This morning, National Geographic Quest sailed along the impressive isthmian coast of the Darien Jungle, giving us a great view of beautiful clear skies and the lush, thickly-forested mountains.
We dropped Zodiacs early to start our nature and birding hikes. Some guests opted to take the one and only border crossing between Panama and Colombia. Both expeditions received great reviews. Birders got fantastic views and photos of specialty birds, including spot-crowned barbets, cinnamon becards, king vultures, white hawks, black-checked woodpeckers, chestnut-sided oropendolas, keel-billed toucans, white-lined tanagers, various warblers, and the list continued. Meanwhile, other guests enjoyed a unique border crossing between the countries. They climbed to the top ridge to see an obelisk and flags. They took great pictures and enjoyed views of black-mantled howlers and Geoffroy’s monkeys on the trail.
In the afternoon, we repositioned to the town of Capurgana, known as the last large town before Panama with approximately 2,000 residents. Capurgana survives from tourism, fishing, and commerce via boats to smaller, inaccessible towns down the coast. We really enjoyed our visit with local people, especially a trip to the public school. The students put on a wonderful performance, which was a highlight of our day.