The main part of our trip was a camping and kayaking trip on Coiba Island, a remote island off the Pacific Coast of Panama. The island is the largest in Central America at 2,700 square kilometers. The entire island and surrounding 38 smaller islands and waters have been preserved as a national park and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's biological diversity is said to be as rich as the Galapagos Islands. In fact, it is part of the larger Galapagos Islands ecosystem. There are a number of endemic species and subspecies on the island and it is an amazing place for bird watching. We were lucky to see some of the species unique to the island, like the Coiba howler monkey and the Coiba agouti. The Nature Conservancy and the Smithsonian Institute recently discovered 12 new coral species at Coiba!
We were warned that bugs could be a problem. I was also a little concerned about trying to paddle a double kayak with Ben or Laura in the front. When Scott and I paddled in Alaska, the waters were generally calm and with both of us paddling the boat, it was pretty easy.
I'll leave the pictures to tell the full story of how the trip unfolded....
|The boys - Ben was a super paddler too! You can see how clear and beautiful the water was -- we saw lots of fish, some dolphin, and many sea turtles.|
|Acampa cerca del océano. The view from our tent.|
|Our camp between the sea and the forest. It was luxury camping for us as we went with a guide who provided all the food and camping gear! One night we had the most delicious pineapple curry for dinner.|
|Laura, the super paddler. I was so proud of her. Counting our paddle strokes started to be a game for Laura and she drove us hard. We got up to 50 in a row with only 5 rest seconds. And she's still smiling!|
If you are interested, we booked our trip through Michael at http://fluidadventurespanama.com/ and were very happy!