Barro Colorado

Mar 09, 2020 - National Geographic Quest

This morning and after the halfway crossing National Geographic Quest was anchor in the middle of Gatun Lake and in front of Barro Colorado Island also known as BCI.

BCI is a former hill which top became an island in this manmade lake once considered one of the biggest artificial lakes back in the time.

The island became one of the first Tropical research centers in the Neotropics and till today still one of the most important of its kind in the area.

The among of knowledge over the tropical ecology, flora and fauna that this research center have had generating is invaluable as well of the many of the long-term projects that studied the effect of temperatures change over this fragile ecosystem.

Today after breakfast our guests have had the chance to visit the island and its surroundings, some by walking the same trails generations of tropical biologist walked once and others by Zodiac cruising the periphery. There we saw Central American agouties, three-toed sloths, howler monkeys as well as several beautiful birds like the crested guan, slaty-tailed trogon, chestnut-mandibled toucan and others.

After, all came back on board for a delicious lunch we continued our transit towards the pacific site. Later, National Geographic Quest made a stop in front of Gamboa just before Culebra Cut and nest to the Chagres River mouth.

Gamboa is where the main equipment uncharged of the maintenance of the canal is locate and it is here where we got the chance to enjoy a little salsa time in the sundeck. The weather was perfect and in combination with the delicious ceviche and the salsa dancing it made a perfect. A vessel that will be tandem with National Geographic Quest for the transit throughout the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks.

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About the Author

Maguil Céspedes


Although Maguil was born in San Jose, he was raised in the countryside of Costa Rica, and it was this experience that provided him with a deep knowledge of and a profound love for the rural life of Central America.  It was this passion for nature that led Maguil to study biology at the University of Costa Rica, where he received his master’s degree in 2002. His thesis explored the genetic structure of big leaf mahogany, an endangered species of tree that is commercially extinct in much of Central America.

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