Waking up in the archipelago of Coiba Islands was a dream. A mix of green, white, black, blue, and turquoise colors blended to unite forest, sandy beaches, lava rocks, reef, and ocean.
After our breakfast, half of the explorers headed towards Cocos Island for a morning of spectacular snorkeling. Snorkelers explored around a tombolo that connects the main island to a pinnacle that resisted the action of erosion, which, together with the action of marine currents, has carved a land bridge between the island and the pinnacle.
Pillow lavas and rocky formations, as well as some coral reefs, were seen as snorkelers discovered the abundance of life of the second largest reef in the Eastern Pacific. Chancho surgeon fish, blunt headed trigger fish, bicolored parrot fish, Mexican goat fish, morish idol and white tipped sharks enhanced the sightings of the underwater world.
The other part of the group, headed to the main Island in Coiba, a former prison of Panama that was transformed into a National Park, becoming World Heritage Site. Walks were organized to encounter mammals, birds, and reptiles such as agoutis, yellow headed caracaras, crimson backed tanagers, egrets, scarlet macaws, and many other birds as well as basilisks and crocodiles.
An interesting fact about reptiles is that they can be a source of information as a climate change indicator, since the sex of individuals is determined by the temperature of the nest.
Some of the species found in the archipelago are endemic to the area, while others (scarlet macaws) you can only find in Panama at Coiba Island.
After switching destinations, our guests made their way to National Geographic Quest and the galley had prepared a delicious lunch to allow us to recharge our batteries. The afternoon was open for whoever wanted to head back to the ranger station, for a relaxing time at the beach, or to take advantage of our kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. It was a lovely afternoon.
Once we were all back onboard, we started our sailing and bid farewell to beautiful Panama, making our way to Costa Rica. Pan tropical spotted dolphins came along, bow riding, reminding us that we are only part of the universe and not the center of it! After the colors of the sunset painted the skies, recaps and dinner closed an amazing day on our Panama and Costa Rica Lindblad Expedition.