Only premier diving destinations, such as the Gulf of Chiriquí, can be considered NAUI Dream Destinations. Cala Mia Island Resort received this prestigious certification putting itself on a short list of superb diving destinations worldwide. Our area has so much to offer to divers of all levels of experience.
If you have never gone diving and want to get certified, you should plan on spending at least 5 nights in Cala Mia Island Resort. NAUI Scuba Diver is the basic certification which entails classes and dives. You will learn how to use your equipment, sciences and responsible practices. First you will practice in a confined water environment and then you will go diving in the Gulf of Chiriquí.
If the idea of Panama scuba diving makes you nervous you can always “Try Scuba” which allows you to do a shallow dive without having to commit to getting certified. Divers who want to advance their level can also do so in our NAUI Dream Destination facility.
What is NAUI?
NAUI is the National Association of Underwater Instructors which is a nonprofit worldwide education association. Its history dates back to 1948 when Jacques-Yves Cousteau introduced Aqua-Lounge (the first device that permitted underwater breathing) to the market and people became interested in diving. Originally divers did not receive any training, the only advice they were given was not to hold their breath. In 1951, Neal Hess was invited to write a column teaching people scuba called “The Instructors Corner.” He started the National Diving Patrol to certify scuba diving “instructors.”
Al Tillman taught skin and scuba divers under a program done by the Los Angeles County. In 1955, Tillman and Bev Morgan, a county lifeguard, started the first civilian training program to certify recreational divers and instructors. Together with Hess they changed the name and formally founded NAUI in 1959. Their main objective was to “reduce diving accidents through education.” Up to today, safely is NAUI’s main focus which they achieve by properly training their instructors, including Federico, our own.
Protecting the environment is very important to NAUI, as to Cala Mia Island Resort. In 2010 they started the Green Diver Initiative to “empower individuals to preserve and conserve the ocean planet with the common goal of taking action to protect the environment.” Our operation at Cala Mia Island Resort is eco-friendly and we have a strict “no touch” policy on dives. Respecting our environment is the only way to ensure others will be able to enjoy it in the future as well.
Diving around the Gulf of Chiriqui
visiting the Gulf of Chiriqui you will soon realize how virgin the
area is. Lush tropical rainforest border deserted white or sandy grey beaches
that break into the Pacific Ocean. With 36,423-acres (14,740-hectares) the
possibilities of seeing marine life are endless. We like to focus our diving in
Panama in three main spots: Isla Secas,
Isla Ladrones and Coiba.
Isla Secas and Ladrones is the closest dive to Cala Mia Island Resort and it is a great spot for seeing fish and coral. It is possible to see species of jack and snapper, as well as Pacific barracuda and needlefish. Species of manta ray, such as devil, mobula and eagle can be spotted quite frequently, as well as turtles. Reef sharks such as nurse, white-tip and black-tip swim in these waters. Visibility in this area is superb. The sites are about 1 hour from the resort. You can see huge schools of fish that will surround you in a cloud which you can make dance with the movement of your arms. Colorful reef fish such as parrotfish, golden phase, moorish idol, barberfish and surgeonfish abound.
Coiba is the top spot for scuba diving in Panama and it is located about 1.5 hours from Cala Mia Island Resort. This UNESCO world heritage site is protected and has incredible biodiversity. It is connected to the Galapagos islands in Ecuador and Isla Coco in Costa Rica by an underwater mountain chain. Here you can see bigger species such as dolphins, whale sharks, several species of shark, manta rays, and big fish.
The Gulf of Chiriqui is visited by giant manta rays from May to November and humpback whales from July to October. Both of these animals make quite a spectacle. Let us know your diving preferences, you can go on a single dive or buy one of our diving packages. Book a stay at our Panama scuba diving resort,today!