TWO OCEANS EXPEDITION
How many dive trips allow you to dive two distinct oceans, each with it's own unique animal life, all within nine days? Our Two Oceans expeditions features diving in both the Atlantic/Caribbean ocean basin and the Pacific with a transit through the incredible Panama Canal and visit two of the most primitive indian tribes in this hemisphere. Few divers have had this unique opportunity to compare, contrast and study the startling differences in marine life, habitats and oceanography this expedition offers.
Again chartering the M.V. Coral Star, our dive team will start in one ocean, experience several dives on typical area habitats, travel across the isthmus of Panama through the Panama Canal and then dive and explore another completely different environment in another ocean before returning to Panama City. This unique trip becomes affordable by conducting two 10 day expeditions back to back in each direction.
The first expedition will start in Panama City where we'll overnight before departing to Taboga Island in the Las Perlas Archipelago on the Pacific side of Panama. This island, called the "island of flowers", has all the charm of a small, early century Spanish town. It has excellent diving and most of the pelagic and tropical species along this undeveloped coast inhabit this protected refuge. After sampling this areas diving, we'll head northeast to the Panama Canal.
While the ship is waiting to enter the canal (remember, 14,000 ships use this amazing shortcut each year) we'll leave the boat for several hours to visit a community of the primitive Embera Indians in Chagres National Park. We will take a 45-minute trip on a motored Indian Canoe from Corotu Port across the last side of Lake Alajuela going up the Chagres River to reach the Indian community of Embera Drua. You will enjoy the natural beauty of the tropical rainforest; sharing customs and lifestyle of the indigenous population; as well as a folkloric presentation. We will also enjoy lunch well prepared by the Indians. Finally, we will take a hike through a botanical and medicine trail guided by expert Embera guides and swim in the Chagres River.
After transversing the canal, our team will visit the old city of Portobelo on the Caribbean side of the continents. Portobelo was the jumping off port for all the gold, emerald, and silver laden fleets of galleons bound for Spain. Most of the treasure ships sunk along the the Florida coast began their journey in this old, fortified city.
As we snorkel and dive some of the hundreds of uninhabited islands in the San Blas Archipelago, we'll visit and learn about the mysterious Kuna Indians. They are of Caribe origin. Many live in villages built completely over the water. They are small in stature, short necked and big head, broad backs, strong chest, short legs and small feet. They dress moderately. The indian women dress in Molas with showy colors. They wear gold earrings and a ring in their noses. They keep their traditions and legends, their beliefs and myths, their Gods. They believe in superstition. Their language is rich and vast. They practice monogamy and adultery is a felony. Their leader is the Sahila who has authority on the community in which he lives. The Nele is the leader of several communities. They practice agriculture and cultivate Coconut which is their main staple and which they have for sale. They also cultivate corn, rice, cocoa and yucca. Essentially they are fisherman. The National Government provides elementary schools for them and also a Junior High School at the Nargana Island. This is still one of the most unspoiled and primitive areas on the planet.
After several days of exploration, we will return to Panama City for our flight home.
First night stay at Caesar Park Hotel, Panama City, Panama.
Transportation: All flights, transfers, canal fees within Panama. (Does not include departure taxes or international airfares.)
Meals: All meals aboard M.V. Coral Star, and with the Embera indians.
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, "C" 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.