Isla Coiba National Park

Jan 15, 2020 - National Geographic Quest


As the sun rose out of the Pacific, National Geographic Quest was slowly passing some idyllic white-sand islands that are among the many satellite islands of Isla Coiba. Isla Coiba is the largest of Panama and measures 25 miles long by 5 wide. At one point there was an active penal colony which from images does not appear to have been a very comfortable place to be sent. Due to the isolation of Coiba, there are a few endemic species, and being that it is a National park, the island is well protected and known for its wildlife both above and below water.

Today was filled with activities – in fact there was an opportunity for nearly every activity we offer. Kayakers, paddleboarders and birders were at the ranger station and all the snorkelers went to Isla Coco to swim amongst the many fish of the reef. The list of creatures spotted today is immense but some highlights included scarlet macaws, capuchin monkeys, white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles, and even a few different eels. The sun was strong, water warm and happiness apparent. We pulled the anchor in the late afternoon and headed towards a new adventure in Costa Rica which we will reach sometime very early in the morning.

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About the Author

Ryder Redfield

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Growing up at the base of the Cascade Mountains in the tiny Oregon town of Sisters meant that Ryder was surrounded by wilderness. A childhood of hiking, fishing, hunting for arrowheads, camping, and upland bird hunting resulted in the outdoors feeling far more comfortable than hectic city streets. His passion for the outdoors has perpetually grown and, upon graduating from the University of Oregon, he embraced his wanderlust with even greater vigor. His adventures eventually led him to working with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic as a photo instructor.

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