Diving and Snorkeling Plans From Panama City

With 9 dive sites on 4 islands, Las Perlas Archipelago is a great alternative for your diving trip in Panama City. Although in the Caribbean you will also see hundreds of different species, the Pacific will surprise you with huge groups of fish swimming around you.

Dive in Las Perlas Archipelago

Dive in Las Perlas Archipelago

Sail to one of the 39 islands and 100 islets of Las Perlas Archipelago and be amazed by the abundance of marine life just 41 miles from Panama City.


Visit the famous Pachequilla Island to dive in the best spots in the region: Pachequilla Norte, Alero, Canal and Pachequilla Sur where you can swim in the middle of a school of horse mackerel, see rays, moray eels and (if you’re lucky) some whitetip reef sharks.

Discover the depths of Isla Pedro Gonzalez in Niagara Rock, and don't miss out on the Tres Pilas de Arroz point on Isla San Jose. There you will find huge schools of striped skirtfish (Chaetodipterus zonatus), surgeonfish (Acanthuridae), parrotfish (Scaridae), butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) and damselfish (Pomacentridae). You’ll also be surprised by the soft corals full of colors and the moray eels (Muraenidae) that peek out of the rocks.

When to go

When to go

Although you can enjoy the incredible marine life of the Las Perlas Archipelago throughout the year, consider that December and January are the ideal months for diving and snorkeling.


This season has the best visibility, the water is crystal clear and you will find many fish.

If you visit us from February to April, you will witness the upwelling phenomenon when bottom water, full of nutrients, rises to the surface. The abundance of species in the water is extraordinary, but visibility is only about 6 feet. 

If you are in the city in summer and want to go to the sea, we recommend you enjoy the beaches of Panamá and take advantage of the sunny days and the summer wind. Take advantage of your visit to Panama City to see its historical sites, and while you’re there, don't miss out on the Panama Canal and hike along the trails of the National Parks.

From April to November you will have frequent rains and occasional storms, but the sea will be calm and with good conditions for diving and snorkeling. Additionally, from July to September you will have a high chance of seeing humpback whales breaking the surface.

How to get to the Archipelago

Most tours start from Isla Contadora. To get there, you can take a ferry from Calzada de Amador, and make the most of the journey to see the city skyline and take the best photos. The ferries leave every day at 7:30 in the morning and cost approximately USD$55. 

You can also take a private flight from Albrook Marcos A. Gelabert Airport. Costs vary depending on the charter you use, since you can rent a small plane or share one with up to 12 passengers. The flight from Albrook to Contadora takes approximately 30 minutes.

From Contadora Island you will be approximately 15 minutes from the diving and snorkeling spots. There you will find equipment rental, where you can book your tours, take a quick course or finish your certification.

Take advantage of your trip to Panamá to get to know the beaches that surround the city. Don't miss the opportunity to swim among hundreds of fish and colorful landscapes. Book a good diving tour or grab some snorkeling equipment and visit the depths of the Pacific without leaving Panama City.

More Destinations

Bocas Del Toro

Bocas del Toro is one of the favorite destinations among Panamanians and visitors. Just a 45-minute...


Boquete is a colorful, wooded valley surrounded by the mountains of Chiriquí, in northwestern...


In the province of Colón, facing the Caribbean Sea, you'll find Portobelo. Legend has it...

Tierras Altas

The Tierras Altas region is a quite different place from the rest of Panamá. It is a...

Riviera Pacifica

The Riviera Pacífica extends along the Pan-American Highway, a 25 mile (40 km) stretch of...

Pedasi & Tonosi

The province of Los Santos, located in the south of Panamá, is the cradle of folklore. At the...