Barro Colorado Island & Panama Canal

Dec 22, 2017 - National Geographic Quest

Today we woke up inside the Panama Canal. After entering through the Pacific Ocean, the National Geographic Quest was raised up to the man-made lake of Gatun. And here in the very middle of the Panama Canal, in the middle of Panama, we visited the Smithsonian run Barro Colorado Island research facility and trails. When the lake was created during the construction of the canal, it became a research facility. A lot of what is known today about the tropical rainforest we owe to Barro Colorado Island. 

We always feel honored to visit BCI and walk on the very same trails that so many generations of scientist have walked.

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About the Author

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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