The Panama Experience

Panama

 

“Absolutely a spear fisherman’s fantasy, all day in beautiful, nearly deserted Caribbean reefs and pinnacles chasing huge fish, then bringing them back to our private villa on the water for a fresh seafood feast. Finish the day with cold drinks and watching the sunset from a hammock. Get up the next morning ready to do it all over again.”

-Matt Mong 2006 Panama Spearfishing Expedition


INTRODUCTION

Imagine the ultimate spearfishing adventure: a remote, tropical location, warm, clear water, virgin coral reefs teeming with trophy sportfish, luxury accommodations, and a private charter boat. Better yet, imagine this trip with a small select group, led by a guide with unrivaled experience, offering a level of personalized service unheard of in dive travel. Extreme Dive Adventures can be your personal guide for this unique trip to the tropical paradise of Panama.

This all-inclusive expedition will take you to freedive spearfish and scuba dive some of the most incredible locations of Bocas Del Toro Panama. Due to the specialized nature of this travel adventure, space is limited to a maximum of 5 people. As your personal guides, we will take you to remote areas where you can expect to have a shot at 20 plus pound snapper, oversized grouper, large spiny lobster, and many other trophy sportfish all in a setting of spectacular reefs and rock pinnacles.


TRIP SCHEDULE: October / November 2010

Guide: Justin McNesky


Arrival Day: Depart from Miami. Flight to Panama City, Panama. Night 1 spent in the Panama Marriott Hotel.

panama

Day 2: Morning regional flight from Panama City to Bocas Del Toro Airport. Water taxi to hotel Casa Acuario. Check in to hotel, captain and guide briefing, followed by afternoon pinnacle and reef diving.


Day 3: Full day of pinnacle and reef diving and spearfishing around the Bocas Del Toro.


Day 4: Morning departure ½ day boat trip to remote Escudo Veraguas archipelago. Afternoon spearfishing, lobster and conch hunting. Local lodging and private cook.


Day 5: Full day in Escudo Veraguas spearfishing, lobstering, and touring the islands.


Day 6: Off gas day, touring rain forest and other Bocas del Toro attractions.


Day 7: Regional flight from Bocas del Toro airport to Panama City. Spend night in Panama Marriott Hotel.


Departure Day: Flight back to Miami.


TRIP FEATURESbocas-del-toro-beach


All Inclusive

Round Trip Airfare from Miami International Airport

Round trip Regional Flights from Panama City to Bocas del Toro

All ground transportation, transfers, and departure taxes

All food and drink on site at Casa Acuario and Escudo Veraguas

Private Boat with English speaking captain and mate

All tanks (air or NITROX)

Weights


LOCATION

PANAMA


Located between Costa Rica and Columbia, Panama is a tropical, mountainous country with a rich history. In the Northern portion of Panama and particularly the Bocas Del Toro, tourism constitutes a large portion of the economy and Americans are welcomed. Fishing, surfing, and eco-tours make up a large portion of Panama’s tourist activities. Panama is also a popular retirement destination and has been consistently ranked in the top 5 best places to retire. The American dollar is the official paper currency. Panama’s geography varies from mountainous rain and cloud forest in the interior to tropical beaches and mangrove lagoons along both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.


Panama City is a sophisticated, metropolitan area with a population close to 1 million. Situated on Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, the city is a thriving center for international trade. A wide variety of restaurants, entertainment and dance clubs are available. The architecture is mostly modern, but sections of the city still contain colonial buildings and cobblestone streets.


BOCAS DEL TORO

captured fish in a tropical sea on boardThe islands of Bocas Del Toro are located on the Northern Caribbean coast of Panama approximately 25 miles southeast of the Costa Rican border. This island chain is a spectacular natural setting that remains largely unspoiled. Development in the islands has been kept in check and the area retains a relaxed, island atmosphere. The climate is tropical and the vegetation exotic. Dense rainforest covers most of the islands with pristine white sand beaches ringing much of the coastlines. An extensive live coral reef system and numerous rocky pinnacles rising from the depths provide world class diving.


The Bocas Del Toro offer several national parks and preserves for rainforest and eco tours. The town of Bocas Del Toro reflects the laid back atmosphere of the islands. Old style Caribbean architecture dominates the landscape. Some shopping is available with local vendors offering a variety of handmade curios. Several nightclubs operate in the islands, including the Barco Hundido where an actual shipwreck is connected to the beachfront dance club. Water taxi service regularly runs between the islands.


ESCUDO VERAGUAS


Escudo Veraguas Panama“Off the map” is a good way of describing the Escudo Veraguas archipelago. An isolated outer island and reef system, this area is one of the least traveled on Panama’s Caribbean coast. Located 25 miles off of the mainland, Escudo Veraguas consists of one large island ringed by several smaller mangrove cays. Populated by only a few small native fishing camps, this area is a true remote island paradise. Lush rainforest dominates the interior of the island while mangrove inlets, lagoons with untouched sandy beaches, and coconut palms take up the coast.

