Barra del Colorado Island and Transit to the Pacific Ocean

Dec 30, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

Those aboard National Geographic Quest rose at daybreak anchored next to the Barra del Colorado Island in the Gatun Lake, a research station that is run by the Smithsonian Institute. Our guests had the choice of a two-mile hike where they were able to experience the rainforest for the first time. On the island our guests were immersed in the tropical rainforest with all its wonders and high humidity.

We were lucky to see white-faced capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys as well as chestnut-mandibled toucan, crested guan, little tinamou, red-lored parrotts, yellow-rumped caciques, and several other birds. Some of our other guests enjoyed a Zodiac ride around the island and spotted wildlife as well. The rest of our travelers were able to experience the Rainforest Discovery Center which included a panga ride to a dock in Gamboa, followed by a short bus ride to the center, where they hiked up a 100-foot tower and see the different levels of the tropical rainforest as well as a hike to see the Gatun lake and finished at the hummingbird feeders to spot several different species of hummingbirds.

Along the panga ride they were able to see Geoffrey’s tamarin monkeys, which is always a treat. After lunch we enjoyed a festive afternoon teaching them how to dance salsa. As soon as we received the Panama Canal authority pilot we headed toward the Gaylord or Culebra Cut and the Miraflores Locks. We made our transit at night which is always very mystical with its lighting and amazing narration by our Panamanian Guides.

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About the Author

Juan Pablo Saborio


Juan Pablo has lived in a few countries in the Americas, a true culture and nature enthusiast, he has developed a sense of awareness and passion for the resources that identify our country.

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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