Otoque & Bona Islands & Panama Canal

Jan 24, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

Our day began with a beautiful sunrise in the Gulf of Panama which highlighted the small Islands of Otoque and Bona on the horizon. After a delicious breakfast, we boarded Zodiacs to explore these nesting sites for brown pelicans, brown and blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigatebirds. We observed a number of these seabirds in full mating displays, along with their nests and chicks.

Later in the day, our ship navigated to the Panama Canal entrance, where we picked up a local pilot who would guide our transit in the early evening. We enjoyed unique views of ships leaving the Miraflore Locks as we went through the lock’s chambers with the help of mules pulling our ship to its destination in Gatun Lake. An unforgettable experience.

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About the Author

Deibys Fonseca


Deibys Fonseca was born and raised in the mountains of western Panama. From a very young age, his interest in nature led him to become a volunteer guide for La Amistad International Park in the administrative headquarters of Chiriqui. His knowledge in geography and flora and fauna led him to participate in multiple wildlife research projects in his community, among which highlight a population census of bats, birds and plants developed by ANCON.

About the Photographer

Carlos Calvo Obando

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Carlos is a freelance wildlife photographer and photography instructor from Costa Rica. Passionate about travel and education, he also works as a certified naturalist guide on the beaches, jungles, and mountains of that beautiful tropical paradise. With 20 years of experience leading groups and making images and portraits of Costa Rican creatures and landscapes, he loves to share his knowledge and tricks with enthusiasm, simplicity, and a good sense of humor.

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