It was a great evening transiting the Gatun Locks and anchoring overnight up on Gatun Lake 85 feet above sea level. This morning we repositioned to Barro Colorado Island, a biologist’s dream and traveler’s delight. In fact, not many ships have this special arrangement of transiting the Panama Canal in a two-day itinerary. This is very special, to have a chance to explore the oldest rainforest reserve in the western hemisphere and enjoy the pristine jungles of the Panama Canal waterway.
Early risers took off down towards town of Gamboa the geographical center of the Panama Canal, where they would enter the famous Pipeline Road, known for its successful birding opportunities, trail walking or viewing from a 90-foot birding observation tower. Some guests went on to Barro Colorado Island for a trail walk, while others took Zodiac tours navigating in and out of coves around the Island.
I’m not sure if it was the moon, the time of year, or the temperature of the day, but all of our outings were spectacular!
Our species list grew tenfold: three different species of monkeys, black mantel howler monkeys, white face capuchins, Geoffrey’s tamarins, three toed sloths, anteater, crocodiles, and coati mundi. Our bird list was also intense: red capped manikins, trogons, mot-mots, wood creepers, red throated ant tanagers, chestnut antbird, spotted ant bird, bicolored antbird – all twitching among a couple of massive army ant swarms! What a spectacle, several fly catchers, toucans, hawks, herons and the list goes on.
In the afternoon we proceeded for our second leg of the canal into the Pacific, and a long-awaited trip to enjoy a full transit of this engineering marvel and 8th wonder of the world. What a great way to end our Colombia and Panama Itinerary.