Granito de Oro Coiba National Park in Panama

Jan 17, 2018 - National Geographic Quest

Today we woke up early morning watching a rainbow in front of Coiba National Park one of the jewels and unspoiled protected areas of the republic of Panama. Coiba is an UNESCO site due the extraordinary marine corridor that forms up with the Galapagos Island, Malpelo and Gorgona in Colombia and Isla Coco in Costa Rica. The marine park allows some marines species to move from one area to another in a vast territory that comprise 271,000 hectares both marine, islands and islets.

The park also possesses the second largest coral reefs in the eastern pacific with a rock coral formation in where many kinds of reef fishes inhabit that under water ecosystem.

We started the morning hiking in Senderos de los monos trail and we had a great time walking in a pristine area where by millions of years of isolation makes some species diverge of genetic flow becoming endemic species of the island we looked for the coiba howler monkeys but we were not successful finding them we found white faced capuchin feeding in fruits at the canopy of the forest.

We return to the ship to enjoy a delicious brunch to head back out again to the always tropical Granito de Oro in English is translated to little grain of gold. Our guest snorkel and enjoyed terrific sightings of several school of fishes, sea turtles and even white tipped reef sharks in the reef.

We set our paddle boards and kayaks at the beach and our guest use them in what was a perfect day in our first day in Panama. Then we made it back to the ship and picked up our anchor and starts our navigation to the bay of Panama.

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About the Author

Gabriel Ortiz


Gabriel grew up in the outskirts of Panama City and became member of the Panama Eco tourism family back in 2007.  He has led many expeditions in Central America and South America working as a naturalist.  His expertise in natural history has inspired travelers to understand and appreciate travel to the neotropics, an area he considers a gift, as one of the most productive parts of the planet with vast arrays of traits and interactions among species.

About the Photographer

Steve Morello

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Steve Morello has had a long and colorful career in the natural history world. Born in New Jersey he was lucky to be able to summer on the shores of Cape Cod. Whether it was exploring the tidal pools, snorkeling along the beach, or hiking in the dunes, it all came together to instill in him a deep connection to the natural world. It was no surprise that he would return to the Cape as a whale researcher in his adult years. It was on the Cape that Steve first became involved in guiding, and for 15 years acted as naturalist on whale watching boats in the Gulf of Maine. Steve worked with groups creating environmental education material for school programs and soon found another one of his passions, photography.

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