PADI instructor Kevan Martell wrote the dive manual for Coiba, so his guided scuba trips could not be more compelling. Moreover, safety is a priority, with well-maintained equipment, radios and first aid. Closer to Isla Coiba than Santa Catalina, the village of Pixvae is rustic (no electricity or internet) and way off the beaten path. Contact the dive center for directions and lodgings.

Options include two-tank dives (US$80) and Coiba trips (US$150 plus equipment and park entry fee), as well as open-water certification. From Sona, Pixvae is one hour and 40 minutes via a rough 4WD road. Transport pickups or public buses are an option.