Tired of regular dive trips? How about exploring the remote islands of Panama' Pacific Coast and helping uncover the secrets of their reef systemsor exploring two oceans on one dive trip. Here's your chance to work with oceanographers and help us learn more about the Central Pacific Ocean's marine life. Do your part to help the exploration of these remote areas and have a fun vacation at the same time.
The word Panama means "abundance of fish" and we'll sample that abundance. Panama provides the unique opportunity of observing fascinating creatures in their habitat, as it is home for a greater diversity of wildlife than any other country in Mesoamerica. Because of its unique geographical position, Panama is a land bridge between two continents and separating two immense oceans. As such, it has become the home for many species from Central, North and South America. The strong southern influence can be seen in algae covered sloths, tiny marmosets and spider monkeys. The strange bushdog and the giant anteater hunt and forage in the undergrowth and the capybara, largest rodent in the world, moves in groups along the edges of the rivers and lakes. Naturalist and bird watchers will find more than 940 species - including the Quetzal and the Harpy Eagle - 220 species of mammals and 340 species of reptiles and amphibians.
Panama is one giant, colorful garden. There are more than 10,000 species of plants including 1,200 varieties of orchid, 678 species of fern, 1,500 varieties of tree and a wide variety of tasty fruits and vegetables.
This is a state-of-the-art volunteer experience developed by divers for divers. It was designed to be educational but never boring: challenging, but never stressful and most important, always fun. Here's an opportunity for you to be part of a dive team expanding the envelope of man's knowledge of the sea for little more than the cost of a regular dive trip. No crowded cattle boats or novice divers. You will learn scientific diving techniques to enhance your skills and competency as a Research Diver. This is not a regular "dive trip." Its an opportunity to be an oceanographer for a week and find out how exciting, challenging and fun it can be to dive with a team of friends and professionals on a true research expedition.
Our team will be chartering the Coral Star, a 115 Ft. liveaboard, with wonderful food and staterooms, that specializes in the Central Pacific area. Besides visiting some of Panama's 1,600 deserted islands, we'll visit the Cobia National Marine Park (one of the oldest in the entire hemisphere). We'll assist The Cobia National Biological Research Center's efforts to study coral growth as well as collect baseline fish information for the Reef Environmental Education Foundation. Besides lots of exploration diving, you can kayak, snorkel or just beachcomb on these beautiful deserted tropical islands. We'll visit the Panama Canal and learn the importance of rainforests to the canal's operation.
Accommodations: First night and last night at The Caesar Park Hotel, Panama City, Panama. On the boat, deluxe rooms with air-conditioning, ocean view and all luxury amenities.
Cost: $2,095.00 Cost Includes:
Transportation: All flights and transfers within Panama (Does not include departure taxes or international airfares.)
Meals: All meals aboard Coral Star.
Diving: Unlimited diving and snorkeling. At least one night dive as well as drift, and monitoring dives are scheduled.
Experience: To ensure a safe, productive expedition, certified divers must have logged 75 logged dives and a minimum of 3 night dives. Due to the exploratory nature of the dives on this expedition and sometimes rigorous diving conditions on seamounts and pinnacles ,teammembers should be in good physical condition
Limited Space: Team size limited to 14 divers. Cost based on double occupancy cabins. Special cabins available for a slightly higher cost.
Deposits: A $500.00 deposit will be required to secure your position on the team. Balance is due 75 days before departure. Team members will receive a detailed Expedition Plan before departure.