Bona and Iguana Islands

Jan 14, 2019 - National Geographic Quest


In the Gulf of Panama, the powerful northeastern trade winds cross the isthmus and hit the surface of the water, causing an upwell. This effect brings an abundance of fish, and therefore some of the islands of the gulf are used as nesting sites for thousands of sea birds.

Bona and Iguana Islands have abundant birdlife that is overwhelming! Bona has the greatest quantities and is a very important nesting site. Iguana, even though the colony is not as big, has a gorgeous beach, coral reef to snorkel around, and walking trails, which makes it a perfect location to visit.

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About the Author

Max Vindas

Expedition Leader

Known for his passion for nature and dedication to conservation and ecotourism, Max Vindas has been guiding natural history trips in Costa Rica since 1993. On his first trip to the rainforest at age eight, Max realized his love for the outdoors and wildlife observation. Since then, he spends as much time as he can in the forest, sharing his knowledge with visitors to his country.

About the Photographer

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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