From the National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica and Panama
Jan 16, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Coiba Island National Park and Granito de Oro
While the sunrise began, National Geographic Sea Lion dropped anchor at the inner canal between Coiba and Ranchería islands. Our naturalists and several guests visited Coiba Island before breakfast, some for morning exercise and others for a bird-watching walk.
The timing for those at the beach couldn’t have been better. The forest was awakening with the first light and several species of tanagers, herons and parrots were observed, along with some endemic mammals like the Coiba agouti. On the main island you can find a set of several endemic species that have been evolving isolated from the mainland since the land bridge was covered with water during the end of the last ice age. The island is the home of dozens of species of tropical trees, palms, lianas and epiphytes. Not long ago it was used as a penal colony, which is one of the reasons not many people have visited the island before. Coiba National Park is a tremendous place to visit; an icon of conservation located in the southwest of Panama. It is also by far the most important coral reef in this part of the world.
Once everybody came back on board from the morning expedition, we enjoyed breakfast while our ship repositioned to Granito de Oro. This cute little islet is located strategically next to Coiba and after disembarkation some people decided to snorkel while others enjoyed their time kayaking around the area. Parrotfish, white-tip sharks, Moorish idols and many other fish where found within the coral reef the surrounds the islet.
With everyone back on board, we lifted anchor and sailed towards our next adventure. As the sun was setting, we witnessed the end of another great day.