The underwater realm surrounding Escudo Veraguas is nothing short of spectacular. Virgin Caribbean reefs and rocky outcroppings are home to a countless variety of reef and sport fish. Fishing pressure in this area is almost nonexistent, making Escudo Veraguas a true world class spearfishing destination.



DIVING


Panama offers a complete array of diving activities for divers of all skill levels. Conditions vary from benign to extreme. On the Caribbean side of Panama one can generally expect visibility to range from 40-100′. In the Bocas Del Toro and Escudo Veraguas many clear, protected reef zones provide a relaxed diving atmosphere with little current and reefs that can compete with any in the Caribbean. For the more experienced diver, rocky pinnacles dominate the coastal waters in this region. These outcroppings are the result of ancient volcanic activity and rise from deep ocean depths. Many reach all the way to the surface and even to 100+ feet of elevation.

Scuba Diving Panama

The sea life in Bocas Del Toro is in line with most of the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic. Fishing and spearfishing have long been a part of the culture here and in the more remote areas fish populations are abundant and of very large size. Sport fish species available for harvest include black, mutton, mangrove, and yellowtail snapper, black grouper and goliath grouper (Jewfish). Spiny lobster are plentiful in these waters and reach large sizes (to 10lbs). Conch is a tasty species that inhabits the grass and sandy areas around the islands. On the deeper pinnacles, freedivers have a great shot at bagging wahoo, mahi, and several tuna species.

Scuba Diving Panama

ACCOMODATIONS

panama-marriott

Arrival and Departure Days Panama City

On Arrival and departure days our group will stay at the Panama Marriott Hotel.

The Panama Marriott is a full service, luxury accommodation offering an on site casino, three restaurants, in-room dining, in-room Internet access, and a wide array of other amenities.

Days 2, 3 and 6 Bocas del Toro

Our home base in the Bocas del Toro will be the Casa Acuario “Suites Over the Sea”

Built completely over the water, hotel Casa Acuario is an intimate luxury Inn and our group will take up the entire four suites of the hotel. Offering air conditioning, satellite TV, and spectacular views, the hotel Casa Acuario will be our home for the majority of the trip. Our private dive boat is moored just steps from the rooms. All meals are prepared by the hotel cook in an on site open air kitchen.

Days 4 and 5 Escudo Veraguas

Since these islands are in a pristine, undeveloped state, our accommodations on Escudo Veraguas will be safari style camping. All meals will be prepared by local staff, with supplies ferried over with us on the boat.


TRIP DETAILS


Arrival Day

We will depart Miami International Airport and arrive in Panama City on the afternoon of our arrival day. A shuttle will meet us at the airport and bring us to the Panama Marriott Hotel where we will spend the first night in Panama City. We will enjoy this luxury hotel and casino and the cosmopolitan city while preparing for our adventure in the Bocas.

Scuba Dive In Panama


Day 2

On the morning of day 2 we will take a regional flight from Panama City to the Bocas Del Toro airport and be shuttled via water taxi to hotel Casa Acuario. After check in, the guide and captain will brief you on the current conditions and what to expect while diving around the Bocas.

This will be followed by an afternoon of scuba diving or freedive spearfishing some of the world class reef, and rocky pinnacles surrounding the islands. Expect large snapper, grouper, and some pelagics lurking in these locations.

Day 3

This is a full day of experiencing the beautiful tropical reefs and rocky pinnacles of the Bocas from our private dive boat. It is your choice of freedive spearfishing or scuba. Our catch will be brought to the hotel cook for a fresh seafood feast. At the close of day 2 we will prepare for departure early the next morning to the remote Escudo Veraguas archipelago.

Day 4panama-spearfishing

We depart for Escudo Veraguas early in the morning. A 2.5 hour boat ride takes us to this secluded outer island reef system. Known as “The Unknown Archipelago” Escudo Veraguas is remote and very little traveled. The islands are largely uninhabited with only a few native campsites on the main island. The area has miles of untouched reef areas where trophy fish, lobster, and conch abound. This is truly a virgin hunting ground with a great potential for record fish.

Day 5

This is a full day enjoying the fantastic underwater hunting of Escudo Veraguas. When not diving we will enjoy tours of this natural paradise, and sample the fantastic fishing for pelagics (Mahi, Tuna, Sailfish). We will overnight camping safari style on the Escudo Veraguas.

Day 6

We return to the luxury of Casa Acquario and use this day to relax, off-gas for the flights home.

Day 7

A regional flight from Bocas del Toro airport will bring us back to Panama City where we will check back in to the Panama Marriott for an evening of enjoying the city and the casino.

Departure Day

Our shuttle will bring us back to the Panama City International Airport where we will fly back to Miami and close the book on our world-class spearfishing adventure.

Return to the Surface

Dates: October/November, 2010

Cost: $5,978.00

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