Barro Colorado Island and the Smithsonian Tropical Institution (STRI) have a symbiotic relationship with the Panama Canal and the town of Gamboa. This relationship has endured for almost 100 years since the island was set aside as a nature reserve in 1923. The island is an important spot for tropical biologists. Today we had the opportunity to visit both the town and the island.
National Geographic Quest
Playa Caletas and Agujitas River
Today National Geographic Quest arrived at Caletas Beach in Corcovado National Park. You can see so much here in the protected forest on this peninsula. We organized groups of guests for coastal hikes and enjoyed great views of the beach and the shorelines of the Osa Peninsula. Forest hikes allowed us to experience the rainforest, and various walks were offered to guests. We saw lots of wildlife, including spider monkeys, mantled howler monkeys, and yellow-throated toucans. We returned to the boat for a delicious lunch and relocated to the entrance of Drake Bay. We explored Rio Agujitas in two rounds of Zodiac cruises. This was a highlight for many of our guests. The river was so calm and full of wildlife. We saw green kingfishers, boat-billed and yellow-crowned night herons, American crocodiles, and white-throated capuchin monkeys. We observed the towering canopy trees from the river and the forest’s vegetation, including woody lianas, climber plants, and palm trees with prop roots that anchored them to the very uneven forest floor. We returned to beautiful National Geographic Quest and celebrated the success of another great expedition.