Our adventure in Costa Rica was incredible, and today we woke up on the pristine, turquoise waters of Coiba National Park in Panama. The sunrise gave us quite a show as we enjoyed the sound of birds and a good cup of coffee at the beginning of our day. We dropped anchor at Canales de Afuera. With its white sand beach and lots of hermit crabs, it was the perfect place to enjoy a full morning of snorkeling.

We were ready to get in the calm, clear water. It only took five minutes for somebody to say, “Look! There’s a turtle!” It was a good-sized hawksbill sea turtle. The excitement of several people was one of the most memorable moments of our day. The sea turtle was busy eating chunks of sponges. We talked about the diet of these reptiles, which includes a variety of species, including anemones, jellyfish, crustaceans, mollusks, and fish. The turtle is considered one of the reef’s important predators.

We spotted a whitetip reef shark under a brain coral, and we enjoyed observing a green pufferfish and several soldierfish. We also found a crown of thorns, a starfish that feeds on hard or stony coral polyps. They are considered among the largest starfish in the world.

Our day went fast, and we had a lot of fun visiting the archipelago formed by 38 islands and islets. It was an incredible excursion.

Coiba National Park is one of Panama’s jewels. It is such a beautiful place, and it left us mesmerized.