Two Oceans and Plenty of Coral Reefs – Panama’s Rich Underwater Environment
Considered one of the most beautiful snorkeling destinations in the world, Panama boasts two oceans’ worth of stunning coral reefs populating its shores. From the beautiful, pristine corals located on the western Pacific shore to the widely different reef formations on the Caribbean side of Panama, the country features corals that have mostly stayed unaffected by modern infrastructural growth, tourism or fishing.
The Las Perlas Archipelago
The Las Perlas islands are one of only two large archipelagos located in the Tropical Eastern Pacific. The coral reefs growing here are somewhat smaller and patchy, occasionally growing into the bedrock to form communities, but without forming actual large reefs. The area has become a Special Management Zone since 2007, being protected under Panama law.
Bocas Del Toro
A coastal province of Panama, Bocas del Toro is about 155 square kilometers big, and is composed of 9 main islands that house some of the most diverse self-sustaining coral reefs in the entire Caribbean region. The region is home to many commonly known and endangered species of marine life, and has itself come under threat due to overpopulation and increased tourist activity.
Rich Marine Life
About 99 acres worth of stunning coral reef habitats can be found in the Gulf of Panama, where the country’s largest known reef is located surrounding Isla Iguana. Visitors can also find many beautiful underwater inhabitants such as schools of barracuda, angelfish and spiny lobsters in the intricate, complex reef structures found at the Bastimentos Natural Marine Park.
Panama’s rich coral formations are also home to sea turtles, eels, lots of different types of sea sharks, as well as about 250 different species of reef fish that have been detected near the Central American nation’s shores.