ballena only, but it has to change by the next season!