Barro Colorado & the Panama Rainforest

Feb 08, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

National Geographic Quest repositioned very early in the morning in front of Barro Colorado Island. The call of howler monkeys were heard from our ship and a lush band of forest began to show more and more as the sun rose. In the dining room of the ship, a delicious breakfast awaited us.

It was our final day through the wonders of Costa Rica and Panama. Knowing our journey was nearing its end was not an easy reality to meet. Before our venture concluded, however, we got out to explore more of Gatun Lake and its surroundings. Some of our guest went to hike the trails of Barro Colorado Island and others took local speedboats to visit the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center.

This venture marks a rich seven-day survey of exploring Panamanian ecology—one that leaves many guests eager to learn more about this essential ecosystem and what can be done to conserve it.

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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

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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