Las Lajas Beach Divers
Las Lajas Beach Divers
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12 reviews
Very good

23 contributions
Jul 2015
We went diving with the base in July 2015. Pete took us out with his boat to Coiba national park. Between two good dives we enjoyed delicious pasta salad cooked by Astrid, Petes partner. Even though it is a small dive center, the equipment was very good.

When we were there they only accepted cash, which they should change since the next ATM is in Las Lajas, and they really should put up a road sign so they are easier to find.
Written 18 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Frankfurt, Germany2 contributions
Mar 2014
Did a two boat dives today with peter and his crew of locals. Nice sites. Astrid prepared a noodle lunch snack for the one hour surface interval. We went in a small group. Everything was easygoing and relaxed. Will go again on sunday! Thumbs up!
Written 27 March 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MIchigan/ Shanghai5 contributions
Dec 2013 • Family
WE all loved these experienced people that took us out. I am a new diver, and this was my first real experience on my own in the water so to speak.
I explained that and my concerns and was very pleased how much patience and more teaching I received.
Where we were taken was fabulous. Huge manta rays, tortises, eels of all sorts, just breath taking.
I would highly recommend this place to anyone.
The beach is beautiful and so empty. The sand and sea gorgeous.
Written 22 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nick R
New York City, NY14 contributions
Dec 2013 • Couples
We went diving with Peter for two dives on one day on December 27th. Peter is friendly and professional, and put us at ease. His dive shop is small, but the crew and owner are top-notch. Astrid (Peter's partner) can most definitely cook; both the lunch and the Indian cuisine we had for dinner were spectacular.

Also, and this is not trivial, we had access to Peter's parking and bathroom before/after dives, and for non-diving family members. We had the beach largely to ourselves while we were there. Las Lajas is everything you want in a beach - wide, sandy, 82-degree water, gentle waves, coconut trees, everything. It is a picture perfect beach.

Really, my only gripe is that the shop is small. If you have a number of size-small divers, BCDs and wetsuits will be a little limited (but not insurmountable). However, we had an entire string of islands in a national park to ourselves. The sea life is top notch - and you will probably not see another boat while you are out. Could not recommend the dive sites more. We were lucky to have a 15-foot wingspan manta ray spend the majority of a dive doing circles around us. We also saw a number of sharks, tons of eels, parrot fish, frog fish, tons and tons of smaller fish, giant schools - something for everyone. Just incredible.

No sense driving all the way to Santa Catalina when Las Lajas has a better beach and better dive sites. You will not regret diving in Las Lajas.
Written 6 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Los Angeles, CA1,709 contributions
Dec 2013 • Family
I believe this is the first Trip Advisor review for this operation, so I am going to write a very extensive review. As you can see from the rating, we were very happy with our experience.

This is a well-run, although small, dive operation. The owner and dive master, Peter Humphrey, is very safety conscious and contientious. He is from the London area, is a dive instructor, and has led dives all over the world. One member of our group was an inexperienced diver who had some issues, and Peter was very patient, and took very good care of her.

He has capacity at this time for 5 divers in addition to himself, so our group of 9 split up into two days, and each group had a great time.

First of all--We decided to dive Las Coiba National Park from Las Lajas instead of Santa Catalina. This was for several reasons:
--Las Lajas is much easier to get to than Santa Catalina: it is less than 2 hours from David airport on a good road. A short distance off the Pan American Highway.
--Las Lajas has a better beach than Santa Catalina: it has miles of beautiful empty sand.
--We had an easier time finding nice accommodations in Las Lajas: We stayed at Finca Buena Vista, a beautiful bed and breakfast. Las Lajas Beach Resort also looked nice, and there are smaller cabanas, etc. In Santa Catalina we couldn't find as nice options.

In terms of the diving: Santa Catalina is closer to Isla Coiba main island, but Las Lajas is closer to Islas Contreras in Coiba Park. This is where we chose to dive: it is less visited, was closer for us, has similar diving. You can also go to the large Isla Coiba from here, but it is about 1/2 further.

This operation only opened in 2013 and isn't well-known yet. Even Panamanians who are divers will tell you they don't think there is a dive operator in Las Lajas. That is incorrect. Las Lajas diving is GREAT!

Peter's equipment is great: integrated BCDs with ingtegrated weights. Good Regulators, full wet suits, etc. He obviously focuses on keeping things in good repair.

He owns his own boat with dual 90hp outboard motors. It is a good-sized panga with a shade cover. In addition to himself as dive master, he had a captain and a helper on board. This is necessary, divers ran out of air and rather than swim against the current back to where the boat was moored, we did our safety stop while the divemaster signaled and had the boat come to us. Do not dive on a boat where no no captain is left on board and everyone is in the water!

We left in the morning from the beach about 8am. It was about 1 1/2 hour boat ride to the dive site. Diving is done on moorings, so no anchors tear up the sealife. Diving is around mounts of rock rising from the sea floor. Our dive plan consisted essentially of circumnavigating the mount. The sea life is abundant. In addition to tons of fish (wrasses, parrot fish, butterfly fish, etc.) we saw white tip shark, turtle, rays, tons of moray eels. Sadly, no whale shark, but it wasn't quite the season. One group got to see a huge Giant Ray with a 12 foot wing span cruise back and forth right in front of them. There we two tank dives. In between dives we pulled up to a beach on a secluded island with a waterfall coming right to the beach and had lunch. I also did some snorkeling here on the rocks. We got back between 3 and 4 pm. It was a great day.
Written 2 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LAS LAJAS BEACH DIVERS (Playa Las Lajas) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go