Early this morning National Geographic Quest dropped anchor in the crystal waters of Coiba National Park. This massive marine park extends for 271,000 hectares (around 680,000 acres) and has the second biggest coral reef of the tropical Eastern Pacific. Protected by law since 2004, this park is part of an important marine corridor that connects several marine parks of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador.

Our guests had the opportunity to visit three of the many islands in the park. With sunny tropical weather, we enjoyed nature walks, kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. Our nature walkers spotted a great diversity of birds with the help of an experienced naturalist. They also saw an endemic species of agouti that lives on the main island of Coiba, a volcanic island that drifted from Cocos Plate to reach this area of Central America. Snorkelers enjoyed swimming among the many colorful fish living along the reef and spotting a majestic green sea turtle feeding on algae, unconcerned with our presence next to it.

We would have stayed in this paradise of white sandy beaches and crystal waters, but our onward journey called us back to National Geographic Quest. We had 120 nautical miles to cover to reach our next destination, the wild side of Costa Rica!