Never heard of Coiba National Park? Well it is time to do so as you would miss out on some spectacular diving here. Funnily enough Coiba National Park and its special Zone of Marine Protection, is still not very well known among the diver community despite of its vast variety of marine flora and fauna. Thanks to its upstream water of the deep sea mixing with Pacific currents mesmerizing underwater sceneries are found in Coiba. Species as large as whale sharks, Manta Rays and a variety of sharks call these waters their home. A lot of IUCN Red listed animals are to be spotted in the mesmerizing underwater scenery in the Coiba National Park. These include for instance Loggerhead Turtles, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Leatherback Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles, Olive Ridley, and Sperm Whales. And if you are very lucky you might spot the one or the other at the right time of the season. The island also has its rich history reaching back to around 2000 B.C. when the island was still inhabited by a Central American mountain tribe called the Chibcha who built fishing camps on Coiba and several islands nearby. Ancient fish traps can occasionally be sighted in intertidal zones. Conquested by the Spaniards in the 15° century, the Island experienced its first drastic change remaining mostly inhabited. Da 1918 Panama brought Coiba Island into his possession and Coiba was developed into a penal colony on the east coast for up to 3,000 prisoners and guards including 22 convict camps in the south and west, now mostly abandoned. In 1992, the foundation of the Coiba National Park was carried including surrounding islands. It was not long after when the area became a UNESCO World Heritage site protecting around 430.000 acres of ocean and 38 Islands. Come and see for yourself the stunning beauty of the Islands and the mind blowing underwater heaven is for sure worth a visit.
Check out these Photographs from the sky by Kike Calvo published by National Gepgraphic!!!