Despite its Central American location, Panama is an off-the-beaten-path scuba diving destination. Liveaboards here visit the hammerhead hotspot Malpelo and the pelagic wonderland called Coiba Island.
Panama may not seem an obvious choice for a scuba diving holiday, but liveaboards in the country offer a variety of experiences. Some head to Malpelo to dive with hammerhead and silky sharks as well as manta rays. Others stay closer to shore, visiting Coiba Island Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you’ll find 700 species of fish, schools of mobula rays, whale sharks and humpback whales. Or visit Hannibal Bank to find huge schools of snapper and jack along with their toothy predators. Most liveaboards in Panama last 7 to 15 days, and the best time to dive in Panama depends on your destination. Head to Malpelo from May to September or stay in Panama from December to April.