Mother and calf humpback whale show in Coiba National Park

Coiba Trip Report

On our last trip to Coiba National Park, we had 16 guests from Spain onboard Yemaya. This was the second year that Aspasia Diving has chartered the boat.

We had some rain almost everyday, at times short and other times for a few hours. This affected the visibilty because the rivers on Isla Coiba brought a lot of sediments in to the sea. Water temperature was around 27 C (81 F) with visibility ranging from 15 to 25 meters (49 to 82 feet).

On the the first day we dove around Canales. Just before we arrived to the spot of our checkout dive, a humpback whale mother and calf passed by and we had the chance to observe them up close. It was a good start!

On the second day Yemaya anchored close to Rancheria to settle in for two nights. As part of our program, we visited the beach of Granita de Oro to do some snorkeling and to visit the ranger station. Unfortunately, “Tito” the in-house crocodile wasn’t around… In Isla Frijoles one dive group was able to watch a big school of golden cownose rays for a few minutes.

After two days in Rancheria, we then went up north to Canales. On the way to our destination, we stopped at Prosper Rock, where everyone had an awesome dive with lots of long-tail stingrays. And, as per tradition, we did the next two dives in Fishermans Dream and Roller Coaster, where we had great encounters with big schools of barracudas, jacks, snappers and one big black-tip shark.

Early morning on the fifth day Yemaya moved on to Playa Hermosa. Since the visibility was not ideal on our two morning dives in Twin Peaks and Jorobada de Ballena, the crew and guests decided together to move directly south to Isla Jicarita.

The last day of diving was by far the best of this trip. On every dive we saw giant mantas at least 2-3 times. Our dives in Cathedral and Washing Machine were unforgettable moments for our Spanish guests. After finishing the last dive just before sunset, both skiffs with our guests had the chance to follow a mother humpback whale with her baby playing around for an hour in front of us.

What a finale!

Reto Müller
Dive Guide on MV Yemaya
Coiba Trip Report
September 20-27, 2017