After transiting the Panama Canal overnight, we sailed through smooth seas this morning and arrived to Isla Iguana around noon. Isla Iguana is a small island located of the coast of Panama, known for its rich biodiversity, unique wildlife, and geological features. Today we took advantage of the perfect tide and calm seas to utilize our fleet of Zodiacs and make our first shore landing of the voyage.

Even before approaching the island, large numbers of magnificent frigatebirds could be seen soaring overhead. These birds are characterized by their long wingspans, sharp hooked bills, and their iridescent red throat pouches, which they inflate during the breeding season to attract mates. Though there are five species of frigatebird, the magnificent frigatebird is unique to this region.

The sandy beaches of Isla Iguana are home to many species of hermit crabs. These fascinating creatures could be observed scurrying around, carrying their homes of empty seashells on their backs. Even with your eyes closed, the sound of crinkling leaves is a telltale sign that there are hermit crabs nearby. There are so many of these little critters on Isla Iguana, they have sometimes been known to hitch a ride back to the ship in backpacks or shoes!

For those of us who chose to walk to the other side of the island, today also presented an excellent opportunity to observe everyone’s favorite geological formation…columnar basalt! These structures were formed by volcanic activity and are a remarkable example of the geological forces that shape our planet.

It was an excellent afternoon of exploration and observation. Upon returning to the ship, we were greeted by our bartender RayRay and her delicious treats. What better way to end the day than with a surprise cocktail and pepperoni puff pastries?