Barro Colorado island and the Panama Canal

Jan 07, 2018 - National Geographic Quest


Today we woke up gazing at one of the most unique nature reserve in tropical rainforest in the Americas, Barro Colorado Natural monument. The island is nearly 4,000 hectares and became one of the most studied area in the tropics in which we have amplified our understanding how tropical rainforest works.

Since 1946 Smithsonian tropical research station began conducting investigation about: mammals, soil, birds etc. and most of this work has been published in books.

We sent our guest ashore in which they hike in the island that has been receiving visitors only for the last 10 years.

Others guest took the zodiac ride in the perimeters of the island and were able to see more wildlife.

We wanted also to offer the chance to some guest to go to pipeline road at the Soberania National park and we sent off a third group to walk around one of the most visited national parks in Panama and the Rainforest discovery center that has a tower that overlooks the canopy of the rainforest.

In the afternoon we reposition the boat to the areas of Gamboa and we appreciated the daylight view of lake Gatun and the dredging division where the river Chagres meets with the lake.

Later in the evening we resume our transit to pass through Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks to drop down 85 feet from lake Gatun level into the Pacific Ocean level giving a momentary farewell to the Panama Canal until the next voyage.

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About the Author

Cristian Moreno

Undersea Specialist

Cristian is a Panamanian born in Chile.  He grew up in Panama City until the age of 19 when he returned to Chile to go to college where he received a degree in metallurgic civil engineering. Since 1995 he has been working as a freelance naturalist in Panama.  Specializing in bird watching and ecology, he also has a passion for indigenous cultures, hiking and trekking.  He is a certified scuba diver and is often found exploring coral reefs along the Caribbean coast of Panama.

About the Videographer

Julio Rodriguez

Video Chronicler

Born and raised in Ecuador, the son of Spanish and American parents, Julio developed a passion for storytelling and conservation at an early age. After majoring in history at Carleton College in Minnesota, and completing a thesis on the Basque anti-Franco movement, he taught English in Spain and made short promotional films for an energy efficiency company in India and two environmental conservation NGOs in Greece and Galápagos. These experiences gave him some amazing travel opportunities and strengthened his resolve to support environmental protection.

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