We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

La Buga Dive Center & Surf School

Certificate of Excellence
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: Main Street, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama
Phone Number:
+507 757-9534
Website
Today
08:00 - 20:00
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 08:00 - 20:00
Description:

Established in 2007, “La Buga Dive & Surf” instantly built up a...

Established in 2007, “La Buga Dive & Surf” instantly built up a reputation as a reliable and renowned Dive Center & Surf School in Bocas del Toro. No matter if you decide to go diving or surfing with us, we will ensure that you will have a fabulous time experiencing the multifaceted natural resources Bocas del Toro has to offer. You can also rent one of our kayaks or Stand-Up Paddle Boards. Our qualified international staff is providing top quality service by constantly reflecting our core values: Safety, Convenience and Fun! Hope to see you soon!Your La Buga Family

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 733 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 507
    Excellent
  • 36
    Very good
  • 10
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 4
    Terrible
Superfriendly, fun but also serious!

Walked by some diveshops in Bocas but when talking to these guys I instanstly felt that this was the place to do my PADI Open Water Certification! Leandro, who was my instructor... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Jacob U
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

733 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 560: English reviews
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Walked by some diveshops in Bocas but when talking to these guys I instanstly felt that this was the place to do my PADI Open Water Certification! Leandro, who was my instructor, and all of the other people at La Buga is super nice, friendly and happy! Leandro will make you feel super-comfortable during the whole course! I was a... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jacob U
Zeist, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Wow, wat a great place. I was looking for a perfect school to get my PADI and I wanted it to be highly professional and safe. I read only good things about La Buga and not that many good things about the other dive schools in Bocas. After a day of theory the diving started. Leon was our instructor and... More 

Helpful?
Thank Nina_Meil
Wien, Österreich
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We had breakfast at the La Buga restaurant on our first day in Bocas Town and fell in love with this dive & surf school instantly! 💜 So we decided to attend the PADI Open Water Diver course there. We had wonderful and educational three days with our instructor Leandro and I totally recommend this school to anyone staying on... More 

Helpful?
Thank bea849
Bocas Town, Panama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Stopped into La Buga on a quick trip down to Panama. Hadn't been in almost 2 1/2years. Walked in, and it felt like home all over again! Great group of people, fantastic instructors / dive masters - Leandro / Leon put up with me for weeks, and Kali / Capi / Micro were right along with them. Thanks for running... More 

Helpful?
Thank Emma T
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

I did 6 dives in 4 trips & it was all perfect! Best combo of professional and fun I've ever ran into

Helpful?
Thank Stara P
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The little Duce shop has super friendly and helpful guys working at it. They answered all our questions and were very supportive and encouraging for our dive. I hadn't been diving in 2 years and they made me feel at ease, safe, and the dive itself was beautiful. My one friend did an adventure dive and is hooked! And they... More 

Helpful?
Thank Lori Q
labugadive, Manager at La Buga Dive Center & Surf School, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your review Lori! When you're happy, we're happy! The La Buga Family More 

Santa Cruz, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I did a single tank dive with La Buga and could not have asked for more. Very professional, honest and a great atmosphere. The dive boat is great and spacious, all the staff are friendly and always willing to help and the gear was in good condition. What more can you want from a dive school! Great price dives, much... More 

Helpful?
Thank mattttarnold
labugadive, Manager at La Buga Dive Center & Surf School, responded to this review

Thank you Matt, we're glad you had a good time, come back soon! La Buga Family More 

Brazil
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I made my 4 open water dives at La Buga in Bocas del Toro, Panama. It was an excellent choice, in a very nice, chill-out environment. The instructors Lucy and Leon were very helpful, friendly and supercool! I highly recommend them to others.

Helpful?
Thank Pedro_n3m
labugadive, Manager at La Buga Dive Center & Surf School, responded to this review

YeahhH Peter Pannn! Thank you for your review! Happy bubbles! Lucy and Leon and The La Buga Family More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

On an impromptu trip to Panama and over to Bocas, we found our way to La Buga to ask about diving/snorkeling. The people make this place! Lucy, Leandro, Momo, Kali, Ricardo and all the others that work there are just down to earth, good people who love to take folks out on the water and experience Panama. The food and... More 

Helpful?
Thank Ariele Y
labugadive, Manager at La Buga Dive Center & Surf School, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your review Ariele, we had a great time with you guys! If you ever want to make another impromptu trip to Panama, you know where to find us! The La Buga Family More 

2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Very professional staff, always felt supported. I did feel that my guide was just kind of going through the motions, didn't really show much enthusiasm for the area. Can't expect that every time though. Beautiful corals to be seen.

Helpful?
Thank Josh G
labugadive, Manager at La Buga Dive Center & Surf School, responded to this review

Hi Josh, Thank you for taking the time to write your review. Sorry that you got the impression that your divemaster didn't show a lot of enthusiasm for the area. Big part of our staff are locals so they know the area by heart and always try to find you the best animals. Happy you still enjoyed our beautiful coral... More 

Travellers who viewed La Buga Dive Center & Surf School also viewed

Bocas Town, Isla Colon
Bocas Town, Isla Colon
 
Bocas Town, Isla Colon
 

Been to La Buga Dive Center & Surf School? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of La Buga Dive Center & Surf School and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question
Boulder, Colorado

Hola!

My husband and I are in our 50s but fairly adventurous and interested in booking a dive(s) with you. We're newly certified open water divers and La Buga Dive Center was recommended to us by Ocean First in Boulder Colorado, a popular dive shop in the mountain of Colorado :-) who trains divers and books international dive trips. They work with Kim at Reef and Rainforest who recommended La Buga Dive Center.

I've been wanting to come back to Bocas del Toro ever since I visited 10 years ago. What can you tell me about traveling there in March or April?

What is the weather like in March/April? Some say it's extra rainy and some say it doesn't matter because its rainy all year. Is it known to also be sunny?

We want to explore the area but likely stay in one place in Bocas del Toro. Can you give me any tips regarding where to stay? In Bocas town? Isla Carenero? Other?

Any information will be useful.

Muchas gracias!

Julia

FYI

Amy at Ocean First is the Director of Travel and Retail. It might be a good contact to have for future business.

Their website is Ocean First dot blue

"Our mission is to create and support a community of ocean enthusiasts who are passionate about experiencing and preserving our marine environments. Whether swimming, diving, or experiencing the ocean in their own sublime way, our customers share an infectious passion and excitement that transcends their daily lives. Our love of the ocean is the inspiration for our swim and dive instruction, travel services, marine biology education, and sustainability. Our approach to ocean conservation is simple - we believe a healthy ocean is a healthy planet."

16 days ago

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from La Buga Dive Center & Surf School staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?