Gatun Lake & Panama Canal

Jan 27, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

Early in the morning, a pilot came on board National Geographic Quest to reposition her in front of Barro Colorado Island. This island used to be a mountain top. When the Chagres River valley was flooded to create Gatun Lake, animal species gathered here to survive. Today, this rainforest environment is studied by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

To explore BCI, guests could walk along the trails accompanied by a local scientist. They could also spot wildlife by Zodiac, or take a speedboat to visit the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center.

In the afternoon, we continued our southbound transit through the Panama Canal. We cruised through the Gaillard Cut and completed our transit by going through Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks. We went from 85 feet above sea level down to Pacific Ocean level.

What a great start to our expedition!

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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 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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